Business Law, It Depends

May 25

The second lecture for Business Law was interesting. It felt more like a round table discussion and was infused with a lot of back and forth, including both the lecturer and the students.

It Depends

One interesting comment the teacher made about half way through with respect to law was “It Depends”. In other words, is someone guilty or not? It depends. Is someone liable? It depends. On what does it depend? A host of things, including the context, the timing, the judge or jury.

Perhaps most interesting was the discussion of a Reasonable Person. So much of law comes back to what a reasonable person would or would not do. However, there isn’t a definition of a reasonable person. So law is left to the spectrum of human experience and emotion to weigh in on guilt or innocence. Lord Goddard C.J.R. in Regina v. McCarthy, 2 Q.B. 105 (1954) (copied from Cheesman) stated:

No court has ever given, nor do we think ever can give, a definition of what constitutes a reasonable or an average man.

Certainly there are mechanisms to account for aberrations, such as the option for a judge to recuse himself. Jury selection plays a part. In those few cases where someone feels there has been a miscarriage of justice, the appeals process is available to seek remedy.

So, then next time you get caught up in the letter of the law and think you have a sure thing figured out, just remember, it depends.

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