Weekly Snapshot Issue: 32 – 14 June 2019

Case we’re discussing… 

Approached with the wrong attitude, reading case law can be as dry and tedious as the stereotype would call for. Instead of being filled with dread, we pause to remember that these cases are essentially about human beings at the end of the day. They involve individuals and their interactions, with all their idiosyncrasies and the socially constructed norms and traditions they follow. Often times, we learn much more than just about the application of the law.

For example, we recently came across the case of  Mano v Rasho 2016; essentially about a motor vehicle accident claim being lodged after the statutory limitation period of 6 months from the date of accident. The case involved a female Plaintiff sustaining injuries after being involved in an accident whilst in the car of the Defendant. The Defendant was a woman who the plaintiff knew or knew of by way of traditional customs.

The Plaintiff argued that as a woman of Iraqi heritage, she held the view that her husband’s will must be followed without question. She felt that her husband was the head of the household, and as an Assyrian; felt that the church doctrine gave her husband this authority over her. The issue in this case was that the Defendant was related to the Plaintiff’s husband by way of an ancient Assyrian custom known as “ Qariewee”.Basically, this custom required each man to be registered as the best man for another family in the same village for a whole generation. The tradition continues even if the families move from the village and the “qariewee” is registered by the Church.  Further to this, the Defendant were regarded as elders in the Assyrian community.

Despite the Plaintiff having wanted to lodge a claim within 6 months of the date of accident; her husband had forbade it and in evidence articulated his reasons as follows: 

“I  did not want my family and community to think that my wife was suing another member of the Qariewee. I did not understand who the claim was being brought against. I thought that it would be perceived as money hungry and that my wife was willing to damage the family for her own gain. I did not want problems caused within the tribe.

 It is a small cultural community and I did not want the community to be talking about my wife and her claim. There were rumours that my wife was labouring her injuries in order to make a claim. “

The Judge in this matter ultimately found that “to understand what has happened it is important to bear in mind the plaintiff’s background, in particular, her education and experience of life and her culture.” Despite the fact that she had lodged the claim approximately 1 year from the date of the accident; rather than the statutory 6 months; it would found that the delay was reasonable in the particular circumstances of the Plaintiff.

Interestingly, on the issue of costs; the Judge found that as the Plaintiff’s husband had been responsible for the delay in complying with the statutory duty; then he should be responsible for payment of the costs thrown away. The husband however was not a party to the proceedings nor been advised that a costs order may be made against him. The Judge ultimately left it to the Defendants to make the necessary procedural arrangements to sue the Plaintiff’s husband for costs.

Proverb we’re contemplating… 

“You cannot prevent the birds of sorry from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair” 
Chinese Proverb

Excerpt from Urban dictionary we’ve enjoyed… 

Schrödinger’s Text

The philosophical thought exercise used by men and women waiting for a text that states “if you turn your phone off the text is both received and not received until you turn it back on and see”. This thought exercise is exceptionally useful when you are waiting and obsessing over a text.

Guide we’re following… 

Print this out and stick it above your computer. We love how the suggestions are direct, professional and project confidence without any passive/aggressiveness.

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