The second day was more of a normal day (if there is such a thing) for me. While the first lecture, Introduction to the Law, was meant as an overview for the course ahead and was exactly that. Regarding content, nothing stood out as: WOW! Rather it was short and to the point and thus quite enthralling in a way not…not usual. The fact that the lecture was not simple, but rather enjoyable to listen to.
The two main points that I took from the talk where the defining characteristics of Common Law, in which the courts are considered a source of law. The other was Legal Realism (and in the case of the lecture American Realism), where the discussion was about the courts not following the formulaic procedure, but rather there is a need for the courts to interpret due to the law contain ambiguous terms in the way law is written. Also, the need for the judge to interpret the law for social needs as the law has been placed in their care and thus have some form of duty to protect society.
The second lecture was about European Law. Now before I get any messages about Brexit and why do you need to know European Law now? It’s kind of obvious, but since European Law is the law of the land (I’m sorry if this is breaking news to you, even since Article 50 had been submitted). And to get onto the next set of exams, you need to know the laws of the land to practice law in the land. So you need to know European Law, it is not my place to give a damn about why, because honestly; nobody cares about my thoughts on the matter.
The lecture itself was quite frankly excellent. While it was just the first lecture, I was thinking about different modules I had taken over the last year (cough British Politics and Democratic Institution’s cough) and how relatable the base knowledge required for the lecture was well within my grasp. I had already covered this or I had a relatable case where I could compare it to European Institutions. Heck even my knowledge of the United Nations from MUN was paying off when briefly going over international law. The best way to describe what I had been doing before was more of a macro* outlook of the world around me and the effects it had, while this class felt more like the beginning of a micro* perspective. Personally, this seems great; as having training in one is not necessarily bad or useless. But, rather as alluded yesterday, it provides more of a complete view in the way government functions.
*As in macro and micro economics. It’s an analogy.
Today it kicked off, the start of my Year in Law. Officially at least. It feels like being thrown in the deep end now, with the colossal amount of information being thrown at us everything seems quite daunting. While I have no plan or care to run you through my day, bear in mind that this week is about the introductory lectures. Hence with my insufficient law knowledge and less material to work with than expected, this week the post will probably remain quite curt. *
Contract Law is incredibly bizarre for me right now. Let’s forget the content for a moment, it’s the fact that the lectures will be online from now on. I’m not going to go through the pros and cons of this. I have always attended lectures with a physical person talking to/at me and then scribbling down notes.
To the content, there was not much to work on. However, there was a moment where things did click. The big picture wasn’t that unfamiliar. During my time at Essex, in my final year, I took a module called Philosophy and Law (yeah I know, what could it be about?). And essentially, it was an examination of markets and transactions in markets. While I did not have to learn a single legal case study, it did provide some legal knowledge. While it was not explicitly said in the course (or I have just forgotten and cannot find it my notes), is that what we looked at during some lectures and weeks were essentially contracts.
Though is a problem, what I learned in Philosophy regarding content and what we tackled is completely different to what is expected (or seems to be expected….early days). While this is not a major issue, as I am aware of this potential problem. It will probably mean that I will have to curb my philosophical enthusiasm (in an academic sense) and focus on what is required of me. While it seems bleedin’ obvious, it became even more so when during the lecture when the issues of minor legal relevance were being listed. In my head, I was going: “Yeah, I’ve done something like that before” or “That’s not a bad question”. While outside the legal framework the issues being raised are interesting to me, if I’m not on the money, I could easily slip into old habits. This does provide a huge positive (if I do end up completing and passing the course), is that I will be a really well-rounded thinker.
*(I know that this is a bit confusing, I just said there was loads of information, but that is relating to the course as a whole and the department: not the modules. Though I have been forewarned about the breathtaking pace of the course)