Entry 43

Just coming back from Tottenham vs Brighton. Game ended 2-0 to Spurs. It’s the last time I’ll see the team this year, though not too sad that I won’t be standing in the freezing British winter. So again, apologies for any confusion regarding spelling or grammar.

Today started off with a lecture in Land Law and we continued with our look at mortgages. Mortgages are not what most people would call exciting or interesting, however the law regarding this area is  relatively straightforward. That’s my favourite thing about land law, you can always go to the statue book and rule will be there. That’s not to say that there is no case law, but it’s not as overwhelming as Tort Law. The lecture we had today was about the remedies of mortgages and the rights of the borrower and borrowee when it comes to a default in the mortgage. While the borrower has a large amount of rights, when it comes to the sale of the property/land, the rules regarding how the money is settled is interesting as there is priority for the cost of the sale, which could leave the lender in negative equity or if they hold off and sell later, a poor market can really harm the lender (even when the courts are being generous towards them).

After land, I had Tort. As always Tort is case heavy, but today it wasn’t as much as normal. We explored the laws around product liability and since the law has been modernised through an EU directive, there is a clear cut way of understanding what should be done and what are the acceptable defences. Since there are a limited number of defences, what you see in day to day life is an overwhelming number of warning labels which state the obvious (think of your pack of eggs that state that the potential allergen is eggs). I agree with the lecturer, if there are far too many warnings on products to prevent liability, then people will disregard the warnings (or not read them at all). The policy question is, are the rules there to help ensure that the customer can sue in absence of the warning or are the rules about ensuring that the most important danger is made clear and allowing more cases of people doing things that could make it to Harry Hill’s TV burps? Just for entertainment purposes alone, you should pick the latter.

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 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 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 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.

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 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 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.