A-Level Law in Action by Brenda Mothersole, Ann Ridley (auth.)

By Brenda Mothersole, Ann Ridley (auth.)

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Professor Summers, an American jurist, identified and discussed five different techniques of social control exercised by th e law. His account of the functions of law in society may be summarised as follows: • To provide remedies (for example the law of negligence and nuisanc e) ; • To prohibit anti-social behaviour (for example the criminal law); • To confer legal personality on groups of individuals (company law); STUDENT WORKSHOP do you think are the main purposes of law in societvr Make a list of your own before you read on.

This concept is open to abuse, allowing individuals to attempt to hide behind the 'corporate veil', as in the case of Gilford Motor Co Ltd v Horne (1933). Horne had been employed by Gilford Motor Company under a contract which contained a clause to prevent him from taking customers from the company if he left their employment. Eventually, Horne did leave and set up a similar business which was registered as a company and from which he sent circulars to customers of Gilford Motors inviting them to transfer their custom to his company.

Trade unions are also unincorporated associations, but have power under s 10 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 to make contracts in the name of the union. Although not recognised as a body corporate, a union can sue and be sued in its own name. We have seen that in the case of corporations, the corporation can hold property in its own name - this is much more difficult in the case of unincorporated associations which are simply a group of individuals. In a partnership property is usually conveyed to some or all of the partners who hold it in trust for the others; in the case of clubs and societies property is owned by all the members of the club for the mutual benefit of the association, although members have no separate rights in the assets; in the case of a trade union property is held by trustees.

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