Balancing Conflicting Interests Essay Structure

How to write an essay on Balancing Conflicting Interests for Law Unit 4 AQA exam

  • Created by: Laura
  • Created on: 15-06-14 14:12

Define different interests in society:

  • Pluralistic society
  • Different social classes, religions, races, culturual backgrounds, different ages
  • Conflicting ideas on how interests in law should be balanced
  • Interests: needs, rights, freedoms, claims, expectations

"When conflicts cannot be amicably solved between the two parties, the law must step in and attempt to achieve a balance"

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Balancing Criminal Cases: PACE

  • Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  • Balances the regulation of police powers whilst protecting public rights

  • "Individuals should be free from undue interference or surveillance from the state/police, however police should be allowed to detect crime and arrest or question suspects"
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Balancing Civil Cases

  • Conflicts are between individuals and/or companies
  • Contract law: deals that have been broken or breeched in some way
  • Negligence: Concerns the safety of those affected by the actions of others
  • For example, "a business would have the interest of making as much money as possible by being cost effective, whilst the individual has the interest of being in a safe environment or buying safe products. If the company cuts costs too much, there may be a risk of bad workmanship of faulty goods endangering the individual."
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Public Interest Over Defendant = Consent [BROWN]

  • Consent to an assault that causes an injury cannot be a defence
  • Brown: Group of sadmachchistic homosexuals convicted of S.47 and S.20
  • None of them saught medical attention pressed charges
  • Court found against them as they believed it was interest of society to curb this behaviour.
  • Lord Templeman stated: “society is entitled and bound to protect itself against a cult of violence. Pleasure derived from the infliction of pain is an evil thing. Cruelty is uncivilized”
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Defendant Over Public Interest = Consent [WILSON]

  • In Wilson, consent was a defence to injury where it takes place in the form of a private act between husband and wife, as this did not go against public interest.
  • This demonstrates the different ways in which the court balances interests between the public and D in a case
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Theoretical Standpoint 1: Jeremy Bentham

  • Gain happiness for the majority rather than individuals
  • "Every law is an infraction of liberty, and the law should only step in when the actions of the individual threaten the majority."
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Theoretical Standpoint 2: Jhering

  • Saw law as a way in which society could be ordered
  • Interests of different parties in a dispute had to be regulated, or society would end up in total chaos
  • The interests of the individual could conflict with the interests of society, so the law would have to act as a mediator 
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Theoretical Standpoint 3: Roscoe Pound & Marx

  • Interests will only be balanced if placed on the same level
  • Equal rights and wealth
  • The law is used to benefit the ruling class and not the working class
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Balancing Through the Legal System

  • Stop cases when the public interest clearly does not require prosecution
  • Not enough evidence = No prosecution
  • Not granted bail= Public interest and safety prioritised over accused rights
  • However, accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty
  • Aims of sentencing = Punish, reform, rehabilitate, public protection
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Thankyou beautiful notes helped a lot ;p



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