LAWS259/LAW459 International Law Assignment-Macquarie University Australia

Instruction to students: This is an individual assignment.

Task: LAWS259/LAW459 International Law Assignment

LAWS259-LAW459 International Law

Prepare a paper answering the following questions which have been raised by the Minister:

Question 1 
A number of commentators claim that, by leaving the EU and subsequently introducing a hard border into Ireland, as well as its proposals relating to the Irish language, the UK is or will be in breach of the Good Friday Agreement and the St Andrews Agreement. The claim is that the UK, by taking these steps, is cementing Ireland’s partition. With that in mind, could Australia or any other country justifiably claim that the UK is in breach of legal obligations owed by the UK under the following:
(a) customary international law;
(b) the Good Friday Agreement;
(c) the St Andrews Agreement?  ( 9 marks)

Question 2 
In relation to the UK’s proposals concerning the hiring of teaching staff, to what extent  could Australia and Ireland justifiably claim that the UK would be in breach of legal  obligations owed to them under the ICESCR if these were carried out? (6 marks)

Question 3
If it transpires that Pakistan somehow supported Ansari in carrying out the December 2021 car bomb attack, to what extent might Australia justifiably claim that Pakistan is in breach of legal obligations owed to it under the Terrorist Bombings Convention? ( 5 marks)

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Question 4
Assuming that a state breaches international law if it assists in a terrorist attack conducted within the territory of another state, and on the basis of the facts as currently known, to what extent could Australia be held responsible in international law for the car bomb attack in Islamabad?( 3 marks)

Question 5 
Yasmin Gill is the name of the Australian injured in the Islamabad car bomb attack. Her lawyers have written to us, threatening to sue the Commonwealth of Australia in order to recover damages on the basis that Hamid Khan committed the tort of misfeasance in a public office when he assisted in the supply of explosive to Ansari, and that the  common wealth is vicariously liable for Khan’s conduct.

If Gill’s lawyers are able to prove that ASIO instructed Khan to depart from standard security protocols when it came to screening Ansari’s luggage, and that Khan’s supervisor heard that instruction and did not intervene, to what extent might we be able to defend the proceedings, assuming that we are able to adduce compelling evidence that Ansari was acting in his official capacity as an employee of Pakistan’s NCTA?

Your task:
Write an appropriate response to your supervisor, answering her questions and explaining the reasons for your answers. In doing so, note the following:
1. You should write as you would in the real world if you were charged with such a task. However, one artificial aspect of this exercise is that you should include full citations just as you would in any academic writing. The citations should take the form of footnotes that comply with the Australian Guide to Legal Citations (3rd edition).

2. In advising your supervisor you should assume that there have been no relevant changes to Australian or public international law

WORD LIMIT: 2,000 WORDS  ( 4 marks)

Criteria for marking the opinion:
Your response should:
1) demonstrate an understanding of the relevant areas of international and Australian law

2) demonstrate an ability to conduct your own independent research where needed to supplement the lectures, prescribed readings and provided facts;

3) apply the relevant principles of international law and Australian law to the fact scenario, asking for relevant additional information only where necessary;

4) provide accurate, appropriate advice;

5) be written in a clear and concise style, observing the grammar and syntax of English. In particular, write in complete, grammatical sentences, not note form;

6) be presented in single spacing;

7) include a statement of the word count (excluding footnotes) at the end.

System of marking:
This assignment is worth 30 marks in total. Marks are awarded separately for Questions 1 to 5 (inclusive). Those marks will be decided by reference to the first three criteria set out in the rubric attached to this document, ie: issue spotting, issue resolution and expression. So, for example, your mark for Question 1 will be decided on the basis of how well you spot the legal issues relevant to
Question 1, how well you resolve those legal issues and how well you express yourself in the process of doing so. A separate mark will then be awarded in relation to referencing. The referencing mark will take into account your entire answer to the assignment.
The breakdown of available marks is as follows:
Question 1 (re Brexit and the UK’s language and education policies): 9
Question 2 (re the UK’s proposals surrounding hiring teachers): 6
Question 3 (re the Terrorist Bombings Convention): 5
Question 4 (re Pakistan’s responsibility for the Islamabad attack): 3
Question 5 (re Gill’s action against Australia): 4
Mark for referencing throughout your entire answer: 3

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Tips for a good mark: LAWS259/LAW459 International Law Assignment-Macquarie University Australia

As well as observing the criteria above, the following remarks might guide you towards success:

• Clearly the fact scenario mixes real and imaginary events. Everything under the heading ‘Background’ is intended to reflect reality. Much of the rest is imaginary. While you should
treat this assignment as primarily a test of your understanding of the material covered in
Topics 2 to 8 of this unit, if you consider it necessary to conduct further research into relevant issues then you may rely on such additional research in answering the  assignment.

• Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, do not get too sucked into embellishing the fact scenario with additional research. Remember always that, first and foremost, this is a test of your understanding of the issues covered in Topics 2 to 8 of this unit. You are not so much being asked to find answers as being examined on your ability to figure out your own answers based on what we have learned in Topics 2 to 8.

• Try to be decisive and clear in your advice. It seems that a lot of students try to be non-
committal when it comes to writing advice, possibly thinking that this constitutes a low risk approach (ie ‘if I don’t say anything then I can’t be wrong’). That approach does not work. You will simply be penalised for excessive equivocation.

• In particular, it is unlikely to help your client (or impress the marker) if you endlessly reel off possibilities, beginning each with phrases such as ‘it is arguable that …’ Again this makes it look as though you are trying to hedge your bets. Even though the application of the law is often uncertain, your clients want clear guidance. That said, if a point of law is genuinely uncertain then that is what you need to tell your client.

• Be concise. You should have lots to say, but you do not have at your disposal many words with which to say it. Students frequently complain about tight word limits, yet almost all include verbiage. While you should not sacrifice clarity, never use two words where one will do. In particular, do not waste words repeating or summarising the fact scenario I have given you. Assume the clients know all that. What they want to know is the application of international law to a situation with which they are already familiar.

• At times you may feel that the same law or arguments are relevant to answering more than one question. You are discouraged from simply repeating yourself. That is a waste of words. The best approach is to explain the relevant law or arguments in answer to Question 1 (assuming they are relevant to Question 1) and then in your answers to the other questions you can refer back to what you have said.

• Notwithstanding the need to be concise, you have up to 2,000 words available to you to
demonstrate your ability to complete the assignment. You are unlikely to impress if you write considerably less than 2,000 words.

• There is no need to include salutations, etc (‘Dear X’, ‘your obedient servant’, etc), nor need you use up words offering further assistance if required. Just advise.

• You should limit yourself to what is directly and practically relevant to your clients. They are not going to be interested in theoretical or historical analysis of the law. Your clients simply want answers to their questions, plus any other advice that is directly relevant.

• You stand to lose marks if you include poor advice or arguments, just as you gain them by
giving good advice or expressing strong arguments. Do not make the mistake of throwing
everything at your answer, hoping that by doing so enough will stick.

• This is not an opportunity to simply show off all you have learned about the material covered in this unit. It is an opportunity to show that you can provide clear, concise, considered, accurate, sensible and relevant advice in a practical environment.

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• You are free (indeed encouraged) to use as many headings and subheadings as you consider useful, although these are to be included in your word count. If you use a hierarchy of headings and subheadings, make sure that hierarchy is obvious.

• Cite primary legal sources (treaties, cases, advisory opinions, etc), not secondary sources (text books, journal articles, etc) unless you consider it relevant to cite the opinion of the author of the latter as a source of international law.

• At times you may want to cite the fact that a textbook writer (eg Hall) makes a claim about
the preponderance of opinion among publicists. Ideally you should read and then cite the
original works of those publicists, not just take a textbook writer’s word for what those
publicists say. Much the same point can be made in relation to textbook writers’ claims about state practice: ideally you should research the primary sources that indicate state practice, not take the textbook writer’s claims on trust. Being realistic, however, I appreciate that your time is short. You cannot be expected to exhaustively research state practice. Citing textbook writers’ claims is certainly better than citing nothing. Remember above all the central point of this exercise: to test your ability to put into practice what we have covered in Topics 2 to 8 of this unit.

• Do not include a list of sources or bibliography.

• Some students adopt a somewhat affected and pseudo-lawyerly or pseudo-intellectual style of expression when it comes to academic writing. There is no need for any of that. Just express yourselves clearly and simply. Everyday language is fine. Don’t use terminology you are not absolutely sure of.

• Indeed, put plenty of effort into how you express yourself. We put a great deal of emphasis on the use of clear and correct English. If I can give just one piece of advice, it is to carefully proof read your work at least once before you hand it in, otherwise you are throwing away marks for the saving of very little additional effort!
A word on structure: You need to decide how best to structure your advice. When it comes to legal problem solving it is often sensible to apply the IRAC approach:
I = issue: what are the basic issues that need resolving for the clients?
R = rule: what are the legal rules relevant to resolving those issues?
A = apply: how should those rules be applied to the fact scenario?
C = conclusion: what conclusions should I draw from the application of relevant legal rules to resolve my clients’ issues?
IRAC is a useful way of structuring your thinking when answering a problem question such as this. However, there is nothing to say that you need to structure your final answer like this. Student writing frequently reads as though they are thinking aloud. Often there is a chain of thought, which then reaches a legal conclusion in the final paragraph. You are not writing crime fiction in which your final page reveals who committed the crime. It can be far more helpful to give clients the main points of advice at the outset. You can then, word count allowing, explain how you came to those conclusions.
Thus your final answer may well look more like this:

• Conclusion

• How I reached that conclusion, ie the relevant rules and how I applied them. Thus your final answer might look more like CRA: conclusion – rule – application.

While you are new to legal problem solving, writing such an answer may involve you in applying IRAC in a first draft and then rewriting your answer in a form that is more helpful to the client. The extra effort is likely to pay dividends in marks.
So, in summary, you might find it helpful to write like a journalist: give your clients the headlines, then flesh out why you have reached those conclusions.

Submitting your assignment:
Your assignment should be submitted via Turnitin.

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