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.

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