“I’m sure they’ve had a basinful of anuses” (5/6)

Criminal went pretty well. Disappointingly thin on unlawful-act manslaughter, and a bizarre number of typos in the script, but Theft went like dishonestly appropriated clockwork, the chaps brutalising each other on the assault course ticked almost every box in the Offences against the Person Act in style, and I got to waffle, dissemble and shoehorn in some inchoate offences.

I’m as tired as I’ve ever been, goodnight.


equity will not perfect an imperfect gift and will not assist a freeloading scumbag (4/6)

Glaister-Carlisle v Glaister-Carlisle [1968]
Husband and wife were having an argument. Husband threw his poodle at his wife and said ‘here, you keep the bitch’.
HELD – the Husband had not manifested a clear and unequivocal intention to transfer title of the poodle to the wife.

Equity and Trusts might well be the single hardest thing I’ve ever done. The law itself is frequently horrific unintuitive nonsense, and everything about the teaching has sucked apart from the London lecturers (who we don’t get teaching us.) The manual sucks. The textbook sucks. The GDL Answered chapter was moderate to suck. Our tutor was… less than perfectly competent. Picking subjects was a mess, because most of the self-contained ones are either bullshit or potentially essay questions; the reliable problem questions are a sprawl of half a dozen different topics coming up in random combinations. I’ve had hopes for some modules, but this wasn’t one of them.

I boned up on Equitable Tracing, which is generally popular and well-done, usually being based around arithmetic so simple you don’t even need to take your shoes off; Equitable Remedies, which is also popular but usually quite badly done, and Formalities & Constitution, a broad and messy topic. Sam plumped for Implied Trusts rather than Remedies, which is simple, logical, and self-contained, but frequently comes up as an essay rather than a problem question, which was what stopped me doing it.

The Formalities & Constitution paper had six separate dispositions. Six! Every past paper we tried had four, with complicated relationships between them, and finicky little distinction-grade details, like Re Baden jurisprudence on the certainty of “relatives” in a discretionary trust (which I’d carefully memorised). None of that, no subtlety, just six ugly little problems with hundreds of boring rote-learned elements to deal with and precious Great Expectations-themed names. Remedies actually went really well, I think, and will definitely lift my average, but Tracing, that well-known mainstay of predictable simplicity, somehow contrived to be an absolute wreck, starting bad and getting worse in the same there’s-no-chance-to-show-off-but-if-you-slip-up-on-any-of-these-million-fiddly-repetitive-bits-you’re-FUCKED fashion as Formalities & Constitution. Oh, and the invigilator was actually our E&T tutor, who insisted on taking away the USB sticks to print off individually, wasting still more time and patience when Criminal needed doing. All in all: a miserable, drawn-out, shambolic excuse for a boring clusterfuck, par for (a) terrible course.

While the rest of the day has been an utterly knackering slog through Criminal Law (as thanks to the confluence of a bank holiday Monday and bad BPP calendar planning, we have back-to-back exams), the day has been a victory on one central and important count. I’m pretty sure I passed, and that means I never have to do Equity & Trusts ever the fuck again.

not your kind of people

[19:53:22] Premasiri: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2013/may/20/starcraft-2-greg-idra-fields
[19:53:37] Brosencrantz: “the bad boy of pro-gaming”
[19:53:38] Brosencrantz: ahahahaha
[19:53:41] Brosencrantz: this will be hilarious
[19:53:55] Hovercraft: “One day videogames will be an Olympic event.”
[19:53:56] Hovercraft: no
[19:54:13] Premasiri: It’s purple and patronising and written by someone with apparently little actual understanding of esports, as can be expected
[19:54:20] Brosencrantz: god I hate journalists
[19:54:25] Premasiri: but it’s also in the guardian, and at least attempted thorough research
[19:54:48] Premasiri: so while it’s a poor representation, at least it’s a public representation
[19:55:48] Demsale: ” but was one of the most dominant Zergs in Starcraft II.”
[19:55:51] Demsale: he fucking wishes
[19:56:00] Premasiri: no
[19:56:08] Premasiri: that bit’s not exaggeration
[19:56:23] Premasiri: it was a shortlived and mainly down to the lack of competition rather than his own brilliance
[19:56:30] Premasiri: but for a few months he was the best
[19:56:36] Demsale: …early beta?
[19:56:37] Brosencrantz: you know that epiphany moment you get when you’ve spent a childhood reading newspapers you found randomly and going “oh man I’m so informed this is so cool and authoritative”
[19:56:45] Brosencrantz: and then for the first time
[19:56:56] Brosencrantz: you read a newspaper article on something you actually know a lot about
[19:57:04] Brosencrantz: and you’re like “but that’s WRONG you fucking STUPIDHEAD”
[19:57:28] Brosencrantz: and then you realise that almost all journalism is of that standard
[19:57:28] Premasiri: yeah
[19:57:54] Brosencrantz: because it’s written people who know about newspapers, not about the actual topic
[19:58:02] Brosencrantz: it’s people trying to be jacks-of-all-trade at knowledge and almost always failing
[19:58:04] Brosencrantz: fuck journalism
[19:58:38] Premasiri: but then on the other hand, even more specialised stuff, such as slasher’s esports journalism, where he IS an expert on what he writes about
[19:58:43] Premasiri: is no better
[19:59:12] Premasiri: so yes, fuck journalism, but not fuck journalists just because they’re not experts on what they might be paid to write about
[19:59:31] Demsale: http://pokemon.alexonsager.net/46/58 jesus christ
[19:59:46] Demsale: http://pokemon.alexonsager.net/42/15 JESUS CHRIST
[20:00:32] Premasiri: you need to get off the internet
[20:01:31] Brosencrantz: well yeah, and most expert scientific stuff or other esoteric, specialised opinion is mostly written by myopic fucks incapable of seeing that any field other than theirs can have any salience
[20:01:33] Brosencrantz: cf: me and war
[20:02:51] Brosencrantz: clearly, the only solution is to not believe anything you read and go instead with your own knee-jerk/gut feeling which is naturally based on your own specific and largely skewed life experiences and the ingrained prejudices of the culture that raised you
[20:02:59] Brosencrantz: brb starting a social commentary blog
[20:03:28] Premasiri: better hop on the fixie bike to get to starbucks
[20:03:33] Premasiri: can’t write it on my macbook till I’m there

“on a frolic of his own” (3/6)

The number of great bus-themed stupidity torts that came up in Employer’s/Vicarious Liability is amazing.
Beard v London Omnibus – conductor with delusions of grandeur running over pedestrians.
Limpus v London Omnibus – bus drivers drag racing.
Keppel Bus Co v Saab Bin Ahmad – bus conductor twats a passenger over the head with his ticket machine.

…after exams I’m going to watch On the Buses. By which I mean watch about half an episode of On the Buses, realise that absolutely everything about it is rubbish, and go and rewatch The Wire instead, because it’s been too long.

The original plan was to go home and revise in the afternoon after each exam, giving us a day and a half of straight prep for each, but we found we were both much too knackered after Con & Ad to do more than an hour’s work, so didn’t even try after Contract, instead going off to the cinema to watch Star Trek: Into Darkness with Misha. (Verdict: like its 2009 predecessor, fun and glossy but not intelligent. Lots of bitty little gifset moments, lots of minor character flourishes, lots of silly plotholes and overwrought scenes, but ultimately the same dumb extended-chase-sequence plot as every generic movie ever. Though Benedict Cumberbatch did the whole “contemptuous ubermensch” thing jolly well; I hate to be One Of Those People, but he’s actually quite a good actor. If you want a proper review, Mr Reeve wrote a good one.)

That aside, it’s been a mess of cramming, flashcards, cabin fever, overeating, chuckling at lines on this page, and mispronouncing case names til we laugh ourselves sick in fits of law student hysteria. (“Cuwwoden?” “Wiwwiams.” “Damn, that was a good move. I’ve got to… no. Fuck. Checkmate :(“) It reminds me of the adrenaline mess that was first year’s exam period, before I learned to confine the panicked pressure-rush to the schwerpunkt of the actual exam paper and got to basically relax for the entirety of third term.

It’s still strange, picking out topics and cramming a few very specific until I know them back to front and in my sleep to the point that I get nightmares about Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball. It all puts the rest of the year under a doubtful light, all the book-grinding and shamming and and uncertainty in class. But I suppose if I’d been told that I was only doing these three subjects for the exam, it would make no difference, because I want to know the law – that’s half the point of the course. And boiling it all down into just eighteen hours of exams (plus the take-home coursework, the MCT, the CAT, the SAT…) is a necessary compromise for a one-year course; no human could actually learn all our topics to assessment-grade quality; just eighteen is a hell of a stretch. And from what I gather, actual three-year law degrees don’t get assessed much more completely than this.

Contract… Contract went alright. I think. I didn’t really shine anywhere, and while Remedies and Terms & Exemption Clauses were perfectly competent I think I messed up Offer & Acceptance a bit. Again, I’m absolutely positive it was pass-worthy, but no idea if it was worth 65% or 45%. For Tort on Friday, I’d bet my first two answers actually were commendation-tier, so slickly and completely did the parts prepared in my mind fall into place for Employers’/Vicarious Liability and Nuisance, but I still wouldn’t bet on anything given my answer for Occupiers’ Liability, which was as mushy and disjointed as a pileup in a trifle factory. So I’m still a bit all over the place, in a weird sort of ambition-limbo where I don’t know at all if I’m getting a pass or a commendation, so half the time I’m filled with “YEAH I CAN GET THE COMMENDATION, LET’S DO THIS” drive and half “meh, I’m definitely good enough to get a pass with what I’m doing, why stress myself out by burning the candle at both ends? this qualification is a box-ticking exercise.”

It’s a funny old conflict of pride and passivity, and it doesn’t really matter either way: I already have the degree and the CV brimful of the shit the HR people say they like; I don’t need more ammo for the job applications, because the problem isn’t a lack of good-quality munitions, it’s that the targets are bulletproof.

The box is halfway ticked now, and I’m on the upstroke. Eleven days to go.

making 90mph like I’m blitzing into poland (1/6)

The GDL Skype channel: home to pep talks and positive moral reinforcement.
The GDL Skype channel: home to pep talks and positive moral reinforcement.

Constitutional & Administrative was today, the first of the six “serious” GDL exams (Con & Ad, Contract, Tort, Equity & Trusts, Criminal, Land. We also have a Case Analysis and Statute Analysis, which aren’t particularly serious) Revising for it was slightly less of a Russian roulette game than the other subjects: we know there’ll be one essay on a Constitutional topic, one Human Rights essay-or-problem-question, and one Judicial Review. As with most subjects, we studied three topics, our choices being guided by a) careful statistical analysis of past papers, b) our tutor dropping heavy hints as to what would come up and c) further to b), some of our comrades got him drunk and asked him nicely what to revise. So we were fairly sure Parliamentary Sovereignty, Article 8 and Illegality were safe bets, and if not, well, we were fucked. I hadn’t realised quite what a weight of worry had built up until I opened the paper and found that the right questions were there.

Parl Sov went alright. As law goes, it’s nicely waffly and theoretical, always assessed by essay, with a set of obvious points to include (Dicey’s precious, specious theory of PARLIAMENTARY SOVEREIGNTY, and the principal challenges to it: the EU/Factortame, Human Rights, Jackson) but sufficient leeway for my inner Arts student to pontificate and bullshit and bring in other arguments where available (ie: as a purely legal theory which doesn’t take into account practical or political factors it’s inherently irrelevant to the real world.) It went alright, I think.

I was somewhat worried about the Judicial Review problem question. In most problem questions you have a sort of sequential process, lots of principles which you apply one after another, and while you need to remember a case for every authority, it is possible to miss authorities as long as you remember the principles. Whereas for Judicial Review there are like fourteen different parallel principles which you have to apply to the facts at the same stage – so some minister acting out of turn can be done for ultra vires, and mistake of evidence, and relevant/irrelevant factors, and all sorts of other stuff, in a hundred little mini-sequences like legal whack-a-mole, and you never think you’ve got all of the buggers. (One of our authorities is a case from 1925 which says that public authorities have a duty to pay their employees as little as they can get away with.) But I remembered the prelims, I hit the obvious bases, I think I had the correct authorities – it was more right than wrong.

Article 8 – the most conventional problem-questiony answer of the three – was not my finest moment. I’m sure it was passworthy – the pass mark for Con & Ad seems to be “come in, write your name and a couple of random cases, 40%” – but I wouldn’t like to say beyond that.

I have no idea, overall, if that paper was commendation-worthy or just a pass. In this, it mirrors my entire GDL experience so far. But I guess I win either way: a mere pass on the GDL (and I am going to pass) is a qualification with significant academic street cred, a commendation is just that but better. (A distinction? hahahaha piss off.)

Contract on Wednesday. Onwards and downwards.