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Level 3, Unit 3: Academic and Research Skills for Law

Task 1: Self-Assessment
Reflecting on my learning is an ongoing process in order to assess my own
strengths and weaknesses. I therefore have adopted the SWOT Analysis to think
about my own personal, academic and english language skills.
I enjoy reading a lot and often
retain a lot of what i read
consciously and sometimes
subconsciously. I love learning new
words, concepts and subjects. I am
quite a good speller and find new
words challenging and enjoy adding
these to my vocabulary. I like
writing and find that i often write
better than i speak. I have studied
quite a lot in the past so should be
able to complete the course. I love
interacting with people and
problem solving so hope i can
incorporate that into my learning

Im often a bit strapped for
time as i am a single parent
with two active children. My
organisation also suffers due
to issues surrounding my
timekeeping and health
problems. I havent studied
for a while so i may be a little
rusty but was a good student
in the past. Im not driving at
the moment so have to rely
on London Transport.

This is a great opportunity for me
to read law and become verse in
legal terminology and conceptual

I live quite far away from the
school so it might not be

frameworks. I also love learning

languages so the latin terms used
in law are very interesting part of
the subject to me. It is also an
opportunity for me learn how to
debate negotiate and generally
improve my research and
communication skills.

possible for me to be on time

always. Juggling looking after
two children and continuing
my education is also a
challenge i have to overcome.
Financial constraints and
health issues could also prove

Task 1b) SMART objectives

Areas of Development
Increase my legal
Knowledge base

Time Management

Activities to support me
Read Law journals articles law
books and watch BBC Parliament
in spare time. Visit courts and
watch proceedings in different
areas of law. Buy latin dictionary
and other books related to

Target Date

Go to bed earlier wake earlier get

London transport app. Pace
myself, haste makes waste. Buy
laptop save me writing out notes
and then copying out again on

Continuous until
July 2016

Continuous until
July 2016

July 2016

Dress or appearance

Start assignments , do a little

every day , read extensively and
surf the web for up to date

Get into habit of wearing shirt and

Tie , Look professional, feel
professional. Buy pair of dress
shoes. Shave once every two

Continuous until
Dec 2017.

Task 3, Carry out an academic research project on a topic in Law

Academic Research Project:
In order to discuss, Damages in the remedial process in the event of a breach of contract I will examine the
history, development and modern application of compensation in civil liability cases.
Among the Saxons, a price called Weregild was placed on every human being and every piece of property
according to the Salic Code. If property was stolen or somebody was injured or killed, the guilty person
would have to pay Weregild as restitution to the victims family or owner of the property. This line of
thinking can be said to have influenced the formation of English law regarding the issue of damages where a
breach of contract has occurred.
Damages for breach of contract is a common law remedy intending to compensate the actual victim for their
actual loss as a result of the wrong doers breach rather than a punishment.
In order to recover damages the loss must be caused by the dependant not to be too remote, the plaintiff has a
duty to mitigate his losses and cannot recover losses which may have been avoided. Damages are normally
awarded by placing the injured party in the same financial position as if the contract had been properly
Exceptional damages are awarded to compensate the plaintiff for expenses incurred by reliance on the contract
which have been wasted by the defendants breach. The object for damages is reliant upon loss and aims to
place the claimant in the position they would have been in had the contract never been made;
Nowadays, according to law damages are an award, typically of money but not necessarily to be paid to a
person as compensation for injury or loss. There are two classes of damages compensatory and non
compensatory. Compensatory damages also known as substantial damages are damages awarded in respect of
actual losses suffered by the claimant as result of a breach of contract. Whereas non compensatory damages
such as nominal damages, aggravated damages, restitutionary damages the loss is either absent or not obvious
but there is a breach of contract and the guilty party has benefitted in one way or another. For the purpose of
this essay compensatory damages are the main concern.
The rules for damages can and do vary based on the type of claim which is presented e.g. Breach of contract
versus a Tort claim and the jurisdiction. In other words, monetary compensation, which is awarded by a court
in a civil action to an individual, who has been injured through the wrongful conduct of another party.
Once a breach has been established, the court aims to award a sum that will restore the injured party or
claimant to the economic position they expected from the performance of the contract or promise. This is
called the expectation measure or benefit of the bargain measure of damages.
Another aim of the court is to award a sum that will restore the claimant to an economic position they were at
the time of breach.
Before any of this can take place it is imperative to prove first of all that there is liability on the defendants
behalf. This is done using a balance of probabilities. Where this is done and a burden of proof is present or a
claimant has proved that harm took place as a result of the breach of contract by the defendant. In other words

it is the duty of the claimant to prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant has committed a breach
of contract or has been negligent in performing their side of the agreement or promise.
The court in the event of this now has a duty to assess the amount of compensation the claimant is entitled to.
The leading case for the formula or principle that equates to some harm = LIABILITY = duty to assess/some
compensation is Chaplin v. Hicks [1911] KB 786 LA.
On the subject of assessing damages Lord Justice Vaughn Williams had this to say
I do not agree with the contention that if certainty is impossible of attainment, the damages for a breach of
contract are unassessable.... I only wish to deny with emphasis that because precision (ie. Certainty/accuracy)
cannot be arrived at, the jury has no function in the assessment of damages. In such a case (ie difficult to
assess or impossible to say exactly how much) the jury must do the best they can, and it may be that the
amount of their verdict will really be a matter of guesswork. But the fact that damages cannot be assessed
with certainty does not relieve the wrongdoer of the necessity of paying damages for his breach of contract.
In a nutshell, the overriding principle on assessment is,
where the claimant has proved some harm then regardless of the difficulty in question, the duty of the court
is to make the best estimate which it can, in light of the evidence, of the amount which the claimant has on
balance of probabilities, incurred as a result of the breach.
According to Treitel, A Breach of a contract is a civil wrong(law of Contract p.926) and often borders on or
can be construed as a criminal offence. In a civil liability context though where there is a breach or a contract
is broken remedies are available in the form of compensation. Once personal injury, loss or damage has taken
place as a result of the breach compensation from the wrongdoer as opposed to punishment is an automatic
right of the injured party.
Loss is a term that comes up a lot in the in the event of a breach of contract the first thing assessed being the
Loss of bargain. For instance if you enter into agreement that each party is going to contribute towards the
purchase of a house and one person fails to do so and because of it the house is not purchased and the people
who contributed lost their deposit. Then the injured party could claim their losses from the person who failed
to keep their side of the bargain, this is known as reliance loss. Basically, because the injured party relied on
the other to carry out their side of the bargain or agreement.
Consequential losses another form of loss can be more difficult to assess or calculate. If one of the injured
party has to sleep in their car as a result of not purchasing the house and has to keep the car running to keep
himself warm throughout the winter, this is considered a consequential loss.

This expression is used in the law of contract in a number of senses. It may mean simply loss of profits (as
opposed to the mere failure to obtain the thing contracted for): in this sense it is merely an element of
expectation loss. Alternatively, it may refer to reliance loss e.g. to the expense wasted by a seller in delivering
goods which the buyer wrongfully refuses to accept. But the expression is also used ..... to refer to further
harm, such as personal injury or damage to property, suffered as a result of breach.(Treitel, G.H. 2003 p.944)

Also costs resulting from the consequential losses need to be calculated as well. In addition, If the car
overheats and the radiator is busted needs to be replaced, installed etc the costs and losses could go on

exponentially. In cases such as these the court or the law has to decide where to call it a day. This is called
the remoteness test or forseeability test. The case determining the law on such cases was the Hadley v
Baxendale (1854) 9 Ex 341. This case involving the repair of a broken shaft of a mill is used for direct or
normal losses. The repair which was expected to be carried out in a day actually took over a week causing a
major disruption in the productivity of the mill and reduced the profits of said mill considerably. The rule of
remoteness poses a major potential limitation on the award of prospective damages. In the event of indirect or
abnormal losses another key case is that of Victoria laundry v Newman Industries (1949) 2KB 528. In this
case a boiler was bought from Newman industries with the understanding that they would receive it the next
day but took 5 months to deliver to the dismay of the launderers.

Measure of damages
The key case defining the fundamental principle pertaining to the measure of damages awarded for a breach of
contract is Robinson v. Harman(1848)1Ex 850. This case determined the limits of what could be claimed for
expectation loss or loss of bargain.
In other words, the injured party has lost, as a result of the breach, what they expected to gain if the contract
had been properly performed. So far as money can do it, they are to be placed in that position.(Duxbury,R.
2008 p.364)
The operative word here being expect be it profit or performance any breach of contract affecting the expected
outcome or gain then this should be reflected in the award of any damages. The same stands or holds true for
reliance loss as the Omak maritime Ltd v. Mamola Challenger Shipping Company and others [2010] EWHC
2026 case shows.
In conclusion, Contract law cases are tried in one of the 218 County Courts nationwide (England and Wales).
Where the claim is larger than a County Court can decide then the case is tried in the High Court to begin
with. This being said both High and county courts are considered Civil courts differing only in terms of
jurisdiction and the size of claims or cases heard. Appeals against decisions made in either court go to the
Court of Appeal (Civil division). The courts attempt to encourage both parties to resolve the matter out of
court using alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in place. One of these mechanisms is Money Claim
Online set up in 2001 to increase access and reduce costs. Claims valuing up to 100,000 are dealt with via
this online service. Cases revolving around business are heard in Commercial Court ie international trade,
banking, commodity and arbitration disputes.


Contract Law, Robert Duxbury,2008
Sweet and Maxwell . First edition.

The Law of Contract, G.H.Treitel, 2003

Sweet and Maxwell. Eleventh Edition

Blackstones Statutes on Contract, Tort & Restitution, Francis Rose 2009-2010

Oxford University Press. 20th edition