AUSTRALIAN Legal studies essay on the right to seek asylum

Year 11 Legal Studies Diagnostic 1.4

Due:  Tuesday 29 May 5pm


This diagnostic will help you plan for the final assessment in the ‘Human Rights’ unit.  Your finished product will be a practice essay!

When finished, upload D1.4 to the Dropbox on Blackboard. Be sure to have completed the required Work Rate Calendar readings and listened to class recordings before attempting this diagnostic J


Task 1: Review the Sample Essay Provided to you with diagnostic 1.3

You are required to write an essay under exam conditions for your final assessment piece for this unit so it is important to review the essay we have provided in D1.3. This will help you with your structure and will also help you ensure that you have addressed all the dimensions in your essay.


A few points:

Use the sample to help you in your own essay to:

  • Ensure you have an introduction and a conclusion
  • Ensure you have body paragraphs and that you have structured each paragraph correctly
  • Ensure you have a paragraph dedicated to your recommendations for change or, if you believe the system should remain the same; – be sure you have justified your position (Dimension 3).


Task 2: Plan Your Essay

Genre style (language):

  • formal;
  • paragraph: Point, explanation, evidence and links;
  • no slang;
  • use 3rd person (never say ‘I believe’ but rather ‘it is obvious’ or ‘it is clear’);
  • no headings, just a line between each paragraph; and
  • show the use of cases and legislation.




  1. Give a broad overview (incorporate a quote).
  2. Give your argument. E.g. Australia does/does not adequately protect human rights.
  3. Outline your arguments and structure. Firstly, the current system will be discussed.  Secondly… Thirdly, recommendations will be given.



Paragraph 1:

Outline how rights are protected in Australia. How do we protect rights in Australia?

  • Common law rights can be enforced by the courts but are easily overturned by legislation.
  • Humans Rights Commission that can act on people’s behalf.
  • Courts and Commissions help to enforce legislation such as Racial Discrimination Act, Sexual Discrimination Act etc.
  • Constitution: Express rights, implied rights, structural protection.
  • International Treaties which show intention but are unenforceable until incorporated in domestic legislation.




Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 (Body)

Each one should contain one argument that supports your thesis.


For example, if you think that Australia does not adequately protect human rights then your first paragraph might be about how there are so few rights protected by the Constitution.


If you think that Australia does adequately protect human rights then your first paragraph might be about how, by not having rights entrenched in the Constitution, we have the flexibility to constantly change and emphasise different rights so that there can be a balance of important rights, rather than one right always being paramount.


Ensure you back up each of your arguments with legal evidence from case law and legislation!


Paragraph on recommendations: choose one of the three options below.

  1. Create a Constitutional Bill Of Rights: Which rights to include? Referendum needed??
  2. Create a Statutory Bill Of Rights: explain how this would operate and impact the current system.
  3. Keep the system the same – if you decide the system should stay the same be sure to justify this position – why is change unnecessary?


This is one of the most important paragraphs in your essay as it is where you are assessed on Dimension 3 “Responding to the Law”.



Summarise your thesis and recommendations for change but do not introduce new arguments.


Task 3: Write your essay (Min 400-600 words)


On your exam you will be given a stimulus statement like the one below in Appendix A. You will be required to produce an essay in 400 – 600 words that critically evaluates that statement. Please complete the following practice essay to prepare you for this exam.


“The Australian legal system adequately protects and enforces fundamental individual human rights. In fact, Australia is a ‘champion’ of human rights.”


Write an essay which critically evaluates this statement and makes recommendations for the Australian legal system.


Former Prime Minister John Howard made the following statement on 18 February 2000:

“Australia’s human rights reputation compared with the rest of the world is quite magnificent.”


Remember to refer to one of the following topics in your response:


Freedom of speech vs the right to be free from racial vilification; OR

The right to seek asylum.

Appendix A: Syllabus Assessment Dimensions

The Dimensions for a course of study in this subject are:

  • Dimension 1: Knowing and Understanding the Law
  • Dimension 2: Investigating Legal Issues
  • Dimension 3: Responding to the Law.

Dimension 1: Knowing and understanding the law

The Dimension “Knowing and Understanding the Law” involves describing, explaining and communicating legal facts, concepts and processes.


By the conclusion of the course of study, students should:

  • define and describe facts using legal terminology;
  • explain legal concepts and processes; and
  • communicate meaning using language conventions to suit purpose and audience.

Dimension 2: Investigating legal issues

The Dimension “Investigating Legal Issues” involves exploring legal situations through selecting, organising and analysing information to demonstrate legal inquiry processes.


By the conclusion of the course of study, students should:

  • select and organise legal information from sources;
  • analyse legal situations to identify and examine legal issues and stakeholders’ perspectives; and
  • apply legal concepts and processes to legal issues to determine legal outcomes.

Dimension 3: Responding to the law

The Dimension “Responding to the Law” involves examining the attempts of the law to achieve just, fair and equitable outcomes to legal issues.


By the conclusion of the course of study, students should:

  • evaluate the law and stakeholder responses;
  • make decisions and recommendations about legal outcomes and their implications; and
  • justify decisions and recommendations using evidence and legal reasoning.



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