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Task; A letter of advice on a statutory interpretation issue
Length: 1500 words (+/- 10%), excluding referencing and reference list
Due Date: 11.59pm on the Monday of Week 4
Relationship to other tasks and assessments:
This assessment asks you to provide a letter of legal advice to a client on a matter involving statutory interpretation. You will respond to a client’s request for advice on whether a given set of legislative provisions apply to a particular fact scenario (outlined below in the Details section). The letter of advice assessment will enable you to develop your statutory interpretation knowledge and practical application skills, as well as your legal writing and research skills.
Purpose of this assignment and ULOs assessed
The purpose of this assessment is to:
Assess students’ understanding of the principles of statutory interpretation, and their ability to practically apply this knowledge.
Provide students with an opportunity to develop their legal writing and research skills.
The unit learning outcomes assessed are:
Understand, explain and distinguish the historical and contemporary principles of statutory interpretation;
Apply statutory interpretive criteria and the techniques of the common law in practical applications of legislation;
Critically review the theoretical concepts underlying the approaches to, and presumptions of, statutory interpretation.
Chris Cheeseworthy comes into your office seeking advice about deregistering under the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018 (Cth). Chris was self-employed as a political lobbyist for the cheese industry until a few weeks ago. Recently he has become disillusioned with the moral implications of both the cheese industry and the political lobbyist industry. He has ceased operation of his business and terminated his business relationships. One of those relationships was with an Australian and New Zealand cheese marketing organization, who Chris represented when lobbying Australian political parties to include more cheese-friendly economic policies. As a result, Chris registered under the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018 2018 (Cth) in January this year. He wants to know if he must do anything to cease his registration and if there are any consequences he may face from inaction on this matter.
Advise Chris Cheeseworthy as to any responsibilities or liabilities under the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act 2018 (Cth).
Your letter of advice must provide an analysis consistent with the applicable interpretation legislation for the jurisdiction and the common law doctrine of statutory interpretation.
Your letter of advice must provide advice to your client – this may be qualified as appropriate. In your advice, assume your client understands legal terminology or language.
Your letter must use clear and intelligible written expression, conform broadly to the expected structure of a letter of legal advice, demonstrate research into any relevant materials (extrinsic materials, case law on your specific provisions), and provide referencing and a reference list in compliance with the Australia Guide to Legal Citation.
You do not need to address any practicalities in your letter of advice, such as advice about pleading guilty, negotiating with police, lawyer fees, etc. Focus on legal liability alone. There is no need to provide a detailed summary of the factual circumstances.
Please use the discussion forum: Ask a question about this unit for any further clarifications.
Read over the client request, fact scenario and legislative provisions provided above. Then, ideally, you can begin this assessment at the start of week three (by then you will have finished your Assessment Two essay, and in class we will have learned the overall process of statutory interpretation – keep your eye out in week three for any further applicable principle of statutory interpretation!)
In this assignment, you will rely primarily on your own initiative to complete the letter of advice. However, there are many resources at your disposal, including the Library, student services, your LLW1004 teacher, and your fellow students via discussion boards on VU Collaborate. Remember that we will have a workshop on writing a letter of advice in week three.
Ensure you have submitted your letter of advice to the correct dropbox by 11.59pm on the Monday of Week 4.
Please note and follow the process steps below:
Read through and consider the client request, fact scenario and legislative provisions.
Conduct some preliminary analysis of the legislative provision and Act, and plan your advice and letter structure.
Remember to consider the legislative provision and its application according to interpretation legislation, the purposive approach and any applicable further principles of statutory interpretation.
Remember to structure your letter to the expected structure of letters of legal advice (see link above), typically this means that you: provide an executive summary of your advice (this replaces the standard essay introduction), outline the legal problem, consider the potential options or outcomes, indicate any areas of uncertainty, and conclude with your legal advice.
Remember that this letter of advice does not need to deal with practicalities (such as lawyer’s fees, pleading guilty, evidence, lengthy outline of facts, etc).
Begin writing your letter, remembering to reference the legal claims you make (because this letter is a university assessment, you’ll need to reference the words or work of others that you use or refer to and also provide a reference list)
Remember to double check whether your advice directly responds to the client request, fact scenario and legislative provisions, whether you have a clearly written and appropriately structured letter, and whether you have referenced your legal, paraphrased or quoted information.
Complete and submit your letter of advice to the correct dropbox by 11.59pm on the Monday of Week 4.
Your letter of advice will demonstrate:
Understanding of the principles of statutory interpretation and accurate practical application
Clarity, relevance and support of advice
Evidence of appropriate legal research
Conformity with AGLC4
Clear written expression and appropriate letter structure
Your assessment rubric is available via a link in the Assessment Information section of the unit’s Learning Space on VU Collaborate.
When you receive feedback on your letter of advice, you will receive a raw mark out of 100 in the dropbox as well as a mark out of 40 in the gradebook that reflects the 40% weighting of this assignment in the unit overall.
You will also receive detailed feedback in the form of a completed assessment rubric and general comments that provide an overview of how effectively you have responded to the assessment criteria.
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