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Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf

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Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf  [#permalink]

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 110, Date : 27-MAR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superficially similar, they differ profoundly in their approaches to and uses of legal reasons: substantive reasons are more common than formal reasons in the United States, whereas in England the reverse is true. This distinction reflects a difference in the visions of law that prevail in the two counties. In England the law has traditionally been viewed as a system of rules; the United States favors a vision of law as an outward expression of the community’s sense of right and justice.

Substantive reasons, as applied to law, are based on moral, economic, political, and other considerations. These reasons are found both “in the law” and “outside the law,” so to speak. Substantive reasons inform the content of a large part of the law: constitutions, statutes, contracts, verdicts, and the like. Consider, for example, a statute providing that “no vehicles shall be taken into public parks”. Suppose that no specific rationales or purposes were explicitly written into this statute, but that it was clear (from its legislative history) that the substantive purpose of the statute was to ensure quiet and safety in the park. Now suppose that a veterans’ group mounts a World War II jeep (in running order but without a battery) as a war memorial on a concrete slab in the park, and charges are brought against its members. Most judges in the United States would find the defendants not guilty because what they did had no adverse effect on park quiet and safety.

Formal reasons are different in that they frequently prevent substantive reasons from coming into play, even when substantive reasons are explicitly incorporated into the law at hand. For example, when a document fails to comply with stipulated requirements, the court may render the document legally ineffective. A will requiring written witness may be declared null and void and therefore, unenforceable for the formal reason that the requirement was not observed. Once the legal rule—that a will is invalid for lack of proper witnessing—has been clearly established, and the legality of the rule is not in question, application of that rule precludes from consideration substantive arguments in favor of the will’s validity or enforcement.

Legal scholars in England and the United States have long bemused themselves with extreme examples of formal and substantive reasoning. On the one hand, formal reasoning in England has led to wooden interpretations of statutes and an unwillingness to develop the common law through judicial activism. On the other hand, freewheeling substantive reasoning in the United States has resulted in statutory interpretations so liberal that the texts of some statutes have been ignored altogether.


1. Which one of the following best describes the content of the passage as a whole?

(A) an analysis of similarities and differences between the legal systems of England and the United States
(B) a reevaluation of two legal systems with the use of examples
(C) a contrast between the types of reasons embodied in the United States and England legal systems
(D) an explanation of how two distinct visions of the law shaped the development of legal reasoning
(E) a presentation of two types of legal reasons that shows the characteristics they have in common



2. It can be inferred from the passage that English judges would be likely to find the veterans’ group discussed in the second paragraph guilty of violating the statute because

(A) not to do so would encourage others to act as the group did
(B) not to do so would be to violate the substantive reasons underlying the law
(C) the veterans failed to comply with the substantive purpose of the statute
(D) the veterans failed to demonstrate that their activities had no adverse effect on the public
(E) the veterans failed to comply with the stipulated requirements of the statute



3. From the discussion of wills in the third paragraph it can be inferred that substantive arguments as to the validity of a will might be considered under which one of the following circumstances?

(A) The legal rule requiring that a will be witnessed in writing does not stipulate the format of the will.
(B) The legal rule requiring that a will be witnessed stipulates that the will must be witnessed in writing by two people.
(C) The legal rule requiring that a will be witnessed in writing stipulates that the witnessing must be done in the presence of a judge.
(D) A judge rules that the law requires a will to be witnessed in writing regardless of extenuating circumstances
(E) A judge rules that the law can be interpreted to allow for a verbal witness to a will in a case involving a medical emergency.



4. The author of the passage makes use of all of the following in presenting the discussion of the English and the United States legal systems EXCEPT

(A) comparison and contrast
(B) generalization
(C) explication of term
(D) a chronology of historical developments
(E) a hypothetical case



5. Which one of the following best describes the function of the last paragraph of the passage?

(A) It presents the consequences of extreme interpretations of the two types of legal reasons discussed by the author.
(B) It shows how legal scholars can incorrectly use extreme examples to support their views.
(C) It corrects inaccuracies in legal scholars’ views of the nature of the two types of legal systems.
(D) It suggests how characterizations of the two types of legal reasons can become convoluted and inaccurate.
(E) It presents scholars’ characterizations of both legal systems that are only partially correct



6. The author of the passage suggests that in English law a substantive interpretation of a legal rule might be warranted under which one of the following circumstances?

(A) Social conditions have changed to the extent that to continue to enforce the rule would be to decide contrary to present-day social norms.
(B) The composition of the legislature has changed to the extent that to enforce the rule would be contrary to the views of the majority in the present legislative assembly.
(C) The legality of the rule is in question and its enforcement is open to judicial interpretation.
(D) Individuals who have violated the legal rule argue that application of the rule would lead to unfair judicial interpretations.
(E) Superior court judges have consistently ruled in decisions regarding the interpretation of the legal rule



7. According to the passage, which one of the following statements about substantive reasons is true?

(A) They may be written into laws, but they may also exert an external influence on the law.
(B) They must be explicitly written into the law in order to be relevant to the application of the law.
(C) They are legal in nature and determine particular applications of most laws.
(D) They often provide judges with specific rationales for disregarding the laws of the land.
(E) They are peripheral to the law, whereas formal reasons are central to the law.



  • Source: LSAT Official PrepTest 12 (October 1994)
  • Difficulty Level: 650

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Originally posted by vards on 11 Jan 2015, 09:11.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 19 May 2020, 07:35, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2017, 09:34
Can anyone please explain 16th?

Thanks
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Re: Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2017, 23:17
ZenYogi wrote:
Can anyone please explain 16th?

Thanks


Let me try.

The catch here is to understand the difference between substantive reasons and formal reasons and the difference is quite clear from the examples given in passage.

Substantive reasons - A law is made, not to allow vehicles in the park, but a World war memorial vehicle is allowed to enter the park as it does not disturbs the motive of the law. So alterations to the law under substantive reasoning is allowed but warranted.

Formal reasoning - Formal reasoning expects everything to be explicitly mentioned in the text of the law.

With this difference, I think it is clear why we E is the correct answer for 16th.

Hope this helps, let me know for any further doubts.
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Re: Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Apr 2017, 23:39
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For 16th, from what I understand now is the following:
The paragraph says that - "a will may be declared null and void..... application of that rule precludes from consideration substantive arguments"
So when a judge applies a legal rule, then only formal reasons have to be considered and substantive reasons are ignored.
But the passage does not describe the case what happens when the rule is not applied. It can be inferred that if a judge were not to invoke such a legal rule or law, then substantive arguments are free to be considered.
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Re: Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2019, 07:11
Hi Expert,

Please explain the answer for the Question3.

Thank you.
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Re: Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf  [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2019, 00:20
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Explanation


3. From the discussion of wills in the third paragraph it can be inferred that substantive arguments as to the validity of a will might be considered under which one of the following circumstances?

Explanation

Para 3 suggests that substantive reasons are only taken into account when judges decide that exceptions to formal reasons, or “stipulated requirements,” are permissible because the legality of a law is still open to question. In the case of a will, then, substantive reasons about its validity would be taken into account only if a judge reasoned that the formal provision (that a will must be witnessed in writing) could be waived because its legality had not yet been established. (E) alone outlines such a scenario.

No other choice waives the “stipulated requirement” that a will must be witnessed in writing.

• If a question baffles you, scan the answers for a choice that looks different from the others, as (E) looks here. Then evaluate that choice on its own merits.

Answer: E


ballest127 wrote:
Hi Expert,

Please explain the answer for the Question3.

Thank you.

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Re: Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf  [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2019, 10:33
Why D can't be the answer for Question no 7?
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Re: Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2019, 00:29
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ballest127 wrote:
Hi Expert,

Please explain the answer for the Question3.

Thank you.

ballest127, let us know if you still have a question about that one after reading the explanation that SajjadAhmad posted?

CerCap wrote:
Why D can't be the answer for Question no 7?


Quote:
7. According to the passage, which one of the following statements about substantive reasons is true?

(A) They may be written into laws, but they may also exert an external influence on the law.
(B) They must be explicitly written into the law in order to be relevant to the application of the law.
(C) They are legal in nature and determine particular applications of most laws.
(D) They often provide judges with specific rationales for disregarding the laws of the land.
(E) They are peripheral to the law, whereas formal reasons are central to the law.

Substantive reasons might go against the "wooden" (i.e. "literal") interpretation of a law, but they are not used to convince judges to disregard the law. On the contrary, someone using substantive reasons would argue that such reasons are consistent with the intended purpose of the law (as demonstrated by the jeep example)--and that a rigid, literal interpretation of the law might in fact go against the intended purpose.

In using substantive reasons, we aren't trying to get the judge to ignore or disregard the law. We just don't want the judge to interpret the law too literally.

Now let's look at choice (A). We are specifically told that substantive reasons are found "in the law". Also, the third paragraph states, "... even when substantive reasons are explicitly incorporated into the law at hand..." This tells us that substantive reasons can be explicitly incorporated into laws (i.e. that they may be written into laws). So that takes care of the first part of (A).

As for the second part of (A), we are told that substantive reasons are found "outside the law" (external) and that they "inform the content of a large part of the law". In the jeep example, "no specific rationales or purposes were explicitly written into this statute." Most judges would find the defendants not guilty, not because of what was written into the statute but because of the external influence of substantive reasons.

(A) is a much better answer than (D).
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Re: Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf  [#permalink]

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New post 18 May 2020, 15:56
SajjadAhmad

Hi,

I got Q1 and Q5 wrong, can i possibly see the OE for these please ?

Thanks,
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Re: Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf  [#permalink]

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New post 19 May 2020, 07:45
mehro023 wrote:
SajjadAhmad

Hi,

I got Q1 and Q5 wrong, can i possibly see the OE for these please ?

Thanks,
K


Explanation


1. Which one of the following best describes the content of the passage as a whole?

Difficulty Level: 650

Explanation

Straightforwardly encompasses the correct topic, scope, and purpose of the passage. Should be a slam dunk.

(A) is beyond the scope, way too broad. The text focuses on one specific difference between the legal systems, not multiple ones. Moreover, the text doesn’t go into any specific similarities between the two, it just suggests that they exist.

(B) is less broad than (A), but not by much. (B)’s noun is off. A “reevaluation” would suggest that the author’s got a definite point of view; this author’s purpose, however, is descriptive rather than argumentative. Secondly, what’s the initial evaluation of which this is a “re-”? Finally, this choice doesn’t refer at all to the topic and scope of the text.

(D) also hinges on a poor noun. The text describes; it doesn’t explain. And, again, there’s no reference to the American and English legal systems, let alone to a basic difference between them.

(E), like (B) and (D), fails to mention the American and English legal systems. It also misrepresents the author’s purpose, which is to sharply contrast two types of legal reasons.

Answer: C


5. Which one of the following best describes the function of the last paragraph of the passage?

Difficulty Level: 650

Explanation

Nicely summarizes — albeit in abstract terms — the function of the last para.

Last Lines of the passage:

examples of formal and substantive reasoning. On the one hand, formal reasoning in England has led to wooden interpretations of statutes and an unwillingness to develop the common law through judicial activism. On the other hand, freewheeling substantive reasoning in the United States has resulted in statutory interpretations so liberal that the texts of some statutes have been ignored altogether.

Describe the legal consequences for America and England, respectively, of “extreme interpretations” of substantive and formal reasons. The four remaining choices all misrepresent the last para’s function, which isn’t to comment on the validity of legal scholars’ methods or views. It certainly isn’t to comment negatively on legal scholars, and notice that inaccuracy or blunder is a common theme among all four wrong answers.

In Para 3, the author simply mentions legal scholars in order to introduce the point that extreme interpretations of substantive and formal reasons have had a significant impact on the American and English legal systems, respectively.

Answer: A


Hope it helps
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Re: Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf   [#permalink] 19 May 2020, 07:45

Although the legal systems of England and the United States are superf

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