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2011 HSC Legal Studies exam

Below is a breakdown of how well past Legal Studies students answered questions that related to sentencing and punishment. Answers with an asterisk are the correct answers.

Question 4

What is the aim of a diversionary program?
(A) Imprisonment
(B) Incapacitation
(C) Rehabilitation*
(D) Retribution  

This question addressed diversionary programs with 83.2% of candidates answering it correctly.

Question 13

Which of the following may be an aggravating factor when sentencing in a criminal trial?
(A) The offender not being aware of the consequences of their actions
(B) The offender not planning the crime
(C) The age of the offender
(D) The age of the victim*

This question was about aggravating circumstances with 61.2% of candidates answering it correctly.

Question 14

Which of the following is a feature of victim impact statements in NSW?
(A) They are required by the court.
(B) They are presented at sentencing.*
(C) They are used in determining guilt.
(D) They are part of the prosecution case.

This question involved the concept of victim impact statements and was the second-least successfully answered question with only 44.1% of candidates answering it correctly.

Question 25

Explain the tension between community interests and individual rights and freedoms within the criminal justice system.

This was an extended response question coming out of the "Principal Focus" section of the syllabus. Many candidates drew on information from sentencing and punishment to establish their argument. The mean of 7.37/15 stood as the highest mean until the 2016 question on young offenders.