Meta syllogistic analysis of an offence – Elemental and elementary of local governance
Australasian Law Teachers Association
School of Business and Law
I-R-A-C, which is an acronym for ‘issue-rule-application-conclusion’ is the formulaic problem-solving template that is commonly taught to Australian law students. This paper suggests that criminal law should be taught to law students by presenting all offences and defences in their onstituent elements, with each element corresponding to an issue, which is the “I” in the I-R-A-C acronym. A criminal offence can thus be presented as a meta-syllogism in which each element of the offence comprises a mini-syllogism or ‘mini’ I-R-A-C. The risk of law students falling into error can be minimised by the use of I-R-A-C, provided certain conditions are met. Each element must attract its own internal analysis. The reasons which underlie the interaction between the elements as constituting a meta-syllogism need, to be understood. Law students can still fall into error, but it is submitted those errors are more apparent, and law students are therefore easier to teach, if the I-R-A-C method is used.