Monday, May 30, 2011

Oh the irony of it all

Just read Jones v Padavatton [1969] 2 All ER 616. Could anything be more ironic than the mother who pays for her daughter to leave America and study to become a barrister only to have to take her daughter to court several years later when she desired to go back on her promise? This is too much...

Bargain vs Will

While still a novice in my contract studies, I have to say that I already have a basic principled objection to the central bargain theory of contracts. As far as I can tell, one of the basic concepts of contracts is that it is mean to be a exchange. In its most basic form a contract reflects an agreement or a bargain between two parties. Party A promises to do something for Party B in return for Party B's promise to do something for Party A. In other words two parties come together to exchange something of value, it need not be equal value but judges have consistently found the need to find some value or consideration in the exchange. In the absence of such consideration, courts will not honor the contract. I find this hard to fathom. Certainly there is reason to reject a contract when one party is brought to it under duress, however is it reasonable for the courts to hold that there must be an accounting of value in every instance? Is not the fact that the two parties who enter into a contract deem it worthy of value to do so? Does this not imply that the two parties find some value in the exchange?

Of course you have to assume that many of the other elements to a contract continue to exist. There must be an offer and an acceptance. The wording of the agreement must demonstrate certainty. One should have an intent to create legal relations, there must be a binding understanding between the two parties. Most certainly it would be necessary to show that there is the requisite 'meeting of the minds'.

How then would a will theory of contracts operate? Certainly we would no longer need to worry about the Foakes v Beer decision. Williams v Roffey Bros & Nicholls no longer becomes controversial. But what dangers would it open? Check in for the next post...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just can't get enough

I have a confession to make. Despite saying that I would take a break and then start working on the next courses in a couple weeks, I've been unable to stick to my word. Since this weekend I have been digging into the next set of courses I will take at law school. Currently the plan is to take contract, tort and trusts. Perhaps I will switch land law for one of these courses although I have to admit I am not keen on land. I expect I will just leave it for my final year.

I've been assembling what resources I can from friends and on the internet for these courses. I am really looking forward to them. As any student can tell you each year begins with such hope and high aspirations, hopefully I will be able to keep the high spirits going at least through the summer.

To start with I will focus on contract as that is the course which I have the most material for and the one I know for sure that I must take. So far I really enjoy it. I have to say that I don't really agree with it all however. For example the idea that a display of goods is only an invitation to treat in this day and age seems a bit unrealistic. Should a shop owner really be able to not sell an item to me because she finds me "a ragged and verminous tramp" as Percy Winfield contends? How can one balance this claim against one of discrimination? Also are not all advertisements meant for the general public who reasonably expect to find such goods available for sale? Yet even beyond that a consumer can easily go into a shop, pick up items, scan them himself, pay for them via a machine, and subsequently exit the store. Was the offer really just when the buyer swiped their own credit card which accepted the payment? Interesting reading ahead.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Good luck

Just a short word of encouragement to my colleagues who are sitting the contract law exam tomorrow. I know this is an intense subject with a lot of ins and outs as well as numerous cases to recall but those of you I know on this course have put in a lot of work and I am sure that you will do well as a result. All the best.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Last one done

So, I'm back from my Common Law exam. It was pretty much as I expected. I hope that all went well. Somehow my revision managed to be right on target so the topics that I revised over the past few days were exactly some of the options on the exam so I am really pleased about that. I don't have the feeling that I nailed it quite as well as the criminal law exam but my initial feelings are that it was better than the public law exam. Perhaps with luck an upper second might be in the cards. Fingers crossed. In any event, baring any terrible misfortune this is the end of the first year of law school. Grades should come the end of July with luck and I will see how well I did.

Next is to celebrate (I did a bit of that right after the exam and I plan to do more tonight with family) and then to see which courses to go for next year. So far research seems to be pointing me in the direction of my original plan to do contracts (a must) in conjunction with torts and trusts and leave land law for my last year. We will see if this hold true. In any event, I am really looking forward to moving on and starting with some new subjects in the next few months.

Never fear however I will continue to post things for you my loyal readers. Next on tap is the amazing statistic that 80% of all appeals are based upon judges' mistakes. Given that judges are given only limited training does this not strike one as an area for huge improvement?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Two down, one to go

Just a quick update on exams again, Friday was Public Law. Throughout the year I have felt pretty good with Public, I think mostly because of my interest in politics, all my English friends and also the fact that I live in Europe therefore going into the exam I felt quite good. Walking out however, I had the feeling that I had not quite nailed it. Perhaps my opinion was colored by the earlier good feeling which I had from the criminal law exam, but somehow I don't think I will be getting a First. Not that the questions were particularly difficult, but rather I found it hard to make my answer shine. I went for the questions more focused on parliamentary workings and constitutional issues rather than case law, the EU, judicial review, elections, etc. We shall see. Common law coming up on Wednesday and then on to next year. Feel pretty good for Common, hopefully will do well.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

One down, two to go

So just a very brief update of yesterday's Criminal Law exam. Overall cautiously optimistic. The exam was more straight forward than I expected it to be, actually was spoiled for choice about which questions to do. I think I hit all of the main points. I know for sure that I mixed up a couple case names but I think I got all the principles correct. Might have missed one possible charge yet reading the notes on it that charge seems a bit of a stretch but I guess that is what the exam is all about. If lucky I might pull out a 2.1, I dont expect it will less than a 2.2 but who knows maybe the grading will be really quite tough. I do feel rather exhausted today however so I hope I will regain my strength before the Public Law exam tomorrow. Fingers crossed and I will let you know.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thank you

One thing I think that we forget to do in this day and age is to take the time to say thank you to others. In order to attempt to rectify this, prior to my first exam tomorrow I would like to say thank you to a few people. First of all to you, my gentle reader, for having a look at this blog. I am glad that you could come and have a look, I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed it so far and will come back again and again. To all those who took the time to comment on the blog - my thanks, you have made this experience much richer. To my colleagues at the law school and to all those other law students whom I have met along the way. I've enjoyed exchanging ideas and experiences more than you can imagine. I am a better law school student because of you. To my friends who have offered me encouragement and support. You have lifted my spirits and helped me to carry on. Finally to my family - words can not express how grateful I am that I have such a strong foundation upon which to build my life. My thanks to you all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Final Countdown

So at long last my exams begin next week. Apologies that I have not been keeping up with my law blog as much as I would like, I've been deep in revision. It is funny how much clicks into place in the last few days. I now see things with much more clarity than I did before and also can deal (I hope) with subtle issues which were so subtle before that I did not even recognize their existence. Hopefully all with come together on exam day and the grades will be adequate. Cross fingers for me.

To be honest however more than anything, I am looking forward to some new subjects. Probably I will dive right into the new subjects as soon as I finish. Currently the plan is to take Contract, Torts, and Trust law. I think that the first year will be rather easy by comparison. I looked at Contract already and it seems like there are very many cases involved. Trust law I hope will tie in with my finance background. Torts with any luck will be as interesting as Criminal law is this year. Hopefully my interest will remain high.

Tomorrow I am off to pay for my exams. I am quite curious what the actual mechanics of the exams will be like. I am especially curious if there will be anyone else taking exams with me or if I will be all alone in some big lecture hall by myself. Either way I am looking forward to it. Time to close one chapter and begin another.