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Details of experience and learning of Court Visit
A visit to court gave an enriching experience about the routine work of our legal system. The courtroom has a setting of its own with proper place designated to every person concerned, Judge, Judge’s associate, defence counsel, prosecutor, accused, witnesses, jury, orderly, media bench, monitor and public gallery. The Judge was sitting at the pedestal, orderlies surrounded judge as required by them to discharge their routine jobs. Next level was occupied by judge’s associates. ( Atiyah et. Al. 2010)
Right against the judge were sitting the prosecutor & defence counsel and the solicitors. The place for accused is provided in the centre of the court along with the media & monitor followed by public gallery.
It can be elaborated as below:
- Judge- A judge is the most revered person in the court room, accordingly people call him ‘His Honor’, ‘Your Honor’ , ‘My Lord’ or ‘Me Lord’. At times the judge is also addressed as ‘Justice’ as the job of the judge is to pass judgement upholding the ‘law of land’ with the motive of safeguarding the interest of parties involved.
- Judge’s Associate- A judge’s associate is a trained lawyer who helps judge in all administrative and legal work. He is required to be good at drafting judgement, needs to do proof reading of judge’s work and liaising with counsel.
- DefenceCounsel-He appears in court on behalf of defendant after he is charged. It is defence counsel’s duty to safeguard the interest of defendant and advance the argument in such a way that ensures the defendant’s interest is safeguarded.
- Prosecutor- He represents the plaintiff in the court of law and supports his side with relevant laws pertaining to the case. The prosecutor can be private or public depending upon the financial statement of the plaintiff and the nature of the case.
- Accused-It is also called defendant, accused is held accountable for any civil wrong doing or criminal activity. He is also called ‘alleged offender’ but is suspect till the time charges are proved against him in the court of law, once found guilty he will have to meet punishment as per law. (loffe , 1998).
- Witnesses-A person who testifies in the court about the occurrence or non- occurrence of the incident is considered as witness. A witness’s claim is important to fill the gap between facts provided by either party; he can provide his claim either through document or orally. Witnesses can be of three types- Hearsay, Expert and Reputation.
- Jury-It is a group of people chosen by court randomly, in order to assist court in deciding facts of criminal case.
- Orderly-These are the people who help judge in carrying out his various activities to keep court in order.
- Media Bench- It is the place allocated to media persons and journalists to order to update the general public about the happenings of the court.
- Monitor-A persons whose job is to keep record of the evidence being presented in the court, he is responsible to maintain the integrity and authenticity of the evidence. He should be well versed with the security systems and other useful information for proceeding of the court.
- Public Gallery-This is the place allocated to the general public for attending the proceedings of the court.
A civil court handles cases such as petty claim cases, civil cases, family law cases, juvenile cases or other civil cases relating to name change, harassment etc. The case begins with appearance of plaintiff against the accused. A ‘writ of summons’ is filed by plaintiff which ‘memorandum of acceptance’ is filed by defendant with an intent to defend his actions. After this the statement of claims are filed by plaintiff against this counterclaims are filed by accused. Later, both the parties provide a list of documents to the court. At this stage, the case moves to trial, the settlement date is fixed before the actual trial begins, if the settlement is not reached then the case goes to actual trial where the court makes the decision to declare the claim being upheld or rejected.
I attended a case Victor v Robin, it was about issues pertaining to defects in goods sold, manufacturer’s warranty, right to reject by the purchaser and sale of Goods Act, 1954. The facts of the cases are:
Plaintiff purchased a car from the defendant with a warranty of 1 year against manufacture’s defect; he was entitled for free of cost repair or replacement of faulty part.
- Contract had a clause safeguarding all statutory rights of purchaser.
- The car was exchanged with new car for unsatisfactory performance.
- The new car was meeting the expected performance.
The purchaser rejected the replaced car after driving for 3180 miles on account of ‘lack of merchantable quality’. (McKendrick et. Al., 2000)
The relating legislative provisions are as follow:
- S.6- Sale and Agreement to sell
The transfer of goods and services shall be subject to agreed conditions, and shall be conducted before time lapses.
- S.7- Capacity to buy and sell
The parties shall be legal and in capacity to contract.
- S.8- Sale by Description
It should be implied term and goods sold are to be correspondent of the description.
- S.19- Implied conditions as to quality and fitness
Goods shall be fit for the purpose as per contract.
- S.38- Buyer’s right of examining the goods
- S.39- Acceptable
Buyer’s acceptance is considered if he communicates to seller of his acceptance or act in way till the lapse of the time.
The Judge ruled the defects were acceptable as they could be repaired. Plaintiff should have rejected the car at the time of acceptance, which was not done; also the rejection should have been expressed before driving 3180 miles. The judge ruled that plaintiff could not compensated as car was of merchantable quality and fit for all purpose. (Guest et. Al., 2003)
I support the ruling as the defects found were repairable even if the product did not meet the sale by description as required under S.18. The car being driven for 3180 miles stands accepted under S.39. The buyer had the sufficient time to inspect and intimate as under S. 38.
Atiyah, P., Adams, J., MacQueen, H. and Atiyah, P. (2010). Atiyah's Sale of goods. Harlow, England: Longman/Pearson.
Guest, A. and Miller, C. (2003). Benjamin's sale of goods. London: Sweet & Maxwell.
Ioffe, O. (1988). Soviet civil law. Dordrecht: M. Nijhoff.
McKendrick, E. and Gullifer, L. (2000). Sale of goods. London: LLP Professional Pub.
Vitug, J. (2003). Civil law. Manila, Philippines: Published & distributed by Rex Book Store.