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CLAW5001 Legal Environment of Business Exam notes

Semester 1 2013

CLAW5001 Legal Environment of Business
The Final Exam:
45% of the marks awarded in this subject

The exam is two (3) hours and open book.

The exam period is actually set at 3 hours and 10 minutes. The extra 10 minutes is reading time.

The exam is an open book exam so you may take any written or printed materials into the exam room except University of Sydney library books. No electronic equipment is permitted - this includes personal computers, electronic dictionaries and mobile phones. Suggestions as to how you use these materials are contained under ‘Technique’.

The exam is divided into 4 equal parts called Questions. Students must answer any three (3) of these questions.

You must answer each question in a separate answer book. Clearly identify the question number on the front cover of the respective answer book.

You can attempt the questions in any order you like. They just need to be in separate examination booklets.

You need to choose which 3 questions to answer.

The exam comprises problem-based questions only.

The best guide to the ‘style’ of the exam questions are those that you have done in class and the mid-semester test.

Format and Composition of Questions

Like the format of the mid-semester test the questions have a singe fact scenario that goes for about ¾ of an A-4 page. Then you are asked to do something like:
Discuss the legal implications for X and Y arising from the above facts.
Support your analysis by reference to relevant cases and legislation.

More than one topic and more than one legal issue may be examined in each question. 

Questions in the exam may raise issues that range across the whole subject.
Accordingly it is important to review the material you have covered with a mind

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CLAW5001 Legal Environment of Business Exam notes

Semester 1 2013

to identifying themes and concepts and their links to and between the topics covered. 

Questions may require you to consider the application of both statute and judge made law.

All topics covered during the semester are examinable but the focus is on the topics not tested in the quiz.

The topic and seminar guide sets out the required reading, the important issues and the cases for each topic. Also included are past examination questions. Please use the topic and seminar guide as you prepare for the exam.

Material in your textbooks but not included in the Topic and Seminar Guide is
NOT examinable.

The following are suggested as resources that are useful to assist in directing your study efforts and reviewing the subject content, concepts and themes:

The Unit Outline, in particular the study aims and learning goals;

The Topic and Seminar Guide questions, answers, and discussions;

The lectures;

The lecture slides; and

The mid-semester test.

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CLAW5001 Legal Environment of Business Exam notes

Semester 1 2013

Exam Technique: Some suggestions

Examination information can be found at: ml

Time management is very important:

Allocate your time according to the marks available for the question. Work out how many minutes per mark and try to stick to that.

It is far easier to get the first 60% of the marks for any question than the last
10%. If you don’t attempt an answer you get zero for that part of the paper.

If you are running out of time using point form to get down the rest of your answer is perfectly acceptable.

As a generalisation dot point presentations do not lend themselves to demonstrating a synthesis of legal knowledge and its application to fact scenarios to reach a justified conclusion.

Open book exams some pointers:

Cases: The lecture slides along with the Topic and Seminar guide points you to the main cases. Use them to guide your study. Don’t try and rote learn case names and their facts. What is important is to understand the principles from the cases and how cases relate to each other.

An open book exam lets you underline/highlight and tag your textbook and other materials so as to permit you to quickly check up on points you feel are relevant to your answer. There is no one right way to do this; the point is that it must work for you. The most useful things you can take into an open book exam are your OWN notes and summaries.

If you find yourself reading bits of the textbook for the first time in the exam, that is a problem.

If you find yourself copying large slabs of the textbook into your answer booklet, that is a problem. The exam is asking you to display your understanding and synthesis of the materials and your critical and analytical skills. This is unlikely to be shown by large bits of the textbook being copied out. Page 3 of 5

CLAW5001 Legal Environment of Business Exam notes

Semester 1 2013

Referencing and citation in the exam should not be a huge stress or issue.
You need to acknowledge your sources to support your assertions, where relevant, and you only need enough of a reference to the source [case, statutory provision or textbook] to let the examiner know what you are referring to.
Case names are sufficient but the more important thing is to get down what principle the case is being used as authority for. For example ‘Amann
Aviation’ is perfectly adequate and writing Commonwealth v Amann Aviation
Pty Ltd (1992) 174 CLR 64 is an unnecessary waste of your time.
Sections of the acts. Remember to cite both the section and the Act. But it is not necessary to cite the provision exactly. For example: s 18 Sale of Goods
Act would be sufficient to indicate that it comes from the Sale of Goods Act
1923 (NSW). Remember to refer to the relevant subsection of a section if that is what you are applying.

Suggested general approaches to question answering
To stress the point again: the exam is asking you to display your understanding and synthesis of the materials along with your critical and analytical skills. Thus you need to keep in mind the following simple points when answering the questions in the exam:
1. Read the question
2. Make sure you understand what the question is asking you to do
3. Understand the fact scenario in the context of the question
4. Identify each of the legal issues that the facts raise
5. Identify the concepts, facts, law, materials and themes that are relevant to answering the legal issues raised in the question
6. Argue a response to each of the issues in the question in your own words using your own analysis

7. Explain the materials you use in your own words using your own analysis Page 4 of 5

CLAW5001 Legal Environment of Business Exam notes

Semester 1 2013

Problem questions
Suggested approach
Relevant law
Apply law to facts to solve issues
Issue identification is most important: NO ISSUE _ NO MARKS
Conclusions are usually ‘shades of grey’ and rarely clear-cut
Better answers argue that there is a ‘better view’
This uncertainty is often because:

The law is uncertain or

Its application to these novel facts is uncertain

(or a combination of both)

Clearly articulate the assumptions you make as to the facts
An answer may be that we need more fact(s) in order to reach a firm conclusion.
This is usually the last resort and students must resist the understandable temptation to assume themselves out of a problem via assuming fresh facts.
As with any problem-based question the points identified and the priority accorded to them are matters of informed judgement. Where a long discussion relates to points of peripheral or secondary relevance to those raised squarely on the facts of the question some marks can be awarded, but not many.
I would suggest the graduation of grading within an issue is:

Identifies there is an issue
Gets to paper the appropriate legal principles
Supports those legal principles with references to cases and statute
Applies law to facts and reaches some sort of conclusion
Gets ‘right’ conclusion
Notes nuances and complicating factors and interplays between statute and common law [if any].

All the very best wishes for success in the final exam
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