A2 Law Chief Examiner Professor Iwan Davies
General Observations • Larger entry than for previous series, more centres new to WJEC coming on board.
• Overall the standard improved considerably from the January series. • Some candidates did not answer the required number of questions - still rubric errors. • Weaker candidates presented preprepared generic answers.
General Observations • Standard of previous years was maintained. • Many candidates produced excellent scripts. • Candidates displayed up to date knowledge of recent changes in the law e.g. the new defence of loss of control, and diminished responsibility
Option 02 – LA3 Criminal Law & Justice • Q 1. PACE & Rule of Law. Popular question. Wide variety of answers. Some candidates merely repeated the scenario, with little application of the law to the problem • Some answers failed to mention the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984, whilst some only referred to it as PACE. Candidates should be reminded that an Act should be given its full citation when first mentioned in an answer, it can then abbreviated • Part b – Overall fairly well done
Option 02 – LA3 Criminal Law & Justice • Q 2 Causation & Bail. Popular question . Both parts a & b were well done with good application and supporting case law • For part a many candidates failed to discuss the single transaction principle and only the stronger candidates provided a full account of constructive manslaughter
Option 02 – LA3 Criminal Law & Justice • Q 3 Police Powers & Legal Aid. This question on police powers was more popular than question 1. • Part a – overall was well done. However candidates could have gained higher marks by including more detail and reference to authority. • Part b – candidates seem to loathe the topic of legal aid. Weaker answers focused on law centres, CAB and the IPCC whilst barely mentioning the Criminal Defence Service
Option 02 – LA3 Criminal Law & Justice • Q 4 Non Fatal & Juries. This was the most popular question. • Part a – candidates showed good knowledge and understanding of the offences , explaining them in detail with supporting case law • The title of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 was often committed or abbreviated • Part b – overall was well answered
Option 02 – LA4 Criminal Law & Justice • Q 1 Intoxication. • Overall this was well done. Most candidates were able to describe the difference between basic and specific intent crimes, and case law on the whole was good. • Some candidates failed to discus Majewski.
Option 02 – LA4 Criminal Law & Justice • Q 2 Bail • This was a very popular question and was very well answered. Excellent use of statues and cases throughout most scripts. Links also made to the Human Rights Act 1998, and current cases of bail bandits.
Option 02 – LA4 Criminal Law & Justice • Q 3 Several defence. • This was an unpopular question and answers were generally weak, with limited case law.
Option 02 – LA4 Criminal Law & Justice • Q 4 Strict Liability. • This was a very popular question. Candidates were usually able to give a detailed evaluation of the law, with excellent supporting cases. • There was confusion for some as to what the question was asking, with some discussing elements of crime. These candidates were not penalised.
Option 02 – LA4 Criminal Law & Justice • Q 5 CPS & Magistrates Court • This was a very popular question. Answers were usually of a high standard. Better candidates also discussed the Threshold test. • Part b - less well done. Few candidates evaluated the role of the magistrates court, with most simply explaining the powers of the magistrates themselves.
Option 02 – LA4 Criminal Law & Justice • Q 6 Young offenders • This was not a popular question. Overall the answers were weak, very chatty and lacking in legal authority.
Tackling the Specification • The ability to answer the question directly is very significant. • Essay writing skills will need to be emphasised. • Candidates must read each question carefully before choosing. • Both parts of questions MUST be attempted.
Specific Weaknesses • Mis-reading of questions - read the questions carefully, noting commands. • Clear understanding of command words is essential and many candidates failed to fulfil the success criteria because they failed to respond to the command words.
Specific Weaknesses • Time allocation; still evidence of over and underwriting. • Not defining key terms. • Limited deployment of paragraphs. • Repetition. • Dated cases / lacking in legal authority.
For further information, please contact the Subject Officer at the WJEC: Joanna Lewis 245 Western Avenue Cardiff CF5 2YX [email protected]