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LAWS1100 Business Law - Tips and Examples

LAWS1100 Business Law: Semester 1, 2020
Mid-Semester Exam – Some Information and Examples
The Mid-Semester Exam will consist of 4 questions worth 5 marks each. It will be released
for a 24 hour period, from midnight 3 April 2020 (Thursday night) to midnight 4 April
(Friday night) 2020.
You will be given 60 minutes (1 hour) to complete the quiz.
Students will receive a randomised selection of questions.
Each student will answer 1 randomised question from each group of 4 question sets.
The 4 sets of questions are divided into the following areas:
a.) The Australian Constitution;
b.) The Australian Courts and Court Hierarchy;
c.) Statutory Interpretation;
d.) General Principles.
Students should therefore expect a question on each of the above areas of the law.
Generally, the questions are problem-based. This means students will be expected not only
to refer to relevant information, but also apply that information to resolve hypothetical
Students will be required to provide full justification for their responses. Responses that
are one or two sentences long will be insufficient to answer the question. Try to aim to
have at least a paragraph. Your answers should be full, not partial and provide all necessary
explanations where appropriate. The recommended word limit is 100-200 words per
response (generally, for a full response around 140-180 words would be required).
Students should NOT go over 200 words when responding to a question.
Please note that whilst the questions are randomised, you must undertake the test by
yourself, in an isolated environment. You must not seek assistance from other students.
Communication or interaction in any manner with any other student during the test is
strictly prohibited and, if identified, will be dealt with according to UQ’s standard policies
on academic misconduct.
The exam is open-book, meaning you are allowed to use all Course Materials to assist you
such as your textbook or your lecture notes. In addition, you are allowed to use the
internet to assist your work, for instance, by looking up the Australian Constitution.
However, we strongly recommend you confine your resources to the officially prescribed
resources in this course.
Below we provide two examples, which are only designed to illustrate the general or
overall feel of questions you may get, and the kind of answers that are expected. They are
not representative of the questions you will receive.
The best way to study for the exam is by having a good understanding of all the materials
taught in this course in Teaching Weeks 1 and 2 and Chapters 1 to 4 of the textbook.
If you have any questions, please email t.thomas@law.uq.edu.au or your tutor. During the
test it will not be possible for us to communicate with you so please ensure that any
clarification is sought prior to the test.
WARNING: These examples show you the kind of questions and responses that are expected by
examiners. Use them as a guide only. You will not receive these questions in the real exam.
Example 1 Question (Court Hierarchy) (5 marks)
In March 2020, Jordan, a 19-year-old student, is charged with murder. Police allege that in
February 2020, at St Lucia, he punched another man in the head twice, causing the man to fall
onto the ground and suffer serious injuries. Jordan’s matter is first heard by the District Court of
Queensland, which determines that the Crown does not have sufficient evidence to proceed. The
Queensland Police Service then lodge an appeal to the High Court of Australia, seeking a full
hearing before seven Judges. The High Court of Australia refuses to grant special leave to appeal
and remits the matter back to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia for consideration. Describe any
issues with the above process and discuss how, if at all, the matter should have proceeded
through the Court hierarchy.
Good Answer (5/5 marks)
The matter should have commenced in the Magistrates Court in Queensland for a committal
hearing. Here, the Magistrate will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a
trial. Committal hearings do not occur in the District Court of Queensland, contrary to the facts in
the scenario (2 marks).
Any trial would occur in the Supreme Court, given that there is a murder charge. The High Court of
Australia does not hear original jurisdiction trials of this nature. Its jurisdiction is defined in the
Australian Constitution ss 75, 76 (1.5 marks).
It was wrong for the High Court of Australia to have remitted the matter back to the Federal
Circuit Court of Australia. Murder is a State crime and would be heard in the State Court hierarchy.
In the event of an appeal from the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal would hear the matter.
From there, an Appellant can seek special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia. If
granted, the appeal would be heard there (1.5 marks).
Note how the answer here fully explains the process through which the matter should have
The answer methodically steps through any significant issues/problems within the
scenario, directly answering the question posed.
Full explanations are provided, including reference to appropriate sections.
Poor Answer (1 or 2/5 marks)
The High Court should not have heard the matter. It should have been heard by the Magistrates
Court and the Supreme Court in the State Court hierarchy (1 or 2 marks would be awarded).
In contrast to the above response, this answer lacks depth and sophistication.
The answer contains no explanations or justifications.
Answers should not be one or two sentences. They should be at least a paragraph, as a
very general rule and different concepts should be separated into different paragraphs.
Example 2 Question (The Australian Constitution) (5 marks)
In December 2019, the Federal Parliament passes various pieces of legislation. The first is the
Taxation Advantages Act which increases the rate of personal income tax for Queensland
residents by 8.5%, whilst lowering the rate for New South Wales residents by 4.5%. The second
piece of legislation is the Immigration Restriction Act, which prevents individuals diagnosed with
transmissible viral illnesses from entering Australia. The third piece of legislation is the
Queensland Educational Reform Act, which implements a mandatory curriculum for high school
students in Queensland, which Queensland must implement over a 12 month period. Discuss the
validity of the above pieces of legislation.
Good Answer (5/5 marks)
The Taxation Advantages Act is invalid. Under s 51(ii) of the Commonwealth Constitution, the
Parliament shall have the power to make laws with respect to taxation, but not so as to
discriminate between States or parts of States. Here, the Act discriminates between Queensland
and New South Wales by setting out different rates of personal income tax for residents of those
States (1.5 mark).
The Immigration Restriction Act is valid. It is supported by s 51(xxvii) which allows federal
Parliament to make laws on immigration and emigration. Here, the Act deals with people coming
into Australia with transmissible viral illnesses (immigration) (1.5 mark).
The Queensland Educational Reform Act is invalid. Legislative powers can be exclusive for federal
Parliament, concurrent between Federal and State governments or residual and belonging only to
States. Education is a residual power. It belongs to States. Therefore, the federal Parliament does
not have power to pass the Act and it would be invalid, being unsupported by a head of power in s
51 of the Australian Constitution (2 marks).
Similar to the answer given in Question 1, note how the answer logically steps through
each piece of legislation one-by-one, explaining whether it is valid with reference to
precise sections and subsections in the Australian Constitution.
The answer begins by explaining the general rule (eg s 51(ii) power) and then applies the
rule to the facts to resolve the question.
Appropriate explanations are provided to provide context to the examiner.
Poor Answer (1/5 marks)
All of the Acts are valid because they are supported by s 51 of the Australian Constitution. For
example, the Education one is valid because the Parliament has power to make laws for the
welfare of the country. Also the Immigration Act is valid because it deals with national security or
The above answer is poor because it demonstrates gaps and errors in knowledge and does
not contain sufficient detail to answer the question.
Precise justifications and references to sections in the Constitution are not provided and
the student has not adequately demonstrated an understanding of the key areas (ie heads
of power and areas of legislative power).
Note how the questions in the Mid-Semester exam will be problem-based, and will call for
more than just a recitation of knowledge.
Students will be expected to apply the knowledge to real-world problems, as seen in the
good answer above.