” A day in the life of an a student ” – law notes for legal and accounting students from Holland Condon solicitors

Oct 23, 2014

LAW    AFFECTS    YOU    EVERY DAY                                                                                                  September 2014



 – A day in the life of You !

  1. You are awaken by your radio alarm clock at 7a.m. On the news, you hear that Musgrave/Supervalu is attempting to take over Superquinn but that the Minister may refer the bid under the Competition Act to the Competition Authority.
  2. The next story on the news is that a particular person has been charged with murder in the District Court and has been remanded in custody to appear again before the court some day next week.
  3. At about 9.30 on your way to work, the driver of a stationary car knocks you off your bicycle when he opens his driver’s door just as you are overtaking. You are shaken but tell him that you are okay.  The bicycle frame might be a bit out of place.  The driver says he will take care of the damage to the bike.  You take his name and address.  He asks if you are alright and you say you are fine.  You go on your way.
  4. Talking with friends during lunch, somebody mentions that Ireland will have to leave the EU and/or a new treaty will be drawn up because of our debt and that a new referendum is likely. Someone talks about the water charges and water meter installation a breach of property rights being unconstitutional.
  5. You arrive back to work 5 minutes late as there was a hot discussion on Europe. Your boss is furious and says that she is letting you go and anyway there is not enough work so she is making you redundant.
  6. To add to your frustrations, on your return home a neighbour has tipped rubbish in your garden.
  7. To relax after the strain of the day you listen to the radio and you decide to record it onto a CD.
  8. Your mother tells you that the washing machine she bought last week is broken and she had been looking for the receipt but cant find it. She says the shop wont replace it without a receipt.
  9. As if you hadn’t had enough excitement for one day, you find it difficult to get to sleep because you have a nagging pain in the back of your neck. Could you have got it when you were knocked off the bicycle?


  1. What is a takeover? Who really is Superquinn and what is Musgrave? Why do they want a takeover?  Who wants to sell?What has the Minister got to do with matters? What’s this about the Competition Act and Competition Authority?

2. (a) Why is there so little information about the person who is being charged?

(b) Why is the District Court hearing a murder case as you thought it only heard small cases?

(c) What does remanded in custody mean?

3 & 9.      (a) Is there a Law against the driver for what he did?

(b) Who is going to pay for the damage to the bike?

(c) If you have an injury how are you going to be able to get compensation as you said you were okay but it appears you are not?

4. (a) What is the European Union?

(b) What is a Treaty?

(c) What is the Constitution?

(d) What is a referendum?


  1. You feel your boss has been unfair but you don’t have a written employment agreement. Can you do anything?


  1. What do you do with the neighbour?


  1. (a) Is there a problem with copying music?

(b) If it is against the Law, why can we readily buy machines that record?


  1. (a) Who is responsible for the washing machine?

(b) Who do you go after?

(c) What about the receipt?

LAW = are the rules that regulate the conduct and relationships of citizens with each other and the State with its citizens so as to maintain order and to ensure justice prevails in society.

Law divides into Civil Law and Criminal Law e.g. dangerous driving causing an injury to someone.

Law can also be divided into Public Law and Private Law: –

** PRIVATE LAW: Regulates relationships at a micro level i.e. between private individuals and parties/organizations;

** PUBLIC LAW: Regulates at macro level i.e. individuals generally and them with Government.

Criminal Law = Public Law                                                                   Civil Law = Private Law


  • Law, which divides into Civil Law and Criminal Law
Criminal Law (Comparison) Civil Law 
~ mainly its to uphold morality and public order   ~ to regulate relationships and disputes
~ Public wrong (Definitions) ~ Private wrong
~ State Prosecutes (Gardai/DPP) (Claimant) ~ Generally not state = individuals
~ DPP -v- Defendant (Parties) ~ Plaintiff -v- Defendant
~ “Beyond all reasonable doubt” (Tests to establish Liability) ~ On “balance of probabilities”
~ Criminal Law (Sub-divisions) ~ Tort, Contract, Land, Equity
~ DPP issues Summons/Indictment (wordings, commencement) ~ Plaintiff issues a writ
~ Guilty/Not Guilty (findings) ~ Liable/Not Liable
~ Punish & rehabilitate (Purpose of Court Order) ~ Put victim in position as if wrong not committed
~ Prosecute (Objectives of the Law) ~ Sue
~ Fines, Prison, Community Service (Remedies) ~ Damages, Injunction, Recission
~ Murder, Fraudulent trading (Examples) ~ Negligence, Contract Breach


  • We see signs outside private property saying “Trespassers will be prosecuted” – really is this the right language?
  • The Distinction between the two            =          the difference is based on the legal consequences NOT the wrongful act.  So, the wrongful act can involve the 2 divisions e.g. a road traffic accident causing an injury; Omagh Bombers; OJ Simpson.

Administrators of Law =

* By the Courts – Conduct hearings (cases) – Make Orders – Adversarial System  * Personnel in Administration of Justice = Judges (come from Legal Profession of 12 years standing); Solicitors (who advice the public); Barristers (advocates); Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) (Crime); Attorney General (A.G.) (Government Legal Advisor); Courts Service (operate the Courts); Probation Service ( assess offenders for court punishment)

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