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Glasses

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2017 VCE Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
« on: February 18, 2017, 09:24:23 pm »
+6
Hey 2017 Legal Studies students!

So last year I tried to start a thread basically for practicing extended responses (see VCE Legal Studies - Extended Response Mastery Thread) which was admittedly a bit of a bust; so instead of learning my lesson, I'm going to try and get something similar (but a bit different) going again this year in the form of a competition (which will hopefully help you guys master your answer technique and content understanding).

How does it work?
- Every week or so we will have a 'round' where I will create and post a practice exam question.
- You guys will (hopefully/please) post an answer to that round's question (in this thread, and please using a spoiler); following which I will correct and provide feedback for each answer posted.
- After that 'round' one (or more) of the answers posted will be the 'sample answer' for that question, and the posters will be awarded 'points' (see the point system below).

What's the Point System?
- Basically, each poster will receive one point for each mark they're given for their posted answer (complicated, I know).
- The points (or marks) will accumulate each round, and will contribute to each user's place on the 'leaderboard'.
- The user(s) whose answer became the sample answer for that round will also be awarded a bonus point.

Questions and Answers
Round 1 (18 Feb - 3 Mar)
QUESTION: 'Individuals and groups can use a number of methods to influence legislative change, such as demonstrations and petitions.' Briefly explain these two methods and justify which should be used by an individual or group to push for a change in the law. {5 marks}.

ANSWER (USER [Notarobot]): Petitions are electronic or physical written requests for change which collect signatures from those in support of the change to show the level of support. Demonstrations are mass gatherings of people in support of a change issue. Either method has advantages and disadvantages and can be better applied to different circumstances. Demonstrations are a good option when causes are mostly peaceful and have large community support, for example support of gay marriage but a bad option when the cause has little financial support and organisational skills as demonstrations are usually difficult and costly to organise. Petitions are a good option when individuals want to make change as they are easy and free to create on online petition websites such as change.org. However, they are a bad option in cases where an issue has very little support as they are highly unlikely to be brought to parliament without substantial support.

ANSWER (GLASSES): A petition is a formal, written request to the government for a particular law that is considered outdated or unjust to be changed; and in order to have the possibility of influencing law reform, should be tabled in parliament by a member of the lower or upper house. In contrast, a demonstration is a gathering of members of the community, in a public place, to alert the government of a needed change in the law, and to show the participants’ support of said legislative change.
To push for a change in the law, an individual or group should make use of a demonstration, rather than a petition. Demonstrations are advantageous because unlike petitions, which are not ‘visual’, they are extremely attention grabbing and quite often publicised. Similarly, demonstrations (and particularly those with many participants) are likely to gain widespread awareness and support in the community and nationally for a cause - especially with media attention. Accordingly, this wide-scale support is more likely to get the attention of members of parliament, who are responsible for changing the law, meaning that the actual likelihood of law reform increases (especially if members of parliament become actively involved and ‘take on’ the cause). Thus, an individual or group should utilise a demonstration, rather than a petition, to influence law reform.
Round 2 (6 Mar - 20 Mar)
QUESTION: 'The operation of the separation of powers is the same both in theory, and in practice.' Analyse this statement. {6 marks}.

ANSWER (USER [Bentamy]): The operation of separtation of powers is the same both in theory, and in practice to a limited extent.

Separation of powers exists to ensure that no one body has complete legal and political control. The Australian parliament systems separates the legislative function carried out by parliament (law-making), the executive function (administration of laws) carried out by the Governor-General in theory, but the cabinet in practice, and the judicial function carried out by the courts (applying and interpreting the law).

Although the executive and legislative function should be separated in theory, in practice there is an overlap between these two functions in the Australian parliament systems. This is because the cabinet, comprised of the Prime Minister and senior government ministers, undertakes the legislative function as they are part of parliament, and the cabinet also undertakes the executive function, by administering the laws through their departments, in practice. Therefore, there is not a true separation of powers in practice between the executive and legislative.

However, the judiciary is truly separated from the legislative and executive branches both in practice and theory, which ensures cases are handled in an independent and impartial manner, which is not subject to political interference, thereby avoiding corruption. The importance of this separation was demonstrated by the High Court’s decision in the Malaysian Solution case, where they held the Gillard government’s law to be ‘ultra vires’. This shows the importance of the courts providing a check and balance on parliament’s law-making power.

In conclusion, the separation of powers is the same in practice and in theory to a limited extent, as the judiciary is completely independent, however there is still an overlap between the legislative and executive branches.
Round 3 (3 Apr - 5 May)
QUESTION: 'Alfred and John are arguing over the powers of the Courts and the Commonwealth Parliament. Alfred believes that the Commonwealth is always able to override the decisions of the courts through the legislation it enacts. However, John believes this is not always case.' Which person, Alfred or John, is correct? Justify your answer. {4 marks}.
Leaderboard
1. Notarobot: 7 Points
2. Bentamy: 6 Points
3. DoctorTwo: 3 Points
3. Bubbly_bluey: 3 Points
4.
5.

Once again, absolutely everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in (and at any time you'd like - it doesn't matter if you join in later)!!

IMPORTANT: In order to make a post, you will have to click here and make an ATAR Notes account.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 12:38:43 am by Glasses »
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Sine

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Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2017, 09:27:51 pm »
+1
    Hey 2017 Legal Studies students!

    So last year I tried to start a thread basically for practicing extended responses (see VCE Legal Studies - Extended Response Mastery Thread) which was admittedly a bit of a bust; so instead of learning my lesson, I'm going to try and get something similar (but a bit different) going again this year in the form of a competition (which will hopefully help you guys master your answer technique and content understanding).

    How does it work?
    - Every week or so we will have a 'round' where I will create and post a practice exam question.[/li][/list]
    - You guys will (hopefully/please) post an answer to that round's question (in this thread, and please using a spoiler); following which I will correct and provide feedback for each answer posted.[/li][/list]
    - After that 'round' one (or more) of the answers posted will be the 'sample answer' for that question, and the posters will be awarded 'points' (see the point system below).

    What's the Point System?
    - Basically, each poster will receive one point for each mark they're given for their posted answer (complicated, I know).[/li][/list]
    - The points (or marks) will accumulate each round, and will contribute to each user's place on the 'leaderboard'.[/li][/list]
    - The user(s) whose answer became the sample answer for that round will also be awarded a bonus point.[/li][/list]

    Questions and Answers
    Round 1 (18 Feb - 25 Feb)
    QUESTION: 'Individuals and groups can use a number of methods to influence legislative change, such as demonstrations and petitions.' Briefly explain these two methods and justify which should be used by an individual or group to push for a change in the law. {5 marks}.
    ANSWER:
    Leaderboard
    1.
    2.
    3.
    4.
    5.
    Etc.

    Once again, absolutely everyone is welcome and encouraged to join in (and at any time you'd like)!!
    What a great idea!  :)

    Hopefully the legal studies students show themselves

    Glasses

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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #2 on: February 18, 2017, 09:29:46 pm »
    +4
    Round 1 (Feb 18 - Mar 3)
    QUESTION: 'Individuals and groups can use a number of methods to influence legislative change, such as demonstrations and petitions.' Briefly explain these two methods and justify which should be used by an individual or group to push for a change in the law. {5 marks}.
    « Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 11:16:10 pm by Glasses »
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    DoctorTwo

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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #3 on: February 22, 2017, 09:41:07 pm »
    +8
    QUESTION: 'Individuals and groups can use a number of methods to influence legislative change, such as demonstrations and petitions.' Briefly explain these two methods and justify which should be used by an individual or group to push for a change in the law. {5 marks}.

    Spoiler
    Firstly, I'm obviously pretty new around here and I am only doing unit 1, so I won't know the intricacies and detail, but I'll try my best.

    ANSWER: Demonstrations are when people or a person decide to protest an issue, usually a political issue, and in disruption of other services in order to express their view. A petition is a formal document which aims to cause change by gathering the signatures of the people that agree that this change is in need. Petitions are generally better at causing change than demonstrations, as petitions, provided they have enough signatures, make their way straight to parliament, with most receiving a response by a minister. While demonstrations can cause media buzz and tension, they usually bring about little or no change in the law.

    Glasses

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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #4 on: February 26, 2017, 08:29:31 pm »
    +4
    QUESTION: 'Individuals and groups can use a number of methods to influence legislative change, such as demonstrations and petitions.' Briefly explain these two methods and justify which should be used by an individual or group to push for a change in the law. {5 marks}.

    Spoiler
    Firstly, I'm obviously pretty new around here and I am only doing unit 1, so I won't know the intricacies and detail, but I'll try my best.

    ANSWER: Demonstrations are when people or a person decide to protest an issue, usually a political issue, and in disruption of other services in order to express their view. A petition is a formal document which aims to cause change by gathering the signatures of the people that agree that this change is in need. Petitions are generally better at causing change than demonstrations, as petitions, provided they have enough signatures, make their way straight to parliament, with most receiving a response by a minister. While demonstrations can cause media buzz and tension, they usually bring about little or no change in the law.

    Firstly, thanks very much for getting involved DoctorTwo!! Secondly, I'd like to say that your answer is great, especially considering you're yet to complete 3/4 Legal and cover methods of influencing legislative change and their effectiveness!

    Here's just a bit of feedback (but keep in mind that I'm giving this as if it was submitted by someone completing 3/4 Legal, so obviously you're not expected to know all of this yet  ;D ):
    - One could argue that demonstrations don't always cause disruptions, so just be careful with that point.
    - It is crucial that demonstrations and petitions be related back to influencing legislative change, so for petitions, the phrase "tabled in Parliament" is essential in your answer, and for demonstrations, I'd recommend saying something like "... in order to pressure Parliament, the supreme law-making body, to change the law..."
    - Saying that demonstrations usually bring about little or no change in the law is quite definitive, so just be careful with your wording.
    - It might be worth having one more advantage of petitions (e.g. widespread community support can be shown through the use of e-petitions, which enable individuals and groups from many different geographical areas to express their support) and/or one more disadvantage of demonstrations (e.g. demonstrations can be counterproductive if they disrupt or annoy people).
    - Your point regarding petitions making their way straight to Parliament is excellent (although just be mindful of saying "provided they have enough signatures", because technically a petition only needs one signature [although one signature would make it pretty useless haha]).

    Again, great job and thanks very much for your involvement!! I'd probably say 3/5 for this question :)

    I'm also going to extend the date of this round so any lurkers, feel free to get involved!!!!
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    Notarobot

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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #5 on: February 26, 2017, 09:16:50 pm »
    +2
    QUESTION: 'Individuals and groups can use a number of methods to influence legislative change, such as demonstrations and petitions.' Briefly explain these two methods and justify which should be used by an individual or group to push for a change in the law. {5 marks}.

    I will have a go at answering the question. I'm sure it can be improved. Thank you for the feedback.

    Spoiler
    Petitions are electronic or physical written requests for change which collect signatures from those in support of the change to show the level of support. Demonstrations are mass gatherings of people in support of a change issue. Either method has advantages and disadvantages and can be better applied to different circumstances. Demonstrations are a good option when causes are mostly peaceful and have large community support, for example support of gay marriage but a bad option when the cause has little financial support and organisational skills as demonstrations are usually difficult and costly to organise. Petitions are a good option when individuals want to make change as they are easy and free to create on online petition websites such as change.org. However, they are a bad option in cases where an issue has very little support as they are highly unlikely to be brought to parliament without substantial support.

    « Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 09:24:00 pm by Notarobot »
    2017: English, Psychology, Legal Studies, Further Maths, Global Politics.
    2016: Business Management

    DoctorTwo

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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #6 on: February 26, 2017, 09:30:57 pm »
    +3
    Firstly, thanks very much for getting involved DoctorTwo!! Secondly, I'd like to say that your answer is great, especially considering you're yet to complete 3/4 Legal and cover methods of influencing legislative change and their effectiveness!

    Here's just a bit of feedback (but keep in mind that I'm giving this as if it was submitted by someone completing 3/4 Legal, so obviously you're not expected to know all of this yet  ;D ):
    - One could argue that demonstrations don't always cause disruptions, so just be careful with that point.
    - It is crucial that demonstrations and petitions be related back to influencing legislative change, so for petitions, the phrase "tabled in Parliament" is essential in your answer, and for demonstrations, I'd recommend saying something like "... in order to pressure Parliament, the supreme law-making body, to change the law..."
    - Saying that demonstrations usually bring about little or no change in the law is quite definitive, so just be careful with your wording.
    - It might be worth having one more advantage of petitions (e.g. widespread community support can be shown through the use of e-petitions, which enable individuals and groups from many different geographical areas to express their support) and/or one more disadvantage of demonstrations (e.g. demonstrations can be counterproductive if they disrupt or annoy people).
    - Your point regarding petitions making their way straight to Parliament is excellent (although just be mindful of saying "provided they have enough signatures", because technically a petition only needs one signature [although one signature would make it pretty useless haha]).

    Again, great job and thanks very much for your involvement!! I'd probably say 3/5 for this question :)

    I'm also going to extend the date of this round so any lurkers, feel free to get involved!!!!

    Thank you! I was a little scared of getting involved, but now I'm more confident. :)

    Glasses

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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #7 on: February 27, 2017, 11:17:56 pm »
    +3
    QUESTION: 'Individuals and groups can use a number of methods to influence legislative change, such as demonstrations and petitions.' Briefly explain these two methods and justify which should be used by an individual or group to push for a change in the law. {5 marks}.

    I will have a go at answering the question. I'm sure it can be improved. Thank you for the feedback.

    Spoiler
    Petitions are electronic or physical written requests for change which collect signatures from those in support of the change to show the level of support. Demonstrations are mass gatherings of people in support of a change issue. Either method has advantages and disadvantages and can be better applied to different circumstances. Demonstrations are a good option when causes are mostly peaceful and have large community support, for example support of gay marriage but a bad option when the cause has little financial support and organisational skills as demonstrations are usually difficult and costly to organise. Petitions are a good option when individuals want to make change as they are easy and free to create on online petition websites such as change.org. However, they are a bad option in cases where an issue has very little support as they are highly unlikely to be brought to parliament without substantial support.

    Hey there! Thanks very much for getting involved!
    Here's some feedback :)
    - Your explanations of petitions and demonstrations are great! However, just remember to incorporate the phrase "tabled in Parliament" when talking about petitions.
    - Your understanding of the content (and the strengths/weaknesses of these methods) is clearly quite good, so again, great job!
    - My primary concern, however, is that your answer didn't exactly correspond to what was asked by the task word of this question. When I say this, I mean that your answer would fit a 'discuss'-type question, where you'd be required to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each method; however since this is a 'justify' question, your answer should address the question a bit differently. That is, you should come to a conclusion as to which method is superior, with a focus on the strengths of said method, and possibly the weaknesses of the other which make one method the 'better' of the to. You could possibly argue that one is better in circumstance a, whilst the other is better in circumstance b - but this would require a more in-depth and time consuming answer, and would probably be more 'risky', given the wording of this particular question and the fact that it purely states "justify which should be used by an individual or group to push for a change in the law."

    Therefore, I'm going to say 3/5.
    All in all, you should be very happy with your content understanding, but perhaps revise the task words used in Legal :)
    « Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 07:49:24 pm by Glasses »
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    Notarobot

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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #8 on: February 28, 2017, 07:34:48 pm »
    +1
    Thanks a lot for the comments. I see what you mean about the importance of the task word 'justify'. I hope that more people will join in so that we can learn from each other.
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    Joseph41

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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #9 on: March 01, 2017, 07:16:34 pm »
    0
    Thanks a lot for the comments. I see what you mean about the importance of the task word 'justify'. I hope that more people will join in so that we can learn from each other.

    Absolutely! This is such a fantastic opportunity and resource.

    I tell you what: I'd be getting involved if I were in Year 12!
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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #10 on: March 01, 2017, 07:21:18 pm »
    +1
    I wouldn't mind a similar thread for HSC legal studies!
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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #11 on: March 01, 2017, 09:39:53 pm »
    +1

    I wouldn't mind a similar thread for HSC legal studies!

    We'll definitely look at doing one of these! Perhaps in the lead up to Trials or something like that!

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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #12 on: March 03, 2017, 06:01:30 pm »
    +1
    LAST DAY TO POST FOR ROUND 1!

    If you're looking at this and am feeling hesitant about participating, please push through your hesitation and have a go!! Everyone's welcome!

    At midnight I'll select a sample answer and will also post a sample that I wrote myself :)
    « Last Edit: March 03, 2017, 07:50:29 pm by Glasses »
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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #13 on: March 03, 2017, 07:04:15 pm »
    +3
     'Individuals and groups can use a number of methods to influence legislative change, such as demonstrations and petitions.' Briefly explain these two methods and justify which should be used by an individual or group to push for a change in the law.

    All individuals are given voice to influence legislative change. This can be done by actively involving themselves to express their political beliefs through petitions. This requires an individual who agrees for law reform to happen by providing a signature to mark that they support this movement. These petitions  provide a peaceful protest to government to make known of issues arising. However it can only be effective if there are a lot of signatures to show that a majority of people in society are wanting change. A more effective approach to influence law reform is organising public demonstrations. This is prevalent with the law reform of One Punch Laws, where there was public out cry and dozens of protests in wanting to have stricter security around the King Cross area. Demonstrations usually have a large number of supporters and can be peaceful or violent. However they are effective in encouraging governments to recognise the needs of the community and feel pressured to change laws to reflect that.

    Glasses

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    Re: 2017 Legal Studies - Exam Question Competition!
    « Reply #14 on: March 03, 2017, 07:47:09 pm »
    +2
    'Individuals and groups can use a number of methods to influence legislative change, such as demonstrations and petitions.' Briefly explain these two methods and justify which should be used by an individual or group to push for a change in the law.

    All individuals are given voice to influence legislative change. This can be done by actively involving themselves to express their political beliefs through petitions. This requires an individual who agrees for law reform to happen by providing a signature to mark that they support this movement. These petitions  provide a peaceful protest to government to make known of issues arising. However it can only be effective if there are a lot of signatures to show that a majority of people in society are wanting change. A more effective approach to influence law reform is organising public demonstrations. This is prevalent with the law reform of One Punch Laws, where there was public out cry and dozens of protests in wanting to have stricter security around the King Cross area. Demonstrations usually have a large number of supporters and can be peaceful or violent. However they are effective in encouraging governments to recognise the needs of the community and feel pressured to change laws to reflect that.

    Thanks for your contribution!!
    Here is some feedback :) :
    - Your use of an example is fantastic, so well done! Examples are always great for Legal and whilst one wasn't required for this question, they can be very effective in reinforcing the point you're making.
    - Your explanation of a petition is pretty good, however it is essential that you incorporate the phrase "tabled in Parliament" when explaining the possibility of a petition to influence law reform. E.g. - A petition is... which can influence legislative change when it is tabled in Parliament by a member of the House of Representatives or Senate...
    - Similarly, I would recommend the use of the phrase "gathering of people" when explaining demonstrations, just because this gives a better description and 'picture' of what demonstrations are.
    - Perhaps in your justification of why demonstrations are effective, be more descriptive and explain why they can pressure the government. I.e. Because they tend to gain media attention/wider public awareness - resulting in the need for law reform 'spreading.'

    Overall, you've written a pretty good answer; but just take into consideration the above points and try to go a bit more 'in-depth' with your answers - particularly for questions with task words like "justify", "analyse", "discuss" and "evaluate."
    3/5 :)
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