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writing: col
writing: col
writing: col writing law case notes You may be asked to write a case note as

writing law case notes

writing law case notes You may be asked to write a case note as an assessment
writing law case notes You may be asked to write a case note as an assessment
writing law case notes You may be asked to write a case note as an assessment

You may be asked to write a case note as an assessment item. Familiarise yourself thoroughly with the case, and the relevant law.

Structure

1. What was the nature of the case and what was the central legal issue?

State concisely the essential legal issue that arose and was to be decided. Indicate your line of argument: was this a significant decision? Does the decision create legal precedent, or uphold legal precedent? Is it safe/unsafe in legal and public policy terms? The emphasis here is on being concise.

2. What were the facts?

Identify the important, relevant facts of the case and, if appropriate, its background. Significant conflicting evidence should be briefly noted. In this section you are reporting, not judging or evaluating and this is not a long section. Clarify clearly the parties to the case (eg, plaintiff, defendant, contractor).

3. What was the decision?

Briefly outline the decision – what the court held – as well as the court’s reasoning. Indicate whether there was dissenting judgement.

4. What is your analysis of the decision?

This is the most significant section of your case note: this is where you demonstrate your critical analysis and evaluation of the case.

Was the court’s decision appropriate?

Does this decision change/conform with existing law? Was the reasoning consistent with previous reasoning in similar cases? Is it likely that the decision will significantly influence existing law?

Did the court adequately justify its reasoning? Was its interpretation of the law appropriate? Was the reasoning logical/consistent? Did the court consider all/omit some issues and arguments? And, if there was omission, does this weaken the merit of the decision?

What are the policy implications of the decision? Are there alternative approaches which could lead to more appropriate public policy in this area?

5. What do you conclude?

If your finding is that the decision creates legal precedent, or conversely, upholds legal precedent, what does that mean? What are the implications for the legal and public policy contexts in which this decision sits.

ANU CRICOS Provider Number 00120C © 2009 Academic Skills and Learning Centre (ASLC), The Australian National University. This handout may be used and changed for educational purposes, so long as ASLC is appropriately acknowledged.

https://academicskills.anu.edu.au