Entry 24

Today has been a ridiculously long day! I’m really knackered but still, have more work to do to be prepared for tomorrow. I don’t have loads of energy as well so I won’t write a typical length blog. Sorry to disappoint.

Today started with Land Law, and honestly, I really like land law (yes, I’m saying this is about a few modules now, but guess what? I’m really enjoying law more than I expected). I also had a new constraint today, with a fellow course mate who was not feeling well and I told them that I would take notes for them. This meant for the first time, my notes were no longer for myself and had to be legible to someone else. Luckily it was a topic we already started, Registered Land. We covered the favourite classes subject, adverse possession. The one thing I had to remind myself of today, was adverse does not mean hostile all the time. It’s about intention, and this was brought up today when we looked at consequences of adverse possession with both registered and unregistered land. While there is a ton of material that we covered, it is systematic. And that enables me to understand the topic quite quickly. The only other thing we talked about registering titles and started on how to register mortgages, but that we ran out of time.

In the time between my next lecture (apart from lunch), I continued with my contract law material, but not much new to say about that.

I ended the day with EU Law, and it could keep up writing with the lecture (seriously the lecturer talks at speeds excess of 120km/h). Apart from the quick introductory notes about Brexit (which I will avoid writing about) on the future trade bills that the UK is edging towards and how they relate to EU law, we were exploring the general principles of Law in the EU (GPL). The GPL is how human rights became of EU law, without being expressly mentioned in the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. What makes this topic interesting now is Brexit, but the situation in Poland. I’m not going to go into Polish politics because there are far better authorities on the topic, but the BBC had good coverage on the debate within the EU parliament. If you don’t know much about the issue, I would suggest a quick search on the matter.

That’s it, back to work!

Entry 23

Today was a slightly different Wednesday for me. While I usually just have Equity followed by Tort, today I headed into University quite early and decided to work on Contract Law. Hence I will jabber about my thoughts on it.

I don’t really talk about contract law on the blog, and that’s due to it being an online lecture and that I just spend time reading on it on the tube in bits and pieces. I’m a bit behind on it. Hence I came in early to do some work on it, but the more I read about it. The more common sense seems to apply to it. Nothing seems to be shocking or makes you wonder why did the judge rule that. The only frustrating bit, it’s the fallibility of people not doing things correctly. It is entirely possible that I’ve missed something. However, I do enjoy the format of lectures allowing me to study at my own pace.

After a morning in the library, I was in back with Equity, and we had finally left the terrifying thought of formalities and moved onto the constitutions of trusts. The lecture was entertaining as the cases involved with the topic are just so bizarre that all you can do is smile. They are somewhat unfortunate in some cases, and others make you think, who acts like this? Equity is becoming my favourite topic, slowly but surely.

After Equity was followed by Tort. The, unfortunately, follows straight after Equity, and it doesn’t give you that time to freshen up your mind. The great thing about Tort is that the lectures are really really useful! I always say that it is just about cases and that has not changed. When going through the defences of negligence claims today, I now have a briefcase summary of all the cases that we went through today and all the necessary extra information around them. I am starting to appreciate the case focus in Tort as it helps bring context of the rule that is used by the courts. I’ve continued using the note card method, and in the lectures, I’ve essentially given up writing general notes and just moved onto the cards. The only thing to really notice from the lecture is that you can’t sue our getaway driver for negligence if they crash. Shocking!

 

Entry 22

Welcome back, a new week but same old me.

Today started with a tutorial in Equity and Trusts, and we looked at the issue of formalities. I cannot reiterate how mind-bending this topic is sometimes. Thankfully this is the hardest part of the course, and it comes in early in the course. The rest of the class and myself are finding the topic a bit difficult to grapple with, and this was not helped by having an online lecture for this topic, but c’est la vie. Thankfully the tutorial was useful as we did go through the issues of formalities step by step and having done the work beforehand for the worked example it was easier to go through. Though if you were to peek at my notes, the most likely response would be: is that even English? A friend asked for them to take them to her class and after 2 seconds she said: “It’s okay Hanik.” The key to formalities (or what it seems to be, is the understanding the difference between equitable and legal ownership as well as knowing what type of trust it is. The reason there is confusion (or at least in the cases we are analysing) is that our appellants are trying to avoid tax. This results in them avoiding doing the simplest thing, which is to put it writing with unambiguous language.

 

This was followed by a lecture in Public Law. We began by continuing on what we started last week: The Scope of Judicial Review. The case of GCHQ shows us the change in trend from looking at whether a law should be under judicial review not if it were statute or prerogative law, but to justiciable or non-justiciable. This seems to leave issues that are not part of the judicial review to matters that are regarded as political in nature in general. The best example of this (which is the topic of next weeks class) is the Miller case (though that is also about the need for parliamentary review over prerogative power). Even with this change, we saw the “finding” of prerogative powers in the courts of keeping the peace and how this relates to the usage of prerogative powers when there is a potential clash with the statute.

We then moved onto a whirlwind tour of the jurisprudence of the ECJ. I say whirlwind as our lecturer said that we have already covered most of this in our EU law lectures. And he wasn’t joking as we went through 42 slides in about 40 minutes. There was far more information on it.

I had to miss my land law tutorial (don’t worry I’m going to office hours for it) to go the first Staff-Student Liason Meeting. So now, I’m going to type up my notes and send a very Hanik email for the official unofficial minutes.

Entry 21

Today we can call Criminal Law Day. As any student can attest, there is nothing better than a two lecture on a Friday morning at 9am. This was evident in the morning where most of the class were running into the lecture theatre.

We spent the lecture continuing on causation and looking at mens rea and actus rea. Just like tort law we only spend our time going through cases. However, there was a notable exception today in a lecture where our lecture ran from one corner of the hall to the centre and gave a fake kick. He was so full of joy, he did it again! It was otherwise just a standard lecture with no other significant points to mention other than I have continued with the card method to write down cases.

The day ended with a Criminal Law Tutorial (hence Criminal Law Day). We started off the class by going through a problem question together (that none of us seen) and going about the method to answer a question about criminal liability. While this was a beneficial part of the class, couldn’t help but wonder why this wasn’t done before. Oh well, c’est la vie. We then went onto the tutorial questions set for this week.

So that’s one more week done. Thank you for the continuing support.

Entry 20

Alright, I’m still a bit high from yesterday’s win. But can you really blame me? Spent the whole day with a massive grin on my face (which is quite usual for me come to think about it or see any of my photos…). Today I was back into the thick of things with EU Law tutorial& lecture, with Land law in between.I’ll quickly start with yesterday, which was a double whammy of Tort and Equity.

Yesterday saw the beginning of my new process of using note cards (see attached picture). I actually found this a magnificent way to get cases down in lecture as well as you for tutorial preparation. As each case is on a small note card, it forces me to just stick to the main details of the case and the decisions by the judge. All in all, this is beneficial for keeping things in order as well being used for revision in the future as I am making flashcards as we go on. I definitely prefer this to mind maps as I can always just write a new card if I make too many errors or find that I want to change things on the card. Maybe that’s part of the perfectionist inside of me. Don’t like to see lots of crossed out things from a resource I wish to learn from. (though if you were to see my A4 notes in lecture, boy or boy is it messy)

This was after an Equity Lecture where I kept on with my business and where we explored formalities. I’m going, being honest with the fact that I’m still grappling with the concept of formalities and probably to spend a bit of time over the weekend re-reading the cases and the and the textbook. The one major thing that I did take away from the issue of formalities is that by just doing the paperwork correctly; saves everyone a heck of a time and that being clear and precise is worth its weight in gold.

Today I started my day pinching myself, to check that last night wasn’t a dream…I mean…

Today started with my EU tutorial where we spent the majority of our time discussing the mechanics of Article 50. The triggering, the process of how it works and the consequences of the Article. Hopefully, I want to go into a full Brexit rant again but sometimes it just really annoying to see how people don’t understand one of the most crucial issues of our time (in Britain). In class, we talked about the vagueness of the Article and with such broad scope how this is detrimental in some ways; no one expected it to be triggered thus not fleshed out. In other ways, positive; I’ll say that it is positive because countries may leave for different reasons and this having a strict set of things that one must negotiate about, might just be a waste of time. We also looked at the reasoning of why the British government wants to start negotiating the trade deal as soon as possible and why the EU is using its’ hand to wait longer (as there is that two year limit in the treaty). This led onto the why there may need to be a transition period for non-business reasons but rather simplifying the legal route to a free trade agreement. I then brought up the fact the Article doesn’t mention us withdrawing our letter of notifying us leaving (hence saying lol jk Yurop. We’re staying fam, it was only a prank!).  Basically, it’ll probably go to the ECJ where the UK would have to fight to stay in and that the other nations might just want to throw us out. We did also discuss supremacy, but I’ve written quite a bit so far.

Then we had Land law which was just looking at propriety rights and how they transfer depending on the exchange (see section 288/29 of the Land Registration Act 2002). I wish I could say anything more, other than this, but it is a dense topic (quite rightly). Land law is becoming my favourite module, due to it’s adherence to rules to the letter.

I finally had my final lecture of the day, which was a return to EU Law. I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to write this but; THE TREATIES MATTER! Don’t bother criticising EU law until you wrap your head around this concept. It just really helps you put things into perspective when there a decision is made that seems out of place. We spent the majority of the lecture looking at how directives work and the implementations into the domestic courts worked. Essentially directives (not in themselves,  but from the case law resulting from them) give the citizens the power to the government to court over the failure to implement EU law. Why is this important, the common market requires regulation and the best people to regulate the market? The people who gain the most from the market! The consumers. I mean the citizens!

There’s probably more I can say on the topic, but I’ve typed out far more than intended to make up for yesterday (though I wouldn’t change it).

Entry 18

Looks who’s back after reading week! So for the first time in my entire academic career, I actually used my reading week for academic reading. Don’t worry I also had some downtime by going to see some family and reading the first book of Dust by Philip Pullman. Hope you all had a lovely week, but I know deep down that you were missing my writing.
Back to the academics.
So today started off with a tutorial in Tort Law. Where we just explored the questions set out prior. While it was there was nothing wrong with the class itself, I have noticed my inability to use authorities in my own answers. This is to say that I am still struggling to note down where I have gotten my answers from an who said what. So even if I noted down a case and gone through the decisions in an appeal court, then I have not said what Judge said what. While this isn’t disastrous for me at the moment, it will start to catch up if I don’t change this. My plan to combat this was a trip to the stationary store and buying some proper note cards which I shall start using for cases. The idea is to write down less irrelevant information and try to get more focus what is happening in each case. (Also should make this nightly job simpler)

Then I had a Public Law lecture. I usually have loads to write about public law, but today, this won’t be able to happen just due to the sheer amount of information that was covered in today’s class. We explored the history prerogative power, the use of the power, what happens when it conflicts with statutory authority and how governments have tried to use the Royal Prerogative to circumvent statutory power (and failed). I am sure that by the end of the year I will hear the following phrase over a million times; “Why? Parliament is Sovereign!” It’s basically the crux of any argument of why the government of the day does anything. Not a bad thing or something that doesn’t make sense, but it is getting a tad repetitive now. The only thing to note of any concern is the lack of judicial review to prerogative powers (at least before GCHQ). While it has been updated to work in hand with the nature of the power, it doesn’t seem to go far enough (if I am talking from a lawyers point of view). However, if I were a politician, I would think that things have swung in the wrong direction. If we (the ruling party) had been elected, there should be a minimal amount of barriers to stop us doing what we were put into office for by the people. All in all, considering that there have only been four cases (or we were told that and I have yet to do my readings) on the issue since 1688, it’s been a pretty good run.

Entry 17

Sal Mubarak everyone, I am wishing you all a wonderful year ahead.

The first thing to note is that I shall be on my reading week next week and therefore there is no plan to blog anything. However, as the work load is adding up, I’ll be actually working on my coursework and shall be preparing more cases to stay on top of my work.
Back to today, it started off with a criminal law lecture and it was was just a continuation of causation. If we can consider interventions (or lack of interventions) by victim part of the breakage of causation. Nothing spectacular.

This was followed by contract law which was just going over question set.

I ended the academic day with public law, where we examined the possibility of Parliament binding itself and the Diceyan Orthodoxy. What made this interesting was the notion of entrenchment and how this is implemented. I think that the case of Northern Ireland fits well here, as the Northern Irish Assembly is still in disarray and Westminster is using direct rule. While there is a procedurally possibility of this situation going away, due to the conflict between the two main parties this makes it more of a substantial entrenchment situation. Given the lack of word space I’ll try and cover this in more detail next week.

Otherwise, thank you for your support.

 

Entry 16

First off, Happy Diwali!

Today I started off with Land law. While I have described Land law as anal in the past (which is still true), I do find it a fascinating subject. This lecture focused on registered land, how to register land and to look a the Land Registration Acts of 1925 & 2002. While this sounds like the least exciting piece of law in the world, it is a vital piece of law (if not the most critical. Well that is the view being presented to us in the class), as registered land will provide a guarantee of the ownership for the registered proprietor of the land. Also, all land that is dealt with is becoming registered, and thus the amount of unregistered land is decreasing day by day. The reason that this piece stands out to me is the idea that if there has been a false sale, say B has sold A’s land to C and changed the registration on the register then C is the owner according to the law, not A’s. So the law will not recognise A as a victim of wrong and then try and rectify the registry for A, because A is no longer the owner. A may try to get indemnity from B, but if B decides to jet off to the Carribean, then good luck to A.

To end the day I had EU law where we explored the case of Supremacy and the  Direct Effects of EU law. We were asked what fundamental question is not address by the treaties relating to the EU? Here’s a couple of seconds to think. Still not sure? Now? Well, I didn’t get off the top of my head. It’s merely (he said): What is the effect of EU law on the domestic law? Well, of all the things the treaties cover and considering how the treaties are all about rules of procedure, they don’t include the rules of procedure of how to enforce the laws? A jaw drop moment. Did not see this coming. So, how is everything sorted out then? Who rules supreme? Well to save space, it is EU law that ends on top… well kind of… it is on top on more of an ad hoc basis where domestic supreme courts say it is until they no longer agree to it. Totally full proof. We were told in lecture that this was a pragmatic approach as both sets of courts need each other. Scribbled on my notes it says this next to the remark: “So game theory? Like a repative game? That’s it, two hours for this conclusion?” At least I have the case knowledge for it now.

 

 

Entry 15

Today I was meant to have a lecture in Equity, but unfortunately, the lecturer is unwell, and it was postponed. This means that I just had Tort law today, like before it is mainly going over cases, which means that today I’ll just have a short blog post, as I have no intention of repeating case summaries.

The main takeaway from the lecture is that there is something called the “But For” test which is used to help determine causation. It is considered the general principle when trying to figure out causation in the case of tort. The leading case for this Barnett v Chelsea & Kensington Hospital (I know, that I said that I wasn’t going to repeat case summaries – but technically this is just one) which is about Barnett going to hospital after getting arsenic poisoning (unknown at the time) and was sent home after a nurse consulted a doctor over the phone. He died within 5 hours, and his widow sued for damages saying that the hospital had been negligent and failed in its duty to care for her husband. While this may be true, however, given the amount of arsenic that Barnett had consumed, it was determined that there was no hope of saving him. Hence causation of his death has nothing to do with his lack of treatment; therefore exonerating the Hospital. From this, we can see that there is an all or nothing attitude with Tort. (bear in mind that in Tort you do not need to prove beyond reasonable doubt as is the case of criminal law)

Sometimes this general principle is ignored for fairness, and there are exceptions, known as the Fairchild Principle (from a case called Fairchild v Glenhaven Funeral Services Ltd). Mostly what to take from this, is that sometimes judges do deviate from the general principle for reasons which are not always clear. This brings up problems that if the courts have been unable to sort out, by statute. If there is no precise definition of what makes something an exception, then how can the Judges justify why they have come to that conclusion if there are similar? If we are meant to live in a just society, then we can have exceptions. Just not arbitrary ones, which is coming across from the cases.