Question One – The IRAC Method
The IRAC Method is an analytic tool that provides a
framework for legal writing. Useful for case briefs, it provides a logical,
easy to follow structure.
After the relevant facts of the case are established, they are
separated into the following four elements in this order.
Consider the facts. What question or legal problem is to be
answered or solved?
Did Mr Smith commit
assault against Mr Jones?
Did the actions of
Company X constitute breach of contract with Customer Y?
State and cite the applicable legislation and/or the case that
answers question of the issue and the authority from which it comes.
Also known as Analysis,
this is the largest and most important step.
Detail the pertinent facts of the case. Identify and explain how the law applies to
the facts of this case objectively for both parties. If there are multiple
plaintiffs, address each individually.
End the section with any relevant counter arguments.
Make a prediction on what the ruling, most likely, will be.
Which party is liable and how could this have been avoided?
Question Two – Analysis of Davies v NSW Police
Mr Davies, Senior Constable Nguyen and Senior Constable May
of NSW Police
Mr Davies was pursued and arrested by S/Cst Nguyen, with the
assistance of S/Cst May. This occurred after a report by taxi driver, Mahama
Ibrahim that he was racially vilified and punched in the back of the head by
Davies who was his passenger at the time as well as three other people.
During the arrest, S/Cst Nguyen and S/Cst May exerted
physical force against Davies. They claim it was required to restrain Davies.
Mr Davies was forced into a concrete wall and later down onto the pavement.
While holding Davies S/Cst Nguyen pointed his gun at Davies
and said, ‘you better keep still if you value your life.’
As a result, Davies suffered facial and head injuries and
fractured ribs. He claims when S/Cst Nguyen pointed the gun at him he thought
he was about to die and is suffering post-traumatic stress disorder as a result
and is now on medication.
Mr Ibrahim chose not to file charges against Davies. Davies
was held for several hours before being released.
Did Senior Constables Nguyen and/or May commit battery
against Mr Davies?
Did Senior Constables Nguyen and/or May commit assault
against Mr Davies?
Does Mr Davies detainment constitute false imprisonment?
Battery is an intentional conduct that causes physical
interference with the body of another without lawful justification.
Assault is an intentional conduct that causes reasonable
apprehension in another person of an imminent physical contact without lawful
False imprisonment is an intentional that totally confines
another person to a delimited space without lawful justification.
The conduct of S/Cst Nguyen and S/Cst May was intentional
and it did cause physical interference with the body of Mr Davies. However, there
was lawful justification for these actions as Mr Davies had to be pursued and
subdued. It could be argued that the physical force exerted was excessive.
S/Cst Nguyen’s act of threatening Davies with his gun was an
intentional act that would cause reasonable apprehension of imminent physical
contact and harm. S/Cst Nguyen’s words and actions made Davies fear for his
life. This is evidenced by Davies’ resulting post-traumatic stress disorder.
After his arrest, Davies was held for some hours while Ibrahim
was interviewed and given the option of filing charges against Davies which he declined.
Davies was detained after assaulting Ibrahim, running police and resisting
arrest. Even though Ibrahim chose not to file charges It is reasonable that
police would keep him detained while they conduct their investigations and
interview witnesses and victims. Police had lawful justification for detaining
The physical force exerted on Davies was necessary to
restrain him. It should be found that a battery did not occur.
Nguyen threatened Davies with his gun after he was already restrained
and in custody. There was no lawful justification for this act and, for this
reason, would likely be described as assault.
Regardless of charges being filed or not, it is reasonable
for police told hold someone for a period of time after an arrest. It should be found that a false imprisonment did
If Davies was my client I would advise him to drop the
battery and false imprisonment charges and focus only on the assault charge.
If I was advising the police I suggest offering Davies a
settlement to cover any medical expenses in exchange for dropping the case.