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Legal problem solving: Application

Legal problem solving: IRAC

Apply the rules to the problem

Application, or analysis or argument, is the most important, and the longest, part of your answer. It involves applying the rules to the facts of the problem or question. 

This is where you state your evidence and explain how you will arrive at your conclusion.  Use relevant precedent cases, legislation, or statements of legal principles to support your answer.

Apply or distinguish the relevant case authority, with consideration of how the facts are similar or different to those in the cases.

You should consider both sides of the dispute and address counter-arguments where appropriate. If applicable, include discussion of cases that are contrary to your conclusion. Focus on any contentious issues. Give an indication of the weight of the arguments when setting out counter arguments (e.g. strong, good, poor, weak). 

Order the issues in a sensible and effective way to lead the reader to your conclusion.

The example below establishes one element of our argument.

Example:

The company requires Matthew to attend meetings and training, which shows they have a high level of control over him (Stevens v Brodribb and ACE Insurance v Trifunovski). These factors indicate that he is an employee (Hollis v Vabu).

 

Tips:

  • Reading the reasoning of judges in cases can help you understand how legal problems are analysed and applied to the specific facts of a case.
  • Use legal principles and precedents in each analysis.