Leach, a member of the NSW Young Liberals, argues that politics has no place in a criminal justice exam and asks: “What does this have to do with criminal law?”
Such a statement by a law student is naive. Exam preparers purposely include factual elements such as political affiliation in a criminal justice exam to lead students astray. This red herring creates confusion and doubt among the students as to whether these opinions or statements of the characters can count as admissible evidence to be used against them in regard to forming a motive or intent to commit the following crimes.
A political ideology like this forces students to remove their own views and beliefs and requires them to decontextualize the situation by focusing only on the relevant factual matters being presented.
It capitalizes on what kinds of arguments the accused can put forward in defense and or what the accuser might put forward and present to the jury.
While I can understand that Freya saw elements of herself in a fictional character that could be unsettling, it’s worth noting that the take-home exam also used the first names of four other students in the criminal justice cohort.
The media’s interest in the story has had a huge impact on the entire cohort of students. The university has since withdrawn the exam and moved a replacement outside of the semester dates, creating chaos for international and regional students planning to leave Sydney or return home. In addition, this affects students enrolled in summer school subjects and those taking the course part-time and requiring additional free time.
These assessments are confidential and any assistance or collaboration will be considered collusion involving proportionate academic sanctions. The disclosure of this assessment by the media was guaranteed to cause chaos.
The story should have been postponed until after this exam was completed. The faculty was negligent in including the first names of students currently enrolled in the course without asking their permission.
But the fact that the whole issue has been played out in public, endangering the entire criminal justice cohort of more than 400 people, is the real outrage and the issue that should spark controversy rather than the alleged politicization of a law exam.
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