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GCSE: Law

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 27
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent does random selection of jury members create bias and would jury selection provide a solution?

    5 star(s)

    This is undoubtedly going to produce biases in the way jurors produce a verdict. R v Ponting (1985)7 proved that when juries were convinced about what justice was meant to look like, they were unlikely to listen to what the judge has ruled and so rule as to what they believe is right. This essay will examine the biases created by random selection and decide whether jury selection would prove to be a better system. One bias created by the random selection of the jury is that of inexperience and incapability, which leads to biased verdicts.

    • Length: 1312 words
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Automatism is generally considered to be a state in which a person has no control over his or her actions.

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    This approach was recently followed by the Court of Appeal who insisted that automatism is only available where there is a total loss of voluntary control as suggested in Attorney-General's Reference (No 2 of 1992) where D had been put into a trance-like state by the repetitive vision of the long flat road which reduced, but did not eliminate, awareness of what he was doing. This follows the quote above, as there is no suggestion of a knowledge of the defendant's acts.

    • Length: 2237 words
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Magistrates - Explain the role that magistrates play in the criminal justice system

    5 star(s)

    All summary cases are heard by magistrates. A triable either way case can be heard in a magistrate's court or in the crown court if the offence is deemed too serious. A magistrate will conduct what is known as mode of trial hearings for either way cases, which is where they decide whether the case will be heard by magistrates or by judge and jury. If the offence is considered serious enough to require a harsher sentence than 6 months prison/£5000 fine, then it will be heard in the crown court.

    • Length: 1305 words
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Law of Evidence - R v Kearley

    5 star(s)

    This was backed up by Lords Bridge and Oliver. It should be noted though that Lord Bridge first considered that the evidence was inadmissible as hearsay, failing which it was irrelevant. Lord Oliver stated 3 that it becomes relevant only if the existence of facts can be inferred form it. Furthermore, Lord Oliver considered that the evidence would have been both relevant and admissible if the prosecution sought to adduce evidence from a witness to the effect that the appellant had in the past supplied him with a quantity of drugs.

    • Length: 2706 words
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Stages of a Bill to become an Act of Parliament

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    First Reading This is a formal procedure when the name and main aims of the Bill are read out. The in the House of Commons MPs can vote for this is two different ways - Verbally by shouting 'Aye' or 'No' or formally by each member of the House walking through a special chamber. Second Reading This is the most significant process on the entire Bill in which MPs discuss the main principles behind the Bill.

    • Length: 471 words
  6. Marked by a teacher

    Describe the powers the Police have to stop and search and arrest individuals

    4 star(s)

    If people have difficulty understanding English, or if they are deaf, then the police have to take reasonable steps to ensure that they understand their rights. A 'stop' is when a Police officer stops an individual and asks them to account for themselves. That is, if they ask the individual to tell them: what they are doing, why they are in an area, where they are going, or what they are carrying. Due to the Stephen Lawrence Report where the Police were said to be 'institutionally racist', the officer must fill in a form saying why they were stopped and the individual must be given a copy (Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984- PACE, Section 3).

    • Length: 1261 words
  7. Marked by a teacher

    Distinguish Criminal law from Civil law in the English Legal System. Outline the jurisdiction and composition of the courts of trial dealing with these two different types of cases.

    4 star(s)

    Criminal and civil cases are dealt with in different courts of trial. There are two courts for criminal cases, the magistrate's court and the crown court. In a magistrates court lay magistrates hear most cases normally in groups of three. Lay magistrates are part time, unpaid and do not need a legal qualification, however they are assisted by a legally qualified clerk who may advise if requested. Some, but very few cases may be heard by District |Judges. District judges are legally qualified, full time and paid, they sit alone and hear the longer and more difficult cases.

    • Length: 1692 words
  8. Marked by a teacher

    Law - Resulting trusts

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    He continued saying that 'It is important to stress that this is only a presumption, which presumption is easy easily rebutted either by the counter presumption of advancement or by direct evidence of A's intention to make an outright transfer.' This approach means that a resulting trust will only be recognised where the transferor of property can be considered to have intended that the property would be held on trust for him, on the occurrence of certain events3. The intention (of a transferor)

    • Length: 8003 words
  9. Marked by a teacher

    Police powers

    4 star(s)

    Section 24 of PACE allows the police to arrest someone if they are in the act of committing, or have committed, an arrestable offence or if they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that person to be committing, or have committed, an arrestable offence. Besides the private citizen having some of these rights of arrest as well, the police have an additional power to arrest someone who is about to, or is suspected of being about to, commit an arrestable offence.

    • Length: 3561 words
  10. Marked by a teacher

    "Within the present system of precedent in the English legal system, judges have very little discretion in their decision making."

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    Till today, the reasons for its use are still valid in most cases, thus, the doctrine is regarded as a general rule in the UK. An example of the doctrine of binding precedent can be seen in the case of Shaw v. DPP which relates to conspiracy to corrupt public morals, where the decision was followed by Knuller v. DPP. Although the doctrine of stare decisis seems quite similar to res judicata, which also means 'to stand by past decisions', there is a slight variation.

    • Length: 2283 words
  11. Marked by a teacher

    "What are the advantages and disadvantages of electing for a Summary trial as opposed to trail by jury?"

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    As the magistrates court represents the local community then if the defendant has been accused of committing a crime in his or her local area then the trial would be held in the local magistrate's court and this could lead to embarrassment for the defendant and the defendant being segregated form the local community. Where as if the trial was held at the crown court it would be further from home and the defendant would be less likely that the defendant would be in the public eye.

    • Length: 658 words
  12. Marked by a teacher

    In order to decide whether or not trial by jury should or should not be abolished, we need to know what it is that we are dealing with and what viable alternative or alternatives there are to it.

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    The Summary Jurisdiction Act 1879 listed for the first time those offences triable in the Magistrates courts. The act also set out for the first time a general right to claim trial by jury when the maximum sentence for an offence exceeded three months imprisonment. (From the above we can see that it is not just modern governments that have been interested in reform of the jury system) Over the course of time the list of summary offences has grown and a new tier of offence, offences triable either way was created.

    • Length: 3457 words
  13. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss the essential differences between Civil and Criminal Law particularly in relation to their aims and objectives.

    4 star(s)

    Both Civil and criminal law has main aims however they differ quite substantially. Criminal law can be seen as a set of rules and regulations which, if broken, will result in a punishment of either loss or liberty or a fine. In a Criminal case an offender is found guilty of a criminal offence, and he/she may be sentenced by the judge. In a Civil case there is no guilty party. The aim of Civil law is not to punish a wrongdoer but to compensate the victim who has suffered by the actions of another person doing wrong.

    • Length: 968 words
  14. Marked by a teacher

    The three main rules of statutory interpretation are the literal rule, the golden rule and the mischief rule.

    3 star(s)

    Some judges have their own favorite rule and the different outcomes may result from the use of different rules. One judge may use a particular rule of interpretation and another judge may use another rule, even for the same case. The three main rules of statutory interpretation are the literal rule, the golden rule and the mischief rule. The literal rule means the courts will give words their plain, ordinary or literal meaning even if the result is not very sensible and does not appear to be the on which parliament intended when making the law. This is the oldest of the rules and it is still popular today.

    • Length: 1338 words
  15. Marked by a teacher

    In relation to the offence of murder discuss the suggestion that the law is in urgent need of reform

    3 star(s)

    1996 as the time frame was no longer relevant. There is also no distinction for mercy killing especially of those in a vegetative state. The definition of a "person" is open to interpretation, as a foetus is not considered a "person", so if death is caused before the child has an existence independent of its mother, there can be no murder. However under the House of Lords' decision in Attorney General's reference No.3of 1994 (1998) ac245 (no3 of 1994) (1998)AC 245 HL it states "if a baby is born and later dies because of an attack on its mother by the defendant whilst in the womb" with the intention to cause GBH then this would be enough to form an intent to murder.

    • Length: 1200 words
  16. Marked by a teacher

    Part-time judges in the Magistrates Court.

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    Approximately, 500 new magistrates are appointed each year. People in the community who want to become lay magistrates can also reply to advertisements or otherwise be selected after a recommendation because of their contribution to the local community. Local selection committees consider the gender, ethnic origin, occupation and political view of local magistrates; one of their aims is to keep a balance of different people on the bench. Magistrates do decide the guilt of innocence of the defendant, but in addition, they also decide the sentence. This in effect gives them more powers than a professional judge.

    • Length: 1727 words
  17. Marked by a teacher

    The doctrine of precedent is based on the need for certainty in the law

    3 star(s)

    A precedent may be distinguished on a point of law; by arguing that the legal question answered by the precedent is not the same as that asked in the instant case. Courts may distinguish a precedent by stating that the precedent has been superseded by more recent decisions, and is therefore outdated. Courts may give the precedent a very narrow ratio decidendi or argue that the precedent has no clear ratio decidendi, for example because the ratio of one judge in a case is different from others in the same case.

    • Length: 756 words
  18. Marked by a teacher

    THE EFFECTIVENESS OF NATIVE TITLE

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    The decision of the Mabo case in 1992 resulted in the adoption of the Australian Native Title, which recognises the traditional connection aboriginals have with the land and gives them the right to a say in the development and use of certain sites. There was a great lead up to the establishment of the native title, which began when the Europeans invaded Australia, claiming the land their own through the European law claiming vacant land. Although aboriginals occupied Australia the Europeans claimed the land terra nulius because the people who were there, were considered unhuman and therefore were not actually occupying or living on the land.

    • Length: 761 words
  19. Marked by a teacher

    Explain the role and effectiveness of the law commission

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    The advantages of this law commission is that it is a full time body which shows that it is always in operation, it is the main law reform body, they have support staff to assist in research, they have a rotating chair person which shows that they have fresh ideas and brains and they have a clear role (S.3 of the act). The topics that the law commission have to consider are referred to by the Lord Chancellor on behalf of the government.

    • Length: 884 words
  20. Marked by a teacher

    Explain the theory of natural law

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    The most famous advocate of the Natural Law ethic was the Christian theologian St Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas developed Aristotle's ideas and argued that the natural purpose of the world is found in God. Humans are free and are capable of choosing to follow the 'natural law' of God, which is understood through reason. He believed the human purpose was, 'to reproduce, to learn, to live harmoniously in society and to worship God'. In this way, Natural law describes not only how things are but also how things ought to be.

    • Length: 856 words
  21. Marked by a teacher

    There are many influences operating on parliament before and during the legislative process. Explain and evaluate any three of these influences, giving examples of how parliament has been persuaded to introduce legislation.

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    The other four commissioners are solicitors, barristers or teachers of law. Each of them is appointed by the Lord Chancellor for a term of five years and may serve two terms. The law commission is an advisory body which makes proposals for law reform but they also work on consolidation of statutes and statute law revision. The law commission may select a range of projects after consulting with bodies such as the bar, the law society and academic lawyers and then produce a programme of projects. A new programme is produced every four to five years.

    • Length: 983 words
  22. Marked by a teacher

    What is judicial precedent?

    3 star(s)

    There are two main principles that are involved in judicial precedent, there are ratio decidendi and the obiter dictum. Ratio decidendi is a principle of law on which the court reaches its decision. The ratio decidendi of a case may be understood as the statement of the law applied in deciding the legal problem raised by the concrete facts of the case. The ratio of a case is binding on lower courts but may not be cited as persuasive authority in later cases.

    • Length: 644 words
  23. Marked by a teacher

    The Police and Criminal Evidence Acts 1984-provides an effective balance between the powers of the police and safe guards provided for suspects.

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    It is essential that if the police are to be given wide-ranging powers to interfere with personal liberty and private property, they should have to exercise these powers under strict controls so that the interference goes no further than the minimum required to satisfy the competing public interest. The individual's personal rights regarding their property and personal freedom must be respected though. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE 1984) There was a great deal of criticism of the government's legislative proposals.

    • Length: 2810 words
  24. Marked by a teacher

    Judicial precedent.

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    in the 20th century it had regarded itself as bound by its own decisions until the 1966 practice statement which allows them to depart from their previous decisions when it appears right to do so. The practice Statement did not alter the fundamental House of Lords precedent but allowed the House of Lords more flexibility in changing its mind. The House of Lords has emphasised the need for certainty, and the power to depart from their previous decisions has been used sparingly.

    • Length: 1542 words
  25. Marked by a teacher

    The aim of this study is to outline the difficulties confronting the court when fitness to plead and insanity defence are contested.

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    have been committed. Prior to the trial (Pre-trial phase), fitness to plead is usually contested. It is not unusual for a person appearing before the court to be unfit to plead. The jury, by resorting to the trial of facts, determines whether the accused committed the act or not. With regards to the Soham Killings, Huntley's "fitness to plead" was questioned.

    • Length: 333 words
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Law affects you on a daily basis although you might not realise it; from the quality of goods you are sold in shops to the relationship you have with your mobile phone provider! GCSE Law gives you an excellent grounding and insight into the Law of the United Kingdom and involves the study of the legal system, how it has developed over time and the roles and responsibilities of those who work within it. It also includes investigating the law in action such as criminal law, contract law, consumer law and human rights. You’ll develop a wide knowledge of the law in its many forms and you’ll pick up valuable skills of interpretation and analysis. Once you’ve built this knowledge you’ll be asked to begin applying it to other contexts and situations. Assessment is examination based at the end of the course and you’ll need to be able to express yourself very well in order to concisely apply what you have learnt. Marked by Teachers has over 400 Law GCSE essays which you can access and learn the successful techniques that examiners will be looking out for.
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Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • In relation to the offence of murder discuss the suggestion that the law is in urgent need of reform

    "In conclusion, it would seem that there is not an urgent need of reform even though there are possible faults at present with ambiguity. Also the uncertainty of intent and that there is no discrimination between these intentions do require clarification and perhaps considered as manslaughter. The law in relation to murder has worked for hundreds of years and as with all law has constantly been adapted."

  • Discuss how successful the courts have been in defining intention.

    "In conclusion, the explanation of foresight of consequences in Nedrick, where appropriate, are relevant to all offences and not just murder. The Criminal Law now states that a consequence is intended when it is the purpose of the accused. A court or jury may also infer that a consequence is intended, though it is not desired, when the consequence is a virtually certain result of the act and when the accused knows that it is a virtually certain consequence. This area of law has proved to be confusing to both juries and judges due to the uncertainty of precedent. As the law stands today it appears to have reached a decision of virtually certain but as before is not certain to remain."

  • Briefly describe the other main forms of Alternative Dispute Resolutions and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of ADR as a form of dispute resolutions.

    "My final conclusion is that I think Alternative Dispute Resolutions are a very good way of solving disputes without court action but I feel they are more successful in certain circumstances. For instance I think that family disputes are better to be solved with Alternative Dispute Resolutions. Family dispute's are better with Alternative Dispute Resolutions as then it means that the family can keep a better relationship and the whole process isn't as hostile. Individual vs Companies I would say is better to be solved in court. This is because in these cases, businesses may have prior legal connections making it unfair for the individual to get a just result."

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