Is Ignorance a Legal Excuse?
Many cases of legal breaches occur where the defendant simply didn’t know that it was a crime they were committing. Determining innocence or guilt, however, bears no mind to understanding. John Selden, an English Jurist in the 1600’s, famously said:
“Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but because it is an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to confute him.”
This stance is one that has stood firm since the decision, and to date, ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking it. With this in mind, this article considers how to avoid ignorance and legal responsibility.
Contracts are the most important legal tool because these are the only things that determine who is or isn’t responsible for a particular result. Getting solid contracts signed with companies, clients and business partners is an essential element of business. Contracts will help to solve most disputes and it is important to remember that within Australia the party drawing up the contracts has the benefit in disputes. Contractual agreements are legally binding and a well written one can save you from lawsuits without trouble.
When starting work with a new company, it is wise to get an independent medical examination completed. The reason that this is important is so that you can protect yourself against any injury incurred in a workplace. Whilst injury is best avoided, of course, they do occur in the workplace and having a record of your health is a good way to ensure that you can prove your condition beforehand.
If an injury in the workplace does occur then seeking workers compensation lawyers Sydney is a necessary move. You should always avoid, but also be prepared to file a lawsuit if you suffer an injury because otherwise an accident could cost you your livelihood and far more. You are far better off questioning and improving the safety of your Sydney workplace than waiting until something happens and suffering an injury.
As a business owner, employee and homeowner, seeking legal advice is an important part of life. In many cases the legal advice will be obvious, but ignorance about any small matter is not an excuse and must be avoided. There are other benefits to seeking legal advice because doing so means that you have a solicitor ready to help you if anything at all should happen.
Having this availability will likely save you a vast amount of time and money if you find yourself with a lawsuit on your hands. In many cases a lawsuit requires a quick response and providing this is not easy if you have no solicitor available to call. Receiving legal advice does not, however, absolve you from responsibility for breaking the law. Any legal advice should be provided in writing by your solicitor and you should be wary about whether you follow the advice or not. The law will hold you accountable for your actions, regardless of whether you received advice to take that course or not.