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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
  • 1,053
65 votes
Accepted

Is it stealing if three books are allowed to be taken for free and I take more?

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
  • 7,220
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
  • 8,281
51 votes
Accepted

Is it an offence to photograph a seahorse?

The Seahorse Trust states on their conservation page In 2008 both British species of seahorse became protected as named species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). . . Another achievement, ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
  • 3,211
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
  • 17.5k
32 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
  • 17.5k
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
  • 41.3k
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
  • 61.2k
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
  • 224k
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
  • 17.5k
26 votes

Is it stealing if three books are allowed to be taken for free and I take more?

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
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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
  • 214k
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
  • 214k
20 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to discriminate on marital status for car insurance/pensions etc.?

The UK is no longer an EU member and is able to depart from EU Directives (although in this case that hasn't happened, yet). The Act here is UK law, the Equality Act 2010 The particular areas to ...
thelawnet's user avatar
  • 476
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
  • 4,769
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
  • 37.9k
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
  • 2,779
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
  • 60.8k
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
  • 224k
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
  • 214k
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
  • 3,570
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
  • 214k
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
15 votes
Accepted

Does consumer protection cover price changes at point of sale?

england-and-wales On the basis of the circumstances described, the trader's behaviour seems tantamount to more than one offence. The behaviour known as 'bait advertising' is described at paragraph 5 ...
Lag's user avatar
  • 17.5k
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
  • 34.4k
14 votes
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Do soldiers have a greater duty to women and children than to men in case of a shipwreck?

The quoted passage is from R v Dudley and Stephens (1884) 14 QBD 273, a famous case because of its colourful circumstances (shipwreck, murder, cannibalism) and for its relevance to the notion of ...
alexg's user avatar
  • 7,220
13 votes

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

yes, the jury can do this as a fact, if not as a right. Jury Nullification / Jury Equity is a thing. The jury might see the most guilty person who even admits the deed, but they may still decide "...
Trish's user avatar
  • 41.3k
13 votes
Accepted

Did the House of Lords hear appeal cases in the main Lords’ chamber of Parliament?

https://www.supremecourt.uk/about/appellate-committee.html Before the second world war, the Law Lords used to hear appeals each day in the chamber of the House of Lords. After the House of Commons ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 61.2k
13 votes

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

united-states At first glance, there's defamation Stating an Opinion like "I don't like Basil" is not actionable. But stating a purported fact can become defamation. In general, belief that ...
Trish's user avatar
  • 41.3k
13 votes

Does consumer protection cover price changes at point of sale?

australia They must sell at the lower price or stop selling until the disparity in the prices is fixed Sometimes the price of an item in store or online at the checkout may not match the displayed or ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 214k

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