A Level Law – Unit 3 – 18/01/13

Well. That wasn’t bad. It wasn’t good either. But not bad.
I want to apologise in advance for this, but its going to be a VERY long post!

For those who didn’t sit the exam, don’t do law and have never seen a AQA Law paper before, we get given two scenarios – generally they end up with someone being murdered.

From my hazy memory of the paper (Had to have a shortbread binge afterwards and it’s affected my memory), It started with Jim, Kyle and a few friends getting drunk and taking drugs. They then went and started running around a city centre while trying to trip each other up and bashing into other shoppers. Jim then tripped Kyle up who fell and badly bruised his arm. After continuing to run around, a shopper called Liam objected at Jim’s behaviour and Jim promptly grabbed him and threw him violently into a nearby shop window which smashed under him causing deep wounds. Jim then ran away and crashed into a pram which flew down a hill faster than the mother, Mary, could catch it – fortunately it was caught by a shopper, but Mary became severely depressed afterwards for months.

So that was the end of the stuff to deal with in question one. All that to be dealt with in 25 minutes. Just in case you were wondering, I said he was guilty for:
Kyle – s47 ABH because of being badly bruised
Liam – s20/18 decided on s.20 because it was more recklessness
Mary – s20 because of the severe depression but couldnt remember the case where it was defined as GBH!
I also Covered the defence of Intoxication which wouldnt work for any of the offences but S.18 and even then it would be moved down to the corresponding basic intent crime of S.20. Overall, dont think this section when too bad – hopefully a ‘clear’.

The second section for the paper was based on murder. It involved Helen, who has a personality disorder resulting in bouts of anger, who was being abused by her husband Ian. He had been refusing to allow her money for general bills and Helen thought he had been having an affair (although he denied it, instead scornfully replying that he had only lent a woman a lot of money).  One night, Ian said he would beat Helen in the morning if she didn’t leave to go live with her mother. In the night, Helen took a firework she had bought a few days earlier and set it off before throwing it in Ian’s bedroom where a fire soon sprang up and Ian was killed.

This question was tougher for me than the last one! I said Helen would get Voluntary Manslaughter considering the similarities with the case of Allhuwallia. This went pretty poorly because I blanked on Voluntary Manslaughter – I blurred together the meanings of Diminished Responsibility and Loss of Control although got the points about the belief in sexual infidelity and also the ‘slow burn’ and battered wife syndrome which covered the buying the fireworks days earlier.

As for Defences – the final third of the essay – it was my worst criticism/reform essay. I did Insanity and Self Defence. The Insanity one didn’t go too badly, but don’t think I got more than a ‘some’ for Self Defence. I talked about how the problems with insanity are: its too narrow and too broad at the same time, it lables people such as diabetics and sleepwalkers as insane, the medical and legal defintions are too different and finally I talked about how old the M’Gaughten Rules are. Reforms are : The Butler Report, and the Law Comission has a scoping paper out. I also talked about wanting to rename Insanity to something else – but I forgot what the new name was going to be! As for self defence – well I just talked about how its never going to be reasonable in the eyes of your peers to see killing as the only option. I mentioned something else but my minds gone a blank.

Overall? Not an awful paper by any means. With any luck, middling to high C. My dreams of an A are well and truly dashed.

Goodness. Yes. Quite a long post. Sorry about that. If you’re not at all interested in the law then i’m doubly sorry – although I doubt you got this far if you aren’t!

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