Australia Legal Case Studies

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Anton, a very keen Olympic Games fan, managed to obtain a unique photograph that had been signed by all the Australian swimmers in the 2000 Olympic team.

Anton advertised the photograph for sale for $10,000 in his local paper.
John phoned Anton and asked Anton to hold the photograph for two hours to enable John to travel 80 kilometres from John’s home to Anton’s home. Anton agreed to do this.
John said he ‘would be a buyer if the photograph proved to be authentic’.
Anton replied, ‘Good’.

Oscar, a friend of Anton, called Anton before John arrived and told him an identical photo had sold at a local auction the previous night for $30,000. Anton gave the photograph to Oscar to take to the auction house.

When John arrived at Anton’s place 1½ hours later, Anton told John, ‘There has been a change of plan and the photograph is now going to be sold at auction’.

John claims the photograph has been sold to him and he wants it handed to him in exchange for $10,000. Anton tells John to go to the auction.

Discuss the legal rules which will decide this matter.

Question 2

Andrew attended an Antiques Fair and saw a Hamilton Pennsylvania Special 21 jewel pocket watch on display with a price of $6,000 on it. Andrew asked the vendor why was the watch so expensive and the dealer said ‘These particular Hamilton watches had very accurate precision movements as they were used to check train times in the early days in America’.

Some weeks later Andrew saw on e-bay ‘An early Hamilton Special 21 jewel Pocket watch’ for $3,500.

Andrew contacted the vendor Brian, who lived in South Australia, and said he would buy it if it was a genuine Special. The vendor said ‘the description is correct and the watch keeps time’.

Andrew bought the watch and took it to the next Antique Fair and showed the watch dealer. The watch dealer told Andrew ‘Although this is a Special it is not a Pennsylvania Special and it is worth about $500.’

Andrew also pointed out that the e-bay watch only kept time for two hours before it stopped. The dealer told Andrew ‘It probably needs a service which would cost $150 plus parts if required and if they are available’.

Andrew contacts Brian claiming he can return the watch on the grounds of misrepresentation.

Brian strongly denies this.

Assuming South Australian law applies, outline the relevant legal principles that apply to the situation.

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