Legal Reasoning Important Practice Questions

Legal Reasoning Important Practice Questions

Passage 1

Source: (https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/judicial-law/)

Parliament is sovereign and judiciary is subordinate. The head of Judiciary is the Crown who represents the “fountain of justice”. The rules against criticism of Judiciary reinforce the independence of judges where convention dictates that there should be no criticism from the executive to judiciary. Criticism can only be brought up under a motion addressing specific criticism or addressed to the crown for the removal of a judge.​​ The subjudice rule, in turn, suggests that where proceedings are in court or awaiting trial and MPs are barred from raising it as debate and no reference on criminal proceedings can be made from time of the charge until final appeal is determined.​​ The doctrine of legislative supremacy ensures that the courts are bound by the Act of Parliament to the effect of being required to do certain acts. European Communities Act 1972 provides an outstanding example of control which the legislature may exercise over the judiciary and vice versa. Under Section 3, courts are required to follow case laws of the European Court of Justice in dealing with matters of community law and to take full account of reception of community law into the United Kingdom.​​ Part 3 of the Constitutional Act, however, ended this by creating the Supreme Court for the UK separate from the House of Lords. Section 3 of the Act imposes a duty upon the Lord Chancellor and other government ministers to uphold judicial independence. This would therefore lessen the interference of Judiciary powers by the Executive.​​ If departing from the convention and moving towards a strict separation of powers, the Judiciary may question the validity of an Act of Parliament. However, A.V.Dicey submitted that no one can question the validity of the law under the Parliamentary Supremacy. Therefore, if the Judiciary is allowed to question the validity of an Act of Parliament, the Judiciary is seen to be breaching the doctrine of Parliamentary Supremacy.​​ Compared to the other two pairs, the Judiciary and Legislature relationship is seen to have a clearer Separation of Powers. Therefore, there are lower chances for them to abuse the use of powers.​​ The British Constitution has developed gradually from the past. Without being invaded and colonized by other countries, the United Kingdom has never​​ needed a written constitution and might not need one in the future. Constitutional Conventions are well abided by all organs of the state. Apart from a series of incidents including one where Margaret Thatcher departed from the convention, the convention seemed to be working very well. In my own opinion, the fusion of powers is the uniqueness of the constitution of United Kingdom and there is no need to adopt a US like constitution with Strict Separation of Powers.

Questions

  • ​​ In India doctrine of separation of power prevails. However judge of Tis Hazari Court felt that punishment that should be given in the cases of grievous hurt should be death only as a person intentionally causes so much hurt to the person if left alive may kill him next time. Thus he passes the law that in case of grievous hurt only death sentence shall be given. Decide​​ 

  • Judge may do so as it is in his authority to make laws

  • Judge may not do so as it is in his authority to make laws

  • Judge may not do so as it is not in his authority to make laws

  • Judge may do so as it is not in his authority to make laws

Ans. c

Rationale: the power to enact a law lies with the legislature, judiciary has no such power.

  • The​​ case of an MLA of BJP party wale being tried for the offence of murder at the High Court of Allahabad. Before the decision of the case was passed, legislature ordered the court not to give decision on this judgement as this is the matter of member of legislative assembly and the speaker of that assembly had the authority to do so. Decide

  • Legislature cannot interfere in the functions of judiciary

  • Speaker of the assembly has the sole authority matters related to MLAs

  • Only Supreme Court can adjudicate on the matters involving politicians

  • None of the above

Ans. a

Rationale: owing to separation of powers Legislature cannot interfere in the functions of judiciary

  • Which of the following countries have unwritten Constitution?

  • USA

  • UK

  • India

  • Pakistan

Ans. b

Rationale: The United Kingdom has never needed a written constitution and might not need one in the future. Constitutional Conventions are well abided by all organs of the state

  • What do you understand by the subjudice rule followed in UK?

  • where proceedings are in court​​ MPs are entitled to raise​​ it as debate

  • where proceedings are pending at Ministry of Law​​ MPs are barred from raising it as debate

  • where proceedings are decided by​​ court MPs are barred from raising it as debate

  • where proceedings are in court MPs are barred from raising it as debate

Ans. d

Rationale:​​ The subjudice rule, in turn, suggests that where proceedings are in court or awaiting trial and MPs are barred from raising it as debate and no reference on criminal proceedings can be made from time of the charge until final appeal is determined

  • What does the doctrine of Parliamentary Supremacy refer to as opined by Dicey?

  • When​​ the Judiciary is allowed to question the validity of an Act of Parliament

  • When​​ the Judiciary is​​ not​​ allowed to question the validity of an Act of Parliament

  • When​​ the​​ Executive​​ is allowed to question the validity of an Act of Parliament

  • When​​ the​​ Executive​​ is​​ not​​ allowed to question the validity of an Act of Parliament

Ans. b

Rationale:​​ A.V.Dicey submitted that no one can question the validity of the law under the Parliamentary Supremacy. Therefore, if the Judiciary is allowed to question the validity of an Act of Parliament, the Judiciary is seen to be breaching the doctrine of Parliamentary Supremacy.

Passage 2

Source: (https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-essays/judicial-law/)

A hearsay statement is defined as an assertion other than one made by a person while giving oral evidence in the proceedings tendered as evidence of the facts​​ asserted.​​ This means that oral evidence when tendered must be directly connected to the fact in issue. Any other statement which is not directly connected to the fact in issue would be a hearsay statement.​​ Reputation mostly consists of accumulation of hearsay evidence about what a person’s character is generally believed to be instead of what it actually may be. It may be based on rumour and conjecture and may also be a prejudiced opinion.​​ When such evidence is tendered with respect to facts in issue, it is not considered to be hearsay evidence, as the reputation of the person is the fact in issue. However when reputation is looked at as circumstantial evidence to draw an inference with respect to another fact, it is considered to be testimonial evidence where the community expresses an opinion on the reputation of a person, and this is admissible as an exception to the rule of hearsay.​​ Since in the latter cases, reputation is used as an exception to the hearsay rule, it is allowed only in cases where it takes a solid and definite shape so as to justify its acceptance. Mere rumours are not accepted, what is accepted though is the general estimate of the entire community, not what a few people might say. If the public opinion is decidedly divided, it may not be relied upon. This restriction however is difficult to observe as reputation is a subjective term, and there will always be people who differ from others in their opinion about a person’s character. It is difficult to find unanimity.​​ In recent years however, the focus has shifted towards the accused’s disposition to behave in certain ways, previous convictions etc. as more reliable evidence of character.​​ The distinction between character evidence in civil and criminal cases.​​ When the character of a person is the fact in issue, proof of general character may be received in both civil and criminal cases, however when the character is not a fact in issue, but is instead used as circumstantial evidence to prove other material issues, then it is allowed only in criminal cases, and under certain circumstances in civil law. This is true of both English law as well as Indian​​ law;​​ Section 52 of the Indian Evidence Act makes it clear that evidence of character to prove conduct imputed is irrelevant unless it appears from the facts to be otherwise relevant. Thus the test for admissibility is relevance.​​ The same is applicable to English Law. This was first explained in Attorney General v. Radloff where it was observed that in criminal cases, evidence of the accused’s good character was admissible as there was a just presumption that a person of good character would not commit a crime. It was further stated that in civil cases, such a presumption would not arise as the nature of the offences was such that they had nothing to do with​​ character. In subsequent English cases as well it was held that character of the accused was relevant in criminal cases and irrelevant in civil cases

Questions

  • ‘M’ was accused of the offence of killing ‘A’. At the trial prosecution produced ‘C’ as a witness and ‘C’ stated that ‘D has told me that M went to the house of A with a knife and he was murmuring today I will take my revenge’. Decide whether C’s statement is admissible in court?

  • Yes as this is a direct evidence

  • No as this is a heresay evidence

  • Yes as C has heard it directly from D

  • No as C did not see M killing A

Ans. b

Rationale:​​ A hearsay statement is defined as an assertion other than one made by a person while giving oral evidence in the proceedings tendered as evidence of the facts asserted.​​ This means that oral evidence when tendered must be directly connected to the fact in issue

  • ‘C’ is a housemaid in the house of ‘A’ and she is being tried for the offence of stealing a gold chain of A. At the trail ‘B’ and ‘G’ at whose place also ‘C’ works states that she is very faithful and has never done any such thing with them but ‘J’ and ‘K’ state the opposite.​​ Decide

  • Evidence given at the trial will not be treated as reputation as it is not a common belief of the society

  • Evidence given at the trial will be treated as reputation as it is a common belief of the society

  • Evidence given at the trial will not be treated as reputation as it​​ is not made in good faith

  • Evidence given at the trial will be treated as reputation as it is​​ made in good faith

Ans. a

Rationale:​​ reputation is used as an exception to the hearsay rule, it is allowed only in cases where it takes a solid and definite shape so as to justify its acceptance. Mere rumours are not accepted, what is accepted though is the general estimate of the entire community, not what a few people might say.

  • Which of the following statement is considered as heresay?

  • Statement which is not directly known but is known indirectly

  • Statement which is directly known but is unknown indirectly

  • Statement which is not directly known also is not known indirectly

  • Statement which is directly known also is known indirectly

Ans. a

Rationale:​​ A hearsay statement is defined as an assertion other than one made by a person while giving oral evidence in the proceedings tendered as evidence of the facts asserted.

  • What is the implication of Section 52 of the Evidence Act?

  • evidence of character to prove conduct imputed is​​ relevant unless it appears from the facts to be otherwise relevant

  • evidence of character to prove conduct imputed is irrelevant unless it appears from the facts to be otherwise​​ irrelevant

  • evidence of character to prove conduct imputed is​​ relevant unless it appears from the facts to be otherwise​​ irrelevant

  • evidence of character to prove conduct imputed is irrelevant unless it appears from the facts to be otherwise relevant

Ans. d

Rationale:​​ Section 52 of the Indian Evidence Act makes it clear that evidence of character to prove conduct imputed is irrelevant unless it appears from the facts to be otherwise relevant.

  • Under what circumstances character evidence may be obtained under civil cases?

  • When the character of a person is a relevant fact

  • When the character of a person is fact in issue

  • Both a and b

  • None of the above

Ans. b

Rationale:​​ When the character of a person is the fact in issue, proof of general character may be received in both civil and criminal cases, however when the character is not a fact in issue, but is instead used as circumstantial evidence to prove other material issues, then it is allowed only in criminal cases, and under certain circumstances in civil law.

 

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