Legally.brunette
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hi,I was wondering if anyone could help me with the structure to answers in law? My law tutor is always telling me I could get an A with my knowledge but my structure lets me down... She says I need to make 'well developed points' but never expands on how I can make the points well developed. What type of things should I be including in each answer to make the points well developed?
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Grizwuld
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(Original post by Legally.brunette)
hi,I was wondering if anyone could help me with the structure to answers in law? My law tutor is always telling me I could get an A with my knowledge but my structure lets me down... She says I need to make 'well developed points' but never expands on how I can make the points well developed. What type of things should I be including in each answer to make the points well developed?
It would be helpful if you could post some examples (including the question).
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Legally.brunette
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(Original post by Grizwuld)
It would be helpful if you could post some examples (including the question).
Of course! Our most recent question was about mens rea, we just started criminal law this week so I didn’t expect to do great on it but got 4/8.

The question was “Explain what is meant by mens rea in criminal law”

My answer was:

1) Explain what is meant by mens rea in criminal law (8 marks)
Mens rea is latin for “guilty mind” and is the mental element that needs to be proved in order for liability to be imposed. There are different levels of mens rea, the highest and most culpable form is intention and the lowest isrecklessness. Intention can be differentiated into two types, direct and oblique. Direct intention was defined in mohan as a decision to bring about a desired consequence. Oblique intention is much broader than direct, it includes a test of foreseeability of the defendants actions, unlike direct, a consequence doesn’t need to be desired for oblique intention to be proved. Recklessness is a less culpable form of mens rea based on risk taking. There are two approaches to proving recklessness; subjective and objective. R v cunningham is a leading case in subjective recklessness, it was held that there was a foresight of consequences, the defendant must have seen the risk and took it anyway.
Objective recklessness was defined in
caldwell, a person has been reckless if they created an obvious risk that
damage would be made and if he took that risk anyway (advertent
recklessness) or if he didn’t recognise that risk (inadvertent
recklessness.) if the risk would hsve been apparent to the reasonable
person then the defendant will be liable for their actions


My family don’t really grasp the fact that online learning is still as important as in class learning and so were disrupting me all throughout the time allocated to answer this question :/
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Grizwuld
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Mens rea is latin for “guilty mind” and is the mental element that needs to be proved in order for liability to be imposed.

Try this:

... and is the cognitive element that has to be proven, inter alia*, to secure a conviction. Here I don't like your use of "mental" or "liability" - it's too vague and non-legal. In the law you should be looking for generally accepted and specific legal terms & points.

* do you still use this type of Latin phrase(s)?

Usually a person must intend to commit an offence.

Add something about intention (definition) - it is deliberate etc. Drag in acteus here.
Add an example e.g. shoplifting. Discuss a little e.g. putting a Mars bar into a coat pocket does not the action encompass both mens & acteus.
What if - the defendant is drunk, mentally impaired, or absent minded. Suppose it was a packet of digestive biscuits and the packet was visible even in the pocket - defence is forgot - just popped in for milk & bread, placed in pocket because hands full, getting money out. The two examples let you talk about issues such as concealment. The prosecution needs to build a case x + y + z.

Do you not need to refer and quote cases specifically. Perhaps there are alternative cases.

Is this a short form Q & A or a traditional essay type question.

Tip always try to make a point from a determined case.

"Intention can be differentiated into two types, direct and oblique. Direct intention was defined in mohan as a decision to bring about a desired consequence. Oblique intention is much broader than direct, it includes a test of foreseeability of the defendants actions, unlike direct, a consequence doesn’t need to be desired for oblique intention to be proved. Recklessness is a less culpable form of mens rea based on risk taking. There are two approaches to proving recklessness; subjective and objective. R v cunningham is a leading case in subjective recklessness, it was held that there was a foresight of consequences, the defendant must have seen the risk and took it anyway."

This is fine as an introductory/summary paragraph from which you would be able to develop each element.

Typically a paragraph introduces a point. Then explains it. Then comes the example (in law this would typically be a case or legal point). The reference should be cited. Then round off with a comment.

Oh and the disruptive family. Be grateful for the practice - it will sharpen your skills - which you may need if your before a "talker" as opposed to a "listening" magistrate or judge. Once your on your feet you must be able to carry on and make your points, politely but firmly, whatever interruption or distraction comes along.
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Legally.brunette
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(Original post by Grizwuld)
Mens rea is latin for “guilty mind” and is the mental element that needs to be proved in order for liability to be imposed.

Try this:

... and is the cognitive element that has to be proven, inter alia*, to secure a conviction. Here I don't like your use of "mental" or "liability" - it's too vague and non-legal. In the law you should be looking for generally accepted and specific legal terms & points.

* do you still use this type of Latin phrase(s)?

Usually a person must intend to commit an offence.

Add something about intention (definition) - it is deliberate etc. Drag in acteus here.
Add an example e.g. shoplifting. Discuss a little e.g. putting a Mars bar into a coat pocket does not the action encompass both mens & acteus.
What if - the defendant is drunk, mentally impaired, or absent minded. Suppose it was a packet of digestive biscuits and the packet was visible even in the pocket - defence is forgot - just popped in for milk & bread, placed in pocket because hands full, getting money out. The two examples let you talk about issues such as concealment. The prosecution needs to build a case x + y + z.

Do you not need to refer and quote cases specifically. Perhaps there are alternative cases.

Is this a short form Q & A or a traditional essay type question.

Tip always try to make a point from a determined case.

"Intention can be differentiated into two types, direct and oblique. Direct intention was defined in mohan as a decision to bring about a desired consequence. Oblique intention is much broader than direct, it includes a test of foreseeability of the defendants actions, unlike direct, a consequence doesn’t need to be desired for oblique intention to be proved. Recklessness is a less culpable form of mens rea based on risk taking. There are two approaches to proving recklessness; subjective and objective. R v cunningham is a leading case in subjective recklessness, it was held that there was a foresight of consequences, the defendant must have seen the risk and took it anyway."

This is fine as an introductory/summary paragraph from which you would be able to develop each element.

Typically a paragraph introduces a point. Then explains it. Then comes the example (in law this would typically be a case or legal point). The reference should be cited. Then round off with a comment.

Oh and the disruptive family. Be grateful for the practice - it will sharpen your skills - which you may need if your before a "talker" as opposed to a "listening" magistrate or judge. Once your on your feet you must be able to carry on and make your points, politely but firmly, whatever interruption or distraction comes along.
I haven’t heard of that phrase as of yet but as 1) it’s only first year A level law we haven’t gone into depth on everything just a brief overview and 2) we only just started criminal law so I can’t give you a definite answer on if it’s still used. What does it translate to?

My tutor posted the mark scheme she used about 10 minutes ago, I can upload that too if it’ll help? The question is just a short form Q&A as we only get 10 minutes and are expected to write as much as we can, probably why my answer is so vague- my tutor said it’s better to be vague and get it all in then go in depth and lose out on marks.

In terms of structure then it’s 1) make a point, 2) explain it further 3) add an example (case or legal point) ? And would I just repeat that for the 4 points she expects us to write?

I shall keep that in mind- luckily then, my household is quite hectic, it only really starts to get to me when they ask me to do chores mid lessons

I’ll upload the mark scheme now- she has highlighted things i could have used in my answer
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Legally.brunette
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