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Embedding legal research skills into the LLB curriculum: workshop 1 - Lucy Yeatman, Sandra Clarke, Edward Phillips, Sarah Crofts
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Embedding legal research skills into the LLB curriculum: workshop 1 - Lucy Yeatman, Sandra Clarke, Edward Phillips, Sarah Crofts

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Workshop resources for the HEA-funded workshop 'Embedding legal research skills into the LLB curriculum'. …

Workshop resources for the HEA-funded workshop 'Embedding legal research skills into the LLB curriculum'.

LETR identified that “legal research skills are not sufficiently acquired by the end of the academic stage” and recommends the introduction of distinct assessment in legal research to the LLB. This workshop explored the ways in which legal research skills can be developed and assessed within a qualifying law degree.

This presentation is part of a related blog post that provides an overview of the event: http://bit.ly/1hUljKb

For further details of the HEA's work on teaching research methods in the Social Sciences, please see: http://bit.ly/15go0mh

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  • 1. Embedding Legal Research Skills into the LLB Curriculum 7th April 2014 Workshop Materials
  • 2. WORKSHOP ONE Aim: To look at different types of research exercise and evaluate them in relation the BIALL Legal Information Literacy Statement In your groups:  Attempt the research task that you have been given,  Answer the questions in the grid below and  Nominate someone from the group to feedback after lunch Questions for Discussion: What prior knowledge and training did you need to undertake the task successfully? Who would need to deliver the training to do the task, a law lecturer or a librarian, or both? How much time do you think would be needed to do the task well?
  • 3. Did you think the task was interesting? What might have made the task more interesting or engaging? If you were a law student, do you think that you would have understood the purpose of the task? Which of the 4 skills of the BIALL Legal Information Literacy Statement would be developed by doing an exercise of this type? At what stage of the LLB programme might it be appropriate to ask students to tackle a task like this
  • 4. Websites and online sources: 1. Understanding and Evaluating Digital Information: Look a the article “Secret courts will let UK security services off the hook” at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/feb/13/secret-courts-uk-security- services-off-hook  What is the viewpoint of the writer?  Who is the author?  What else ahs he written?  What does the use of language tell you about the author’s viewpoint?  Does the newspaper/new source have a stated view or political affiliation?  What happened to the Bill discussed in the article? 2. Websites and online news:  Pick a topic and find two news articles with opposing (or at least differing points of view).  Post the links on Moodle  Report your findings to the rest of the group o Freedom of Association o Deportation and Human Rights o Terrorism and Personal Liberties o Article 6/Right to a Fair Trial o Article 9/Freedom of Thought Conscience and Religion
  • 5. Group 2 Workshop Task Property law Background In the news on 3rd February this year, it was reported that: “Landowners in the Sussex Downs National Park are mounting a "legal blockade" to block a potential fracking site. Solicitors for residents near Fernhurst, in West Sussex, have written to Celtique Energie and the Energy Secretary Ed Davey to explicitly deny permission to drill under their land.” (BBC news, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-26007057 accessed 4/2/14). Your task Find out the answers to the following questions: 1. What general laws relating to property are the landowners relying upon in mounting their ‘legal blockade’? Do you think they will be successful? 2. Are there any specific laws which would allow the energy company and/or the Energy Secretary to drill under the land despite the objections of the landowners? 3. What possible reforms to the law are being discussed to make it easier for energy companies to carry out fracking? Remember that you must be able to cite authority to back up your answers. Recording your research One member of your group must be tasked to record the approach of the group to the research, and the steps taken. Please fill out the following table in real time: Time Research undertaken Comment and Further Steps
  • 6. Group 3 Task Problem Solving  Read the scenario  Answer the questions  Fill in the Research Record Scenario: Your aunt phones you up. She wants to ask your advice because you are studying law. Her 19 year old son (your cousin) and three of his friends have decided to protest about the way that the Stephen Gough has been treated. They are planning to stage a naked protest outside the High Court on Monday. Your aunt thinks they will be arrested and wants you to explain the law to her so that she can try and dissuade him. Your cousin and his friends have told her that there is no criminal offence of “being naked”, but she says she read on the BBC website that Stephen Gough was convicted for being naked in public. You don’t know who Stephen Gough is, or really know what she is talking about, but you agree to help her. Questions: 1. Make a list of questions that you need to find the answers to. 2. What is the first step that you are going to take to find out about this? 3. You discover that Stephen Gough has been convicted under the Public Order Act 1986. Where are you going to look up the relevant part of the statute? 4. You read somewhere that Stephen Gough lost an appeal in the High Court on 31st October 2013. What is the name and citation of the case? 5. You find a case on Public Order that seems relevant, but it is from 1990. What more do you need to find out about the case? 6. What other offences has Stephen Gough been convicted of? 7. What other information might you need in order to advise your aunt?
  • 7. RESEARCH RECORD Name of client: Student’s name Seminar Tutor Date: Research Objective or task: Research Material: (Statute, Regulation, Case, Book, Article. Lexis, etc) Research Finding: Are your findings up to date? Yes/No (delete as appropriate) Further Research Required: Time spent on research:
  • 8. Group 4 Workshop Task: Piracy and International Law  Look at the task below and predict how many of the questions you think you will be able to find answers to in 35 mins.  At the end of the 35 minutes look back at your prediction to see if you were accurate. Piracy is not just Johnny Depp and ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean’: it is a modern-day maritime crime of far-reaching significance. Its contemporary image is better reflected in the less-glamorous yet highly charged film ‘Captain Phillips’ starring Tom Hanks. The modern world depends on global shipping to bring us the food we eat, the clothes we wear and much else. The deprivations of piracy put these at risk. Moreover, piracy may have devastating personal consequences. The main global ‘hotspot’ is off the coast of East Africa, adjacent to the Somalia. However, there are now increasing reports of incidents in West Africa and South-East Asia. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/piracy/8929550/Somali-pirates-arrested- after-Royal-Navy-helicopter-chase.html The Task The research exercise requires you to explore the on-line resources in order to: 1. Identify the main international treaty that governs piracy. 2. Provide the legal definition of piracy. 3. Prepare an overview of the efforts taken by the international community to combat piracy: provide a list of at least 5 effective measures that have been taken 4. Provide statistics relating to the number of armed pirate attacks off the coast of West Africa, starting from 2010. 5. Describe the reporting mechanisms that exist to facilitate the reporting of piracy. 6. Explain the impact of piracy on: (a) the States of East Africa, (b) the Indian Ocean Island (c) the global community
  • 9. Starting points: http://www.un.org/depts/los/piracy/piracy.htm www.imo.org http://daccess-dds- ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N10/425/07/PDF/N1042507.pdf?OpenElement Research Log: Before you begin, discuss the manner and form in which you intend to log your research. Determine also if each member of your research team will maintain their own research log / record or whether there will be a common log. Whatever method you choose, please remember that some must be able to replicate the research log by following in your footsteps.
  • 10. Group 5 Workshop Task: 1. Look at essay question for Family Law. 2. Using the Statsky Cartwheel on the next page generate a list of search terms that could be used to look for journal articles relevant to the essay topic. If you have not used this cartwheel before, look at the example from the egal nfor ation iteracy State ent attached 3. Once you have a list of search terms use the terms to search the law databases and begin to put together a list of academic articles that you might need to read for the essay.
  • 11. Family Law Coursework 2014 Emily Jackson comments: “ ecause parents possess a bundle of i portant rights and duties, clear and una biguous legal definitions of motherhood and fatherhood are self-evidently desirable. And yet the law has tended to assume that the existence of a parent-child link will simply be obvious. Whilst this may be true in the paradigm case of a child conceived through sexual intercourse and brought up by both her genetic progenitors, for an increasing number of children there may be genuine uncertainty about the identity of their parents […]Where there are a nu ber of possible others and/or fathers, how should we choose between the in order to identify a child’s legal parents?” (E ily Jackson (2006) What is a parent? n Diduck, & C O’Donovan, Feminists Perspectives on Family Law (pp. 59-99) at p.59 Abingdon: Routledge-Cavendish.) Critically analyse the basis on which the law confers the legal status of parenthood in situations where there are a number of possible mothers and/or fathers. (You are not required to discuss the position of step-parents) Learning Outcomes: You will have  Demonstrated effective legal research into a complex area of law.  Explained clearly the legal principles involved in this area of law.  Engaged in a critical analysis of the relevant statues and legal judgments.  Engaged in the academic debate on the legal attribution of parenthood.  Reflected upon the original data collected.  Presented a clear and coherent argument with logical progression of ideas.  Shown evidence of good communication skills including the use of clear and coherent written style and the good use of English language, particularly spelling, grammar and syntax.  Referenced work correctly and included a full bibliography.
  • 12. Parents Broader term Closely related Term Synonyms Procedures and remedies Narrower terms Long shots Antoyms Courts and agencies
  • 13. Group 6 Looking for relevant cases Background: This is a task designed to help students in the early stages of researching a coursework question in Family Law. Your task:  Look at the coursework question over the page.  Using Lexis and/or Justcite to search for cases start filling in the tables below. The first box on the first table has been completed as an example.  You are not expected to read judgments in full at this stage, but merely to identify cases that may be relevant to the coursework question. Problems applying/interpreting the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Acts of 2008 and 1990 Name of case Citation Law Facts Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust v A [2003] EWCH 259 Because the two men had not consented to their sperm being used in the way that it was used, the relevant sections of the HFEA 1990 did not apply and therefore court applied common law principles making the genetic father the legal father. Couple A and Couple B were both receiving fertility treatment in the same clinic and following an error, Mrs A became pregnant with Mr ’s sper DNA testing/disputes about paternity where there has been an affair Name of case Citation Law Facts
  • 14. Disputes between lesbian mothers and known donors: Name of case Citation Law Facts Surrogacy: Name of case Citation Law Facts Natural parent presumption: Name of case Citation Law Facts European Court of Human Rights cases on paternity Name of case Citation Law Facts
  • 15. Family Law Coursework 2014 Emily Jackson comments: “ ecause parents possess a bundle of i portant rights and duties, clear and unambiguous legal definitions of motherhood and fatherhood are self-evidently desirable. And yet the law has tended to assume that the existence of a parent-child link will simply be obvious. Whilst this may be true in the paradigm case of a child conceived through sexual intercourse and brought up by both her genetic progenitors, for an increasing number of children there may be genuine uncertainty about the identity of their parents […]Where there are a nu ber of possible others and/or fathers, how should we choose between the in order to identify a child’s legal parents?” (E ily Jackson (2006) What is a parent? n Diduck, & C O’Donovan, Feminists Perspectives on Family Law (pp. 59-99) at p.59 Abingdon: Routledge-Cavendish.) Critically analyse the basis on which the law confers the legal status of parenthood in situations where there are a number of possible mothers and/or fathers. (You are not required to discuss the position of step-parents) Learning Outcomes: You will have  Demonstrated effective legal research into a complex area of law.  Explained clearly the legal principles involved in this area of law.  Engaged in a critical analysis of the relevant statues and legal judgments.  Engaged in the academic debate on the legal attribution of parenthood.  Reflected upon the original data collected.  Presented a clear and coherent argument with logical progression of ideas.  Shown evidence of good communication skills including the use of clear and coherent written style and the good use of English language, particularly spelling, grammar and syntax.  Referenced work correctly and included a full bibliography.