[Authentic] Commercial Law – LAW2447

Commercial Law – LAW2447
IRAC Guide
Legal problem solving becomes much easier when following a structured method. One of the most simple and effective methods is IRAC. The following is a guide to help you use the IRAC method to solve a hypothetical legal problem.
1. Issue(s)
2. Rule(s)
3. Application
4. Conclusion
Facts
Even if you are not required to submit a list of facts in your answer, it is a good idea to write one. This will help you sort through the facts you have been given and determine which facts are relevant and how you are going to use them. The following is a list of questions that may help you do this
• Who is involved? (identify parties specifically by name, if possible) Who suffered?
• How?
• Why? (was it avoidable?)
• What is the known (relevant) information? Is there any missing information?
• Include specific details like dates and monetary figures.
Issues
After identifying the essential facts of the case, you must correctly identify the legal issue. The legal issue is a question that, once it is answered, will help solve the legal problem. To correctly identify the legal issue, you should
Identify the Plaintiff and Defendant
Identify the problem: what has gone wrong and for whom?
Work out what area of law may govern the resolution of the problem. This could include, but is not limited to the following bodies of law.
Tort of Negligence
Contract law (be specific about which part)
Australian Consumer Law (be specific about which section of the Australian Consumer Law)
Sample Formula:
The issue is whether + (1) parties + (2) problem + (3) specific area of law (including case names and/or specific legislation sections) + (4) relevant facts as they relate to the specific law that resolves the dispute.
Good Example: Did (1) Sam (2) violate (3) the Road Traffic Act, 1985, Sec. 18 (RTA) (4) when he was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk?
Bad Example: Did Sam break the law? – Not enough information.
Note: Assessment tasks are set around the work that you have done in class or will do in class. You are not expected to go outside the content of the unit but you are expected to explore it
Rules
Following the identification of the legal issue, you should
Set out the legal rules and principles that will be used to address the legal issue(s)
Source the legal rules and principles from cases and legislation
Only use the legal rules and principles that are necessary to address the legal issues.
Good example:
The rule of law is that it is a violation of the RTA for a person to drive a vehicle on a sidewalk. According to section 18 of the Road Traffic Act, it is a violation of this law for any “person” to “drive” any “vehicle” on any “footpath”;
For purposes of this law, the following words are defined as follows:
a “person” is any human being over the age of 16 years old;
a “vehicle” is any method of mechanical transportation;
to “drive” a vehicle means to control how fast the vehicle goes and the direction the vehicle goes in; and
a “footpath” is any sidewalk or path that is intended primarily for people to walk on, not for vehicles;
Note: Make sure you are specific when stating the relevant legal rules and principles, and always cite the sources of the relevant legal rules and principles.
Application
After identifying the relevant legal rules and principles, you should apply these legal rules and principles to the facts of the case with a view to solve the legal issue. This is the most important part in your answer and normally accounts for more than a half of your marks. In this part, you should
Form your own position as to how the legal issue should be answered. In doing so, you should fully explain and justify your position based on the relevant legal rules and principles that you have identified in the “Rules” part.
Explain clearly why the Plaintiff’s claims are (or are not) reasonable, based on the relevant legal rules and principles that you have identified in the “Rules” part.
There are often several Plaintiffs involved. Take the time to examine each case individually and analyse why their claims are (or are not) valid.
It is acceptable to refer the reader to another point in the paper, rather than rewriting it word for word, if the situation calls for the same legal recommendation.
ALWAYS justify the claims you make! WHY do you think so?
Good example:
Applying section 18 of the Road Traffic Act to the facts of this question, it can be argued that Sam is a person, and he actually drove a vehicle on a footpath.
Indeed, Sam is a person because he is a human being and 22 years old. According to section 18 of the Road Traffic Act, a person is any human being who is over the age of 16.
Similarly, according to section 18 of the Road Traffic Act, a “vehicl…

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