Literacy In Legal Studies by Jennifer Kompara-Tosio

Report
2014 Conference
Legal Studies Association
LITERACY IN LEGAL STUDIES:
WRITING EVALUATION ESSAYS
JENNIFER KOMPARA-TOSIO,
ST CLARE’S HIGH SCHOOL TAREE
My Purpose Today
Explain
a very small amount about Functional
Grammar
Show some good and not so good samples of student
writing
Raise awareness of how grammar works in the writing
Have a look at some text samples (handouts)
Discuss teaching this aspect of literacy
Play Bingo
HSC Outcomes
A student:
H1. identifies and applies legal concepts and terminology
H2. describes and explains key features of and the relationship between Australian
and international law
H3. analyses the operation of domestic and international legal systems
H4. evaluates the effectiveness of the legal system in addressing issues
H5. explains the role of law in encouraging cooperation and resolving conflict, as
well as initiating and responding to change
H6. assesses the nature of the interrelationship between the legal system and society
H7. evaluates the effectiveness of the law in achieving justice
H8. locates, selects, organises, synthesises and analyses legal information from a
variety of sources including legislation, cases, media, international instruments and
documents
H9. communicates legal information using well-structured and logical arguments
H10. analyses differing perspectives and interpretations of legal information and
issues.
Design of Examination Questions
All questions in the focus areas of the paper in Legal Studies are
worth 25 marks and allow 45 minutes of writing time to create:
“well-structured and logical arguments ”

Arguments evaluate
 The
questions are all pitched at the better student and, in line
with Blooms Taxonomy, require an answer which evaluates
the Legal System
 Common
verbs in highest levels of Blooms Taxonomy include
Argue Assess Defend Judge Evaluate

The favourites in the HSC are Assess, Evaluate, Discuss or To
what extent with the term effectiveness frequently included
Exam questions: Evaluation in the HSC
Assess whether changes to family law are an improvement on previous
law.
How effective is the law in responding to problems in family relationships?
To what extent has the law protected the rights of Indigenous peoples to
natural resources?
Assess how compliance and non-compliance affect the achievement of
world order.
Compare the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures in protecting
the rights of those seeking shelter.
Discuss whether the courts deliver justice for families.
Functional Grammar
 Ideational:
information in a text, supplied
by nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs
 Interpersonal:
and attitude
 Textual:
communicates feelings
structures the text for meaning
Interpersonal
Attitude
 Explicit/Implicit
– Inscribed or invoked in the text
 Positive/Negative,
Great or Small
Graduation
 How
the writer reduces or intensifies the attitude expressed
Engagement
 How
the writer interacts with the reader by introducing other
voices into the text.
 The
greater or more powerful the number of voices, the
greater the authority of the text and the more persuasive
Evaluation in SFL
“how
writers/speakers approve and
disapprove, enthuse and abhor, applaud
and criticise and with how they position their
readers and listeners”
(Martin & White, 2007: 1)
TABLE 2.1
Low Intensification Medium
Intensification
Nearly (effective) Moderately
(effective)
A bit (effective)
Slightly (effective) Rather (effective)
Reasonably
Just (effective)
(effective)
Somewhat
Relatively
(effective)
(effective)
Fairly (effective)
Rather (effective)
Quite (effective)
High
Intensification
Very (effective)
Maximisers
Thoroughly
Greatly (effective) (effective)
Absolutely
Extremely
(effective)
(effective)
Completely
(effective)
Perfectly
(effective)
Utterly (effective)
Totally (effective)
TABLE 2.2
Quantification
Little (improvement, change, level of efficacy)
Small (improvement, change, level of efficacy)
Moderate (improvement, change, level of efficacy)
Average (improvement, change, level of efficacy)
Large/high(improvement, change, level of efficacy)
Huge (improvement, change, level of efficacy)
The ozone regime recognises the need to implement a
combination of production, consumption and trade restrictions.
The limited economic significance of ODSs (ozone depleting
substances) enabled regulation to be implemented with relative
ease. This can be compared to the difficulties associated with
carbon emission reduction in a global economy built on
industrial carbon reliance. Although ODS industries were
relatively small and hence easier to regulate, regulation still had
substantial fiscal consequences. It was acknowledged that
restricting production but not consumption would inevitably
incentivise illegal trade in response to consumer demand. The
holistic and comprehensive approach to ODS regulation
circumvented the ‘black market’ and aided in the regime’s
overall success.
The ozone regime recognises the need to implement a
combination of production, consumption and trade
restrictions. The limited economic significance of ODSs (ozone
depleting substances) enabled regulation to be implemented with
relative ease. This can be compared to the difficulties
associated with carbon emission reduction in a global
economy built on industrial carbon reliance. Although ODS
industries were relatively small and hence easier to regulate,
regulation still had substantial fiscal consequences. It was
acknowledged that restricting production but not
consumption would inevitably incentivise illegal trade in
response to consumer demand. The holistic and
comprehensive approach to ODS regulation circumvented
the ‘black market’ and aided in the regime’s overall success.
A good quality response
To what extent are courts the only means of achieving justice within the criminal
justice system?
Powers surrounding evidence and the collection of evidence, especially the use
of technology and DNA evidence has been problematic in some areas which
have the potential to lead to unjust arrest and wrongful convictions, thus
hindering the ability for the criminal justice system to achieve justice.
Whilst DNA has been helpful in the investigation of current and cold cases, it must
be acknowledged that forensic evidence, in particular DNA, is not an exact
science and may contain flaws, which may mislead juries into wrongful
convictions at a later stage in the criminal trial process.
The ABC 7:30 Report CCSI Effect And Its Ability To Mislead Juries (2012) outlines the
dangers of relying on DNA and forensic evidence in the investigation and
prosecution of a criminal offence. The report further highlights the dangers of
wrongful conviction that occurs through the failure of crimes legislation to be
reformed to require correlating evidence in criminal trials where DNA is used as its
main source of evidence. This danger has been realised in a number of cases
such as the Patrick Warnly Case (2006) and the Gordon Wood Case (2008).
To what extent are courts the only means of achieving justice within the
criminal justice system?
Powers surrounding evidence and the collection of evidence, especially the
use of technology and DNA evidence has been problematic in some areas
which have the potential to lead to unjust arrest and wrongful convictions,
thus hindering the ability for the criminal justice system to achieve justice.
Whilst DNA has been helpful in the investigation of current and cold cases, it
must be acknowledged that forensic evidence, in particular DNA, is not an
exact science and may contain flaws, which may mislead juries into wrongful
convictions at a later stage in the criminal trial process.
The ABC 7:30 Report CCSI Effect And Its Ability To Mislead Juries (2012)
outlines the dangers of relying on DNA and forensic evidence in the
investigation and prosecution of a criminal offence. The report further
highlights the dangers of wrongful conviction that occurs through the failure
of crimes legislation to be reformed to require correlating evidence in
criminal trials where DNA is used as its main source of evidence. This danger
has been realised in a number of cases such as the Patrick Warnly Case
(2006) and the Gordon Wood Case
Powers surrounding evidence and the collection of evidence, especially
the use of technology and DNA evidence has been problematic in some
areas which have the potential to lead to unjust arrest and wrongful
convictions, thus hindering the ability for the criminal justice system to
achieve justice. Whilst DNA has been helpful in the investigation of current
and cold cases, it must be acknowledged that forensic evidence, in
particular DNA, is not an exact science and may contain flaws, which
may mislead juries into wrongful convictions at a later stage in the criminal
trial process. The ABC 7:30 Report CCSI Effect And Its Ability To Mislead
Juries (2012) outlines the dangers of relying on DNA and forensic evidence
in the investigation and prosecution of a criminal offence. The report
further highlights the dangers of wrongful conviction that occurs through
the failure of crimes legislation to be reformed to require correlating
evidence in criminal trials where DNA is used as its main source of
evidence. This danger has been realised in a number of cases such as the
Patrick Warnly Case (2006) and the Gordon Wood Case
Comparison of Papers
There appears to be, overall, not
only a significantly higher density
of appraisal in the better texts but
also the quality of that appraisal is
different in two primary aspects.
The first is the subtlety and the
variety of appraisal resources
utilised in the text.
The second is the balance
between evaluative comment
and factual detail worthy of
evaluative comment.
3 mark response
To what extent are courts the only means of achieving justice within the criminal justice system?
Achieving justice within the criminal justice system in court is only to a certain extent. In court
justice is served and sentencing is pleaded to those who committed a crime and must now do
time.
Courts aren’t the only means of achieving justice, the majority of justice is within the court room
but problems can be dealt with out of the court room and personally. For a court room to grant
justice the judge and the jury observe a case and then come to a decision that will punish the
offender (depending on the case) which then grants justice to the victim. In a court case the
judge and jury achieve justice by observing both sides of the case and what crimes were
committed and make a decision based on the crime. Justice is granted to the victim majority of
the time when the offender gets sentenced or is pressed with charges. Justice is achieved when
people who have committed crimes are sentenced/charged and people can feel safer
knowing something has been done. The court achieves justice by making the world a better
place and more safe for citizens. When crimes are committed e.g. speeding, robbery, murder,
manslaughter, abuse and many more the court sentences the offenders to achieve justice to
the rest of the citizens who want to live a safe life and feel safe in their own town.
The jury also bases their decision on justice and what is right and what is wrong. When the jury is
achieving justice in the court room they look at the case and if a law is broken they deliver
justice by coming to an agreement that he/she is guilty.
BOS Scripts 2010 Question 19a No.47 (5 marks)
Changes to family law are an improvement on previous laws, as previous laws state that the male of
the family would be the bread winner for his family and the mother not working, as her job would be to
take care and raise the children. In the case of a divorce, the woman was not entitled to a thing in the
marriage and the husband was. Although due to improvements within family law, it states that the
husband and wife in a divorce situation are both entitled to a fair share of their conjoined assets. If they
are unable to divide the assets evenly and fairly they can take their case to court for the judge to
resolve. With the judge then summing up all assets such as cars, properties, shares, animals, etc. Then
dividing it all equally with usually having to sell all properties and cars and divide the money so they
both get their fair share of entitlements.
Family law changes have also been improved on previous laws in the category of which parent is to be
the stay at home parent with the children while the other parent works. As previous laws state that
women are entitled to maternity leave with their job being secure for their return, they just lost their job,
leading most women to not return to working at all. The improved family law states that women are
entitled to maternity leave with their job still being available for them to return to.
Family law also states that fathers are entitled to paternity leave of two weeks once the baby is born
and also long term, if the father is the stay at home parent within the relationship. This being a great
improvement. as it allows couples to be able to choose the best option for their particular family. For
example, the wife may have a higher paying job which results in the family being more financially
stable if the mother returns to work and the father is the primary carer.
Changes to family law are definitely an improvement on previous law as current family law allows each
individual family to have all their financial needs met through their choices. As well as fair dividing of
goods due to divorce.
5 mark response
 No
engagement
 Not
a lot of attitude and very repetitive
 Improvement,
improvements, improved,
improved family law, a great
improvement, definitely an improvement
 One
example of graduation
5 mark response
However this act did not help the non-nuclear families
but rather enforced traditionalism upon the definitions
of marriage, completely out ruling the chance of samesex marriage.
 Counter
- did not help … but
 Invoked
attitude… sentence infused with righteous
indignation created by the juxtaposition of enforced
(compulsory)and traditionalism (clearly not good if it
has to be forced)
 Uses
loaded lexis… enforced, chance
5 mark response
…..family law is simply wrong and unjust.
 Graduation
 Modality
 Repetition
 Extreme
 Lacks
view
any subtlety of interpretation
15 mark response
The Family Law Amendment (shared Parental Responsibility) Act put
in place new measures relating to the child. The notion of ‘in the best
interests of the child’ became paramount and the presumption of
50:50 access between parents in non-violent situations was put in
place. Fathers now had greater relationships with their children.
Cases taken to the Family Law Court were made less adversarial as it
was traumatic for children. Where previously there had been
disputes about the child, this legislation made proceedings more
efficient, fair and productive. Children were better protected from
violent fathers and both parents had a equal responsibility to the
child. This had been a major improvement on previous laws.
15 mark paper
 Little
engagement
 higher
A
density of appraisal
great deal of it invoked
 Assumes
an agreeable audience
 No
differing perspectives which need to be
recognised
 Strong
ideological position
25 mark response
QUESTION 19 – Optional Focus Study 2 – Family Sample 2
Evaluate the effectiveness of law reform in achieving justice for family members, and include a description of how the law responds to different
family arrangements.
The notion of marriage, defacto and de jure, is one which is designed to encourage cooperation in the modern law. The old notion of ‘unito
caro’, ‘one person’ being the man, has been overturned by more progressive legal theory, viewing marriage as a constructive partnership in the
modern society. The old values attached to de jure marriage, under “Hyde v Hyde & Woodmansee 1866 are enshrined in the “Family Law Act”, in
that a marriage is designed to be between a man and woman, voluntarily entered into for life, to the exclusion of all others. The notions entailed in
this definition are becoming increasingly challenged, as many alternative family relationships have arisen. The emancipation of women in the past
century witnessed law reform, with the introduction of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)” which established the concept of no fault divorce. Prior to
this the “Matrimonial Causes Act 959 (Cth)” permitted divorce only on 14 grounds based on fault, which was impractical and created animosity in
the family unit. The introduction of the concept of ‘irretrievable breakdown’ is a move away from the law into private morality and affairs, and is
quicker and more ‘resource efficient’ than placing blame on family members. The 37% rise in divorce cases in 1976-77 reveal this law was favoured
by society and demonstrated a family arrangement that had shifted from the religiously focused notion of ‘marriage for life’. In this sense, law
reform has been highly effective in responding to the changing needs of family members.
The increasingly diverse range of family forms existing outside the traditional heterosexual nuclear family model has led to a range of legal issues for
those in alternative family relationships. The law has been effectively reformed so as to redress these issues and achieve justice. The introduction of
the “Property Relationships Act 1984” broadened the definition of de facto relationships to ‘two people living in a close personal relationship’, thus
according homosexual couples with some definite legal status. With respect to same sex couples, a legal issue arose as a result of the case of
“Hope & Brown v HIB Health Fund 1995. In this case, the gay couple were found to be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.
The law was then effectively reformed so as to recognise homosexual couples for insurance purposes. This case highlights ‘protection’ of same sex
couples and ‘equality of access to insurance, thus displaying that justice has been achieved as a result of law reform.
Technological revolution in the past 30 years has perhaps created the greatest challenge to the effectiveness of law reform in achieving justice.
Both technologies have not only challenged morality but also the ethics of artificially manipulating child conception and birth. New technologies
and changing family structures remain a difficult area for law reform, as they grow increasingly complicated and parental responsibility is difficult to
place. The rise of IVF and artificial insemination has created ambiguity regarding the biological parents of a child, as was highlighted in the case
of ND and BM 2003. However, society nonetheless perceives children born from such technologies as equal to children conceived naturally and
the law has effectively been reformed to reflect these values and protect the rights of such children, through the introduction of the “Artificial
Conception Act 1989” which gave children conceived by birth technologies the same status as children conceived naturally, hence achieving
justice. This reflects the ‘protection’ of individual rights and reflects that the law has effectively been reformed to redress the issues experienced by
alternative family arrangements which arise from new technologies.
The notion of marriage, defacto and de jure, is one which is designed to
encourage cooperation in the modern law. The old notion of ‘unito caro’, ‘one
person’ being the man, has been overturned by more progressive legal theory,
viewing marriage as a constructive partnership in the modern society. The old
values attached to de jure marriage, under “Hyde v Hyde & Woodmansee 1866
are enshrined in the “Family Law Act”, in that a marriage is designed to be
between a man and woman, voluntarily entered into for life, to the exclusion of
all others. The notions entailed in this definition are becoming increasingly
challenged, as many alternative family relationships have arisen. The
emancipation of women in the past century witnessed law reform, with the
introduction of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)” which established the concept of
no fault divorce. Prior to this the “Matrimonial Causes Act 1959 (Cth)” permitted
divorce only on 14 grounds based on fault, which was impractical and created
animosity in the family unit. The introduction of the concept of ‘irretrievable
breakdown’ is a move away from the law into private morality and affairs, and is
quicker and more ‘resource efficient’ than placing blame on family members.
The 37% rise in divorce cases in 1976-77 reveal this law was favoured by society
and demonstrated a family arrangement that had shifted from the religiously
focused notion of ‘marriage for life’. In this sense, law reform has been highly
effective in responding to the changing needs of family members.
25 mark response
High density of attitude
More frequent graduation
Frequent engagement with other voices

Judgement woven through the entire text

Implicit and explicit

Graduation used to good effect to intensify
attitude

Authoritative convincing tone

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