READING....

 At

first look, we may perceive that reading is….
A

boring routine….because it just contain full of texts (neither photos nor far alone to see any charts, diagrams!)  A tiring exercise…because it earns your mind and energy to get used with the jargons or the language used by the authors!  A time-wasted effort…because you never could understand the complicated sentence! You may use the time for other beneficial stuffs instead!
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READING…
 Well,

lets have a second look! You will find reading much more interesting, if you…
 Enjoy

reading non-legal materials…because law does not stand alone. It relates to social, economic, politics, etc issues..  Make dictionaries the greatest companion..because English is a foreign language and we must not stop to learn  Put relentless efforts to understand the law and remember learning process is a long time. We need to be endurant to leap across the hurdles!
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CHAPTER I - WHAT IS LAW? [PART III]

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muhammadnizamawang@alI.facultyofsyariahandlaw.islamicscienceuniversityofm alaysia

DISCUSSION POINTS
 What

is legal methodology?  Legal methodology skills
How

to How to How to How to
‘Law’

find law? read law? make summary and analysis of law? answer law examination?

here is referred to legislations & case laws

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WHAT IS LEGAL METHODOLOGY?
 Legal

methodology is.. Understanding, application and interpretation of statutes Understanding, application and interpretation law reports Answering legal problems
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LEGAL METHODOLOGY SKILLS (the know-how)

How to find law?

How to answer law exam
How to analyze law
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Part I: HOW TO FIND LAW

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WHAT IS PRIMARY & SECONDARY LEGAL TEXTS?
Primary legal texts – legislations & court judgments (judicial precedents)  Secondary legal texts – books, articles
 

Both primary and secondary legal texts are considered as literary sources

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Finding Literary sources

Finding legislation

How to find law?

Finding law reports

Using Computer Information Retrieval System
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(A) FINDING LITERARY SOURCES
Encyclopedias  It is subject-specific  Useful for quick reference
  Halsbury’s 

Law of England  Halsbury’s law of Malaysia

How to use? – Start look into the index (at the back of the book); find the keywords wanted; and go to relevant volumes/ issues

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 

Books & Journals The main literary sources of law How to find? 1. Start with library catalogue – where to get? in card index @ computerised form (OPAC/Gemilang) But it only provides for general search terms! 2. Check index of law books published Law books in print

   

 

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(B) FINDING LAW REPORTS

Law reports are cases decided by the courts and reported in law journals. Techniques of finding law reports
 May

be easily located by its:  Name  Abbreviated name of the law report (better to remember) &  Location in law reports (citation)

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Example of law reports:
     

All England Law Reports (All ER) Indian law Report (ILR) Weekly Law Report Malayan Law Journal (MLJ) Singaporean Law Reports (SLR) Strait Settlement Law Reports (SSLR)

Reading case laws from actual report (law reports)
  

Shall be your routine exercise! Core component of studying law Comprehend how judges interpret the law passed by legislature

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Techqniues of understanding case laws
 Read

the gist from law books  Identify parties in dispute and take side  Mark with pen – facts, legal issues, counsel arguments, ratio decidendi, res judicata, court order.

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Example : Micheal Cooper v. Broadcasting

Corporation [1990] 3 All ER 784 Year [1990] Volume 3 Report All ER Page 784


(1990)
where set of reports consecutively numbered Only have one volume


[1990]
More than one volume available
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 Check

on the latest cases decided by higher courts
 Previous

precedents in lower may be followed, confirmed, overruled by higher court  If it is an appeal case – look into the majority and dissenting judgment (or unanimous decision)  Refer to: Current Law Case Citators/ Mallal’s Digest

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(C) FINDING LEGISLATIONS

Sources & Search Techniques?
 Short

title  Regnal year/ Act number  Others?: Law Reports: Statutes, Halsbury’s Statutes, Current Annotated Law Statutes

Read: Hansards – debate of the Bill (proposed law tabled in Parliamentary proceeding) – available on the Parliament of Malaysia website
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(D) USING COMPUTERISED RETRIEVAL INFORMATION SYSTEM (ONLINE DATABASE)
 LexisNexis

– www.lexis.com – UK-based service - full text legislation, case reports of most cases reported in England & Wales, other common law jurisdiction (including M’sia!)  Westlaw – US-based service – www.westlaw.com  Lawnet  Current Law Journal – www.cljlaw.com  Malayan Law Journal – www.mlj.com.my

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IMPORTANT REMINDER

Ask your librarian about searching legal materials from the online database!
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Part II: HOW TO READ LAW? (statutes & law reports)
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HOW TO READ STATUTES – SKILLS RERUIRED
Skills Required
S K I L L S

Language analysis skills

Identification of interrelationship between provisions

Diagrammatic methods for organising texts

Textual methods for organising texts

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HOW TO READ STATUTES – GO WITH HIERARCHY OF LEGAL SOURCES
Written law – see the pyramid of sources of law  Unwritten law – refer also to s. 3 & 5 of the Civil Law Act 1956
 

Islamic law – holds different priority of references
 Agreed

with consensus  Agreed without consensus

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HOW TO READ STATUTES - GENERAL LAYOUT

Parts Sections Subsections Paragraphs Sub-Paragraphs

Heading

Schedule

Parts

Title / marginal notes
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HOW TO READ STATUTES - SAMPLE I
Short title Act Number

Long title

Date of Royal Assent

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HOW TO READ STATUTES

Standards words of statutes Sections

Part

Heading

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HOW TO READ STATUTES
Parts Title Section number
Subsections number

Heading

Paragraph

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HOW TO UNDERSTAND LAW REPORTS - GENERAL LAYOUT
          

The name of the case The court in which it was heard The name of the judge(s) presiding The hearing date The catchword The headnotes Notes of cross reference to Halsbury/ Mallal’s Digest A list of cases referred to Details of the appeal The names of counsel appearing in the case The judgment (s)
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HOW TO READ LAW REPORTS - SAMPLE I
Presiding Court Parties In dispute

Appeal from lower court Catchwords

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HOW TO READ LAW REPORTS

Headnote

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HOW TO UNDERSTAND LAW REPORTS
Number of appeal & Name of Presiding Judge in lower court

Presiding Judges in the Privy Council
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HOW TO UNDERSTAND LAW REPORTS - SAMPLE I

Judgment

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HOW TO READ LAW REPORTS - SAMPLE II
Citation of the case

Parties in dispute Presiding court Hearing date Presiding Judge

Catchwords

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Headnote

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Paragraph

Decision of present court

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Law cases discussion in opinion

Legislation discussion in opinion

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Counsels for parties Reporter

Judgment

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Part III: HOW TO SUMMARIZE & ANALYSE LAW

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HOW TO ANALYSE LEGAL PROVISIONS (STATUTES)

Understand the application of the section. Understand the essence of the section. Reading annotated statutes/ Halsbury’s of Malaysia would be useful.

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HOW TO ANALYSE CASE LAWS

Never miss doing & improve casenoting
        

When the case was decided? Was that a first instance/ appeal case? What are disputed facts? What is/are legal issues involved (presented the trial/ appellate court – same @ different)? Which statutes, legal principles is applicable? Where is to extract the judicial reasoning given by the judge? Why/ why not the judge decided in that way? How the judge arrived at such decision? ** The very basic rule – 5W 1H !!**
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How to find and define ratio ?? Long judgment..how to detect ?? Is there any formula to define ratio ?
 Depend

on how the judges interpret the previous cases !!!  But remember the rule of judicial/ binding precedent !! ( will be discussed in Chapter II – Part II: Unwritten Law)  Ratio vs. Obiter dicta

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Remember !!!- the judge may:
 Apply  Confirm  Extend  Interpret  Distinguish  Criticise  Narrow

 Modify  Limit  Weaken  Obliterate;  Ignore

OR

THE PRINCIPLES ESTABLISHED BY THE EARLIER CASES !!!

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Part IV: HOW TO ANSWER LAW EXAM?

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2 types of questions

Essay
case study; quotation, Comment&criticism; short notes

Fictitious-fact problem

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ESSAY – FORM OF QUESTIONS
2

forms:-

 Direct

question or instruction  Indirect question- Quotation followed by question or instruction
 Direct
 Wide

question

ranging, easier to answer  Consider specific instruction?
 Quotation
 More

challenging; unlimited answer?  Know the sources is better, but not necessary !!  Each words bring significant to your answer !
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ESSAY – OUTLINING YOUR ANSWER
 Introduction  Discussions/  Conclusion

Issues

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PROBLEMATIC - CRUCIAL TIPS
 Commonly

used instruction – ‘Advise’.  Problem usually involves sequence of events, so much your answer too!!!!!!  Who you are asked to advise?  Cite authority for your propositions
 Simplify

the legal provision !!!  Present significant facts, followed by the judgment (ratio) !!
 Always

open your mind
argument for and against the case
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 develop

PROBLEMATIC – OUTLINING YOUR ANSWER
Who are the parties to be advised ?  Who are the parties involved?  What are the related legal provisions?  What are the relevant cases?  How to apply the authorities into the facts of questions?  What is your conclusion ?

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FINAL ADVICE

Take time to think and plan your answer  The hardest part – introduction & conclusion ?  Work better under pressure?
  ‘Practice

makes prefect’, but…  Nobody is perfect !!!  So what should I do??
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REFERENCES
James Holland & Julian Webb. (2006) Learning Legal Rules, 6th ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press (**HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**)  Sharon Hanson (1999) Legal Method, London: Cavendish Publishing Limited  Cottrell, S. (2003), The Study Skills Handbook, 2nd edn. Basingtoke: Palgrave Macmillan  Clinch, P. (2001), Using a Law Library, 2 edn., London: Blackstone Presss  Cross, R. (1991), Precedent in English Law, 4th edn., Oxford: Clarendon Press  Robert Lee, SWOT: Constitutional & Administrative Law, London: Financial Training Pte Ltd.

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