INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS LAW
(a) Coles and the Consumer [Kennett the consumer, and the Irish Bread incident]
(b) ACCC v’s COLES (2014) [Coles: unconscionable conduct and abuse of power in the marketplace.]
[Note: Reading list for both (a) and (b) attached]
OBJECTIVE OF ASSIGNMENT: Objective of this Assignment No.2 is:
(a) To introduce you to the way in which Australian law deals with businesses which breach their contracts with consumers AND SUPPLIERS.
(b) To show how, while contract law is private law (between private persons, as compared to public law – government and the citizen), governments re steadily developing an armory of law which can deal with even the largest companies foolish enough to ignore their obligations under consumer contracts.
(c) To show how attitudes to law, especially contract law, have and are continuing to change, and the old notion in contract law, ‘caveat emptor’ (let the buyer beware), no longer apply in many cases.
(d) To show how business persons who ignore the nexis between contract law and consumer law do so at great risk, and how easy it is to breach the law
TOPIC Jeff Kennett was a former Premier of Victoria. His first clash with Coles concerned his attempt to buy bread at one of their stores advertised as ‘baked fresh daily’. When he opened the package, he found a packing slip that confirmed the bread had been par-baked (half baked in preparation for export) in Ireland months previously and exported to Australia where it was advertised as freshly baked on the premises.
Task 1: Examine how Kennett and Coles handled the matter. What was wrong with selling bread that had been incorrectly describe? What agreement, if any, did Kennett and Coles reach? Especially read the materials and commentary listed in the attached reading Guide. They are very helpful. Was anyone charged with an offense, especially say under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010?
No sooner had Kennett settled with Coles on the bread matter when Coles suppliers complained that they were the victims of scheme by Coles to force them to pay loadings on projected sales to help Coles recover losses. The second aspect of Kennett’s involvement is contained in the ACCC against Coles of head in 2014.
Task 2: This matter concerns the ACCC case mentioned above. Coles retained Kennett as its arbitrator in the matter, and Kennett was empowered to decide the outcome of the suppliers’ case. Kennett decided strongly in favour of the suppliers.
What is meant by abuse of market power? What was the nature of the allegation against Coles which Kennett now had to deal with in his capacity as Cole’s arbitrator. How did the matter get to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission? Was Coles use of Kennett simply a case of ‘hold your friends close and your enemies closer.’
In Task 2, look closely at the comments on the ACCC v Coles case in the attrached readings. They are grouped quite separately from
DUE DATE Midnight of Friday of Week 10 of Semester 1. Your Assignment is to be submitted by computer.
NO. OF WORDS 2,500 (two thousand five hundred). A 10% leeway, either way, is allowed in the maximum number of words.
VALUE This assignment is worth 30% (THIRTY PERCENT) of the total marks for the Unit: INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS LAW.
METHOD Students may carry out their research component in Groups, or alone if they so choose, but must write their Assignments individually and independently. Plagiarism is a serious offence.
COVERSHEET A fully completed coversheet must be attached to the front of the assignment for submission. The coversheet is contained on the APIC computer.
SUBMISSION Submission is to be via computer. Details will be announced at lectures and tutorials.
PRESENTATION Assignments must be typed, double-spaced, on one side of the page only, with the last item attached to the Assignment being a bibliography. The cover page must be the first item in the Assignment. At the top of each page must be the full name (family name in bold letters). At the bottom right-hand corner of page must be the page number.
BIBLOGRPAHY: Bibliographies are mandatory. Failure to submit a bibliography will attract a penalty of 10% of the marks awarded.
‘TURN IT IN’ Assignments may be subjected to processing by ‘Turn It In’ at the discretion of the lecturer.
RETENTION OF ORIGINAL Students are to retain the original assignment on their computer hard drive until the final mark for the Unit is announced by the APIC academic board. A further copy of the Assignment is to be provided by the student to the lecturer If and when requested by the Subject Coordinator or the Lecturer.
RUBRIC This assignment is classified as a NARRATIVE QUESTION. Like all assignments it is marked according to a set of criteria known as rubrics. It is to your advantage to know what these rubric are and to have them on mind when writing the assignment. The rubric (rationale/principles) used in marking) will be issued Is shown on