Assessment booklet 1

Cut-off date: 12 noon (UK local time) 28 November 2012

Your answer to this TMA should not exceed a total of 1,500 words. This TMA counts for 20% of your overall continuous assessment marks.

Further guidance is available in the LLM Assessment guide [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

You will need to find the following to complete the assignment:

  • Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (as amended)
  • A Court of Appeal (Civil Division) decision concerning a claim brought by Lisa Ferguson against British Gas Trading Ltd.
  • Question 1
  • What is the legal meaning of harassment? Explain your answer by reference to the statutory sources you have located.

(25 marks)


Question 2

With reference to the Court of Appeal decision you have located, complete the following tasks:

  1. Summarise the relationship between the criminal offence of harassment and the statutory tort of harassment.
  • marks)
  1. What role does the principle of objectivity play in interpreting the meaning of harassment?

(8 marks)

  1. Summarise the issue before the Court of Appeal and the objective of the party bringing the appeal proceedings.

(6 mark)

(20 marks)


Question 3

Drawing upon research from any area of English law, critically evaluate how the legal meaning of harassment has been approached. You should support your answer with examples from legislation or case law.

(40 marks)

Question 4

Post a message to your tutor group forum in which you attempt one of the following tasks (and also copy your postings into your TMA 01 submission):

  1. your own definition of harassment occurring solely via internet communication


  1. your own definition of an additional defence to the offence or tort of harassment


  1. an example of how the current legal meaning of harassment fails to meet the needs of today’s society.

(15 marks)


Advice on answering TMA 01

The purpose of this assignment is to test your ability to understand statutory sources of law and case law and to apply your understanding of legal meaning in a particular context.

Ensure that you make specific reference to statutory provisions and that you correctly reference any other legal sources that you choose to use in your answers. Detailed advice on referencing techniques can be found in the LLM Assessment guide [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

Harassment as a legal concept occurs in contexts other than the statute(s) referred to in the question and you should attempt to gain a broad understanding of this by undertaking your own basic research. It is not anticipated that you would need to spend more than an hour on such research.

The overall word limit for this assignment is 1,500 words; you will not be penalised for writing less than that. The consequences of exceeding the overall word limit are set out in the LLM Assessment guide.

Question 1

Do note that the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 has been amended by other legislation and you will need to find this to answer the question fully. Ensure that you support your answer to this question by reference to the statutory provisions. It is not necessary to copy significant portions of legislation to answer this question. You should think about the legal meaning of harassment and write your answer concisely.

Question 2

This question is designed to test your ability to extract relevant information from reports of Court decisions and to present that information in a concise but accurate way. The questions can be answered entirely from the Court of Appeal decision that you should have located so you need to allow sufficient time to locate it, read and digest its contents and then to write your answers.

Question 3

It is suggested that you aim to write approximately 600 to 700 words, depending on how much you have written for your other answers. You should think what harassment means and critically evaluate the approach that has been taken in legislation or case law. Your answer to this should take a different approach from what you wrote for Question 1 as you are not being asked to define harassment but to critically evaluate approaches that have been taken to interpreting its legal meaning. Given the likely word count available to you, it is not suggested that you choose more than a couple of examples as you are unlikely to be able to evaluate them in sufficient depth. This is not an essay so you should simply write a concise answer to the question and do not concern yourself with a detailed introduction.

Question 4

You must complete only one of the tasks in Question 4. Your answer should be posted to your Tutor Group Forum before the deadline for TMA 01 and also included in the electronic submission sent to your tutor via the eTMA system. Please note that your forum message must not take your overall word count for this TMA over the total limit of 1,500 words.

If you choose task (a) or (b) you can either draft your answer as though it is a statutory provision or you can write a description. If you attempt a statutory definition it is suggested that you provide a brief explanation as well.


Learning outcomes

TMA 01 will enable you to demonstrate the following learning outcomes of the module:

  • analyse, interpret and apply law
  • trace and retrieve legal sources and cite these correctly
  • synthesise and apply legal principles in a logical and competent manner to present a coherent, well-organised argument
  • identify, interpret and understand key legal rules, concepts and principles and be able to apply these.