AQA Law unit 2- how much case facts/knowledge is required?

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lmorgan95
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Apparently for unit 2 you need to not only know the law and relevant cases but also the case facts and the ratio decidendi (and use this in your answers!?) which i had no idea about because our teacher has told us that the case facts/reason for the decision are completely unimportant and as long as we remember the case names we will be fine? :confused:


edit: what i mean is that apparently it's not enough to just know that R v Latimer is a case for transferred malice and the definitions of transferred malice, can't be transferred between objects and people (pemblinton) etc, but you must go into detail about why the mens rea could be transferred in that case. Is this really necessary?!?! i've made minimal effort to remember ANY case facts because i got told it wasn't necessary!!

how much do we need to know regarding case information?! i only need a B so i don't need to have perfect answers
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alia42
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Generally you do not need to know the ratio or obiter of any case unless it is important (as it was in Donoghue v Stevenson). It’s good to know the basic facts of cases because your exam question may contain similar facts to one of the cases you have studied (this was the case for me at A level).

Sometimes knowing the case facts is important, especially in cases like R v Smith and R v Jordan or Balfour v Balfour and Merritt v Merritt because in cases like this the Courts have to distinguish the facts to determine the outcome of the case in question.

The most important part to know is the principal of law that was illustrated in the case - e.g. In R v Latimer, the question was whether D could be convicted for his assault on Y even though his intention was to harm X, and the Courts said yes, he could.
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Revel
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(Original post by lmorgan95)
edit: what i mean is that apparently it's not enough to just know that R v Latimer is a case for transferred malice and the definitions of transferred malice, can't be transferred between objects and people (pemblinton) etc, but you must go into detail about why the mens rea could be transferred in that case. Is this really necessary?!?! i've made minimal effort to remember ANY case facts because i got told it wasn't necessary!!
It's quite worrying that your teacher has told you that case facts are unimportant. Yes, its better to know the name of a case rather than just the facts (eg: "this was decided in R v Clarke" is better than "this was decided in the case where X did such and such").
However, as Alia has already said, case facts are important especially with landmark cases such as Donoghue v Stevenson, Barnett v Chelsea Hospital, etc. where a precedent was set.

Just out of curiosity... assuming that you didn't use any case facts in the first three Units, what grades did you get?
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lmorgan95
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(Original post by Revel)
It's quite worrying that your teacher has told you that case facts are unimportant. Yes, its better to know the name of a case rather than just the facts (eg: "this was decided in R v Clarke" is better than "this was decided in the case where X did such and such").
However, as Alia has already said, case facts are important especially with landmark cases such as Donoghue v Stevenson, Barnett v Chelsea Hospital, etc. where a precedent was set.

Just out of curiosity... assuming that you didn't use any case facts in the first three Units, what grades did you get?
I haven't sat any units yet, I've done a fast track course and am sitting them all this summer. I know some case facts, but I didn't think you needed any more detail than this for example: "transferred malice is where the mens rea of an offence against one victim can be transferred to supply the mens rea against another victim for a similar offence. This principle is demonstrated in R v Latimer, where the intent to strike one victim in the face with a belt could be used to satisfy the mens rea of the offence against the actual victim" and I thought that was enough for a decent grade? (obviously I would also write about it being non-transferrable between people and objects (pemblinton) too etc. if the question was to do with transferred malice). Isn't that sufficient as far as case facts go? I saw some model answers online that included in-depth explanation of exactly why/how the courts reached their decision in the case but there's no way i'd have time to go into that level of detail :s
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alia42
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For A level exams, the following structure guarantees an A:

Facts: summarise the case study in a sentence and state the offence that D can be convicted for, and the sentence that will be imposed if he is found guilty by the jury.
Law: actus reus with cases
Application: apply to the case study
Law: mens rea with cases
Application: apply to the case study
Possible defences?
Application: apply to the case study
Can D be convicted of any other offence? If so follow the same structure as above but do not repeat the facts.


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lmorgan95
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(Original post by alia42)
For A level exams, the following structure guarantees an A:

Facts: summarise the case study in a sentence and state the offence that D can be convicted for, and the sentence that will be imposed if he is found guilty by the jury.
Law: actus reus with cases
Application: apply to the case study
Law: mens rea with cases
Application: apply to the case study
Possible defences?
Application: apply to the case study
Can D be convicted of any other offence? If so follow the same structure as above but do not repeat the facts.


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one thing i've noticed in a book at our library (which has model answers) that our teacher didn't teach us is that it seems to be good practice to say things that the defendant couldn't be convicted for and give reasons why?

like.. if the scenario discusses theft inside a building but the defendant isn't a trespasser, say something briefly about why a prosecution for burglary wouldn't be appropriate in this scenario etc.
Is this a good idea? the book i saw it in was quite old but it was still for my exam board
another example: if a conviction is borderline ABH/GBH say why a conviction for S20 GBH would be more appropriate than ABH etc.
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alia42
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I don't think that's a good idea tbh. First of all you'll run out of time if you do decide to do that and secondly, the examiner is only interested in the offences that D could be convicted of.

Referring to your example of theft, If say trespassing was the only missing element that meant it could not be a burglary, you could use the above structure for burglary and in the application state that the jury would have to decide whether or not D was a trespasser.

The structure I pasted above was one that was taught to us at a level and it honestly worked! I'm studying law at uni now and my criminal law lecturer recommended the same structure.


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DarkChaoz95
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hi, im a second year law student, what my teacher has said is follow ISAC structure

Identify - identify the law (get this wrong then your whole answer is wrong, so dont make that mistake)
State = state the relevant AR/MR/causation (with brief case details and name)
Apply - apply AR/MR/Causation to the scenario
Conclude - conclude your answer whether D can be convicted under x offence and whether all the requirements has been satisfied.

you have to do state and apply for AR, MR and causation


edit: just realised this structure is basically like what alia said. This structure works I was 4 marks away from an A in this unit.
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