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elysepopplewell

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HSC Legal Studies Question Thread
« on: January 28, 2016, 09:33:23 pm »
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HSC LEGAL STUDIES Q&A THREAD

To go straight to posts from 2018, click here.

What is this thread for?
If you have general questions about the HSC Legal Studies course or how to improve in certain areas, this is the place to ask! 👌


Who can/will answer questions?
Everyone is welcome to contribute; even if you're unsure of yourself, providing different perspectives is incredibly valuable.

Please don't be dissuaded by the fact that you haven't finished Year 12, or didn't score as highly as others, or your advice contradicts something else you've seen on this thread, or whatever; none of this disqualifies you from helping others. And if you're worried you do have some sort of misconception, put it out there and someone else can clarify and modify your understanding! 

There'll be a whole bunch of other high-scoring students with their own wealths of wisdom to share with you. So you may even get multiple answers from different people offering their insights - very cool.


To ask a question or make a post, you will first need an ATAR Notes account. You probably already have one, but if you don't, it takes about four seconds to sign up - and completely free!

OTHER LEGAL STUDIES RESOURCES

Original post.
Hello legal eagles!

I've made this thread as a discussion point for Legal Studies. I have hopes that this will work as an online, public Q&A. If you have a question and type it down below, I get an e-mail to say so and I hop online and do my best to help you out. Better yet? it becomes a community effort. I studied Family Law and World Order as my options so I couldn't go to specific detail in answering a question about consumers, for example. Not to fear, your peers can.

Everyone is welcome to ask questions on this thread, ask for advice or share an update on legislation that you have found.

If you feel more comfortable personal messaging me, definitely do that. However, I encourage you to comment on the forum so that your question is seen by someone with the same question - and you realise that you aren't alone and I don't have to type my response twice ;)

Legal Studies is no easy task. Legal requires a lot of work outside of the classroom. My plan is to take a lot of the leg work out of it for you by posting some awesome resources. In saying that, Jamon has posted some awesome guides already for you to check out:
Legal Studies: Guide to the Course!
Essay Evidence/Arguments: Young Offenders
Essay Evidence/Arguments: International Crime
Essay Evidence/Arguments: Crime (Part 2)
Essay Evidence/Arguments: Crime (Part 1)
How to Get a Band 6 in Legal Studies (by a State Ranker)

Jamon will also see and respond to your personal messages and will be present on this thread at times.
Ask away, legal eagles!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 12:55:40 pm by Joseph41 »
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KarenCho

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2016, 12:15:39 am »
+1
Hey Elyse!  :)

I'm a Year 11 student studying the Preliminary Legal Studies course at the moment and I just wanted to ask - how would you recommend studying to build up a good foundation of knowledge in Year 11 that would help for the HSC? Perhaps something you wish you did earlier on?

Thanks!!
Preliminary Subjects
Advanced English
Extension 1 English
Legal Studies
Business Studies
Modern History
Ancient History
Society and Culture
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elysepopplewell

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2016, 03:11:05 pm »
+6
Hey Karen!

This is a really good question and I've been asked it before, so I'm really glad you've posted it here so that I can respond in a way that lots of people can see.

Basically, the preliminary course is built to give you the foundations of the legal system. Some parts of the syllabus for preliminary exist because without studying it, you would have a gap of knowledge, even if it isn't something you will be tested on in the HSC. Other parts of the syllabus are there because you absolutely need to know certain things for the HSC course.

I've got the syllabus in front of me so I'm going to kind of scroll through and point out parts to you that I would make special note of - perhaps putting your study notes for this in a separate folder, or putting a star at the top of the page, or something to signify that these notes are likely to be used in the HSC.

Basic Legal Concepts: You need to know this all pretty well back to front. The reason being, you need to UNDERSTAND this more than you need to memorise this. Ideas about values, ethics, fairness, equality, rule of law, etc, will be the basis of many of your legal arguments in HSC essays.
Sources of Contemporary Law: I would definitely take serious note of this part. PARTICULARLY the division of powers and the separation of powers. You will be doing yourself an enormous favour by getting your head around it in year 11, because it comes back up in HSC and people are still confused by this concept.
Classification on Law: This part of the syllabus is kind of existing as a "filling the gap in your knowledge" kind of thing, and probably won't be deeply relevant to the HSC course. In saying that, I don't recommend skimming over anything, because legal studies has merit beyond the HSC, and this part of the syllabus is relevant for life.
Law Reform: Definitely pay really good attention to this part. In your notes, build up this section as much as possible. Include as much law reform as you can - and find law reform that really interests you! Law Reform is a key theme/challenge in the HSC syllabus, so give yourself a head start here!

The Individual and the Law Topic: This is a great topic because it brings you into the system, and it is no longer just words on a page. Enjoy this topic.

Law in Practice: I hope you find the topic that you choose to study to be really interesting. Personally, I studied Women and loved it. This is an important part of the syllabus because it gives you the opportunity to step up and say "hey, this is really interesting, legal studies is actually super duper relevant."

Enough syllabus waffle now! About study notes: Give it a good go! Preliminary is here so that you can play around with how you like to study. Find out if making study notes on palm cards works, or if you need to make timelines, or graphic organisers, or simply a word document! Make the notes as detailed as you can with contemporary cases. If you need to cut back on content, but it is committed to your understanding rather than memory, that's cool. Reciting words won't help you in legal, when your competitors are showing a thorough understanding of notions. The best part of the syllabus for doing your own exciting research is in the Law Reform topic.

Basically, Preliminary is a time for you to give it your best shot and find out what works for you. The fact that you are on this website asking questions says to me that you are super keen, and that is the key to succeeding in year 11. You need to go into the course like a sponge and be ready to take in as much as you can.

Deep down, I feel like you could do the legal studies HSC course without having done preliminary. But it would be, really, really, really, really hard. You build so many great legal skills in preliminary that you just wouldn't have the time to develop if you only did the HSC course. Preliminary is a time of trial and error. You'll do great! Let me know if you have any more questions :)
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KarenCho

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2016, 06:11:23 pm »
0
Hey Elyse!!

Thank you so much :)
This really helped and I feel a lot better about approaching this subject despite all the mess of papers that will undoubtedly appear soon. We only just started the course today, so not many questions just yet, but I'm sure there will be questions to come as we get further in so I'll definitely keep this forum page bookmarked. Thanks heaps!
Preliminary Subjects
Advanced English
Extension 1 English
Legal Studies
Business Studies
Modern History
Ancient History
Society and Culture
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"Do something today that your future self will thank you for"

simrankaur

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2016, 03:20:46 am »
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Hi Elyse! I was wondering for your HSC exams did you memorise paragraphs on each dotpoint under sections with case studies, articles and statistics? If not, how did you prepare yourself for the extended response questions?

jamonwindeyer

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2016, 12:20:29 pm »
+3
Hi Elyse! I was wondering for your HSC exams did you memorise paragraphs on each dotpoint under sections with case studies, articles and statistics? If not, how did you prepare yourself for the extended response questions?

Hi simrankaur! I'm sure Elyse will be along to lend her two cents before too long, but I thought I'd share my advice. I highly recommend NOT memorising paragraphs for every possible question for every dot point. It promotes rote learning rather than actually understanding and engaging with the question. However, the fact that you are mentioning case studies, articles and stuff is super awesome! You absolutely should have a massive bank of these.

My advice is to have a list of evidence, organised in to sections, which you can draw on for any question from that section. Rather than knowing the paragraph, you'll know the evidence you can use in the paragraph, which is much more versatile and results in more effective responses. Then, just start practicing! That is the absolute best way to prepare, practice makes perfect after all. And in practicing, you'll then have rough memory of different arguments you can make if you get the same question, bonus!  ;D

So in summary, don't expend energy memorising paragraphs, instead focus on building a really versatile set of cases, laws, reports, law reforms, etc etc, which could be used to respond to absolutely any question, then practice practice practice! If you needed some ideas of laws, cases, and other awesome evidence, I wrote some cool summaries for the Crime topic a little while ago which may be worth a read, I'll link them again here for you, and there will be more content for the Human Rights and Elective topics inbound:

Legal Studies: Guide to the Course!

Thanks heaps for the question, keep them coming everyone! For every person who asks a question, there is another 100 waiting for someone to ask it, we are happy to help!  :D

CatherineN

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2016, 11:37:31 pm »
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Hey Elyse!

It was recommended for me to refer to less biased sources such as the ABC. However, my references may become saturated. Would it be better to just have a wide variety?

Thanks, Cat  :)
:)

elysepopplewell

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2016, 11:43:22 am »
+2
Hey Elyse!

It was recommended for me to refer to less biased sources such as the ABC. However, my references may become saturated. Would it be better to just have a wide variety?

Thanks, Cat  :)

Ha! Your question makes me happy because I was advised similarly. So basically, you may realise when you read certain publications that their have an agenda they are pushing. Exhibit A.
Now, who each publication wants to be prime minister doesn't really affect us as legal students. What we do care about it is finding legal truths. We want to see: Human rights breaches with Offshore Detention, for example. The ABC provides GREAT resources for legal studies. Really good stuff. SBS has some awesome specials too.

For case studies/crime related stuff, you will find each news company will give similar resources. So by all means, use a variety but pick your favourite articles, not your favourite publications for this part.

It only comes to the more political stuff like human rights or world order when the publication that you refer to counts. The Telegraph won't give you the same report as what the Herald does when you're talking about how the government is dealing with terrorism, asylum seekers, wars, etc. You need to pick and choose your sources here. For this part, I find that the Herald provides better information, just like the ABC.

In an exam, you wouldn't be marked down for referencing a certain publication or having all of your media articles come from the one publication. I can safely say I never referenced the Telegraph once but I referenced ABC, SMH and SBS constantly.

So your question is super valuable. For the stuff that is topical in the news, it's all very controversial, you might have to have a good look for some legal truths when you take away all of the propaganda!

For the recent crimes, cases, etc, you should be able to find things unbiased fairly easily :)

Also, don't forget that what you've already begun doing is analysing the media. The media is a non-legal response and you will be asked to talk about this in nearly all of your topics. So this is awesome! Remember, most/every media publication has an agenda of their own.

As a legal student, you're just here to pick the good stuff from the crappy stuff :P
« Last Edit: February 08, 2016, 03:01:37 pm by elysepopplewell »
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CatherineN

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2016, 12:23:51 pm »
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Ha! Your question makes me happy because I was advised similarly. So basically, you may realise when you read certain publications that their have an agenda they are pushing. Exhibit A .

Now, who each publication wants to be prime minister doesn't really affect us as legal students. What we do care about it is finding legal truths. We want to see: Human rights breaches with Offshore Detention, for example. The ABC provides GREAT resources for legal studies. Really good stuff. SBS has some awesome specials too.

For case studies/crime related stuff, you will find each news company will give similar resources. So by all means, use a variety but pick your favourite articles, not your favourite publications for this part.

It only comes to the more political stuff like human rights or world order when the publication that you refer to counts. The Telegraph won't give you the same report as what the Herald does when you're talking about how the government is dealing with terrorism, asylum seekers, wars, etc. You need to pick and choose your sources here. For this part, I find that the Herald provides better information, just like the ABC.

In an exam, you wouldn't be marked down for referencing a certain publication or having all of your media articles come from the one publication. I can safely say I never referenced the Telegraph once but I referenced ABC, SMH and SBS constantly.

So your question is super valuable. For the stuff that is topical in the news, it's all very controversial, you might have to have a good look for some legal truths when you take away all of the propaganda!

For the recent crimes, cases, etc, you should be able to find things unbiased fairly easily :)

Also, don't forget that what you've already begun doing is analysing the media. The media is a non-legal response and you will be asked to talk about this in nearly all of your topics. So this is awesome! Remember, most/every media publication has an agenda of their own.

As a legal student, you're just here to pick the good stuff from the crappy stuff :P

This sure clears a lot up for me. Thank you!!!!!

Cat
:)

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2016, 11:12:26 pm »
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Hi Elyse!

This question might be a bit subjective since the answer would differ for everybody but how long (roughly) do you think summary notes should be? At what point do you think it would become too much?

Thank you!

elysepopplewell

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2016, 09:26:43 am »
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Hi Elyse!

This question might be a bit subjective since the answer would differ for everybody but how long (roughly) do you think summary notes should be? At what point do you think it would become too much?

Thank you!

Hey Celeriac!
You're right - this does differ for everyone.
Personally, my study notes went like this:

First time learning the topic - copious notes, pages and pages of word documents, full to the brim. Everything I was learning was going into these notes. I also included media articles and legislation in there. This kind of became my own version of the textbook.

Coming up to half yearlies - I summarised everything on palm cards in the 2/3 weeks leading up to the exam. Everything for Crime was on there. However I had very concise human rights notes so they just stayed on A4 haha.

Coming up to trials - Past papers on top of past papers. I also wrote out repeatedly everything that I hadn't committed to memory yet, all of the things I struggled with. At this point, my electives were Family Law and World Order, so I made a set of those notes on palm cards too.

Coming up to HSC exams - A4 lined paper, using coloured gel pens, I wrote out absolutely every single thing I needed to know. I took out my original notes and worked out what I did and didn't need, and just wrote out what I needed to know. You don't originally have a good understanding of what you do and don't need because you aren't exposed to the types of questions as much early on. So as you progress, you only then get an understanding of what you do and don't need!

So, I wrote a Crime and Human Rights summary (available in the "shop" tab up the top) that is about 95 pages. This included diagrams though. If you are just doing plain writing, it could be less. And I had everything in there, media, case studies, tips for exams, etc. So I would say if you really condense your work, you could sit on a very comprehensive study at about 50 pages (typed).

However, all of this is irrelevant if you prefer to study from palm cards :)

So, you are so right in saying that it is different for everyone haha! It's also difficult to know what you do need so early on. As you progress in the course, you'll realise what needs to stay and what can go :)
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mikaela.luckman

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2016, 03:49:33 pm »
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Hello! I don't understand why "Environmental Rights" are universal.

Any help would be much appreciated! :)

Thank you x

Jemimared

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2016, 04:26:50 pm »
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Hi Elyse! How does the law encourage cooperation to achieve justice for parties involved in relationship breakdown?

jamonwindeyer

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2016, 11:22:02 pm »
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Hello! I don't understand why "Environmental Rights" are universal.

Any help would be much appreciated! :)

Thank you x

Hi Mikaela! Very good question on a part of the syllabus that is very often not given quite the level of detail it deserves.

Human rights have been recognised periodically, and in this course, we recognise three "waves" of human rights which have been integrated into international law since the inception of the UN in 1945, but have been "around" since the very first document which recognised fundamental rights to every person, the Magna Carta.

So, these three waves are:
  • 1st Generation Rights, the civil and political rights. EG - Right to freedom of religion, etc. These are contained in the ICCPR.
  • 2nd Generation Rights, social and cultural rights. EG - Right to shelter. These are contained in the ICESCR.
  • 3rd Generation Rights, universal rights. EG -Right to a clean environment. These are in the process of being integrated into international treaties to this day.

So, the first two of these rights were recognised in 1948. The third wave is current, recognised quite recently and ongoing. The reason we call them universal is because they are different to the others, in that they apply to societies/groups rather than individuals, and further, that they are steered by the actions of everyone, not just the state. In this way, they are universal.

Environmental rights are big part of these universal rights. It is now the international "consensus", if you will, that a clean environment is a right of the international community. It is considered a universal right, because it is the right of a group, and it is influenced by the actions of every individual, not just states and governments.

I hope this helps! Awesome question  ;D




jamonwindeyer

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Re: 90 in Legal Studies: Ask me anything!
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2016, 11:54:30 pm »
+1
Hi Elyse! How does the law encourage cooperation to achieve justice for parties involved in relationship breakdown?

Hi Jemimared! I'll field this one for Elyse if you like. This is a huge question (more specifically, an essay question!) and I won't be writing an entire essay on it for you here. What I'll do instead is give you a quick breakdown of what sort of things can be discussed.

This question focuses on the "Problems in Family Relationships" part of the syllabus. This encompasses:
  • Divorce, and the associated proceedings involving Children and Property
  • Domestic Violence

and the role of the Courts, Dispute Resolution, NGO's, and the Media, in these matters. Already we can see that this is a huge topic area, though the "cooperation" aspect of the question rules out Domestic Violence for the most part. We want aspects of the legal system that encourage cooperation between the involved parties, so there is a few things we can include.

A big thing to discuss would be the divorce process, which definitely encourages cooperation. Divorce cannot be obtained without proof that the relationship is damaged beyond repair, and in newer marriages, it is compulsory to try counselling. There is also the idea of no fault divorce, that no one is to blame for relationship breakdown. All of this stuff is contained in the Family Law Act 1975.

You can talk about matters relating to Children, how parents are encouraged to create their own custody plans. That both parents remain responsible for the upbringing of the child (that's in the FL (Shared Responsibility) Amendment Act of 2006). This and lots more to discuss here.

Dispute resolution definitely deserves a mention, especially since the most recent amendment to the Family Law Act in 2011, which expanded the process to more effectively deal with Domestic Violence. Mediation, since this amendment, has now been proven extremely effective in repairing relationships (or at least making the divorce process more beneficial to both parties). Besides this, discuss parenting orders, primary dispute resolution methods, and Child Support Reforms.

Hope this breakdown does a little to answer your question! There is literally pages worth of discussion to be had here, but hopefully this summary sets you in the right direction. Was there anything in here you needed a little more detail on? If you narrow the question either Elyse or myself can go into it a little more  ;D