Federal Constitutional Law
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Federal Constitutional Law
In any business setup, one must always comply with the given set of laws that guide and protect other business stakeholders’ rights. Federal constitutional laws apply to specific areas and have benefits as well as limitations. Globally, there are several strict laws governing business conduct and protecting the rights of their partners. The customer and competition act, alongside the industrial relations act twenty fifteen, is contained within the Australian government’s federal constitutional law. The competition and consumer act focus mainly on enhancing the Australians’ welfares and promoting competition within trading partners. The act focuses on contracts and cites that any person who engages in any illegal contract which violates the law shall have committed a crime. The customer and competition act are comprehensive and highly detailed. The act is also concerned with maintaining fair trading practices and preventing unconscionable conduct such as price-preventing unconscionable conduct boycotts. Conversely, the industrial relation act of twenty fifteen is mainly concerned with the employed staff’s welfares and safety. the NSW act, focuses on industrial relations and the conduct of industrial disputes. In the case study, the first, second, third, and fourth companies find themselves in a dispute that requires the federal law’s intention to intervene in the fourth company’s contract due to incites from the employees’ union resulting in secondary boycotts.
Consequently, the first and second companies are lawfully guilty of an offense in line with the customer and competition act. Their conducts result in an unfair business environment. However strong the first company’s appeal seems to be, their act of terminating the contract against the fourth company remains unacceptable and against the federal constitutional law. The presence of the customer and competition act alongside the industrial relation act within the federal government plays a significant role in maintaining interstates harmony within a business setup.
The Validity of the Customer and Competition Act
The first companies’ argument remains vague and unlawful in consideration of the customer and competition act. Conversely, the contract between both the first and second companies and the third company also remains invalid. The competition and consumer act aim at providing businesses with a fair and competitive operating environment (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 53). A contract contravenes the competition and consumer act if its arrangement, understanding, or concerted practices substantially lessens the competition. Besides, it covers price fixation, monopoly, and other anti-competitive conducts (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 44). The premature termination of the fourth companies’ contract practically depicts this unlawful scenario.
The first and second companies practically lessen competition by allowing the third company to have a monopolistic business environment. Besides, the act cites that any person who enters into any business contract with other countries or among the States resulting in a secondary boycott is guilty of an offense (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 65). Allowing to partner with the employee’s union further makes the first and second companies guilty of breaching the law under the customer and competition act. Besides, every contract entered into in contravention of the federal government section shall be illegal and void. Secondary boycotts have primarily contributed to the four companies’ disputes (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 65). Despite having a dispute with only the fourth company, the employee’s union decides to enter into business contracts with both the first and the second companies.
Consequently, the contract results in a secondary boycott, causing the fourth companies’ contract. The workers union successfully manages to negatively influence the fourth company’s action by exerting pressure on the first and second companies. Secondary boycotts are considered unconscionable business conduct since they result in unfair competition and a monopolistic environment (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 53). The third company can easily decide to carry out product hoarding or even market sharing without any external interference.
Furthermore, under the national labor relation act, no union is allowed to threaten, restrain, or coerce any person carrying out business to force the victim to stop doing business with other partners (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 65). Secondary boycotts primarily affect economic stability, and federal government laws significantly play a significant role in combating it.
Application of the Customer and Competition Acts to the Contract
The contract between the first and second companies and the third company is unlawful under the customer and competition act. Conversely, the fourth company’s contract termination is illegal in federal government laws (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 65). The fourth company is legally allowed to sue both the first and the second companies for contract bridge. Contract termination can result in severe consequences in a country’s economy. A contract between the first and fourth company was terminated without any lawful reasons making it illegal. The high court can always impose massive penalties on individuals who terminate a partner’s contract (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 65). Furthermore, commonwealth act laws highlight the penalties one is entitled to in breach of contract, including termination of business permit and compensation of the affected victim (Stellios, 2015, p. 56). The NSW act and the commonwealth laws guarantee small businesses and considerable business companies protection in premature contract termination.
However, the law also allows suppliers to decide whom they do business with (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 42). Besides, the consumer and competition act does not necessarily force businesses to supply each of their partners. However, refusal to supply, especially where a contract is involved, may break the law and is considered unlawful (Stellios, 2015, p. 535). Besides, refusal may be considered a misuse of the market, secondary boycotts, tax fixation, or even engaging in exclusive dealing with purposes lessening competitions. A company may have to renegotiate terms with the partnering company to seek alternative supply before terminating the contract (Stellios, 2015, p. 65). The first and second companies never negotiated on the contract termination terms before ending the contract, making the action unlawful (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 54). Besides, the conduct by both the first and second companies looks harsh and oppressive. Within the federal laws, such oppressive actions are considered unconscionable conduct and are punishable (Stellios, 2015, p. 66). The high court confirms whether the contract termination was conducted out of actions such as undue influence, pressure, or unfair tactics by the more vital partners and if the act was out of good faith (Stellios, 2015, p. 44). Therefore, the first and second companies are guilty, and the appeal against the fourth company is not valid.
Application of New Act to the Contract
The first company’s argument of being excepted from any prohibition on secondary boycotts is invalid. The first and second companies enter into an unlawful contract term with the third company after the fourth company’s contract. Furthermore, the third company does not only carry out retail sales at NSW states but also in Victoria and Queensland states. The industrial relation act allowed only for-trade within NSW state and, therefore, breached, resulting in penalties (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 54). Besides, the contract makes the third company a monopolistic business entity creating room for price fixation and other anti-competitive conducts (Meagher et al., 2016, p. 43). Under the customer and competition act, the federal government may find the term in the standard form contract between the third and first and second companies unfair and declare it void.
Besides, twenty fifteen’s industrial relation act primarily criticizes secondary boycotts and does not offer unlawful exceptions (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 54). Section ten of the NSW legislation act generally prohibits any person acting in concert with another to engage in conduct that causes adverse effects or led to a secondary boycott (Meagher et al., 2016, p. 32). The Persons or company that engage in such conduct is lawfully guilty of an offense. However, this section does not apply to corporations trading in New South Wales. The industrial relation acts operate alongside the Commonwealth act to create protection and enhance Australia’s inter-State and export trade (Meagher et al., 2016, p. 54). The two reports strongly recommended the enactment of uniform national laws prohibiting all secondary boycotts.
The consequences of breaching the consumer and competition act may be significant and could include financial penalties, community service orders, disqualification of working permits, and compensation orders for persons who may have suffered loss or damage (Gerangelos et al., 2017, p. 43). The first and second companies might think that they have exempted themselves from the prohibition by only dwelling on a small section of the legislation law. The federal government laws ensure harmony among business companies.
The federal government laws play a vital role in maintaining harmony in any trade setup. The act of contract termination by the first and second companies was unlawful and is punishable. The action also gives room for anti-competitive conduct such as tax fixation, monopoly, and even secondary boycotts. The consumer and competition act under the federal laws sets up measures that try to protect businesspeople from such actions. Furthermore, the acts allow the oppressed to press legal charges against the oppressor, resulting in massive penalties such as revoking business permits and compensation orders for the person who suffered the loss. Besides, the NSW act also further provides protection dealing comprehensively with relations and conducts of industrial disputes. The act enforces penalties on the offenders and consequently allows compensation for the offended. To avoid being on the federal laws’ receiving end, every business party should try to adhere to the federal laws’ rules and regulations.
Gerangelos, P. A., Aroney, N., Evans, S. C., Murray, S. L., Emerton, P., & Stone, A. S. (2017). Winterton’s Australian federal constitutional law: Commentary and materials.
Meagher, D., Simpson, A., Stellios, J., & Wheeler, F. (2016). Hanks Australian constitutional law materials and commentary (10th ed.).
Stellios, J. S. (2015). Zines’s the high court and the constitution. The University of Queensland Law Journal, 37(1). https://doi.org/10.38127/uqlj.v37i1