Material facts affect the outcome of the case under governing law

What are the material facts?

Material facts are defined as the one which affects the outcome of the case under governing law.

The material facts which are very reasonable are:

' There was a leakage in one of the rooms which was delineated as sun room but in reality it was a store room.

' A minacious notice was released to Mrs Watkins by Local Municipal Council.

' The defendant, Mr Black in person started the re-construction of the store room to changeover into a sun room, and moreover, Mr Black dint even had building permit for the changeover.

Question 2

which party brought the matter to court? Who is the judge? Who is plaintiff? Who is the defendant?


Judge, plaintiff, defendant

Mrs Watkin, the Plaintiff brought the issue to court before Henry J, the judge and here the Defendant was Mr Black.

Question 3

On what grounds, is this cause of action' based? What is the issue?


Mrs Watkin purchased a home unit from Mr Black which was personally reconstructed and extended by Mr Black from a store room into a sunroom with no building permit. In order to comply with the municipal laws Mrs Watkin is issued with a notice by the local municipal council requiring demolishing the extension. The cause of action is the breach of the common law to which the builder has a duty of care towards subsequent owner.

Question 4

Was this case decided on the basis of common law or statute law? '''


The case was resolved on the basis of common law but not of statute law because the counsel for the plaintiff banked in particular on two Australian cases in which it held that the condition of a building to a local authority requisition constituted a defect in title and moreover, as Henry J's statement, the objection to the title does not relate to any requirement of the Land Transfer Act 1952 and thus the common law rule is to be applied.

Question 5

What is the relevant question of law?


Question 6

Why might counsel have quoted Australian cases in support of his argument'''?


The two Australian cases had similarities with the case of Mrs Watkin. Cases with same legal principle are usually decided alike. Based on this the counsel may have used the Australian cases as references to support his argument.

Question 7

What precedents were applied? Which were followed? Which were distinguished?


Precedents--- Defination

Here Connor J. in Vukelic v Sadil(1976) 13 ACTR 3 and by Powell J in Maxwell v Pinheiro (1979) 46 LGRA 310 act as a precedent.

There is similarity between the precedents and this case except the extension of store room into sun room.

Question 8

What is the 'ratio decidendi' of this case? What is this decision?


Under the common law, a vendor has a duty of care to make good title to the estate or property he has contracted to sell period. The common law was applied in this case and its breach let to the decision where the defendant was found guilty of making negligent changes to the property and the plaintiff was unaware of it at the time of purchase as a result the defendant was liable to the plaintiff negligence and thus, the plaintiff was awarded; the damages included the cost of demolition and reconstruction of the sunroom and general damages for inconvenience.


The ratio decidendi of this case is based on the breach of the implied term that good title would pass on settlement under the common law, according to which it is a ''duty of vendor to make good title to the estate or property he has contracted to sell.'' At the time of purchase the plaintiff was unaware of the negligent changes made to the property by the defendant. The defendant has the duty of care towards the subsequent owner. Therefore, the defendant breached the common law. The plaintiff was awarded; the damages included the cost of demolition and reconstruction of the sunroom and general damages for inconveni ence.

Question 9

This case was decided in the High Court of New Zealand. What relevance has it to an Australian case?


As the case was decided in the high court of New Zealand it doesn't have any effect on the Australian courts as it is persuasive in nature.

Australian Judge can use it as a refrence for his case. It doesn't bind on Australian case.

Question 10

What remedy did Mrs Watkin seek and what did she receive?





Discuss very briefly the common law rules relating to statutory interpretation.


Refer Text Book


Do you think the Australian Courts have power to make laws? Explain.


NO, Australian Courts have no power to make laws. Because according to Commonwealth constitution it reflects that legislature creates the laws, which is then administered by the executive and last but not the least, is interpreted, applied and enforced by the judicature.


A suffered a fractured skull when thrown off the horse when she was riding along the edge of the road, when the horse suddenly reared as a result of being frightened by the sudden and extreme noise of screeching tyres of a motor car accelerating from a stationary position on the opposite of the road.


According to the Road Safety Acts, 1986 Vic Roads website animals ridden on roads are to be considered as vehicles and treated accordingly. Due to the negligent driving of a motor car causing screeching noise, leading to the erratic behaviour of the horse, which resulted in 'A' being thrown off it. 'A' is liable for compensation for the damages according to section 35 of the Transport Accident Act 1986.


B suffered multiple fractures, when he was crushed under the hydraulic hoist at this service station when servicing a customer's motor car.



C, a former Olympic cyclist, when riding her bicycle to her wedding, suffered severe head injuries from being catapulted into a lamp-post on the side of the road when her wedding dress became entangled in the black wheel of her bike.


C is not liable for the compensation under section 35 because due to her own negligence, she didn't obey the rules by not wearing proper attire for driving a cycle although she herself is a former Olympic cyclist.


D drove his car to the local pub just before 10p.m. On alighting from his motor car, he tripped over a carton of beer which he had not observed had been placed on the gutter curb side of the road preparatory to his owner putting it in the boot of her car. He broke his leg.



E drove his car to meet his fianc'e who informed him that their engagement is over. He drove home, shut the garage, opened all the windows of the car and left the engine running. His attempt at suicide was thwarted but he had sustained permanent injury from monoxide poisoning.


In this situation, E tried to suicide which itself is a criminal matter in Australian law, therefore he won't be liable for any compensation under section 35.


F rode his racing cycle at great speed down a hill and lost control on the slippery rode surface and crashed into a car parked on the side of the road. F lost sight from his injury he sustained.


Here again the F will not be liable for compensation under Section 35 because of his own error and negligent driving as he disobeyed the Road Safety Act 1986 in which its not allowed to drive above speed limit.


G suffered a permanent spinal injury when, just as when she was about to start the engine of her car to drive home from shopping, she shifted quickly in the driver's seat to see what had caused her three year old daughter, in the back seat, to start screening.


Under Section 35, its stated that ''accident caused by or arising out of the use of a motor car, a railway train or tram'' but here in this case, G sustained an injury due to her own negligence as she dislodged her position suddenly.


H, a seven year old boy rode his Billy-cart down the steep driveway of his home and across the road right in the path of J's motor scooter. J had no chance of avoiding a collision with the billy cart. H and J both suffered severe head injuries.