IRAC Guide : Students : The University of Western Australia


IRAC Guide

Further information

    Research and referencing assistance Workshops and online guides
The following is a guide to help you use the IRAC method to sort through a hypothetical legal problem.

  1. Issue(s)
  2. Rule(s)
  3. Application
  4. Conclusion

Select the examples below to see how the IRAC method can be applied to different cases.

IRAC Example 1IRAC Example 1                                                    IRAC Example 2IRAC Example 2


Even if you are not required to submit a list of facts in your answer, it is a good idea to write one.  This will help you sort through the facts you have been given and determine which facts are relevant and how you are going to use them. The following is a list of questions that may help you do this

  • Who is involved? (identify parties specifically by name, if possible)
  • Who suffered?
  • How?
  • Why? (was is avoidable?)
  • What is the known (relevant) information?
  • Is there any missing information?
  • Include specific details like dates and monetary figures
Note: Reread the question at the end of the case study. This will tell you what you are supposed to be doing and it will help you determine which facts are relevant.



  • Identify the problem: what has gone wrong and for whom?
  • Name each Plaintiff and Defendant and briefly describe their individual issues
  • Work out what area of law may govern the resolution of the problem.
  • This could include, but is not limited to the following bodies of law
    • Contract law (be specific about which part)
    • Trade practices (e.g. misleading conduct)
    • A company law issue (e.g. breach of director’s duty)
    • Negligence Criminal Law
    • Constitutional Law
    • Partnership Law
  • Assignments generally relate to one area of law but the assignment will usually raise a number of issues within that general area.
  • Identify any conflicting or troublesome facts
  • Note: Assessment tasks are set around the work that you have done in class or will do in class. You are not expected to go outside the content of the unit but you are expected to explore it

Rules and relevant Law

  • Set out the legal principles that will be used to address the problem.
  • Source legal principles from cases and legislation.

Note: Make sure you are specific when stating the relevant law/rules that apply, and always make sure to support propositions with case authority.



  • Explain in detail why the Plaintiff’s claims are (or are not) justified, based on the body of law pertaining to the case.
  • How will this law be used by each party to argue their case?
  • Use relevant precedent cases or Legal Principles to support each answer.
  • You may also choose to use Legislation, when applicable.
  • There are often several Plaintiffs involved. Take the time to examine each case individually and analyse why their claims are (or are not) valid.
  • Legal Principals and precedent cases are used in each analysis, even if there is overlap among Plaintiffs (the same precedent can be applied to both parties, if appropriate. See example 2).
  • It is acceptable to refer the reader to another point in the paper, rather than rewriting it word for word, if the situation calls for the same legal recommendation. (See example 1 and 2)

Note: Take time to discuss the contentious aspects of the case rather than the ones that are most comfortable or obvious.



  • Stand back and play ‘the judge.’
  • Choose the argument you think is the strongest and articulate what you believe to be the appropriate answer.
  • State who is liable for what and to what extent.
  • Consider how parties could have acted to better manage their risks in order to avoid this legal problem.

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