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BCD 1004 Fundamental Principles of Commercial Law Individual Assignment Sample Singapore

The BCD 1004  Fundamental Principles of Commercial Law course offered by the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the key legal concepts and principles governing commercial transactions in Singapore. This course is designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the legal landscape of commercial activities.

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BCD 1004  Question 1

Tammy (T) needs a new refrigerator and visits a well-known reputable retail store named Fridges Empire (FE) situated at Northpoint City, Yishun. She speaks to Harvey (H), the manager of the refrigerator department and asks him to show her their range of refrigerators available in the store.  T had encountered a bad experience with her previous refrigerator and has a perpetual fear that the freezer unit temperature could fluctuate and “thaw out”, causing damage and contamination to her frozen food. She informs H about this fact and was told that this issue should not pose a problem with their current range of products. After walking through the store, T spots one refrigerator in particular that she was interested in. H tells her: “This is an excellent brand with an international reputation. It is the manufacturer’s latest model. Don’t worry about temperature fluctuations, it will never happen to this model as it has a patented temperature locking system. It will serve you for a lifetime”. T was particularly impressed by the presence of the patented temperature locking system and bought the refrigerator immediately because of this assurance.

After the refrigerator is delivered to her home and installed, T places a number of items in it and the next morning, when she opens the refrigerator to get the milk for her morning coffee, she notices everything inside the refrigerator had frozen over. When she opens the freezer unit, she was shocked to find that everything had thawed out and noticed a strong “rotting” stench present. T is disappointed and upset. She finally discovered the sale documents and invoice, which she had signed when the refrigerator was delivered. There is a clause stating:

“The manufacturer and retailer accept no responsibility whatsoever for any loss, damage, or defects howsoever caused from and by the use of this product. Furthermore, after delivery of the said product has been done there is no warranty, guarantee or assurance provided in respect of the product sold.”

Advise T whether she will be able to successfully sue either the manufacturer or the retailer for selling a defective and unsatisfactory refrigerator to her despite the presence of the above clause which she (T) had inadvertently signed.

Based on the given scenario, T purchased a refrigerator from Fridges Empire (FE) based on the assurance given by Harvey (H), the manager of the refrigerator department. H informed T that the refrigerator has a patented temperature locking system and assured her that temperature fluctuations would not be a problem. However, after the refrigerator was delivered and installed, T discovered that everything inside had frozen over and thawed out, resulting in a rotting smell. The sale documents and invoice contain a clause stating that the manufacturer and retailer accept no responsibility for any loss, damage, or defects caused by the use of the product and that no warranty, guarantee, or assurance is provided after delivery.

In this situation, T may have a valid claim against the retailer, Fridges Empire (FE), despite the presence of the exemption clause. The clause attempts to exclude liability for any loss, damage, or defects caused by the use of the product, but it does not necessarily absolve the retailer from liability if the product sold is defective or unsatisfactory.

Under Singapore law, exemption clauses are subject to certain legal principles and restrictions. One important principle is that exemption clauses must be incorporated into the contract between the parties. T inadvertently signed the invoice containing the exemption clause, but it is questionable whether she was aware of its existence or fully understood its implications. If T can argue that she was not made aware of the clause, or that it was not brought to her attention in a clear and reasonable manner, the court may find the clause to be unenforceable.

Additionally, even if the clause is enforceable, it may still be subject to statutory consumer protection laws in Singapore. The Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act (CPFTA) provides safeguards for consumers against unfair practices, including misleading representations made by retailers. If T can demonstrate that H’s assurance about the patented temperature locking system was a false or misleading representation, she may be able to rely on the CPFTA to seek remedies against the retailer.

T should consult with a lawyer who specializes in commercial law to assess the specific facts and circumstances of her case. The lawyer can provide tailored advice based on Singapore’s legal framework and precedents, taking into account any applicable consumer protection laws and contractual principles.

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BCD 1004  Question 2

“One of the disadvantage and pitfalls of mediation as an alternative method of dispute resolution is its ineffectiveness in enforcing any mediated settlement. Any party who has agreed to a mediated settlement could just simply “walk away” and there is nothing the other party can do about it! However, things are about to change with the passing of the Singapore Convention on Mediation Act 2020”.

In the light of this statement, you are to do some research on this piece of legislation and explain whether there will be more “effectiveness” when parties decide to enforce their mediated settlements.

The statement raises a concern about the effectiveness of enforcing mediated settlements and suggests that the Singapore Convention on Mediation Act 2020 may address this issue. Let’s delve into this legislation to gain a better understanding.

The Singapore Convention on Mediation Act 2020 refers to the domestic legislation enacted by Singapore to give effect to the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation, also known as the Singapore Convention on Mediation. The convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018 and came into force in September 2020.

The Singapore Convention on Mediation aims to provide an international framework for the enforcement of mediated settlements in cross-border disputes. It promotes the use of mediation as an effective method of resolving international commercial disputes and establishes a mechanism for the enforcement of settlement agreements resulting from mediation.

Under the Singapore Convention on Mediation, a settlement agreement that meets certain criteria can be enforced in any contracting state. The criteria include that the settlement agreement must be in writing, signed by the parties, and be the result of a mediation process. Once these requirements are met, the settlement agreement can be enforced through the courts of the contracting state where enforcement is sought.

This legislation enhances the enforceability of mediated settlements by providing a clear and streamlined mechanism for enforcement across different jurisdictions. It addresses the concern raised in the statement by creating a legal framework that allows parties to enforce their mediated settlements effectively.

By ratifying the Singapore Convention on Mediation and enacting the Singapore Convention on Mediation Act 2020, Singapore has demonstrated its commitment to supporting mediation as a viable alternative dispute resolution method and facilitating the enforcement of mediated settlement agreements. This legislation provides parties with greater confidence in the enforceability of their mediated settlements and encourages the use of mediation in international commercial disputes.

It is important to note that the Singapore Convention on Mediation Act 2020 specifically applies to international settlement agreements resulting from mediation. The enforcement of mediated settlements in purely domestic disputes may still be subject to the respective domestic laws and regulations of the relevant jurisdiction.

Overall, the Singapore Convention on Mediation Act 2020 enhances the effectiveness of enforcing mediated settlements, particularly in the context of international commercial disputes. It provides a legal framework that promotes the enforceability of settlement agreements resulting from mediation and contributes to the growth and acceptance of mediation as an efficient and reliable method of resolving cross-border disputes.

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