Friday, 18 September 2009

Hearsay Evidence


Monday, 14 September 2009

The Good, The Bad and The Muddly

Well, the first study weekend of year 2 came and went.

We have new tutors this year and I feel lucky in that by and large my group has a very good selection of lecturers. Our advocacy tutor is enthusiastic and punchy and bright. We are just starting to learn about Examination-in-Chief and Cross-Examination and this month's lesson was learning about case theory/preparation. The devil's definitely in the detail! Next month we have our first go at examining a witness.

Our Opinion Writing and Drafting tutor is amazing, so I have no excuses not to get to grips with those 2 subjects. We had to prepare a contract Opinion before class and although mine was ok, there was plenty of room for improvement. I'm starting to feel more comfortable with Contract Law, which has always been a little bit hazy in parts simply because there is just so much to consider and it's easy to omit/forget the obvious. Remedies are a bit tricky, not least because at LLB level students don't really cover them in any detail.

The first Negotiation class was confusing and I'm far from comfortable with this subject. I think that it is a matter of going through the motions? It had a synthetic feel to it and didn't at all resemble real life.

Criminal Litigation was good, but Youth Sentencing is very confusing and I'm going to have to spend a few days trying to get to grips with it. Civil was, well, quite civilised (pretty boring but necessary I suppose).

It was great to catch up with everyone in my group, not so great that none of us have managed to capture the Golden Snitch! Chambers don't know what they are missing:-)
I'm quite relieved that the first weekend is over, but do still feel a little overwhelmed at the mountain I have left to climb.

Onwards and upwards eh!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Normal(ish) Service is Resumed

This was the look on Cyril's face when I told him that he was in fact munching on his Uncle Cedric, who had been 'bagged' and dispensed into a packet of Walkers Cajun Squirrel Crisps.

It's back to BVC for me tomorrow and my tired little brain is not looking forward to the forthcoming cerebral gymnastics. Oh well, having both enjoyed and endured (in varying degrees) my 7 years of law studies to date, this year I hope will be the final push towards getting a pupillage, or if not, well, we'll just have to decide what Plan B really is.

If only I could muster up at least a little enthusiasm!

For some reason spell check has vanished from my blog toolbar, so I apologise in advance for my dreadful spelling.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

The Squirrel Speaks

All of you who do not take my world domination seriously will be dealt with accordingly:

Mr Swizz - I know where you spend your evenings, do not think you can hide from the squirrel.

Mistress Minx - I have friends in high places, the squirrel rules supreme!
And finally, Mr Barboy, you shall not ever mention madness or anything to do with NUTS again, I have friends in the kebab van dining hall at your Inn.

Bleedin' Squirrel's Hijacked me Blog!

Is nothing sacred!

Friday, 4 September 2009

7 Days and Counting

Back to school next week:-(

Today Barman bought me a nice new jotter, a proper grown up one with coloured tabs, no excuses now for being totally disorganised and untidy *cough*.

It is quite amusing to look through last year's jotter and see relatively neat, orderly writing, followed by an ever decreasing scrawly mess as the academic year progressed.

Drafting is one of my favourite subjects, but having not done any for a few months, I'd completely forgotten how to do it and had put off doing the homework until yesterday. Thankfully the thinking about it was much worse than the reality of doing it and I managed to get the work done in a couple of hours. I've still got the counterclaim (of a defence and counterclaim) to do, but I think that it'll be ok?

I've had the timetable through for next year and we have a change of tutor for all of the subjects. There is one tutor who has an excellent reputation for his advocacy tuition and my small group has him for the most of year two. Best of all, my favourite tutor (who we only had on the odd occasion) is teaching my group Opinion Writing and Drafting. If I don't go into airhead mode, I stand a chance of doing ok in the written skills, but I can be very blinkered at times and miss out the most obvious points!

Most of the home work is done (in a fashion), but I need a couple of days to tidy it all up. I'm hoping to grab one or two days next week to have a break. Having worked and studied through the Summer hols, I'm shattered and am in need of some shoe shopping.

p.s. this is my 100th blog post and I've still got readers! Must be a hell of a lot of insomniacs out there!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Suffer the little children

Today's news has yet again shown just how cruel children can be. At Sheffield Crown Court, charges of attempted murder were dropped against two young brothers, who instead have pleaded guilty to the 'lesser' charge of GBH. The timely pleas will spare the victims of having to relive the ordeal that left one of them running half naked down the road covered in blood and crying for help and the other fighting for his life. Such was the brutality of the attack on the second, child victim that he begged to be allowed to die. The young defendants had only just been placed into foster care when they committed the crimes, but had previously attacked another child, a crime that was 'under investigation' by a lethargic and ineffective police force.

The case made me think of my first year of LLB, when I studied a little bit of criminology and had to write a short essay on the theories relating to why children become criminals - nature, nurture or environment. Each theorist put across compelling views as to why some children are criminals and at the end of the module I was undecided as to which theory was the most persuasive. These latest two defendants come from a dysfunctional family and a rough area of Yorkshire, so it's take your pick really as to why they became criminals.

Comparisons of this latest case are being made to Robert Thompson and John Venebles, who killed 2 year old James Bulger after abducting him in a shopping centre. No-one really knows what has become of those child murderers, who successfully obtained an injunction protecting their identities for life and were released several years ago. There were rumours that they had been sent to Australia to start new lives and further rumours that one is set to marry shortly, whilst the other lives with his partner who is unaware of his past.

It's a complex problem that has no solution, on the one hand to reveal the new identities of Venebles and Thompson would no doubt lead to seriously endangering their lives, but on the other hand how would you feel if it transpired that one of them lived next door to you and your young children, but the authorities failed to inform you of your neighbour's past because their right to safety was paramount to that of your children? Is it possible that someone who is capable of committing a truly horrific crime is capable of being rehabilitated and is therefore no longer a threat to society?