Question 1 (40% of this assignment)問題1（本任務的40%）
Rich Company is owned by Mr and Mrs X. On 24th December 2017, Mrs X visited the company premises. Mrs X had recently bought a particularly rare and valuable black gemstone called “Noir” and wanted to show it to Mr X and the staff. “Noir” was, however, accidentally dropped onto the carpeted floor and went missing. Mrs X immediately posted a notice next to where staff members check in and out of work with their staff cards, asking for return of “Noir” if anyone manages to locate it. Mrs X then left in disappointment.
Annie is a 70-year-old cleaner at Rich Company. She resumed her duty shortly after Mrs X’s departure. Police investigation revealed that during the course of her duty, she was seen on CCTV to have checked in with her staff card, picked up “Noir” from the floor, put it into her bag, checked out and left. Annie is now charged with theft of “Noir”. The prosecution has the following evidence against
- CCTV footage (contents as above);
- “Noir”, which has been recovered from Annie’s bag at her home;
- “Noir”’s certificate stating its value and date of sale to Mrs X;
- Evidence from Mrs X on her ownership of “Noir” and how “Noir” was lost on 24th December 2017;
- Evidence from Sandy, Mr X’s secretary, on Mrs X’s usual style and pattern of extravagant
spending, as well as how Annie always eyed Mrs X up and down with envy;
- Evidence from Rich Company’s security guard who saw Annie leaving in an unusually rushed manner.
Annie, in her defence, claims that:-
- She mistook “Noir” for a random pebble. She had picked it up because she did not want anyone to trip on it;
- She put it in her bag, intending to throw it away with other rubbish, but had forgotten after she rushed home to feed her baby granddaughter as her daughter and son-in-law were both suddenly summoned to work;
- She states that she could not read the notice as she has cataracts in both eyes.
MAArbDR/LW6402/Assignment Questions 2
a. Who has the legal burden of proof in this case, and to what standard? Briefly explain the rationale behind this arrangement. (5%)
b. Comment on each piece of prosecution evidence with regard to (i) its classifications and (ii) admissibility. (15%)
c. Is classification relevant to the weight of evidence? If so, how and to what extent? If not,why? (5%)
d. Who has the evidential burden of proof of Annie’s defence? How can this burden be satisfied with regard to each aspect of her defence? (15%)
Question 2 (60% of this assignment)問題2（本任務的60%）
Minnie is a skilled and experienced sculptor. She was hired by Martin, a manufacturer of children’s toys, to produce wooden puzzles of different shapes using a specially designed carving machine(the “machine”). To guard against injuries to the operator, there were two ways of stopping the machine:either by manually pressing the emergency stop button, or automatically when the machine’s inbuilt software detects any sudden or abrupt change in direction. This is to prevent the machine from being knocked over when its carving blades are still in operation. The machine was designed and produced by Miyazaki (Hong Kong) Limited (“Miyazaki”). Miyazaki is responsible for regular maintenance of Martin’s machine.
One day, when Minnie was using the machine at work, Martin accidentally knocked over the machine. No one pressed the emergency stop button in time, and the machine failed to detect the sudden change in direction. Hence the machine carved into Minnie’s fingers. Minnie’s left index, middle and ring fingers were immediately severed. Minnie was immediately sent to hospital where she underwent surgery to reattach her 3 fingers. As a result of this accident, Minnie was left with permanent rigidity in her fingers which affected her sculpting.
Minnie now wishes to lodge a civil action for personal injury to claim damages in the sum of HK$6 million.
a. State and explain all procedure that needs to be observed by Minnie and Martin and the consequences of default up to the close of pleadings with reference to the Rules of High Court(Cap. 4A) (“RHC”). (It is NOT necessary for students to consider practices unique to personal injury actions under Practice Direction 18.1.) (15%)
b. Briefly explain the following procedures, their purposes and how each of them correspond to the spirit of the Civil Justice Reform:-
ii. Case management conference;
iii. Pre-trial review.
In order to determine the cause of the machine’s failure to stop, Minnie wishes to engage mechanical engineering experts to examine the machine. Nonetheless, a mutual friend informs Minnie that Martin is now wishing to “pack up” and relocate to South Korea, where his wife and children are.
c. What can Minnie do to preserve the machine? Outline the procedure she would have to