Entry 36

Today started off with the tutorial in EU law. We were going through on how to answer a problem question accurately regarding EU law (this seems to be a running theme this week). I feel as though I’ve written the following quite a few times now: the treaties matter! Do not ever forget this. For learning purposes, it makes things quite simple for myself. Learn the essential statutes related to each topic and Bob’s your uncle! Obviously one could just look them up in the statute book, but in a time-pressured exam, it’s better to know them 100% (or at least all of it and have it tabbed).

After this, I headed off to my Land law lecture, where we started the law of mortgages. Let me just say, while it is seemly straightforward, there is a ton of work. For this just stand-alone section, we have around 5-6 hours worth of lectures! Also, we were informed by our lecturer that this part of the law is an essentially, for all intensive purposes, a standalone section. This means that I have a choice to make, I could just ditch this part of the law and not bother with it (though if I ever went into a practising land lawyer, I would have to know) or keep it to answer the most uncomplicated and straightforward questions for the exams. At the moment, I am leaning to learning it well, not just for the exams, but also I expect that my mother will ask me hundred-and-one questions about her set of mortgages. It’s not much to ask for, considering the support that I have been given to pursue this.

Finally, I ended the day with a lecture in EU law. Today we looked at the role domestic courts have concerning the ECJ when dealing with references to the court. We looked at whether this was a vertical or horizontal relationship. The answer to this depends on the court in question, as the courts that cannot be appealed against have been granted the right to interpret EU law for the entirety of the EU. This relationship would suggest a horizontal style one, however with the role of supremacy and the ECJ wanting to ensure that EU laws are interpreted correctly (whatever that is meant to mean), then it holds supremacy (as you may recall from previous blog posts/ non-binding opinion poll campaigns). It’s quite a touchy subject, but it makes sense that the EU holds supremacy as it about looking after the common market. How can have a “common market” with different rules inside? That’s why we have deference to the ECJ. Quite simply, it’s spelt out in the treaties.

Entry 35

Today I had the doubleheader of Equity & Trusts and Tort Law.

In Equity, we continued to look at secret trusts and this week we examined the use of half secret trusts. There was one glaring thing to note from the class, is that you cannot be the beneficiary and trustee of a secret trust. That would just make you the legal and equitable owner, in two different capacities. The courts will only strike this stupidity down. At least there are only a few cases to learn.

We also looked at the justifications for secret trusts and I can only agree with my lecturer. It doesn’t make sense. There is just an inconsistency in the way the Lords have gone about justifying the laws of trusts. When I decide to use a secret trust (of course I am going to use one), then I would definitely use a fully secret trust. Just a much cleaner and more straightforward tool.

In Tort, we did not spend that much time on cases, though it was a relatively short lecture. Instead, we spent quite a bit of time in the lecture going over an exam question which was not allowed. This was quite useful, as I have been grappling with this issue for the last couple of weeks. So, the process of looking at what is expected with new examples was not only informative but also reassuring.

Entry 34

Back to University after an action pack weekend!

So, a quick update on yesterday. I had to hand in my Public Law essay, while I had written most of the essay about two weeks ago, after going to office hours and having a class about what is expected in my essay, I had to redo my essay with what is expected from me regarding the class. Namely, to use the cases presented to me in class. This links today where at the end of my day, I had another set of office hours regarding problem questions. The way I would tackle these questions, which would also explain why I was having trouble with contributing to class, was that I would not consult the case law first. I would follow my natural instincts of what would be the logical solution to the problem presented and then see how case law could be applied in this situation. In essence, I was trying to induce what I thought was the correct argument, rather than deduced from the case law. Overcoming this barrier, won’t be difficult. However, I do think that I will need to sit down for longer periods to work on this. It might also explain why I enjoy land law the most (yes, the last couple of weeks are an exception), even if I do deduce something, I have to relate it the statute which gives me more of a definitive answer.

This morning I had a tutorial in Tort Law, and we just went over the one essay question and one problem question, both relating Psychiatric Harm. I don’t have much to say on the topic, other than there is quite a lot to be desired. The current state of the law is that the common law courts seem to be afraid to change the current standings and want parliament to take over. We then look at parliament and see…. well, what can only be described as a shamble, where psychiatric harm is not exactly on top of the agenda. The issues relating to cases about Hillsborough were seeing your sibling being in physical harm, as not a good enough reason for causing trauma (as a given) is ridiculous. What about your best friend? Nope. I think that the Judges on the case must have had no relationships beyond their own nuclear family. Otherwise, I cannot imagine how anyone could see this as being reasonable.

This was followed by Public Law this week, which was about Judicial Review and how it works in English law. It is a depressingly boring topic, though incredibly important. How do you review agencies that do work on behalf of the government and who can hold them accountable? It shouldn’t be dry as it is. I did make one change today, which is to type up my lecture notes, during the class. Honestly, I did get more written down than before. The reason I haven’t been doing so was that I expected my exams to be handwritten and thus wished to practice for it. However, I have found out that I shall be typing my exams and thus I will make a transition across. Though I will probably retain writing out cases by hand. As cases are not about all the facts that happened (not unimportant though), rather what does this case mean?

And with that, I’ll leave you.

Entry 33

The end of the week! And quite early for a release of my blog.

Today I had one of those marvellous 9am starts (seriously should be a criminal act against students) where we had a wonderful lecture about the loss of control and diminished responsibility, which is a partial defence against murder. And only murder, can’t say that I loosed control after necking down someone’s pint for a bet in a pub (and I know that some of the readers will be disappointed by that fact). The notable change over time is there have been more restrictions for the jurors before they are allowed to take this into account. This could make sense if there has been an abuse of the system, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see a rise in the number of people using this defence over time. There are more people. Not that much of a jump to see an increase in a raw number of people having the issue. The one really great thing about this issue is the fact that I got here the lecturer say this quote out loud: “…his head was fucked up.”

I also had a tutorial in Contract Law today. We just went over the two questions set today, which are based on the concept of consideration. Nothing really that tricky and a simple idea. The only thing to take note off was the limited ways that one can evaluate contract law, there is an exhaustive list (which I am still compiling), which opens the door for analysis. This means that I should be able to tackle any question with this list memorised and a good knowledge of the cases. In regards to considerations, the one thing that you may wish to know is the difference between a conditional gift and a unilateral contract. A unilateral contract would require you to do something. So, let’s say that I would give all my readers $100* if it were sunny tomorrow. That would be a conditional gift. If I said that I wanted you to go somewhere sunny tomorrow; that would be a unilateral contract.

Finally, I had Public Law tutorial today, and it related to my visiting office hours yesterday. We went through some exam answers and what they did well and what needed improvement. However, looking at the workload for the next tutorial. Well, that’s

Entry 32

So today was a long day.

Had a quick drop in a session regarding my public law essay. While I’m sure we are going to talk about structuring public law essays in class tomorrow, but it was good that I got a bit of a head start. I’ve already written my piece, but I’ll probably re-write sections (read the whole thing) to make sure that I’m hitting the rubrics at each level to show my understanding of the topic.

This was followed by my Land Law lecture. If you remember what I said yesterday about land law, I was not looking forward to it today. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much it cleared up. What happened? The lecturer went over some of the sections of the Land Registration Act that we hadn’t already been through. The same things that I had been tearing my hair out (and figures why I couldn’t spot them in my notes. Yeah, I know…what an idiot). So that was quite a calming on my general nerves and helps explain why I struggled so much with the Tutorial. Still, need to go to office hours to clarify everything.

After this, I had an EU law lecture which we looked at the enforcement mechanisms of the EU. While the Commission doesn’t have Carte Blanche over the enforcement mechanisms, they do have a compelling voice and almost undisputable role. Don’t worry the ECJ can have disagreed with them, while that does not end the situation it does mean that States have the opportunity to defend themselves over complaints at an official hearing. It’s quite a straightforward concept.

After this, I went to a talk held by the department, who had invited the head of the EFTA court to give a speech on the EFTA court and what his personal thoughts are on Brexit and the future of Britain regarding EFTA. I’m not going to say everything that was discussed, but he did say that he hoped to see the UK inside EFTA for the future to create a possibility for Nations to work together within a single market but not as a political Union. A two-system Europe. However, as it has been noted by him and many other people (regardless of the facts); for Remainers it’s not European enough, for Brexiteers, it’s too European. Who needs compromise when you can insult the other side?

I wish that this was the end of my day, but I need to sort out my contract law work for tomorrow! So better get cracking.

Entry 31

These Champions League games are definitely prohibiting me from writing as much as do. However, I’m not going to stop watching Spurs, I have a relationship with the club. No relationship is too strong of a word. Bond? No, relationship. I’ve even written a post about it (click here to read about it, and here for the follow up).

Let’s start with yesterday. The first thing was an equity and trust tutorial, and it was quite a difficult topic for me. We were discussing the constitutions of trusts. While there are not loads and loads of cases, I will have to spend some of my weekends re-reading the textbook. It is quite difficult to understand what is happening from the off. Thankfully the class helped clear up some things, but again my answer to the problem question is seems to be off the mark. It’s not that I’m not misusing cases. Instead, I keep on messing my length. I seem to have a paragraph at most. I just struggle to go through the cases in as much detail, rather than (what I do) just quote them. I need to show that I understand the circumstances, well I think so, but I have to book some office hours to talk over this. I definitely cannot work this out in the blog post. (Shame. I know)

Following this I had the first lecture in administrative law which I have to say was a waste of time. All the information could have been sent in an email (or was already there in the handout). We spent about 40 minutes talking about the next section of our Public Law course. However, we have such limited time on the course, it could have been used more efficiently. Looking at my notes, I wrote: “Stop talking about lectures in the META!” He’s done it again! Again! When we finally spent 30 minutes talking about the judicial review system, it picked up, and I hope that it relates to Tort law as this is about Governmental Organs being held accountable. As somebody who lives and breathes politics (current affairs and academics) this is one of the most exciting areas. Especially in the news. The number of times you see a department failing may seem worrying. However, it is also a sign that their people are fighting to fix the system. People believe that system can work. That’s pretty positive.

Following that, I had what can only be described as a nightmare. No, that’s too positive of a word. Maybe a tormenting experience of Land Law. It wasn’t because the tutor was horrible, it’s just the first time I really felt out my depths. Before and during my tutorial. I read two different book chapters on the topic, and I still didn’t get. Then in the class, the tutor just breezed through the topi. I was just lost. I wrote down loads of notes, but I there is far more work for me to sort out in the coming days. Need to work my knowledge of the Statute as well.

I also had student-staff meeting.Let’s just say I’m glad I bailed early for Tottenham.

Today (Yeah, I underlined it.)

Started the day with equity and trusts which was, as always, an excellent lecture. We ended the issue of non-charitable trusts. How can we have things that are not businesses or charities legally hold property (think political parties, though I’m sure that some people would claim that their party is for the public good. My opinion on this issue, don’t associate with these people. Plenty of fish in the sea, as they say).  Not too tricky of a situation to sort out, in equity. Just go through a contractual approach, with a network of rights and rulebooks. Also make sure in the rule, that no one can walk away with the money. We moved onto secret trusts and how they work. I would love to tell you about it. However, it is a secret…. Nah I’m just messing with you. Two types, fully secret and half-secret. This whether or not they are mentioned on the will. Now you might be against it, why should you be able to hide your intentions? Well, first of all, you have the right to privacy. Why should you tell, though there are the people who say: Doing nothing wrong, nothing to hide. Well, my first thought is if that’s the case with their internet history; What are they doing online? Missing out on sooo much.  You might want to protect someone. Why should the family know that I preferred one person to another and that’s why I gave them all the details to my banking accounts in a diary (or whatever valuable property you want to insert, say a family heirloom)? Yes, some people will abuse it (like the issue with pets last week), but if people want to do something. They’ll find a way. (yeah, the constant capitalism indoctrination I keep pushing). The only significant thing for you (the reader) to remember. Communicate your wishes before death. Not the hardest thing to do.

Finally, I had tort law where we looked at vicarious liability and how this relates to employers being liable for what their employees did. As always in Tort, we looked at loads and loads of cases. Not much to say, but sometimes the courts (in my opinion) have got things totally wrong. The actions by the employees are sometimes would make an imbecile look like a Nobel Prize Winner for Physics. Who thinks smoking at a petrol station, is a good idea?!? Fuel + Flame = Explosion. It’s not rocket science (maybe not the best analogy, but you get my point). Utterly ridiculous.

Just like the length of this post. Damn! Nearly 1000 words. Hope this makes up for yesterday.

Entry 30

Well today has two versions. Pre-Tottenham and post-Tottenham. I’m typing this in a post-Tottenham world.

I had far too great of a time with the Fighting Cock and watching Spurs, along side Leo, to type out a proper response. Tomorrow I promise you a full response about public, equity and land law.

For now, Tottenham have qualified top of the group against Madrid and Dortmund (and Apoel). Honestly, I’m in cloud nine and there is no point in talking about law until tomorrow.

I’m in cloud nine and just wish to enjoy it!

Entry 29

Another Friday entry written on the phone. Sorry for the spelling and grammar mistakes. (Hopefully I will not make this a habit. I dearly miss sleep)

Today I had just Criminal Law, with a lecture in the morning and then a tutorial in the afternoon.

In today’s lecture we continued with our look into Homicide, particularly in the sense of manslaughter. The actus reas is the same in murder, so what we explored is the difference in mens rea.
From a consequentialist view (totally not discussed this in class, nor in the same way) there is no difference between the two. However the Law takes more of a deontological view, in that the intentions do natter. However looking through the case law with Woollins and statutes regarding loss of control, this is not always the case. From Woollins, there was too large of scope to determine if the case was murder and in the areas regarding strict liability there seems to be a disregard for the mens rea in order to stop love (or in the words of the professor: luuuv) crimes being justified (such as infidelity causing loss of control). So the law seems to differ here and places normative values (nod to public law (total in joke) ) into the legal system, which I would argue should be left to the jury. Not the judge or parliamentarians to decide.

The tutorial is pretty much a continuation of the lecture, but we were given some feedback on the coursework we handed in. Apparently we were quite impressive, but I’ll wait and see when I get back my paper.

Also, almost done with my public law essay. So at least there’s that. However this weekend is all about the North London Derby!

Entry 28

Today was just about EU law and me forgetting my notepad at home….Unfortunately, Land Law was cancelled today, so all I had to do was manage with having no notes on EU ready for today.

In short, it did not go well. I am (at the moment at least) heavily reliant on my preparation work.  For the tutorials [in EU Law] I have the lecturer as my tutor, so you don’t want to create a terrible impression of yourself. However, not saying anything doesn’t bode well if you do it consecutively. We went over a problem question which I had forgotten all the details about. Quite frankly, when being asked a question, I probably looked like a deer in the headlights. Clueless. I did have my laptop with me. However, I do prefer to have my notes done by hand. I just remember it better (well…usually), so I was able to get some crib notes off the net, but they weren’t useful in the context of the problem; rather the cases related. Well at least it won’t happen every time (fingers crossed)

In my extended break, I was able to get the majority of public law essay done. If given another solid three hours of work and it’ll be done. So that’s something positive.

Finally, at the end of the day, I had the EU Law lecture. We were having a look at State  Liability for not implementing directives.  If I had the energy and no work for tomorrow, I would probably go into the topic a bit more, but to put it short.

1. Not a massive fan, but I get why (common market et al.)
2. There needs to more parity across the common market. Otherwise, individual rights are worth more depending on what area you happen to be in (regarding remedies received)
3. The Union cannot be giving money, as it’s money is from Member States (when the Union is involved)
4. However, while having States liable is a good idea in principle the current layout (to create more simplicity) is just a copout.

Entry 27

Today I had an exciting day with a double set of lectures followed by another representative meeting.

Before going into my lectures, there has been some change from my work as a course rep already. One major, being a change to timetabling for one group due to having too many hours in a row, which is against University policy. The downside for them though is that their class has been moved to Friday afternoon and they now have a few tutorials in a row. Not ideal, but’s only until the end of the term, but it is nice to see change quite rapidly. The other is having a more extended break between our two lectures today.

Today in Equity and Trust we focused on the beneficiary principle and within it the simple issue of Non-Charitable Purpose Trusts (NCPTs) which are essentially what it says on the tin (trusts that provide no public good). The problem resulting from them is the fact they can go on forever. Hence there are rules in the common law that limit their time span… Actually, I’m noting going to delve into how they are formed and all the issues revolving around them. I want to talk about the exemption of pets from the rule. So pets are allowed to be NCPTs mainly because someone generally has to look after the animal and we were given examples of these multi-millionaire animals. While the notion is ridiculous, it’s not unheard of for this happen. In the UK there is an issue with enforcement of how the money is spent, as the animal is unable to go to court and take legal action against the trustee. So the trustees could abuse their position. In this example, you also have the notion that next of kin could be wanting to harm the animal or try point out flaws in the trust, as they would be the beneficiaries of a resulting trust. However, I think that there a further question that could be raised. Can next of kin be a trustee? Well, yes (or I have really have messed up my basic understanding of how trusts work). So as there is apparently less tax involved in this method of trusts, could this not be used as a tax loophole? I’m going to have to get back to you and ask my lecturer.

In Tort Law we focused on Liability for Psychiatric Harm/Illness. As usual with Tort lectures, we spent most of the time cases. However, there has been continual, but gradual, change in the way that approaches this. This week I relied more on the lecture handout and making adjustments to that, rather than writing more on my A4 sheet. I found it more useful in paying attention, but due to the lack of workspace, it’s harder to have everything in front of you and still have a good writing area. The handou is in a book format and due to the size of the note cards, they do not line up well. I’ll probably adjust again next week.