Introduction to Legal Systems and Methods –

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Introduction to Legal Systems and Methods
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Find and read the New South Wales case of R v Hamilton [1891] NSW Law Rp 48; (1891) 12 LR (NSW) 111.
The case can be located on austlii.
The purpose of this assignment is to understand the essentials of reading a case for the purposes of its value as a precedent. The case is stated to be a Crown Case Reserved. You do not have to be concerned about this procedural aspect of the case. In effect this means that the case was first heard in the Inverell Court and the accused father was found guilty by a jury. His counsel then asked the judge in that case to state a case for the higher court, in effect an appeal on points of law to a higher court. What the report contains then is the summary of the facts as found at the trial in Inverell and the judgement of the higher court hearing the appeal. Your main focus will be on the judgement of the higher court as this is where any precedents will be set, but the background as explained in the first few pages of the report contain the material facts on which the case was decided.
The accused father was convicted of common assault against his son.
Answer the following questions:
What were the material facts of the case? (4 marks)
There were in effect two arguments raised on behalf of the father in relation to the charge of common assault. What were they? (4 marks)
What did the three judges hearing this case say about what constitutes an assault in relation to pointing a gun at another? Is it relevant that the aim was only to frighten the other person? How relevant were previous cases in their reasoning? What other sources of law were cited? (8 marks)
What did the judges say about the claim that the case was one of parental correction? (4 marks)
Length: 1000 words (The word count excludes all footnotes unless some footnotes go beyond providing references and instead contain discussion).
Style checklist for assignments
You must ensure that your assignment:
• Commences with the following information – student’s name, student number, the assignment topic (e.g. ‘LAW100 Assignment 1’) and a computer word count. There is no need for a title page.
• is double or 1.5 lines spaced.
• is presented in text that is at least 11 point; the type-face in the footnotes is at least
10 point. An easy-to-read font is recommended e.g. Lucida Sans or Times New Roman.
• has page numbers at the top of each page.
• has a left-hand margin of 5cm and a right hand margin of 2cm.
• has been referenced in accordance with the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (3rd ed, 2010).

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