67 votes

Is it legal for a company to claim 'our phones lines are unusually busy' all day every day?

This week's weekly email from MoneySavingExpert (a UK 'consumer champion' organisation) includes this item (my emphasis): Please report "sorry, we are experiencing unusually high call volumes&...
AakashM's user avatar
  • 1,054
62 votes
Accepted

Stealing when it is free?

This has been prosecuted criminally, in the scenario of people taking a huge pile of "free" newspapers to sell for recycling. See coverage in the Independent from 16 February 2019. Some ...
alexg's user avatar
  • 6,315
59 votes

Can a computer be guilty of insider trading?

The Bot is a means to trade. Just like a telephone to call a broker or a fax to the bank or an app where you click on "buy now". Means cannot be "guilty" of anything. It's just ...
nvoigt's user avatar
  • 7,405
43 votes
Accepted

In the UK, can residents leave their gate open taking pavement space?

england-and-wales If this is a public road then, on the face of it, the behaviour seems to be contrary to s137(1) Highways Act 1980. (1) If a person, without lawful authority or excuse, in any way ...
Lag's user avatar
  • 16.9k
33 votes

Why do blatant copyright infringements not get prosecuted?

You are wrong that they never get into legal trouble. It isn't terribly common but it certainly happens to those that get relatively prominent. Many of the folks doing the copyright infringement are ...
Justin Cave's user avatar
  • 2,839
33 votes

Is it legal to bribe a private eye?

england-and-wales It's illegal to "bribe" anyone - the banker, the baker, the candlestick maker. Perhaps you really mean to ask if the behaviour in your scenario is bribery. On the face of ...
Lag's user avatar
  • 16.9k
30 votes

Would it be legal to supply an item that deliberately stops working after the guarantee expires?

germany If your machine actively destroys itself after the warranty is up, you commit the crime of damage to someone else's property under StGB § 303. You might also be liable for fraud, as this ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 39.4k
29 votes

Do jurors have an absolute right to acquit a defendant according to their conscience?

canada It is a de facto power, not a right In Hohfeldian terms, the jury's ability to nullify is a de facto power not a right (see Wesley Newcomb Hohfeld, "Some Fundamental Legal Conceptions as ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 54.8k
29 votes

Is it an offence to disregard a no-contact court order when the other person is extremely complicit?

united-states Will Bob face repercussions for violating his court orders conditions when it was done with the full active complicity of Alice, if Alice then decides she would like to use this mutual ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 213k
26 votes

Can a computer be guilty of insider trading?

Can a computer be guilty of insider trading? No. In the united-kingdom a computer or "AI Bot" isn't an entity that can be prosecuted or sued. The employees and the company are entities that ...
Lag's user avatar
  • 16.9k
25 votes

Stealing when it is free?

If something is given away for free it still belongs to the person giving it away. Until they give it away. They don't give away more than 3 books per visit. If one takes more, they steal the excess, ...
Greendrake's user avatar
  • 27.5k
22 votes
Accepted

Does GDPR apply when PII is already publicly available?

The site would combine the data in novel ways, which is processing the data. Processing personal data which is publicly available is still processing personal data. You would have to take GDPR into ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 17.6k
21 votes

Is religious confession legally privileged?

germany §53 StPO (1) 1. allows clerics to refuse to testify about things they were told during spiritual care. This does not require the setting to be exactly the Catholic sacrament of confession: it ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 17.6k
21 votes
Accepted

Would it be legal to supply an item that deliberately stops working after the guarantee expires?

australia Deliberately rendering the TV non-operational through software would appear to be malicious damage. Under the Australian Consumer Law, one of the statutory guarantees is that a product must ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 209k
21 votes

Is it legal for a company to claim 'our phones lines are unusually busy' all day every day?

Mouthing platitudes is probably fine The prohibitions on deceptive and misleading conduct usually excludes marketing puffery, and the phones being unusually busy is probably such. In any event, ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 209k
20 votes

Is attempted manslaughter a real crime?

Yes For example, s270AB of the south-australia Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 says: (1) Where— (a) a person attempts to kill another or is a party to an attempt to kill another; ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 209k
19 votes
Accepted

When lords were tried by the House of Lords, where could they appeal to?

Short Answer There were 30 House of Lords convictions of peers resulting in a punishment for the peer (in 29 cases a death sentence, and in the one final case, in 3 months of imprisonment) from 1499 ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 213k
19 votes

Is accusing someone of a crime slander if you believe the accusation to be true?

united-states Basil very likely cannot establish actual malice (that is, he cannot establish that the speaker knew the statement was false, or was reckless as to its truth or falsity). If a court ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 4,649
18 votes

Does divorce affect citizenship?

united-states Naturalization obtained by fraud or misrepresentation, including misrepresentation in earlier applications for immigration benefits, can be revoked. This requires action on the part of ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 37.2k
18 votes
Accepted

Is it an offence to disregard a no-contact court order when the other person is extremely complicit?

england-and-wales The answer is a solid "it depends". The first issue is whether a no-contact order would happen in the first place. If Alice didn't ask for it in her victim statement, it ...
Graham's user avatar
  • 2,711
18 votes
Accepted

What is theft when not permanent

The Theft Act 1968 elaborates on the permanent-deprivation element as follows: A person appropriating property belonging to another without meaning the other permanently to lose the thing itself is ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.9k
17 votes
Accepted

Copyright on commercial image from the 1930s (UK)

The modern rule in the UK is that copyright lasts until the end of the calendar year following 70 years after the death of the author. So if the author died in or later than 1953, it would be under ...
DPenner1's user avatar
  • 4,931
17 votes
Accepted

Contractor does work on the wrong house

united-states This is the classic fact pattern under which the contractor is entitled to an unjust enrichment remedy (and also often, a mechanic's lien remedy), even though there is no breach of ...
ohwilleke's user avatar
  • 213k
17 votes

Contractor does work on the wrong house

australia TL;DR If you're a contractor who screws up like this, chalk it up to experience and move along. Unjust Enrichment Here we run into some very choppy waters in Australian jurisprudence. While ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 209k
17 votes
Accepted

Is smart watch illegal while in control of the vehicle?

It says hold and use. Having a smartphone in your backpack is fine. Having a smartwatch on your wrist is fine. Using the smart watch for a phone call or a game or whatever while driving is not.
quarague's user avatar
  • 3,466
17 votes
Accepted

Is accusing someone of a crime slander if you believe the accusation to be true?

Yes new-south-wales First, the distinction between libel and slander has been abolished - it's all just defamation. Second, the elements of defamation are: A person has said something about you to (...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 209k
15 votes

What is theft when not permanent

united-states One term for this is criminal conversion Criminal conversion is a crime, limited to parts of common law systems outside England and Wales, of exerting unauthorized use or control of ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 1,399
14 votes
Accepted

Could you be charged with manslaughter for obstructing an ambulance?

Charged? Of course, the police can charge you with anything at any time Could you be convicted? Maybe. Their best shot is charging you with “Manslaughter by an unlawful and dangerous act” also called ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 209k
14 votes

Is religious confession legally privileged?

In the united-states, that privilege exists, but its availability and parameters vary from one jurisdiction to the next. See, e.g., Totten, Administrator, v. United States, 92 U.S. 105, 107 (1875) (“...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 58.9k
14 votes

Contractor does work on the wrong house

united-kingdom In the UK, it is an implicit contract. Normally you have a written contract, or at least a verbal contract, but if that contractor just turns up at your doorstep by mistake instead of ...
gnasher729's user avatar

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