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- Nature of Assessment
This is a SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT which counts towards your final mark in the subject. This assessment counts for 50 % of the final mark for the module.
You should refer to the Aims and Learning Outcomes of the course in your course handbook. Please also refer to the Undergraduate Assessment Criteria in your “Studying Law” booklet. You will be assessed against these criteria and your work will be judged according to how far you have met the learning outcomes for this course.
You must write no more than 3000 words. Answers which exceed this word limit will be penalised. Title, subtitles and question numbers are excluded from the word limit. Candidates should not replicate the questions in their answer document.
You are strongly advised to keep a back-up at all times, as extensions cannot be given for computer/printing problems. You must submit an electronic copy of your work via Turnitin by the deadline set out above.
Writing Content and Style
The work must be in 12 point font, in Ariel, or Times New Roman. Candidates should use footnotes to provide citations for any material referred to. OSCOLA formatting MUST be used. TURNITIN will detect plagiarism, including copying from another student, or a PowerPoint, any book or article, or any teaching material. TURNITIN is calibrated to ignore small matches, such as titles of Acts of Parliament, and legitimate material placed in quotation marks. The portfolio document will be given marks out of 100% and will be graded according to the KLS grading criteria. All candidates are expected to realise by now that they will be penalised for using internet crib sources, such as the Law Teacher, Sixth Form Law and similar sites and they will be rewarded for using legitimate sources such as the module textbooks, Westlaw, Lexis and so on.
The ELSM summative personal skills portfolio contains the following items:
- Westlaw and Lexis certificates (10% of the mark for the coursework), already submitted and completed. Candidates should not attempt to submit or resubmit, in any form. All candidates who submitted their certificates on time will be given a grade of 100% for each of those units of assessment.
- The candidate’s answers to some of the questions from TB 1 seminars 3, 6, 7 and 8 as set out below. (All the answers will account for 80% of the Coursework Mark)
- A brief comment (500 words) on what the candidate learned in executing the court report and receiving feedback. This includes anything relevant, such as comments on the type and jurisdiction of the court, anything about the visit, the court users and staff, court procedure and so on, and anything learned from feedback. (10 marks).
2 (a) LL4181/LL5181 ELSM Seminar 3 (10 Marks)
Aims 1.To understand the court structure, the jurisdiction of each court (in outline), the location of the courts, and how they courts are linked together.
Darbyshire, 2014, chapters 6 and 7.
Court structure diagram, from StudySpace and in Darbyshire 2014.
- In the lecture, it was explained that the courts at the bottom of the diagram are the most important. Why?
- In which court are most civil cases heard?The High Court is reserved for exceptional cases. Exceptional in what way?
- Which types of judges sit in the county court? Which type of judge hears most cases? In outline, describe the work of the county courts.
- Briefly describe the routes of appeal in civil cases.
- Bigger question on court management: why are judges and lawyers critical of governments’ management of the civil courts?
- Briefly describe the youth court: composition, powers, location in the court hierarchy and nature of hearings.
- Roughly, what types of criminal cases does a High Court judge hear, in the Crown Court?In the Crown Court, what is the function of the judge and the jury? In which types of case do magistrates sit, when they serve in the Crown Court?
- Read part 5 of ch. 6 of Darbyshire, on the UKSC. Explain why the UKSC was created, to replace the House of Lords Appellate Committee (law lords).
- Briefly describe the work of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the EU. (See Darbyshire 2014 and their websites.)
- Visit the UKSC website or Blog and be prepared to discuss one interesting fact that you learned from them.
2(b) LL4181/LL5181/ ELSM Seminar 6, precedent and case analysis, (30 Marks)
The aim of this seminar exercise is to ensure that all law and business with law students understand the system of precedent and can demonstrate the skills necessary to analyse a well-known case.
Precedent lecture PowerPoint on StudySpace and your lecture notes.
Darbyshire on the English Legal System, ch. 2, section 4, relevant parts on the court hierarchy and the system of precedent, with reference to case law AND
Holland & Webb, chs. 6 and 7.
Practice Statement  1 WLR 1234.
UKSC website – decided cases
Questions on Precedent
- What was the importance of the House of Lords Practice Statement  1 WLR 1234?
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of developing law through the system of precedent, explained in the practice statement?
- In what circumstances may the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) avoid its own binding precedents? Give examples from the case law.
- Name three cases in which the House of Lords/ UK Supreme Court departed from its previous decisions. Briefly explain why it did so.
- What is meant by “persuasive” precedent? Give examples of decisions that may be persuasive on an English Court.
- Is the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), formerly the European Court of Justice, bound by its own decisions?
- Are decisions of the Court of Justice binding on UK courts? Explain.
- Are the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) binding on the UK courts? Explain. (You will be better equipped to answer this question once you have done the exercise below!).
- Find the very famous House of Lords case reported at  3 WLR 767. What is its title? (In the questions below, the case will be referred to as “the research case”).
- Name a key case where the research case was applied.
- What is the most significant legislation cited in the research case and what has happened to that legislation, since 1991?
- Give three full references to 1992 journal articles about the case.
Read the full law report of the case
- Explain the appellate history of the research case.
- What were the exact words of the point of law of public importance certified in this case? Who certified the case, the Court of Appeal or the House of Lords?
- Summarise the most important facts of the research case.
- What is a “ratio decidendi” and what was the ratio decidendi of this case?
- Lord Keith said that the common law was capable of evolving. Explain what he meant. Why and in what way did he think it should “evolve” in this instance?
- Lord Keith thought that the word “unlawful” in the 1976 Act provided no obstacle to his conclusion. Why?
- In her article about this case in the 1992 Criminal Law Review, Marianne Giles criticises this decision. How does she express the advantages and disadvantages of judge-made law and why does she think that judge-made law in cases like this is dangerous? Discuss her article in your group. Do you agree with her or disagree, or do you hold mixed views? Please explain your reasons.
- Find the 1992 Modern Law Review comment on this case and summarise the commentator’s views. Explain whether the commentator expresses similar views to Marianne Giles.
2(c) LL4181/LL5181 ELSM Seminar 7, statutory interpretation (20 Marks)
Darbyshire on the English Legal System, ch. 2, section 2-016 to 2-027 and ch. 4, sections 4-054 to 4-058.
Holland & Webb, chs. 9; 10.5 & 11.4.4.
Further Reading (library)
Stychin & Mulcahy, Legal Methods and Systems, (Sweet & Maxwell) chs. 5 & 6.
Finch & Fafinski, Legal Skills, (OUP) ch. 3.5.
Questions on statutory interpretation
- What do we mean by statutory interpretation and who needs to interpret statutes?
- Why do statutes give rise to problems of interpretation?
- What are the basic principles, “rules”, of statutory interpretation used by judges in domestic courts? Provide examples from case law.
- Give examples of intrinsic, meaning internal, and extrinsic, meaning external, aids to interpretation.
- In what circumstances are judges permitted to refer to parliamentary materials in interpreting statutes? Explain the reasons for the general rule and the reasons for departure from the general rule.
- What has been the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 on statutory interpretation? Give practical examples from case law.
- In 10.5.2, Holland and Webb explain that the European Court of Human Rights (in Strasbourg) allows a “margin of appreciation”. In your own words, what does this mean?
- In 10.5.2, Holland and Webb say that there are three key elements to the interpretive style of the Strasbourg court. What are these three elements and can you explain them briefly?
- In 11.4.4, Holland and Webb describe the principles and techniques of interpretation followed in the “civilian” legal systems of Europe and consequently the Court of Justice of the EU (in Luxembourg). How do they differ from the principles and techniques traditionally used in England and Wales? What impact have European approaches and techniques of interpretation followed by the CJEU had on the domestic courts of England and Wales?
2(d) 4181/LL5181 ELS & LM, TB1, Seminar 8, Civil Procedure (20 Marks)
You need to prepare very thoroughly. You need to be fully informed about the Woolf reforms and the Jackson reforms before your seminar, discuss the questions in the seminar time.
Darbyshire, chapters 9 and 10
Really important: The Jackson Review, as referred to on the PowerPoint. The outcomes are discussed in Darbyshire 2014.
Easy QUICK Questions
- Briefly, what were the problems with civil procedure prior to the Woolf reforms? (See especially Darbyshire ch. 10, part 4).
- What are the main elements of the overriding objective of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and which words were added as a result of the Jackson reforms?
- Briefly, what is a pre-action protocol and why are they important?
- Briefly describe small claims. In what way is the small claims track meant to enhance access to justice?
- From Part 6 and 7 of chapter 10, summarise the successful and unsuccessful outcomes of the Woolf reforms and summarise the remaining problems, except for the costs problem.
- From Part 7 of chapter 10, what “farcical case” prompted the Jackson review of costs and why? Consider the other case examples of disproportionate costs and explain the sequence of legislation in Naomi Campbell’s case discussed here and Darbyshire ch. 4, 4-036, and eventual outcome.
- On the Judiciary website, locate and browse the Review of Civil LitigationCosts: Final Report, by Lord Justice Jackson. It is a pdf document dated 2009 but referred to on the website as 2010. It is also known as the Jackson Review of Costs. (Also on StudySpace). What were the main recommendations of the Jackson Review of Costs?
- Summarise the government responses and other policy outcomes of the Jackson Review – the media releases will help you and Darbyshire 10-054.
- Some of Jackson’s recommendations have become law, in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012. Identify the relevant sections of the Act and explain which of Jackson’s recommendations they result from. You can find the Act helpfully annotated on Westlaw or Lexis, or unannotated on the Legislation website. Do not be distracted by legal aid or the other irrelevant contents of the Act. We will deal with legal aid later.
- Find commentary articles on the Jackson Review and the Government’s response on civil costs and on the LASPO Act (or Bill) in The Civil Justice Quarterly (Westlaw), The Guardian newspaper, the New Law Journal (Lexis) and Legal Action, The Solicitors Journal and the Law Society’s Gazette. Bring to the seminar references to at least two articles and be prepared to summarise them.
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