How to Write a Winning Legal Assignment using ILAC (IRAC)?

Table of Contents

    The organisation and assembly of a write-up determine if the primer shall be able to discern and understand the content. A good writer is one who enables a credible and eloquent argument. The basic and impressive essence flows from a clear and organised structure, which makes it apprehensive to our reader. IRAC method is a cypher for Issue, Rule, Application and Conclusion. IRAC represents a style of writing for legal analysis. It is one of the most celebrated styles of writing an assignment in order to make it more understandable to the reader to have a step by step analysis.

    In order to undertake an assignment, one needs to start by reading the given case law thoroughly. The first step is to give a brief description of the case law. One can eliminate the facts which are less relevant. For instance, an address of the applicant or the defendant can be ignored. After the summation of facts is done, begin with a spotting of the issues central to the case law.


    Issue: This head basically entails the central idea of the research paper. It talks about the legal question which is required to be evaluated. Why should this legal perspective be interpreted? It gives the reader a basic idea of what the research is based upon. The issue drafted should be such, that it crops out to be in the best interest of our client but should appear in a neutral or unbiased style. The need is to work upon the area of law and the jurisdiction which shall govern the question of law.

    For example, the director of a company buys a car for his own use, whereas the AOA of the company requires 2 out if 5 directors to sanction for any loan. In this case, the central issue shall be – Whether the director of XYZ Co. is authorised to undertake decisions without the contract being signed by two out of the five directors? Has the director surpassed his ambit of delegated authority in violation of AOA of the company?

    Law: It refers to the most prevalent legal rule or procedure which has to be applied to the issue in question. This shall pertain to a specific rule in the law statutes of the nation including sourcing of the legal principles evidenced by case laws and citations. Rules flowing out from legislation, statutes, precedents, tribunal decisions are an authority. In the above-discussed example, Sec-180 of Corporations Act 2001 forms the ruling statute.

    Application: In this, one needs to apply the governing rule to the facts of our case. The case laws used, can be referred to draw correspondence from. The summary of cited cases needs to be interpreted and correlated to the present case in own words. The important words from the ruling need to be highlighted, to show the interrelation among them. This section quantifies argument. In the above case, as the director owes a duty of care and diligence under sec 180, hence should go by the company rules in order to undertake any financial transaction, which he alone is not capacitated for. Similar decision was laid down in James Hardie case.

    Conclusion: It states the culmination of the issue or the question of law flowing from the application of the governing rule to the present facts. It should be a quick summary of the judgement, highlighting the liability of the accused, penalties imposed and the compensation to be given. In the above example, the director was held liable for violating his general duties under Sec 180 of Corporations Act 2001, and is required to compensate the company funds with the cost of car.

    IRAC style of writing is a comprehensive plan of action undertaken to format and structure the legal assignments for a better outlook to the reader or user of the content. One develops the style of writing by continuous assessment and practice.