Foundations of Criminal Law
Katharine Grevling, in her article “Damaging property” Crim. L.R. 2020(6) 497-512, discusses, with reference to the Australian High Court ruling in Grajewsi v DPP (NSW), whether rendering property temporarily inoperable is sufficient to constitute criminal damage under the Criminal Damage Act 1971.
Critically analyze the key arguments advanced by Grevling when she examines the court’s review of English law, the finding that any interference with function or usefulness must be occasioned by an alteration to the property’s physical integrity, and why a test of temporary functional derangement is unlikely to be workable.
- Identification of Issues – Students should demonstrate the ability accurately to identify the legal issues discussed in the article(s).
- Explanation of the Law – Students should demonstrate the ability to accurately explain the law being discussed in the article(s), referring to relevant legal authority including case-law, to support their explanation.
- Identification of the key aspects of the analysis of the cases and of the main arguments put forward in the article – Students should demonstrate the ability to identify the key points the author makes in their analysis of the issues and identify and explain the most important cases discussed in the article
- Evaluation of the arguments/criticisms advanced in the article – Students should discuss how persuasively the author’s criticisms of the current definition of the word “appropriation” and “dishonesty” for the purposes of the current law and its application to theft.
We will be assessing you in the following areas:
- Structure – Make sure your structure is clear, logical and easy to follow.
- Clarity and appropriateness of expression – This is an essential part of developing your writing skills whilst at university. This article evaluation is an academic piece of writing and so should not be written in a journalistic or “chatty” style but in standard English; avoiding slang and abbreviations such as “they’d” and “wouldn’t”. However, this does not mean that you have to write long, complex sentences or use complex vocabulary for the sake of it. Clarity and accuracy of expression is what we are looking for, including the accurate use of legal terms. Write in full sentences which are grammatically correct.
Read your work aloud to yourself for sense and fluency.
- Conciseness – Linked to the criteria above, do not feel that you should use long, complicated sentences: shorter, more direct ones are often better. Avoid “waffle” and make sure you stick to the point. Consider carefully the value and relevance of each point that you make and use your word county wisely.
- Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation – Check your work very carefully and do so more than once before submitting it. Computer spell checks do not always spot mistakes, especially is the wrong word is used e.g. there/their. Pay attention to detail. You should be able to eliminate spelling mistakes and careless errors from your work. A series of errors will indicate a lack of attention to detail and will result in a lower mark. First class marks will not be available for work that is not accurately and fluently written.
- Correct use of academic referencing conventions – All legal authorities and other source material should be properly cited using OSCOLA and a bibliography included in the required format. Not only should you reference all the material that you consider, you should also include all the material you have read in the course of your research in your bibliography and this must be divided into primary and secondary sources. All material must be fully reference i.e. text books should be referred to by name, author, publisher and edition; journal articles should be referred to by title, author, journal title and volume number and/or page reference and cases should be referred to by title, year and full case citation for the judgement of the most senior court that has given judgement in the case.