Exploring The Donoghue V Stevenson Case Analysis

Exploring The Donoghue V Stevenson Case Analysis


Task: Analyse a landmark UK case of your choice and discuss how it has had an impact on how the law works today.


The readings of Kaplan, (2019) considered in the Donoghue v Stevenson signifies that the legal system of UK seems to be one of those which is related to the precedence as well as case law. Above 100 years, the court has been known to make decisions which can impact the way law works in recent days and the way it can evolve in future. However, there have been several marker decisions which have affected the legal landscape within UK. The present study has highlighted the case study of “The Paisley Snail and duty of care – Donoghue v Stevenson case analysis” along with discussing its impacts within the recent law.

Identification and discussion of relevant legislation
The law of UK seems to regulate the corporations that are formed as per the companies’ act 2006 and is also having governed through the insolvency act 1986 that is the UK Corporate Governance Code. As per the European Union court cases and Directives, an organisation seems to be a primary legal vehicle for organising along with running the business. Based on the respective case study, the concept of negligence has been identified which has been in the year of 1932 when the “House of Lords decision” can position out the standard where a person can owe the duty of care towards another. Thus, the respective Donoghue v Stevenson case analysis has resulted in an important case for the Western Law (Baskind et al., 2019). The main ruling within the present case has established a civil law tort for negligence as well as obliged businesses for observing the duty for care of the customers. It has been evidenced that the manufacturers consist of a legal duty based on care for the ultimate customers regarding their products if it seems not to be possible for identifying the defects before receiving the goods. The Donoghue v Stevenson case analysis (1932) UKHL 100 has been the decision of landmark court within Scots delict law as well as English tort law through the House of Lords.

In the Donoghue v Stevenson case analysis, Donoghue has been considered to be an effective test case for the determination if the person comprised a cause of action rather than owing the compensation regarding any of the suffered damages. As stated by Devenney, (2016), the law based on negligence at the specified time has been very slender and be also involved if there has been some of the recognized contractual relationship. Thus, the outcomes of the respective case were found to set up certain legal principles.

In the first place, the ruling of the House of Lords affirmed about this negligence to be a tort. This resembles that a plaintiff might take a social act over a respondent if the negligence of the respondents can cause plaintiff injury along with property loss. As Donoghue was known not to purchase the drink, it can be provided for having no contractual agreement with Stevenson. However, the judgement of Lord Atkin well-known Stevenson to be still responsible for the integrity based on the product.

Duty of care
The Donoghue v Stevenson case analysis has been found to set up that the manufacturers consist of a duty of care for their customers related to their products. As per the ratio decendi of Lord Atkins which is a manufacturer for products that is sold for reaching ultimate customers through which they have left to owe a duty for the customers for taking reasonable care (Twigg-Flesner et al., 2016). Thus, the precedent evolved the forms as per the foundation of laws which can defend the customers through tainted goods. These respective protections began to be the ordinary law however; these have been codified within the legislation like Trade Practices Act (Commonwealth 1974).

Neighbour principle
The particular case of “Donoghue v Stevenson case analysis produced Lord Atkin’s controversial neighbour principle”. This has unlimited the tort for the negligence beside the tortfeasor along with an instant party (Pratt, 2020). This has eventually raised the query through which individuals can be affected with negligent actions. Within the case of Donoghue the ginger beer was not purchased rather received as a gift. Donohue seemed to be more of a neighbour as compared to being a party for the contract. Thus, according to Atkin related to the respective principle, “one must have taken reasonable care for avoiding the omissions and acts that can be reasonably foreseen which might be likely for injuring the neighbour”. Thus, a question arises that “who within the law seems to be the neighbour”. As evidenced by Dyer, (2019), this answer consists of the persons who have been directly and closely affected through the act that were in mind when omissions and acts were considered.

The significance of the respective case study was known to establish the negligence law which is immobile within Queensland being a conception of duty of care. However, one can also defend against the law of negligence. For instance, the defendant must try to cancel out one of the basics based on the plaintiff’s cause of action. However, as put forward by Mohan and Raj, (2019), the defendant can introduce any evidence which they might not have owed for a duty towards the plaintiff along with exercising the reasonable care that did not cause the damages of plaintiff and similar others as well.

Thus, in recent days, it has been evidenced that the businesses seem to be at risk for the claims of professional negligence. One of the mistakes can damage a good reputation of the clients losing the money along with causing some personal injury as well (Argenziano and Weeds, 2019). However, the businesses eventually offer advice within the professional capacity that are known to be vulnerable. The people working within the business sectors and medical industry need to be diligent and must take proper care as per the NHS Litigation Authority. This is because the consequences of the medical negligence can go higher in the recent days which might put within the categories based on monetary liability; criminal liability and disciplinary action as well.

To conclude, the present study has evaluated the case study of “The Paisley Snail and duty of care – Donoghue v Stevenson case analysis” considering its impacts in the recent days of laws. The legislation or rather the legal policies of the respective case study has also been discussed in the present study. Hence, the negligence law in the recent days has been termed to be important and is still followed within certain parts of UK.

Argenziano, R. and Weeds, H., 2019. Bias and negligence with freedom of information. The Economic Journal, 129(624), pp.2979-2998.

Baskind, E., Osborne, G. and Roach, L., 2019. Commercial Law. 3rd ed. Hampshire: Oxford University Press

Devenney, J., 2016. Concentrate: Questions and Answers Contract Law. 2nd ed. Hampshire: Oxford University Press

Dyer, C., 2019. Government considers legal reforms to resolve high cost of claims. BMJ: British Medical Journal (Online), 364.

Kaplan, 2019. ACCA Corporate and Business Law (ENG) Study Text. Donoghue v Stevenson case analysis London: Kaplan Publishing

Mohan, M.R. and Raj, V., 2019. Medical Negligence and Law. Economic & Political Weekly, 54(42), p.45.

Pratt, M.G., 2020. What Would the Defendant have Done but for the Wrong?. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 40(1), pp.28-52.

Twigg-Flesner, C., Canavan, R., and MacQueen, H., 2016.Atiyah and Adams’ Sale of Goods. Harlow: Pearson
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The Parol Evidence Rule Of Australia


Task: Write an essay on The “Parole Evidence Rule” according to the Contract law of Australia.


This essay will carry out a discursive analysis of the “Parole Evidence Rule”, based on the Contract Law of Australia. Before venturing into the core discussion, it is imperative to gather a conceptual understanding of the “Parole Evidence Rule”. As per the understanding developed by the Contract law of Australia, by the virtue of this rule, the parties engaged by a written contract are prevented from tampering with the evidences and disclosing them, while adding clarity to the written terms of contract and eliminated any kind of ambiguity (Ayres). Therefore, the contract thus made is legally comprehensible and transparent between both the parties. It is to be noted that the Contract Law of Australia was essentially rooted from the Common Law System of English some of their statutory specifications are functional in Australia as well. It was in 1980s that the Contractual laws were amended by the Australian parliament (Botero, David and Echeverry).

Conceptually, the word “Parole” is derived from the Anglo-Norman and legal French terms. The term was, in fact, derived from the Latin term ‘parabola’, signifying ‘speech’. The fundamental of the written contract is based on the rational that the parties involved in the agreement should be legally bonded to one another in terms of their mutual understanding as well as in writing (Carlin). It has been critically defined that the contracting parties should not deviate or there should not be any deviation in the final understanding while the agreement is being carried out in writing or is being interpreted (Dyani, Ntombizozuko and Mtendeweka). Even when the contracting parties decide to move out of the agreement, it should not leave an impact on the written contract neither would it change the terms and interpretation of the legally documented agreement. In order words, it is understood that the evidences derived and understanding consented prior to the documentation of the contract should not prove contradictory to the written agreement (Emerson). In fact, it is legally believed that in order to effectuate a contract it is imperative that the agreement, mutually consented by the contracting parties, should be documented. Based on the Court Judgement, it is termed as the Final agreement that is effective in terms of law and is ultimately abiding on both the parties. Furthermore, the core contention of the parole evidence rule implies that the parole evidence cannot, in any condition, contradict a final agreement that has been documented between the contracting parties. But it can, however, supplement a course of dealing between two parties.

It is also imperative to understand the critical approach implemented in the parole evidence and how the same is operant in the legal perspective. The principle objective of the parole evidence, it has been elaborated, is to clarify the rules and discuss the manner in which it would be implemented in various territorial parts of Australia. It is to be noted that the rule of Contact law in Australia had been the bone of contention for ages and had given rise to several controversial issues (Epstein, David and Timothy). It has been generally agreed that the constitutional formulation of the Australian contract law adopt an objective approach in terms of contracting and it has been made clearly stated that the parole evidence rule has been the center of controversy in Australia for several times. In spite of the objective approach adopted in developing the contracting laws in Australia, the parole evidence rule supporters have voiced their concern in the recent times urging whether a law should be formulated making the parole evidence a proper statue or should be implemented to make a regular usage. In fact, in the light of the current context, it is to be noted that the parole evidence gained importance ever since the popular case of Codelfa Construction vs the State Railway authority of the New South Wales. The judgement of this case was passed in 1982 (Epstein, David and Adam). It is understood from the given case that the state railways authority of the New South wales had signed a contractual agreement with the Codelfa Constructions. By the virtue of the agreement, it was mutually consented between the contracting parties that the Codelfa construction would be responsible for the construction of two tunnels in Sydney for the railway network development. The blueprinting of the plan was completed several months in advance. It was also reported that the Codelfa Construction was given a certain period of within which they were supposed to complete the construction activities. Based on the estimate date a date was finalized between both the parties. As per the deadline the Codelfa constructions had started off their work in no time. They arranged for three shifts of work per day and it consequently gave rise to local problems. An injunction was soon declared against the construction company. Accordingly, the company had to stop their third shift of work temporarily. It was decided that the construction sites would minimize the noise pollution between 10 pm to 6 am. Therefore, the Codelfa construction was forced to levy extra charges on the contracting railway authorities of New South Wales to abide by the changes of the revised work schedule of the company. Therefore, it is understood that the primary changes in the Codelfa Construction Vs. the State Railway Authority demand a revision and a clarification of the contractual terms documented between the contracting parties. However, as a part of the judgmental procedure Judge Mason had critically discussed the importance of the parole evidence rule (Kee, Christopher and Elisabeth). Therefore, it is understood that it is one of the most important cases in Australia that dealt in parole evidence and had gained a new degree of importance in the legal context. Therefore, in the course of preparing his judgement of the said case, it has been reported that Justice Mason had critically examined the parole evidence. He had clearly stated that on the broader perspective, extrinsic evidences should not be included in the parole evidence rule. He further elaborated this this rule included all the direct statement in the form of negation and intention, which were contradicted, added, eliminated or distorted to the documentation of the written agreement (Marcus, Paul, and Vicki). Therefore, the aforementioned clarifications made on the importance of the parole evidence was clearly codified and was henceforth made applicable in all the Australian Court of law as well as in the American Courts.

On the other hand, it is to be noted that the said clarification appeared to be fundamentally different on being compared to the objective approach to the contracting rules of Australia. It has been pointed out that the primary difference consisted in the fact that the parole evidence rule in Australia made exception of the evidences that inherently related to the circumstantial situation of a context. Therefore, it is to be noted that while developing his judgement, Justice Mason referred and adopted the simplistic approach and interpretation of the Australian Contract law that categorically eliminated the use of additional evidences whatsoever for the court use, if the contractual terms were clear and definite. However, in spite of the apparent criticism it must also be noted that Justice Mason had further elucidated that in the course of his elaboration that by the virtue of adopting a simplistic approach it would be necessary to admit and accept other additional evidences, particularly in a contract, the formation of which is based on the other situational factors. Therefore, it is imperative to interpret those situational parameters in order to analyze the potential contradiction and uncertainties that might be created in the same contractual terms in the later period (McCormick). The American courts have, however, expressed their concern over the permission of the parole evidence stating the admission of the parole evidence allows spaces for the creation of uncertainties. It implies that this permission would give rise to multiple meanings to the contractual document and make it practically difficult for the court to arrive at any definite judgement. It has also been noted that the American approach becomes irrelevant and unnecessary for the objective contractual approach in Australia. This is because in the judgement of the aforementioned case, the court would be deciding on the relevant interpretation of the situational dilemma and what steps a reasonable man might have taken in the given situation and not just rely on the documented contractual terms and the contractual interpretation of the parties (Mohamed).

From the historical perspective, it could be contented that in the 20th Century, the the English and the Australian Courts have explained that a Court is capable of elucidating, explaining, and interpreting a contract, without any reference to the external situation pertaining to the contract formation. The House of Lords in 1971 had further added that the contracting parties would be executing their evidences based in their intentions. This evidence was irrelevant to the core structure of the contract. Most importantly, the contract shall be excluded from its general situational background that existed when the involved parties documented the contractual terms. Therefore, by the virtue of the implication it is meant that court is eliminate any contractual terms that was not a part of the contract. The court will, however, interrogate the involved parties about their intention and the changes it might have made to the situation, had it been a part of the written agreement. In the light of this context, Justice Mason had highlighted upon the fact that these contractual terms would be included as an important part of the parole evidence and only when it has been satisfactorily determined that the contracting parties are aware of the facts (Naylor, Brownwyn and Johannes). In regard to this context, it is to be understood that the evidences that were earlier considered permissible, and were founded upon the factual backdrop of the evidences, will not be treated anymore as a part of the evidences. On the contrary, the evidence would be referred to and would be addressed only if the contracting parties were acquainted with facts and terms of the case and the evidences in question. Nothing else shall be considered as a part of the evidence until and unless it was a documented clause in the written agreement (Ostendorf). This is also known as the objective theory of the contracting rule By the virtue of this rule, it was contended that the intention of the contracting parties would be taken into consideration. This implied it would be analyzed whether the intention of the contracting parties hold true and relevant to the given case. Besides the most important part of the case centered around the objectives of the involved contracting parties. Therefore, the Court of Australia based on this approach, had to admit the validity of the background information as an evidential force that had be accepted by the court. It is furthermore contended that the court would interpret the contractual terms and clauses in a manner, in a same way, it had been interpreted and perceived by the contracting parties, without any relation to the parole evidence rule. In light of this matter, Judge Mason might be quoted, elaborating on the objective rule (Joseph): “There may perhaps be one situation in which evidence of the actual intention of the parties should be allowed to prevail over their presumed intention. If it transpires that the parties have refused to include in the contract a provision which would give effect to the presumed intention of persons in their position it may be proper to receive evidence of that refusal. After all, the court is interpreting the contract that the parties have made and in that exercise the court takes into account what reasonable men in that situation would have intended to convey by the words chosen. However, is it right to carry that exercise to the point of placing on the words of the contract a meaning which the parties have united in rejecting? It is possible that evidence of mutual intention, if amounting to concurrence, is receivable so as to negative an inference sought to be drawn from surrounding circumstance.”

The subjective theory of contracting law has been adopted by Justice Mason at time. The law notes the importance of abiding by the contractual terms and conditions. It has been observed that there is seemingly nothing wrong in what the subjective theory posits. This is because of the way in which the jurisdiction is more interested in following the objective theory while performing the contractual analysis. Understandably, the reason behind Justice Mason’s inclination towards following the objective view of the contract can be noted.

Apart from the above noted reason, there are others as well that support Justice Mason’s predisposition towards following the objective theory; the most important being the way in which he understands the role of the court. According to Mason, the Court would unfairly treat the parties if it rejects their intentions failing to understand the perspectives of the parties in the first place. In America, however, completely different set of views govern the understanding of contracts in laws. In America, terms and conditions as laid out in Contracts are considered as being more important than the intentions projected or exhibited by the parties. Therefore, it would not be wrong to consider that in Australia preference is given to following objective theories and the hypotheses thereof.

This essay provides rather a neutral point of view. That is to say that the discussions in this essay would not be developed by considering either of the objective or subjective theories of contracts and how they might impact the parole evidence. As such, both the theories can be considered to support the appropriate form of the contract making (Pichhadze).

The objective theory understands how the parties generally are more likely to do something different from what has been defined in the contract. This is usually done in order for the party to achieve a particular goal that is different from that which is defined in the contract. The social realm is generally not considered in so far as the formality of the contract following is concerned. The contract is viewed mostly as written evidence that does not necessarily have to be a record that is reliable as well as long lasting. This contract between the two parties often acts as a form of agreement that is followed in order to adhere to a particular social action. The relationships between the non-inmates are defined by the formalization of the contract. Moreover, in order to understand the limitations of the contract the same is drawn upon certain criteria which are followed within the limitations of how disputes can be resolved. The contractual relationships are decided upon the predictability of the clauses that have been defined. These clauses and practices are developed by noting how the contractual relationship can be considered to be viable. The interpretation therefore becomes critical. This is because the objectivity of the judgment would be governed by the way in which the interpretation of the contract would be made. As such, in this context, the relationships among the parties are not as much important as the form of the contract (Schauer). The main idea for the interpreter is to understand how the contractual behavior can be regarded or supported by the activities of the public.

The role of the actors becomes important in so far as the comparison between the subjective and objective theories of contract rules is concerned. The people can be noted as the main actors who would be impacted by the various ways in which social integrations of the contract formation might be influenced. The parole evidence plays the most important role of understanding the least number of agreements that has to be followed in order to be applicable. The presumptions would generally not be in line with the changes that the parties ought to make in order for the background of the case to be developed. Intent becomes important in considering the objective and subjective ways in which contract laws can be defined. The changes would have to be made by understanding the intentions of the actors who are made part of the contract. Agreements between the family members as well as those who are considered to be personally close need not be avoided. This is important in so far as the agreement plays a crucial role in defining the personal relationships. The personal contract that is important to be developed need to be understood in terms of how the family members define their own positions. This would be important in order to define the contracting behavior of the actors who are made part of the contract development

The Parole evidence rule does not follow the consideration of the outside evidence that is generally used in order to understand how certain rules of the Contract can be defined within the rule that is followed by the contracting parties. The identification and construction of the various roles that are defined within the Evidence rule become important in so far as the contract is clarified in terms of the changes that are required to be made. The main purpose of the parole evidence rule is to restrict the consideration of previous agreements that might have been used in order to understand how the existing contract can be defined by following the form of the contract.

Extrinsic evidence stands for any form of evidence that cannot be admitted or considered while noting the limitations of the parole evidence or the contract. The extrinsic evidence comprise of evidence that are gained through writing and consist of letters and drafts that might have been developed in earlier stages of the negotiation process. The parole evidence rule considers such extrinsic evidence as not being important to the overall contract (Schiavo). The rules of the parole only focus on the contract that has been made or developed in writing. The terms and conditions of the parole are also considered as being important in clarifying the problems and vagueness that might be present in the contract. As such, the whole intention is to not pay attention to the criteria that are not present within the scope of the contract.

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