The United Kingdom does not have a Constitution Assignments | Online Assignment Services

PUBLIC LAW FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT AND GUIDANCE

Please see below the Public Law formative assessment essay:

 

“The United Kingdom does not have a constitution.”

Critically discuss this statement.

 

Do not write more than 1500 words in your essays, exclusive of footnotes and bibliography.

 

Guidance

This essay will allow you the opportunity to have an attempt at tackling a piece of legal writing, and OSCOLA referencing, which will not count towards your final grade in this unit. It will also allow me to give you some feedback on your written work.

There are a number of issues which I would like to draw your attention to and for you to bear in mind when you are writing the essay:

 

  1. The question asks you to “critically discuss”, or “critically analyse” or “critically evaluate” a specific statement. This means that you should look at it from more than one point of view (and the statement certainly allows for this) before coming to a conclusion;

 

  1. Your first paragraph should provide a ‘map’ of what points, for and against the statement, you are going to make in the main body of your essay. Then you should proceed to develop these points, paragraph by paragraph, before reaching a conclusion;

 

  1. Please avoid writing in the first person singular or plural; for example, avoid writing ‘I think…’, ‘I believe….’, ‘It is my opinion….’, or ‘We see that….’ Remember that a legal essay is a formal piece of work, so do not let your prose lapse into conversation or informality;

 

  1. Bearing in mind that legal essays are formal pieces of work, avoid shortened terms such as ‘It’s’, ‘don’t’ ‘can’t’, ‘won’t’. Use the full word or statement ‘It is’ ‘do not’ ‘cannot’;

 

  1. In terms of sentence structure, prose style, grammar and punctuation, look at how your textbook chapters and academic articles are written: look at the language they use and how they break down the various points they make, and use this as an example. Once again, the more reading you do the better it will be for you;

 

  1. The biggest share of your marks at this level of your education will be awarded for CRITICAL ANALYSIS: this means that you should try to keep description to a minimum;

 

  1. Mere opinion of your own without backing it up with relevant statutory, case law, or academic authority will not achieve you a good grade. Always substantiate your points/arguments with legal authority;

 

  1. In relation to the formative question above there exists a lot of academic literature. You can start by referring to your textbooks, and looking at the other books, reports, and articles referred to in your textbook footnotes. Do not limit yourself to textbook material when writing an essay or a report! In terms of the formative question I have already referred you to two important law journal articles by F.F. Ridley and E. Barendt on this subject (see my lecture slides for week 2). These will be very useful both in their own right and as sources of reference to other academic material in the footnotes;

 

  1. There are certain sources which you should avoid since they are non-authoritative, for example, do not cite my lecture notes or any introductory textbooks such as A-Level Law textbooks, Question and Answers in Law. Similarly, there are websites such as Law Teacher and other introductory websites which you should not cite as legal authority. Solicitors’ firms often have blogs in which they explain cases and legal points; while these are often interesting and can clarify legal points, they are not authoritative and should not be cited in a piece of formal coursework.

 

  1. Sources like Wikipedia and other such websites should NEVER be cited as authority in academic coursework;

 

  1. If you are in any doubt about a particular source, feel free to e-mail me to ask me about this;

 

  1. The OSCOLA referencing system is to be used for all legal coursework: it will tell you how to reference literally everything, and it gives examples of how to do it. Just google OSCOLA and it will take you to the website.

 

The very best of luck with your first piece of formative coursework!

 

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