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法律论文写作分析方法-IRAC讲解

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英美法系国家,由于大量适用案例法,所以他们更多的适用类比推理,可是事实真的是这样的吗?事实上,在英美法系国家,无论是法学院课程考试,bar exam,还是legal memo,都会用到IRAC。

IRAC is the most common paradigm for writing law school essay exams.

What is IRAC?

Issue, Rule, Application/Analysis, Conclusion

Method for organizing legal analysis so that the reader can follow your argument

Especially helpful in writing exams and legal memos

IRAC stands for Issue, Rule, Application/Analysis, Conclusion. It is one way to structure legal analysis. An effective essay (no matter the overall length) follows some form of the

IRAC structure where it is organized around each of these elements for each and every issue and subissue identified as a legal problem.

IRAC is an extremely useful tool in organizing any law related essay answer. It is not the only way to structure an answer, but it helps to make sure all bases are covered.

IRAC是Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion,因此,英美法中的法律分析方法其实是先找到小前提,然后给出相关的法律,最后是得出的结论。

那么IRAC到底怎么运用呢?

Issue

First state the question or problem that you are trying to answer (what might bring the parties into court). This can be in the form of a question or a statement depending on what your reader prefers. To find the issue, ask: “what is in controversy in these facts.” (Of course you need to know the law to find a legal question in the facts.)

Use the “whether, when” structure to help you isolate and write an issue statement. Some professors might not want to see this particular language – “the issue is whether.” You achieve the same result with other words

– “Did” or “Can.” You should always use the following language to guide your thought process: “The issue is whether,” . . . then identify and state the legal conclusion you want the court to reach . . .

Examples:

“There is an issue as to whether contact occurred when the plaintiff inhaled the second-hand smoke.”

“Does contact occur when one inhales second-hand smoke created by another?”

However, in legal memos, one may state the conclusion up front (in case the reader is too busy to read through the entire analysis. Some professors also prefer that you state the conclusion up front.

值得注意的是issue,而不是issues,也就是说,不要把很多issues堆砌在一起,而是每一个issue都单独的做一个IRAC。提炼问题是一个很困难的过程,因为一般仅用一句话来描述这个issue,你需要简练,反复研读case,然后给出其中的issue,正如前面所说的,一个case,可能有很多issue,不要把所有的issue列在一起,最好分开做IRAC,这样比较清晰。

Rule

State the rule or legal principle. This may take the form of stating the elements required for a prima facie(初步的) case.

Use building blocks for writing the rule of law, consider:

♦ Elements

♦ Definitions

♦ Exceptions to the general rule

♦ Limitations to the rule

♦ Defenses

When writing, follow a hierarchy of concepts by:

♦ Moving from the general to the specific

♦ Defining each legal term of art Identify

需要说明的是,这里的规则仅仅是与案件相关的规则,也就是说是需要论证和适用的规则,这个规则可以是法律,行政法规或者是案例。

Application/Analysis

The analysis or application is the heart of the discussion and sometimes works better combined with the rule. It is where you examine the issues raised by the facts in light of the rule. Your statement of the rule will drive your organization of the analysis. You simply match up each element you have identified in the rule (in order) with a fact, using the word “because” to make the connection between rule and fact. “Because” is the single most important word to use when writing the analysis. Using the word “because” forces you to make the connection between rule and fact. Also make use of the words “as” and “since” — they serve the same function as “because” and sometimes will sound less redundant when used in the same paragraph as “because.”

也就是说,在法律适用或者分析部分,你需要:

This is where you state your evidence and explain how you will arrive at your conclusion. You may cite other cases, discuss policy implications, and discuss (discount?) cases that run counter to your conclusion.

Make sure that you weigh both sides and make counterarguments where appropriate.

这个过程其实是legal reasoning,你需要连接法律和案件事实。法律规则中往往都对法律要件有规定,比如判断是要约还是要约邀请,你需要从内容的确定性,行为人的主观意思和客观第三人理解三个角度或者其中一个角度来论证(取决于案件事实)。因此,你需要通过案件中呈现的证据来对法律规则进行论证。

Conclusion

Conclude each issue before drawing your final overall conclusion. There is no right or wrong answer, only logical analysis based on the rule and the facts which lead to a reasonable conclusion. Note: Repeat the process for each issue you identify — each issue forms the basis for a separate IRAC analysis.

所以在结论部分,你需要:

1.Stand back and play ‘the judge.’(扮演法官,即给出你的意见)

2.Choose the argument you think is the strongest and articulate what you believe to be the appropriate answer.

3.State who is liable for what and to what extent.

4.Consider how parties could have acted to better manage their risks in order to avoid this legal problem.

无论是考试,还是写legal memo,你都需要给阅读者一个明确的答案,你认为这个法律问题的结论是什么。当然,为了说服阅读者,你在最后的结论部分,应尽可能简短地给出你自己的论点然后你的答案。

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