Hello and welcome to the Law Department at Reigate College.
My name is Natalie Holmes and I’m the Joint Head of the Law Department and course leader for BTEC Law. I’m looking forward to welcoming you in person to our friendly department at the beginning of the academic year and getting started on our interesting BTEC course.
For many of you, Law will be a new subject, so I’m setting some activities for you to complete independently from home over the coming months. Even if you have some prior knowledge, these tasks will give you an introduction to the skills and standards required at advanced level. I hope you enjoy the activities and I looking forward to discussing what you’ve learnt when you start in September.
The tasks will be released here, in three phases (see table below) and should be completed by Choices Day on 1 September 2021. Please throw yourself into them and above all enjoy them!
Please note, some Course Leaders (for example for Music) may release their tasks earlier, as they may form part of the College’s audition process. If this applies to you, you’ll be notified separately.
New Starters Course Tasks and Activities
To be completed by
Explore your Subject
Explore your Subject
Law will result in you developing a number of important skills. These include:
methods of written communication for different audiences
skills e.g. considering why something is important
skills e.g. justifying and using evidence to argue a point
On both the A Level and BTEC Level 3 courses, you will study concepts of both Civil and Criminal Law. It’s important you understand the difference between these two and how they are dealt with by the court system.
In this ‘Explore your Subject’ activity, we will focus on Civil Law.
What’s the difference between
Civil and Criminal Law?
Law deals with the behaviour of individuals, that’s considered to be against
the Law of the state. Examples could include assault, theft, robbery, criminal
damage and murder. People accused of committing criminal acts can be punished
through going to prison, doing community service or receiving a fine.
Law deals with disputes between individual people. Examples of this could include
divorce, suing for personal injury, business claims, disputes over land or
property and breaches of contract.
these issues are not against the law, they are cases between people in which
one party will claim they have been injured, or suffered some form of loss, or
are entitled to compensation.
Nobody will be punished or sent to prison in civil cases; instead one party will be ordered to give money to the other party as compensation for loss or injury.
Introduction to Civil Law
the topics you will study on both the A Level and BTEC Level 3 courses is Negligence.
means being injured as the result of someone else’s carelessness or negligence.
For example, imagine you were walking around the supermarket and a box of stock
had been left in the middle of the aisle. You do not see it, and trip and break
your leg. You could then sue the supermarket for negligence; they did not mean
to injure you, but they have been careless in not making sure the shop floor is
safe, and now you can try and obtain money to compensate for your injury
activity, you will need to use your imagination!
your kitchen at home, and imagine this is an actual workplace e.g. you are a
chef, and this is your work environment. Can you spot any hazards that could
possibly cause an injury?
anything you find, using your phone, and put the image into a PowerPoint or
save it into a Word document. See if you can find at least 5 examples and
include a brief explanation as to why it would be a hazard. An example has been
Alternatively, if you do not have a phone or are unable to do the activity at home, use google to find an image of a professional kitchen, and look carefully to see how they ensure that nobody is injured.
you are going to open your own business; you can choose whatever you want. Here
are some suggestions:
Dog grooming parlour
Children’s play centre
think of 10 things you would need to do to make sure your staff and customers
do not get injured and could then possibly sue you for money?
an example: Name of Business – Funky
Fashions Clothes Boutique
Customers might knock clothes onto the floor which could then be slipped on or tripped over
Have a staff rota to ensure someone is always on the shop floor tidying up any clothes that fall.
Do not overfill the displays because squashed clothes will probably end up spilling onto the floor
your own two-column table and list up to 10 ‘possible hazards’ in the left
column and 10 or more ‘solutions’ in the right column.
Taking it Further
the internet, research the case of Leah Washington who was injured at Alton
Towers on the Smiler ride
you find anything out about what went wrong and why Alton Towers were to blame?
you find anything out about the compensation she received and how it was
For your initial
Law-related tasks and activities, you were introduced to the area of Civil Law
and the concept of Negligence.
Your ‘Get Going’
tasks and activities are now going to switch the focus to Criminal Law.
For serious criminal offences, a defendant will be sent to prison. But does prison actually work?
Please then create a table similar to the one below, ideally as a Word document, but using a pen and piece of paper is fine (as long as you keep it somewhere safe and remember to bring it with you at the beginning of term).
Please then write down the arguments for and against sending people to prison – five or six answers for each column is probably about right. Please expand your answers over several lines for each argument, when required. We would like you to give detailed and thorough answers.
2. Sentencing criminals can be a difficult process. Do you think you would make a good judge?
Using this link work through the different cases and decide what sentences you would give the different defendants.
Please record what
factors affect your decisions. Please write
down your conclusions in a form you can look back on at the beginning of the
The scope of Law
On the Law, BTEC Level 3 course, you’ll be introduced to
many different areas, including:
• The nature of law and the English legal
• Criminal law
• Tort law
• Family law
Each of the above topics will be broken down into smaller
specific areas of law, for example in criminal law, you’ll cover:
• Elements of a crime
• Non-fatal offences
• Property offences
Euthanasia: right to live v right to die?
The areas of criminal law and human rights overlap in the
concept of euthanasia. In UK law, it is illegal to help someone to die through
euthanasia. It is even illegal to assist someone to make arrangements to die,
for example by helping them travel to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.
However, whilst it remains a crime in British law to assist
a death, there are many arguments that it should not be and challenges to the
current law have been made in the form of trying to pass an ‘assisted dying
bill’. In human rights there are arguments about the ability to decide when to
die and when life officially ends. It has been confirmed by the European Court
of Human Rights that feeding and ventilation can be withdrawn by a doctor, yet
a doctor cannot actively help a person to end their own lives.
In Law you will always be expected to analyse arguments;
this will involve weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of a particular
topic, or possibly analysing whether a Defendant has committed a crime based on
the evidence given to you in a scenario.
In the UK, there have been over 115 instances of people
assisting suicide; however there have only been prosecutions in two of these
The scenario below asks you to analyse whether Daniel’s
parents should or should not be prosecuted.
TASK 1: Read the
following facts from the case of Daniel James:
As a result of injury during rugby training, 23-year-old Daniel
James lost the use of his body from the chest down. He ended his life at
Dignitas in September 2008. His parents had assisted him to send
documentation to Dignitas, made payments to Dignitas from their joint bank
account, made travel arrangements to take him to Switzerland and accompanied
him on the flight. (Dignitas is the Swiss clinic where people can go
to have help committing suicide.)
TASK 2: You are
currently working as a barrister for the prosecution team in the Daniel James
case. Write at least one paragraph on why you think his parents should be
prosecuted for assisting his suicide and why.
You might like to consider:
whether he reached the decision alone
whether he clearly communicated his decision
whether Daniel sought the help from his parents
whether his parents were motivated by compassion
or some other motive
whether Daniel was able to physically undertake
the act himself
whether, on the facts given, his parents had
done anything like this before?
TASK 3: You have now
switched sides and are working as a barrister for the defence team. Write a
paragraph on why you think his parents should not be prosecuted for assisting
his suicide and why.
You might like to consider:
whether it was Daniel’s decision
his parent’s motivation for helping
whether his parents used only minor assistance
whether his parents would have been reluctant
whether his parents assisted the police in their
TASK 4: There are
many organisations who either support or oppose the concept of euthanasia.
Research the following websites, or alternatively select three organisations of
your own, and analyse their viewpoints and whether they think the law should be
changed or not. You might also consider researching cases that have gone to
court and have asked the judges to consider the concept of a right to die and
TASK 5: Finally,
create a table under the headings ‘Pro-euthanasia arguments’ and ‘Anti-euthanasia
arguments’ and list as many reasons as you can think of for and against the
legalisation of euthanasia.