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Boots cash chemists operated a chain of self serve

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Boots Cash Chemists operated a chain of self-serve chemists and in 1951 instituted a new method for its customers to buy certain medicines. The company would let shoppers pick drugs off the shelves in the chemist and then pay for them at the checkout counter. Until then, all medicines were stored behind the counter and an assistant had to get the items that the customer requested. A pharmacist would generally also be behind the counter, so as to 'supervise' the transaction. The Pharmaceutical Society prosecuted Boots for breaching s18 (1), arguing that the products were sold when they were selected by the customer from the shelf. They contended that at that point of time there had been no supervision by a pharmacist, as was required by the law. The Court was required to determine at what time the sale occured under the self- serve method employed in Boots' stores, in order to decide whether Boots had acted unlawfully.
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Typically, a sale is deemed by law to occur when the agreement (contract) comes into existence. An agreement comes into existence when there is an 'offer' by one party and 'acceptance' by the other. The Court held that when a customer took the goods off the shelf and handed them to the assistant at the cash register this was an offer by the customer to buy the goods. The assistant (under the supervision of a pharmacist) could tat that point query the customer's choice of goods and decide whether to proceed with the trasnsaction. 8 Somervell LJ, in the Court of Appeal, agreed with the decision handed down by the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court, stating: " ... in the case of the ordinary shop, although goods are displayed and it is intended that customers should go and choose what they want, the contract is not completed until, the customer having indicated the articles which he needs, the shop-keeper or someone on his behalf accepts that offer. Then the contract is completed... if the Plaintiffs are right, once an article has been placed in the receptacle the customer himself is bound and he would have no right without paying for the first article to substitute an article which he saw later of the same kind and which he perhaps preferred. " Of the self-serve method utilised by Boots, his Honour further opined that "... it is a convenient method of enabling customers to see what there is and choose and possibly put back and substitute articles which they wish to have and then go up to the cashier and offers to buy what they have so far chosen. On that conclusion the case fails, because it is admitted that then there was supervision in the sense required by the Act and at the appropriate moment of time." Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal therefore dismissed the case against Boots. Exercise 2.3 From the case of Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists , answer the following questions: Who is the plaintiff and who is the defendant?
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