Answering Tort Problems
Read the question carefully Plan your answer Adopt a structured approach Do not waffle or repeat yourself If a problem question - IRAC Identify Issue Rule – state the rule of law used with case name if possible Apply that rule to the facts Come to Conclusion – add criticism if possible Repeat with next issue until you have covered all issues
Tort Problem Structure
Start by identifying the tort involved Define the tort – make sure you know definition for negligence Take each element of the tort in turn and see whether – according to the rules of law – that element exists in this case- ie duty – breach – causation - damage Only at end should you deal with defences and vicarious liability Remember to add criticism and quality content – quotes from cases if you can
STYLE OF ANSWERS (Note ignore reference to take home exam… we don’t know what your exam will be yet!)
Answers should be written in complete sentences and paragraphs – not note form Check spelling and grammar Do not use the phrase “ I” or “ we” even if the problem asks that advice is given Write objectively – “ It is submitted that…Logically it follows… consequently..however..in contrast…” Always use the law – do not write as if you were having a casual conversation in a pub. If using a case for the legal rule – you do not need to cite its facts – but if you are drawing a comparison or contrast use the facts of the cited case. DO NOT REPEAT FACTS AT START!
Summarise your notes Produce a list of key legal issues that will need to be discussed/ written about for your problem You control the problem – not the other way around! Write each legal point / issue and then see how the facts of the problem determine the outcome of that legal point/ issue Remember you will need to discuss duty, breach, causation, damage, defences and vicarious liability