Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Law for General Knowledge III

Although it can be argued that a large portion of the topics which students are required to study does not necessarily appear applicable in real life, I believe that what we have learned in the textbook might sometimes be of some use in reality. You can guess why I am saying this at the very first line of the post. Yes. I have something which I would like to share with respect to this point. Read on.

A prominent notice at the entrance of a public park reads:
"The management of the park bears no liability for any death or personal injury to any person visiting the park."

Majority of people in Singapore often go out to a neighborhood park for leisure or exercise ,especially during the weekends. Public parks are therefore supposed to be in a reasonably well-maintained condition for the safety of the general public.

When such a notice is displayed at the entrance of the park, one might wonder if the Law practically allow the management of the park to bear no liability upon the occurance of certain unfortunate incident. I would not be able to know the legal position of the injured party unless I have studied some topic in this area. In the context of ACCA F4, I have come to realize that a party cannot by any contract term or notice exclude or restrict his liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence to any person, meaning the management of the park cannot escape liability for negligence so far as personal injury and death are concerned. The management must therefore exercise due care in its running of the park - it must take reasonable steps to ensure that visitors to the park do not suffer physical harm or injury. So for example jogging tracks should be suitable for their purposes, and netting should be provided where fruits or branches are known to fall off from time to time. The essence is taking such care as is reasonable in the circumstances. If the park is negligent and the negligence causes injury or death, the park is still liable even tough there is a prominent notice which seeks to avoid such liability.

Getting to know about this rule will not possibly enable one to go out to court and win the law case by himself, but knowing this enables a person realize his rights upon encountering such a case.

Note: This was an application-based exam question from ACCA F4 (Corporate and Business Law).