Entry 42

Today I just had Administrative Law, where we continued our exploration of judicial review. It is also the start of the last week of the term.

If you haven’t been following for the last couple of weeks, I have not been the biggest fan of this part of the law. Today was no exception, though I will say that I did find it more interesting than the previous lectures.

We explored the grounds of judicial review which can be summed up as a public body going beyond its realm of jurisdiction. The courts prefer the Latin term, ultra-vires. Judicial review is used when there is illegality, irrationality or procedural impropriety, which is another way of saying when the public bodies do something they are not meant to do, something stupid or don’t follow the correct rules to do something in their own powers.

I only want to talk about what public bodies are allowed to do. Our lecturer said along the lines of the following: private citizens can do anything the law doesn’t mention, while public bodies are only allowed to do what is said in law. I don’t entirely agree. Private citizens cannot do anything, as you can be punished retrospectively in common law. Just have a look at marital rape. Just because the law hasn’t caught up, doesn’t mean that it won’t. Regarding the limits of public bodies, I do think that bodies such as councils should be allowed to do things beyond the stated scope of what they are allowed to do. If my council can provide me with a service that is cheaper and better than the private sector, then why would I not want this to happen? Before there is groaning from the libertarians, take the example of something that could be regarded as a public utility such as broadband lines. If the council could outsmart the market, then why should I put up with companies that are useless (looking at you BT/Openreach)? I’m not going to set up my own cable for me, it’s not feasible, but if the community did, why not? What if the council made that decision by itself? I don’t see a public policy problem. This is not saying, let them run free. Just use a bit of common sense and don’t let the business lobby decide everything.

 

Normally I do not add anything personal, but it was fantastic catching up with some of the UCL gang!

Entry 39

Feeling better today and I ended up going to the Tottennham vs Apoel match (Spurs won, so all is good in the world).  So this is another post typed on the cell, so apologies for any incorrect spelling mistakes or grammar issues.

We had an odd Equity lecture today. It was the last for the term and we spent most of it going through some revision material. It barely lasted an hour, however if we are ahead of schedule, why not? The main lesson from the lecture, is to make sure that my work is up to date before the end of the holidays, as waiting for the end of the year is just a death wish.

This was followed by Tort were we started to examine cases involving visitor liability. Understandably, children are given free reign over the world (most of the time) and are not seen as fully responsible. The issue of a rational agent vs Clapham omnibus man was evident again. Listening to some of the cases you think: “Really, how did you think jumping into a pond head first was a smart decision?” While the courts agreed with me in this particular case, when dealing with problem questions I still need to remind myself that law accepts the fallibility of man and that I shouldn’t be going too hard on the people I read about.

Finally I will quickly talk about my public law work. For the class on Friday we have to represent a German citizen post Brexit who has lost their right to work. And quite frankly I think he is screwed. There is no international treaty to help him (just loads of recommendations), as he is not a refugee or an asylum seeker. Can parliament do this? Yeah, it can do what ever it wants. Would it? Maybe not intentionally…but hey, have you seen the UK government? They make the simple look impossible and the make the impossible a fantasy.

Entry 38

For those not in touch with me personally, I have not been well over the last few days and have been experiencing a migraine over the weekend where I was bedridden and even turning on the lights was too much. What this led to, was the most unproductive weekend of my life in ages, though understandably so. What this meant, is this week I have not any work prepared for my classes. Not something I recommend, this morning I was struggling to stand, but the Gujarati inside of me just screamed that I needed to make value for money (regarding the course, I mean, it is 11K!).

Today I started off with Equity, and I couldn’t keep my eyes on my computer screen. It was just far too bright, and the room in general with the lights on was too much. Honestly, I didn’t gain too much from the tutorial as I was feeling dizzy. I could have gone home after this, but I decided to go the public law lecture as I was already there.

I felt better in the lecture, though my laptop was playing up a bit in the first-half. We had a quick recap of judicial review and then moved onto domestic tribunals. It’s not that interesting of a topic (at least for me) when looking at the rules of dog racing and performance-enhancing drugs. Or even horses for that matter. When it comes to domestic tribunals, we were told that if it was a consensual relationship and that the body doesn’t complete governing functions, you cannot bring a case to a public law court as it is a private matter. Here begins the difference between the two sets of law. I want to do more reading on this before commenting as I think there is more overlap than accepted at the moment but this is based more on belief and not on law.

Finally, we had a  land tutorial were we looked at mortgages. Now we haven’t covered mortgages fully in lecture, so having a class on it felt premature. However, in the breaks, I was able to get some questions done. My answers when coming to an opinion (not the law) seem to be far harsher than any legal bodies. This is not too worrying regarding my legal career as I do not intend become a judge. I link this to my rational agent perspective, where I do not think of the Clapham Omnibus man, but the fully rational being with full information. While there is no pressing problem, this shortfall in economics seems to be showing more cracks daily where it becomes a more untenable position to hold; especially considering the case law.

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 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 26

Welcome back to another exciting week. Yesterday I had a productive day in the library, and I was able to get my work for Tuesday (today) and Wednesday (tomorrow) finished, as well as starting on my essay which is due in two weeks. The essay is in Public Law and is about the Diceyan Orthodoxy and how it’s relevance in today’s world.

Today I started my day off with a Tort Law tutorial, and I was well prepared for the class regarding content, but I think I need to find a place to put all these cards. I have so many that it is hard to find the case I wish to talk about. Say I want case X, I have over 100 cases to go find it (this is in Tort alone) and thus need to be more selective ion what I am carrying. Also, by not colour coding the cards to a particular section of the law, it gets a bit confusing. I plan on using some paper clips for the interim, but I’ll probably have to string tie them when sections are complete.

I also want to talk about a question we went through today. The way the tutor went through the question was through many cases regarding breach and how they relate the situation (I do realise how vague this may seem). The hypothetical example was a factory worker being hurt and how would we advise them given the specific facts. The thing that stood out to me was that the accident was foreseeable. Hence, I found one case that said if it was unforeseeable we could not find the breach. The logic being, if this is the case; then the reverse must be true. I then just applied some simple economic reasoning which merely is a cost-benefit analysis. I’ve assumed that the factory owner and industry (who have the same practice) have concluded the following: P(risk)X(Cost of Risk)>Benefit. Thus, while they are not negligent, they are aware of the risk and should be liable for damages, otherwise it cannot be a foreseeable (or reasonable evaluation of the) risk. I’m not 100% about this, so I’ll be heading to office hours on Thursday.

After this I had this, I had Public Law, and we went to the European Community and Union laws. This tied nicely into my essay as we essentially examined the concept of Supremacy from the viewpoint of Public Law, as well finally looking at the Miller case. Unfortunately, in the lecture, we didn’t dive into this in quite enough detail for my liking. However, since my essay is around the issues of what parliament can do, I’ll be able to incorporate it into my piece hopefully.

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.