Oman Commercial Law, Middle East College, Oman
BUSS 1004 Business Law
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Learning Outcomes - On completion of this module the student should be able to:
1. Critically analyse the implications of national and international legal environments of businesses in the Sultanate of Oman.
2. Analyse the key features of the judicial system of Oman.
3. Use appropriate sources for general legal analysis by identifying information, legal issues and reaching conclusions based on analysis.
Task - Write a comprehensive report.
Title: Analysis On The Aspects Of Law Of Contract, Business Operations, Ethics And Corporate Governance In Oman
Question 1: Critically discuss all the types of breach of contract that may happen and the remedies for breach of contract under Oman Commercial law.
Answer: ASPECTS OF CONTRACT LAW: Breach of agreementis a situation where parties to the contract go against their agreement act of breaking or failure to honor the agreement reached by concerned parties in their original state.They sign an agreement which is legally enforceable by law and any party to a contract fails to execute his or her mandate, the contract is subject to termination any time.
FORMS OF BREACH OF AGREEMENT: Partial Breach -It'swhere an aggrieved party to the agreement is not entitled to any performance of obligations that were mandated to do but, only collects damages which he is owed. It is also of lessimportant than a material breach (Royal Decree, 53/81).
Material Breach is failure to perform under the contract which significantly enables or entitles the affected party the right to go to courtseeking justice for going against the agreement which is usually a fundamental breach. It gives the angry party a right to take legal action for damages (Ministerial Decision, 5/78). This can be done through a court of law to seek justice.
Anticipatory Breachis where a party to a contracts rests acting in according to the agreement which forces the other party to feel he has no intention to fulfil the agreement. The offended party is forced to dismissor end the contract and take a legal actionto seek for damages caused thereinthrough the court of law (Ministerial Decision, 4/80).
Specific Performance is a situation where the aggrieved party can't be compensated in monetary terms. Instead, he may request through a court of law the actual performance of the agreement. It is a court ordered action to forcing the breaching party to provide or perform the actual agreement(Ministerial Decision, 5/78).
REMEDIES TO BREACH OF CONTRACT: Rescission - Thisis a situation where the court terminates or stops the contractual duties of both parties to the contract (Royal Decree, 66/77).In case the court find it fit for any reasons or the other it will definitely it will terminate the agreement completely.
Restitution - This is a compensation that is awarded by the court of law to reinstate the non-breaching person to his original situation that he was before contract formation (Royal Decree (40/77). The contract breaching party is supposed to return all the money or property he received from non-breaching party. In any case, it is not used to compensate the other party any profits or gains he lost during the contract period.
Actual/ Monetary Damages is where the money that is to be compensated to aggrieved party for the loss of financial or property loss. It is done through the court which it award the damages which are equal to the difference between the work that was done and the actual agreement in the original contract (Ministerial Decision 16/74).
They are two types:
i) Compensation damages which areset aside to cover the actual loss the aggrieved party has gone so far as per the agreement was concern;
ii) Punitive damages which is meant to punish the breaching party's behavior to prevent others from committing similar acts in future.
Reformation is a situation where the court of law changes or rewritten to justice the contract to correct any mistake or inequities instead of terminating it(Ministerial Decision 5/78). The court has the powers to amend it due the some prevailed matters there in so that it can benefit both parties.
Specific performance is where the court orders the party who has breached not to perform the duties as per the agreement or stated in the original contract. This can only be done if the monetary damages are not adequate.
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Question 2: Critically analyse this statement vis-à-vis the law of contract provisions quoting relevant Royal Decree. Use an applied Omani example to demonstrate the application of the law of contract in Oman.
Answer: Royal Decree: The parties to a contract can terminate or dissolve their contract legally (Royal Decree, 27/2013)The provision states that when the agreement is lawful and binding, no either party will terminate it nor amend it but, only through a mutual agreement or through a court order (Article, 99).
The provisions further covers contracts that comes to an end through assignment (Article 100). It is important for the concerned parties to make provisions for assignment of contractual rights and duties.Either party will not have a right to assign duties and responsibilities to third party.
Oman Example of contract law.
Joe Webb VsMcGowin
At an incident at the workplace, Webb protected his managerMcGowin from entering into serious wounds or death by sidetracking a huge falling block but, in the process he encounteredhimself with some injuries. McGowin promised Webb that he will be paying him a certain amount of money every close of two weeks till his death. McGowinhas been doing so until his own dead occurred. McGowinappointed executorsterminated the payment. Webb went to court to seek legal action or redress and at the end of the dayhe succeeded.
Held: Oman stated that Webb promise was legally enforced since it was made in the framework of the law (William & Mary Business Law Review, Vol.9:373).
PROVISIONS OF LAW OF CONTRACTS IN OMAN: Contract obligations tends to owe duties to each party and each party is legally responsible forthe entire contract agreement period. Every party has to exchange something of value, either be a property, service, product or money. Either side of the contract, each party has numerousresponsibilities as associated to this exchange. Though contracts in Oman seem to be so complex, their coherent is straightforward and they reduce agreement in these parties into writing.Most importantly, set out the terms of parties' duties in the execution of the contract. A written contract also encounters the purpose of enabling the best bargain reachable between the parties. He or she should execute the contract in order to make sure all benefits are fully appreciated. Further, all potential risks are fully understood through all parties. Failing to know how contracts works is considered of the reasons parties end up termination.
Under Article 167 and 173 of the Royal Decree, explains how the contracts are formed and how they are terminated or brought to an end. Governing law and jurisdictions are also explains procedures that are followed in case of breach of contract comes up, what they should do and how they should do it successfully. If one party fails to meets his obligation will result to damages to a non-breach through the law court.
The Oman Labor law is a primary source of law dealing with labor and employment matters related issues in Oman today and henceforthas specified (Royal Decree, 35/2003). In employment agreements especially in the private sector, employeesare required to have written agreement with their employers. They must be executed with the duplicate of original agreement with each employer and employee. It is appropriate to state that statedperiod of employment agreements determins the employers' ability to instantlydismiss employees' contract if a notice period is otherwise not stated therein.
Oman Case Example
Hamer's uncle (Sidways) promised to pay her a large sum of money if the nephew gives up a bunch of fun, which is an immoral activity for a given period of time. Onhearing, the objection to implementationwas that the nephew had not provided a consideration, for the reason that in giving up those activities she was promoting herself. The court discarded this argument. It was held that: Any acceptance of a legal freedom was adequate for consideration and there was no requirement to demonstrate an objective damage.
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Question 3: Critically analyse legal and Easy of Doing Business issues that need to be addressed by Oman so that Tanfeeth Diversification Plan can achieve its objectives and succeed in its diversification thrust, as Oman competes with other GCC countries for global investments funds. You are required to interview Ithraa staff to explain the status of these issues in Oman and what is the way forward for excellence in Oman?
Answer: LEGAL ASPECT OF DOING BUSINESS IN OMAN
Tanfeedh Diversification 2040 plan.
The long waited new international airport is programmed to take place at later date, with the determined aim of being classified among theworld's top 20 by 2040. The new port in soharamenitiesthat are quicklylong drawn outso that theyimprovevolume for handling cargo facilities and ship containers. The additionalinspiration for implementing this in line with the existingstatus quo in the neighboring countries in which their cargo would or elsehave been shipped through other port destinationssurrounding Oman and the GCC at large. Therefore, Oman and Qatar have increased their trade partnerships trade which has increased very tremendously.
ISSUES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED: Tanfeedh has come up with a number of issues in the logistics sector which requires a seriousattentionso as to aid development in Oman.
1. The commercialeffectiveness is unquestionably a critical element the government is an importantstage in handling this issue, introduction of a one stop shop clearance in this case we will called "Bayan". It's a digital platform that isplanned to let customs clearance process to happen in a well-coordinatedway, with a goal of dropping customs clearance time from eight days to one day.Managementaims to implement such a projectthrough their subordinate agencies across the country and the ministries associated the project to facilitate trade.
2. Logistics. Key projectsthat are currently intended to be implemented under initiative in Oman are:
• Overseeing projectedplan of national rail network, whichattach the Oman'skey seaports they want to implement within the 2040 plan schedule.
• Aim to increase port container capacity from currently 5 million to 7.5 million approximately.
• Forming the new International Airport as intended and the cargo village will incorporate an air cargo terminal for import and export, as well as shipmentcentres.
3. Oman enforces a free trade agreement (FTA) whereby it made an agreement with US and other GCC countries and Singapore as well. Oman negotiated with China, Australia and New Zealand on how to trade in Gulf community.
How Oman Will Compete with GCC countries
Competition is a way of life and microeconomic environment essentiallyrely on their oil and gas resources which helps them to maintaina balance of paymentstoharness in high levels of public debt. Nonetheless the macroeconomic isdisposed to anunexpectedfailure if prices of oilfalldown willeruption of the global economic crisis and Oman's economy as well.
Interview Questionnaire: Position: Group Chief Ports and Freezones,
Q: Please can you address the Customs clearance turnaround issues for Tanfeedh?
A: We will have introduced a new wayof customs clearance process through digital way reducing the period from eight days to less than a day.
Q: What are some of the new business formation turnaround issuesthat Tanfeedh will face?
A: It is now that we have launched the initiative and we expect it will work to enhance the business to in Oman.
Q: What will be the processing fee of the new business?
A: It's about OR 20.
Q: Do you thank implementing this initiative will cause bureaucratic issues?
A: No I don't think so unless they arise in future.
Q: Will there be some tax holidays or tax exemptions?
A: Oman is operating on a free trade agreement and therefore all taxes are exempted.
Q: What will be the status of port handling capacity and clearance issues?
A: It totally increase by 2,000 percent
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Question 4: Business ethics, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance create the human face of organisations. Critically explain these concepts and use an applied Oman company example to demonstrate good corporate governance.
Answer: BUSINESS ETHICS: These are sets of principles used to determine what is right as far as conduct or behavior of individual is concern. This includes individuals who are acting on behave of business entity (Mirshak, 2007). It also looks at the ethical and moral principles and problems arises in a business environment. The principles apply to all transactions of the business whether large or small. They apply equally to corporate decisions making and individual behavior in conducting business of the company.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES: This is acommunal expectations of businesses and ways in whichitanswer back to such anticipations (Imbun, 2007). Thisspecifies that communal expectations overtime in one of the place that are due to a diversity of common drivers likecommunitydesires, competition, public demands and public relations as well. Therefore, this is a business style of life which doesn't support sacrifice but profit generation responsibility.
Oman is therefore an emerging economy in which itfollows a socio-economic growthapproach of which civil society and private sector organizations anticipates to work in partnership ensuring national competitiveness and social equality is achieved. (Toky, 2007)
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE: This is a methodthrough which businesses are directed and managed including the structure, rules and strategies for making decisions regarding corporate affairs and achieving organizational objectives (Renee, 2010). It is used in the entire management and control of the business as well as relationship between directors, owners and employees of the firm. The directors are answerable for governance of their corporations. Owners of the firm appoint directors and auditors to content themselves when appropriate governance structure is in place.Firms whether private or public required by law to appoint directors as the firm's management arm.
GOVERNANCE EXAMPLES IN OMAN: We take a case study ofNawras Company corporate governance that operates in Oman. It offers telecommunication services and it is being socially responsible and integral contributor of Omani society. The organizationhave confidence in that conforming to governance principles plays a very important role in pleasing to the eyein corporation's performance in a global environment and encouraging investors' self-assurance and shareholders value. It also follows to ethical behavior, whichneeds commitments, objectivity and answerability from everyone.
Also, Managers must take a step their best of interest in the business and pursue objectives of the firm mentioned in the memorandum of association. It's a common practice among business in Oman to establish board of directors even though, they are not legally required to do so. Therefore, the LLC is currently the vehicle of choice when doing business in Oman.
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Question 5: Critically explain how and why the Oman Government is regulating:
(a) Marine pollution quoting relevant Royal Decree;
(b) Air pollution quoting relevant Royal Decree; and finally
(c) Noise pollution quoting relevant Royal Decree.
Answer: OMAN POLLUTION: Pollution is the contaminations of the environment surrounding the natural resources which takes about changes that affect our normal lifestyle of the citizens.
Types of Pollution:
Marine pollution: It is a declared Oman government'spolicy to avoid and remove any kinds of pollution of waterthat is surrounding all their territory so that to preserve the ecology of the area or the country (Royal Decree, No.34 of 1974). Early anxietieson safety of marine environment, and the law forbids the release of any pollution from the ship.
Air pollution: On pollution control from immobile sources specifies that the possessorshave toengageon specific methods through which the ministry discourages any form of discharge, their treatment and disposals(Ministerial decision, No. 118/04). The law also bans the release of smoke or burning any waste on the open places. Authorization must be obtained before thinking or starting installing any kind of machinery and mustcomply with the height qualificationsspecifiedcontingent on its envisioned use.
Noise Pollution: Noise control in the open places suggeststhat the level of noise must begrounded on organization of general public like areas such asindustrial plants, along the road and airports as well (Ministerial decision, No.79/94). Differenceslevels of noise especially during week days,weekends or public holidays can be measured in accordance with the usual and acceptable standards considering the direction, wind velocity and humility.
Importance of Government regulating pollution: To protection and combatpollution which highlights the reason to deliver greater health and social care for all citizens, wealth and economic resources which preserves historical and cultural tradition to evade any damage from various activities carried out (Royal Decree No. (10/83). It is also help transportation ofhazardous chemicals and training on how to deal with emergencies.
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