Recent Papers 03-01-2022

Critically evaluate whether the police accountability mechanisms in England and Wales are sufficient to ensure that police officers act to the standard expected of them

You should use up to 1000 words for answering this question in the style of an essay.

Question 1

6, with reference to the balance between protecting individuals against police power and the operations of the police in their role in preventing crime.

Question 2

You should use up to 300 words for answering this question.

This question tests your ability to plan an answer to a problem question, including your ability to demonstrate how to apply the IRAC method to such a question.

Read the problem scenario and draft a plan to answer the question that follows. You should not answer the question in full, but should produce a plan structured in a similar way to the example in Box 3 in Section 6.1.4 of the Law undergraduate guide:

Gallodan Giants (‘Giants’) are a senior women’s rugby union team, who play in the top league of the English rugby structure, which has recently become fully professional. One Saturday near the end of the season, the Giants are playing a league title game against the Monthorpe Mavericks (‘Mavericks’). This game will decide who wins this year’s league title.

The Giants are ahead by two points with three minutes to go. Despite the Mavericks having the ball inside the Giants’ half of the pitch for the remainder of the game, the Giants hold on. The referee blows the final whistle and the Giants win the game, and the league title.

After the final whistle, Miriam, the Head Coach for the Mavericks, is disgusted by the exuberant celebrations of the Giants’ coaching team. Curtis, a Coach for the Giants, starts running up and down near the Mavericks’ dugout, celebrating wildly. Overwhelmed by the surrounding noise, Miriam hallucinates that Curtis is coming quickly towards her with fists raised to attack her. Acting quickly to defend herself, Miriam picks up a metal rugby ball pump lying on the grass near her and hits Curtis repeatedly over the head with it, crushing his skull. Curtis dies immediately. Critically evaluate whether the police accountability mechanisms in England and Wales are sufficient to ensure that police officers act to the standard expected of them, with reference to the balance between protecting individuals against police power and the operations of the police in their role in preventing crime.

Miriam is confused by what has happened. While she is in police custody, she is assessed by a doctor. Miriam is found to have a glioblastoma, a fast-growing brain tumour, that is causing her to hallucinate, anger very quickly and lose control of her actions. The tumour is successfully removed through brain surgery and the hallucinations and other symptoms stop.

Draft a plan advising Miriam of her criminal liability in relation to the death of Curtis.

When preparing your plan you should consider how you will use the IRAC method to inform your answer, including:

  • identifying the key legal issues arising from the facts set out in the scenario
  • stating the relevant legal rules that apply to the issues
  • applying the legal rules to the relevant facts, referring to key legal sources
  • reaching a conclusion about the likely liability of Miriam for the death of Curtis.
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