FIND A SOLUTION AT Academic Writers Bay
La Trobe University
Statutory Interpretation 2021 — Semester 2
It is 2025 when the law firm in which you work is asked for advice. Now for some background.
Jim Bean holds a pilot licence that was granted under the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic).
Interviewed for Channel XYZ’s ‘My Career’ program, he talked at length about the dangers and excitement in being a marine pilot. He said one of the challenges was being a pilot with monocular vision. He said he had only recently discovered he had that vision. He said he had ‘learnt’ how to deal with it.
A person listening to the broadcast was the Safety Director under the Marine Safety Act.
He began an investigation into Jim’s licence. He located the application form for a pilot licence that Jim had lodged, including the attachments to the application – a medical certificate and eyesight certificate. On further investigation he discovered that the eyesight certificate was issued by an optometrist who had subsequently been struck off for being unqualified.
Jim received a letter from the Safety Director:
‘I am concerned about the application you made for a pilot licence. You were required to attach a certified copy of your latest medical certificate and eyesight certificate. You were asked to declare that
“All particulars supplied on this application form and any attachments are true and correct.”
The eyesight certificate you attached (Attachment B) stated that your vision (near and distance) and colour vision is satisfactory within [relevant standard]. The certificate specifically states you do not have monocular vision. I have reason to believe that one or more of these statements was not true and correct. I am referring in particular to the statement concerning monocular vision.
I am hereby giving you notice that I am considering taking disciplinary action against you on the ground that your pilot licence was obtained by false statement in Attachment B.
You have 21 days to show cause why I should not exercise my discretion to take disciplinary action against you under Division 2 of Part 4.6 of the Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic).’
Within that period Jim comes to the law firm in which you work for advice and assistance. He says that the eyesight appointment he had for the purposes of his application for a pilot licence was ‘very quick’, but he did not question it at the time.
Your manager at your law firm, Gloria, tells you that, among other things, the firm is considering whether the Safety Director has grounds under s 165(1)(g) to take disciplinary action in respect of Jim Bean. As part of that inquiry, Gloria asks you to answer this question about the declaration Jim made for the purposes of his application for a pilot licence: in so far as the declaration applied to Attachment B, did Jim make a ‘false statement’ within the meaning of s 165(1)(g) of the Marine Safety Act?
In the course of answering Gloria’s question, interpret ‘false statement’ in s 165(1)(g) of the Marine Safety Act. Assume those words are the central unit of inquiry in the problem.
That a pilot licence is a ‘permission’.
That the application form and the inquiries it made of Jim and the medical professionals were lawful.
That the Safety Director’s inquiries of Jim are lawful so far.
That Jim concedes that the information contained in Attachment B was not correct in respect of monocular vision, that the declaration he made at the time applied to the information about monocular vision, and the declaration was accordingly not true and correct at least in that specified respect. In other words, put aside the argument (assuming it could be relevant) that any false statement in Attachment B was not made by Jim but was only made by the optometrist. Therefore, assume for the purposes of answering this question that any false statement was made by Jim.
That Jim was unaware at the time of the application that he had monocular vision.
As far as possible, give your answer on the Problem Solving Template attached.
Please see Subject Learning Guide on LMS for allocated marks, due date and time, word limit, relevant intended learning outcomes, special consideration, and university policies that apply to graded assessment.
Assessable topics and materials
The assessable topics are Weeks 1-8 topics (in addition to assumed skills and knowledge).
The Marine Safety Act 2010 (Vic) (‘the 2010 Act’) (version in place at 11 August 2020) is examinable.
If, to define a term in the 2010 Act, that Act relies on another Act, students are expected to examine that other Act as far as it is relevant. This is standard advice and is not to be taken as necessarily relevant to the problem.
Students are expected to obtain, and draw on where appropriate, the following extrinsic parliamentary materials:
the Explanatory Memorandum to the Marine Safety Bill 2010 (Vic)
the Statement of Compatibility for the Marine Safety Bill 2010 (Vic)
the Minister’s speech, moving a motion in the Parliament that the Marine Safety Bill 2010 (Vic) be read a second time.
Apart from the above requirements, students are not expected to engage in legal research.
Before attempting the problem, it is recommended that students attempt one or more of the Practice Problem self-assessment questions on the LMS and compare their answer to the examiner’s answer.
How the answer is to be produced
The Practice Problem is not a group assignment. You must produce it independently. Among other things, you must not work on the problem with another student, or distribute your written answer or a written draft to another student. See the Subject Learning Guide for further information.
Your seminar leader is available to answer any question you may have about a Week 1-8 topic and the general meaning of a section of the Problem Solving Template. But he cannot assist in analysing the legislation or in answering the question. This includes the meaning of ordinary English words or legal words in the Problem.
Meaning of ‘interpret’
See the assessment criteria for further details about what is meant by ‘interpret’.
Meaning of ‘central unit of inquiry’
The word or words whose meaning is in doubt or is to be regarded as in doubt. The word ‘central’ indicates that the question paper is not ruling out the possibility that in order to determine the meaning of these words, another word or set of words may also be ambiguous. This is standard advice in relation to statutory interpretation and is not to be taken to be suggesting that such an inquiry is necessary in relation to the present problem.
Use of facts and information
If you think a material fact (‘fact X’) pertaining to the problem is not set out on the Question Paper, you may consider fact X as if it exists or can be proved to exist, provided it is plausible and that you also consider the alternative situation where it is assumed fact X does not exist or cannot be proved to exist. This is standard advice with legal problem solving and is not to be taken as a suggestion that a material fact is not stated in the problem.
Similar advice applies to any information, set out in the problem on the Question Paper, which you regard as ambiguous. If the ambiguity is plausible, then make the most probable inference, or give alternative advice based on each scenario. This is standard advice with legal problem solving and is not to be taken as a suggestion that information in the problem is ambiguous.
Style and referencing
Subject to the following, follow the 4th edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation. See link at <http://latrobe.libguides.com/law>.
First, it is preferred (where possible) that students use in-text references rather than footnotes. (In-text references are explained below.) Unless your references are bulky it is easier for the examiner to read references if they are in the body of your answer rather than in a footnote, as the latter requires the reader to leave the page, remember where they were, and resume reading. This is particularly the case with online marking where the footnote will not be immediately visible. In-text references also save a student on cross references that would be employed if footnotes were used.
In-text references are references which may be put either in parentheses in the middle of a sentence, or after a colon at the end of a sentence. In-text references otherwise follow AGLC style for the first reference to an Act or a case. But, for a second or subsequent reference, they do not need a cross reference to an earlier footnote. For example, with cases:
In Dog v Cat ((2020) 204 CLR 227), the High Court appears to have propounded the principle that dogs make better friends than cats: 239 . In the same case, the Court made obiter comments about the friendship qualities of guinea pigs: 240  …. In the Dog case the Court also made obiter comments about the friendship qualities of rabbits: 240 .
The High Court has propounded that dogs make better friends than cats: Dog v Cat (2020) 204 CLR 227, 239 .
The same style may be used with respect to legislation. For example:
Sections 33-6 of the Dog Act 2020 (Cth) list the friendship qualities of dogs.
The Dog Act 2020 (Cth) lists the friendship qualities of dogs (ss 33-6), but these should not be taken to be exhaustive.
Although the Dog Act 2020 (Cth) (rightly) does not list the friendship qualities of dingoes, the Act does list the friendship qualities of dogs: ss 33-6.
Although not usually used in legal journals, in-text referencing is often employed in legal opinion writing, for example, Collett (Week 1 seminar case), Yucesan (Week 2), R v PJ (Week 3 seminar case), BGM16 (Week 5 seminar case).
In respect of pinpoint references to any reported case, you should supply a medium-neutral paragraph reference as well as a page reference.
Word count and 10% leeway before imposition of penalty
You must state the word count of your answer on the coversheet (see pro forma below). In calculating the word count, the word count includes all information in your submission (including the headings in the Problem Solving Template that you adopt in your submission and any footnotes), other than the coversheet.
Before submitting your answer, delete explanatory material in square brackets that is on the Problem Solving Template. You should also delete a heading or subheading that is on the template if there is nothing to say about it.
An assignment is not penalised if the word count is 10% or less over the word limit, that is, 880 words or less.
If the word count of an assignment is more than 10% over the word limit, that is 881 words or more, a penalty of 10% of the total percentage of marks allocated to the assignment will be applied. For example, an assignment that is 900 words and provisionally marked at 80%, will be penalised 10% and be awarded 70%. In addition, the marker may make a reasonable guess of the point at which the assignment exceeds the 10% leeway, and cease reading from that point.
Do not put your name on the submission or on the name of the file document.
Extensions of time
If you are seeking an extension of time please email your seminar leader. If you apply to the University for special consideration you may find the consideration delayed and you may not receive an answer until after the due date.
In your application you should specify the extension period you are seeking. You should send the seminar leader appropriate documentation, otherwise delays will ensue. Medical grounds normally require a medical certificate or a Learning Access Plan. Extensions cannot be granted beyond the expected date of release of results for the assignment. This is the beginning of Week 12.
Submit the completed coversheet and answer to the Turnitin link for the Practice Problem on the LMS.
(1) Interpretation of legislation, together with dealing with its consequences (applying the law as interpreted to the facts), are as far as possible well handled
The interpretative issue in the problem, together with dealing with its consequences (that is, applying the law as interpreted to the facts), are as far as possible well handled in that the student:
if required, identifies the unit or units of inquiry which the problem raises
conducts any necessary analysis of the legislation
clearly and precisely formulates the rival contentions of meaning (‘alternative constructions’) of the unit(s) of inquiry, and specifies the party whom a construction favours
for each alternative construction, identifies as widely as possible the indications of meaning that point to that construction (the ‘interpretative factors’)
considers the weight of each set of interpretative arguments and, to the extent possible, the strengths and weaknesses of each argument
reaches a conclusion as to what is most likely to be the legal meaning of the unit(s) of inquiry, and, as clearly and precisely as possible, states that meaning
gives cogent reasons in support of that conclusion
pays close attention to the law and the facts, and exercises good judgment in applying the law as interpreted to the facts
states with as much clarity as possible what the legal position of the client is on the facts
in performing the above tasks, gives due recognition to any uncertainty in relation to the facts, the law, or the application of the law to the facts.
(2) Writing of a legal opinion on statutory interpretation is in a form that approximates the standard expected of a newly-qualified lawyer
demonstrates clear thinking
uses paragraphs appropriately
is well structured and follows as far as possible the Problem Solving Template attached to this Question Paper
uses good syntax
is concisely expressed
is correct in relation to spelling, punctuation and grammar
is well presented.
The answer is appropriately referenced, in that the student:
cites authority for all legal propositions requiring authority
includes precise and complete references, including references to legislation
employs a style that follows the style required by the Question Paper.
Marking guide and indicative examples
Assessment Criterion and Example
Grade and Achievement Level
Criterion 1: Interpretation of legislation, and applying the law as interpreted to the facts
The interpretative issue and the application of the law as interpreted to the facts are consistently handled well.
With minor exceptions, the interpretative issue and application of the law as interpreted to the facts are consistently handled well.
The interpretative issue and the application of the law as interpreted to the facts are handled moderately well
The interpretative issue and the application of the law as interpreted to the facts are handled at a marginally satisfactory level.
The interpretative issue and the application of the law as interpreted to the facts are not handled satisfactorily at all or on the whole.
Indicative example 1
Student formulates alternative constructions, and provides detailed (but not necessarily comprehensive) supporting arguments, together with cogent reasons why one construction ought to be preferred.
Student provides arguments for each of the alternative constructions, but the arguments are not detailed.
Student formulates plausible alternative constructions, but only provides supporting interpretative arguments for one of the constructions (one-sided answer).
As for a C — one-sided. The answer also contains significant errors.
Student does not identify unit of inquiry when called upon to do so, formulates no alternative constructions, and does not give interpretative arguments. The answer is concerned with different applications of the law to the facts.
Indicative example 2
Student provides detailed arguments for each of the alternative constructions, but does not provide cogent reasons for preferring one construction.
As for B grade examples 1 and 2. But the answer also contains significant errors (‘curate’s egg’).
Neither of the constructions is adequately formulated. But the answer includes indications of appropriate constructional choices, and plausible arguments for each side are made in addition to the ordinary or natural reading.
The answer does not formulate constructions and it contains numerous errors relating to the unit of inquiry, the constructions and interpretative arguments.
Criterion 2: Writing and referencing of legal opinion
Consistently well written and referenced.
With minor exceptions, it is consistently well written and referenced.
The writing and referencing are at a moderate level.
The writing and referencing are marginally satisfactory.
The answer is not satisfactorily written and referenced at all or on the whole.
Indicative example 1
Well written, except for a number of relatively minor deficiencies concerning AGLC style.
The answer is well written, except for the fact that little attempt is made to reference sources.
The writing is not generally clear or coherent.
Indicative example 2
The writing contains numerous writing errors of various kinds.
Brief online feedback addressing each of the assessment criteria will be given to each student on the LMS. In addition, group feedback will be given via the LMS.
After a student has studied the individual and group feedback, the student may, if the student wishes, approach the subject coordinator, who will arrange for additional feedback to the student.
Statutory Interpretation 2021 – Semester 2
[Before submitting, omit all explanatory material in square brackets]
[The question posed in the Question Paper. While this section is necessary in legal professional practice, in view of the word limit it is presently optional.]
[The answer to the question posed in the Question Paper. This section must be answered.]
3.1 Material facts
[Although in legal professional practice this section will always be included, in view of the facts given and the word limit, omit the section if it is not necessary to resolve factual issues.]
3.2 Central unit of inquiry
[If the question paper states the central unit of inquiry, put it here. Give full details of the relevant word or words in question, including Act and jurisdiction.]
3.3 Opposing constructions of unit of inquiry and applications to facts
[The object is to consider all constructions that might be considered by a court — see section 3.6. Normally, the opposing constructions which are considered by a lawyer asked to give an Opinion are two constructions, one of which favours one party and another which favours the other party. They are accordingly the constructions put by, or which could be put by, each party. However, uncommonly, it may be appropriate to consider a third construction — one that is not in favour of either party. In that case, that construction could be (but need not be) the construction that is ultimately preferred.]
(a) [Name of party; the party whose construction is not preferred at section 3.6]
(i) Construction for
(ii) Application to facts
[The likely result of applying the above construction to the facts.]
(b) [Name of opposing party; the party whose construction is preferred at section 3.6]
(i) Construction for
(ii) Application to facts
[The likely result of applying the above construction to the facts.]
3.4 Arguments for construction of [name of party] [Arguments for the construction which is not preferred at section 3.6]
Unit of inquiry
Remainder of Act
3.5 Arguments for construction of [name of party] [Arguments for the construction which is preferred at section 3.6]
Unit of inquiry
Remainder of Act
3.6 Preferred construction and brief reasons
(a) Preferred construction
[The preferred construction is the construction that, in the writer’s opinion, would be preferred by a court, assuming the matter came to the court for resolution.]
[Brief reasons why one of the constructions is preferable to the other; not a summary or a regurgitation of 3.4 and 3.5.]
[This section normally requires completing if you are asked for a person’s legal position, as distinct from a situation where you asked only a question of interpretation. But omit this section if it is the same as the Answer in Brief.]
- Assignment status: Already Solved By Our Experts
- (USA, AUS, UK & CA PhD. Writers)
- CLICK HERE TO GET A PROFESSIONAL WRITER TO WORK ON THIS PAPER AND OTHER SIMILAR PAPERS, GET A NON PLAGIARIZED PAPER FROM OUR EXPERTS
QUALITY: 100% ORIGINAL PAPER – NO PLAGIARISM – CUSTOM PAPER