mcgillianaire: (Royal Coat of Arms)
Tuition fees are making law conversion courses less attractive by Alex Alridge | The Guardian [18 August 2011]
From a selfish perspective this is good news because I could do with less competition in the race to securing a training contract, but generally speaking it would be a sad state of affairs if it were at all true.

It is David Cameron who is 'twisting and misrepresenting' human rights by Benjamin Ward | The Guardian [17 August 2011]
The UK already has a British Bill of Rights. It's called the Human Rights Act. Like seriously, end of.

Who are the real looters – rioters or MPs? by John Harris | The Guardian [18 August 2011]
I made a similar argument a few days ago. The author provides better examples and finishes it off with a fantastic suggestion from a letter to the editor. Worth a read for that alone.

India's Selective Rage Over Corruption by Manu Joseph | The New York Times [18 August 2011]
The odd thing about corruption in India is that everybody takes part in it (not always by choice) yet there is no dearth of moral posturing from its worst offenders. For many, some forms of corruption are worse than others.

Kaushik Basu Says Make Bribe Giving Legal (in India) by Subhadip Sircar | The Wall Street Journal [30 March 2011]
A fascinating proposal from the government's chief economic advisor. At present the law punishes the bribe giver and bribe taker, but he argues that for "harassment bribes", only the bribe taker should be punished.
mcgillianaire: (Old Bailey)
As of 30 June this year, there were 11,135 foreign national prisoners in England and Wales out of a grand total of 85,002. 3,342 were EU nationals, 774 were women. 6,434 were serving sentences longer than six months. 581 were being held under immigration powers after completion of their sentences. Wandsworth Prison in south London had the most number of foreign national prisoners at 497. Those of you with a sharp memory will remember that I visited Wandsworth Prison nearly two years ago and I made a post about my experience.

The foreign national prisoners belonged to 165 countries and this is how they brokedown:
01. Jamaica    - 942 
02. Nigeria    - 727
03. Ireland    - 681
04. Poland     - 642
05. Vietnam    - 596
06. Pakistan   - 440
07. Somalia    - 433
08. Romania    - 380
09. China      - 364
10. Lithuania  - 361
11. India      - 329
12. Iraq       - 234
13. Bangladesh - 216
14. Portugal   - 209
15. Iran       - 197
16. Zimbabwe   - 189
17. Algeria    - 175
18. Turkey     - 167
19. Albania    - 154
20. Latvia     - 150
Most of the usual suspects, though I was surprised at how high Irish nationals were in the table. It would be interesting to compare the data with different time periods, against the percentage of foreign nationals resident in the UK and with similar data from other western countries.

[Source: Hansard, 26 October 2010]
mcgillianaire: (Default)
This is my favourite month of tennis... but as mentioned in the previous post, most of it will be overrun by bloody exams!!!
mcgillianaire: (Three Lions (WC 2010))
I hate the person/people who scheduled our final exams with the first weeks of the World Cup. This is a big reason why I moved here!!!
mcgillianaire: (Default)
I'm sure you've all sat exams at some point or another, but how many of you can lay claim to sitting one at Lord's Cricket Ground? :)
mcgillianaire: (Default)

This is a map I've been working on for over a year now. If anybody can guess what it's about I'll be suitably impressed and will reward you upon your next visit to London Town. In the meanwhile, it's back to the nasty books. I've got my biggest exams, since the ones I took last May, to prepare for. Four courses, five papers. The first one's on the 22nd of this month, the last on March 1st. Till then!

It's a map of all the London pubs, bars and clubs I've been to since June 2007. The green pins are pubs and bars (yes, there's a difference!). The dark blue pins are clubs, the light blue pins are pubs, bars or clubs that I've been to but cannot remember the name of, and the yellow pins are London's famous ancient pubs. On the map above the ancient pubs that you can see are the Cittie of Yorke (founded 1430), Ye Olde Mitre (1546) and Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (1538). Funnily enough, I've been to over 130 drinking and dancing establishments the past three years, yet hardly any within the City of London itself! Nor has there been enough drunken revelry south of the Thames. So what are you waiting for? Visit soon and we'll correct these wrongs! Right, back to ye olde darned books!

(PS- Click on the map or here to see it in full. The red pins are for restaurant pubs and purple pins for places I've pub quizzed in.)
mcgillianaire: (Default)

Getting blessed by the holy elephant in Madurai's Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu. (July 2005)

In 48 hours I will be on a flight to Muscat. I cannae wait to get away. As much as I love living in London, sometimes you just need to get away from the hustle, bustle and big nights out. I've also been studying non-stop since October and I want a change of scenery.

In Muscat, my dad has organised a two-week training for me with Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, an American-based international law firm. It'll be my first work experience in the legal profession. I'm quite excited about it. However from previous work and training experiences, I've finally learnt two important lessons. Firstly, don't go in with expectations of coming out with the perfect experience or achieving misplaced pre-conceived goals. Secondly, while it's always useful to learn things during the training, speaking to others and from my own experiences, I've realised that the real value of such experiences occurs sometime after the dust has settled.

I then have a few days to relax before jetting off to Madras. It's my first trip to the motherland since before moving to London in May 2007. As usual, I'm excited and nervous about it. But so much has changed in my life since my last trip, than compared to any previous trip to India. Most obviously, I have cemented my confusing twenty-three year relationship with the British Isles. It's got to the point where I hardly feel Indian anymore. I only have a handful of good Indian friends but I hardly see or chat with them for it to have any real meaning. I don't listen to Indian music or watch Indian movies much anymore. And besides the fact I eat a lot of Indian food, keep in touch with my family and follow Indian cricket, the former obsessions have dried up big time. I don't read or watch Indian news as much as I did before. I'm a Londoner now. I'm a part of the United Kingdom. This is my home. But am I British yet? I don't know...

It'll be an interesting week in the motherland. I won't have much time to think while I'm there because I'll be shuttling between Madras and the towns where my extended family live. There's even a wedding to attend, one of my second-cousins, which will be fabulatastic. I'll definitely be taking pictures and hopefully posting them on here before the return of Halley's Comet. Watch this Space!

And then exactly a month after leaving The Big Smoke I return a day before my solicitor's training course begins. I won't have much time to recover from jet lag. And the weekend following my arrival in September I travel to Newcastle. There really is no rest for the wicked!
mcgillianaire: (Scale of Justice)

I'm Done!

May. 27th, 2009 11:30 am
mcgillianaire: (Default)

Gordon's Wine Bar, a delightful hidden little treasure on the banks of Father Thames.

I went to Gordon's Wine Bar for the first time yesterday and I can't believe it's taken me so long. What a delightful little treasure!
    "Wine has been sold on its site since 1890 making it the oldest wine bar in London. It was formerly owned by Arthur Gordon who, as a free vinter was allowed to open premises and sell wine without a licence. Gordon's continues to maintain its tradition and sells only wines, sherries, Ports and Madeiras in its dusty, Dickensian wine-cellar. Kipling House, in which the bar is situated, was home to Samuel Pepys in the 1680s. Rudyard Kipling lived in the building in the 1890s as a tenant and in the room overhead he wrote The Light That Failed. Both he and G.K. Chesterton wrote some of their works in the little parlour of the Wine Bar."
It is absolutely gorgeous inside. It's dark, dinghy, cave-like and very very nice. But the weather was lovely so we sat outside instead.
mcgillianaire: (Scale of Justice)
I wrote my Criminal Law exam yesterday where I answered three questions on Theft, Burglary, Robbery, Blackmail and Fraud. Then I got home and discovered this topical article written by Jonathan Fisher QC, a criminal barrister, and published in The Times:
    A police investigation into the MPs expenses scandal will swiftly identify false accounting as the criminal offence most likely to have been committed by the most egregious of the SW1 claimants. The offence is committed when a person dishonestly, with a view to gain, produces a record or document that he or she knows is misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular. An expenses claim constitutes a record or document produced for an accounting purpose and, if submitted dishonestly, the maker is liable to a maximum of seven years imprisonment on conviction. A greater number of MPs ought to be worried because the offence can also be committed where a person knows his expenses claim may be misleading and likely to induce another person into believing that the claim was properly allowable. Proof that an expenses claim was misleading is not required. The purpose of the law is to defeat an argument that a claim was certain to mislead.
Later he goes on...
    For centuries lawyers have debated whether a person who obtains a victim’s consent to suffering a loss (such as an elderly homeowner massively overcharged by a rogue decorator) is liable for theft where his conduct cannot be impugned in civil law. The present drift of the law suggests that it is no defence for a person to contend he is not guilty simply because he acted within the letter but outside the spirit of the law. As Lord Steyn explained in a House of Lords decision, the purposes of the civil law and the criminal law are different and sometimes there is disharmony. When this occurs, it is wrong to assume that criminal and not civil law is defective. The test of dishonesty applied by a jury in a criminal trial is two-fold. First, the jury asks whether the action was dishonest according to the ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people. If the answer is “yes”, the jury asks whether the defendant realised that reasonable and honest people would regard what he did as dishonest. If a jury concludes that an MP had not realised reasonable and honest people would regard his action as dishonest, the verdict would stand as eloquent testimony of the remoteness of our lawmakers from the perception of the vast majority of law-abiding people.
That test of dishonesty is known as The Ghosh Test and is the test used in just about every question I answered yesterday. And the bit at the beginning about the criminal offence of false accounting is from section 17 of the Theft Act 1968, which is also the source of the offences of Theft (sections 1-6), Robbery (section 8), Burglary (sections 9 & 10) and Blackmail (section 21).

I'd love to see an MP 'brought to justice' under the provisions of this Act but I doubt if it would ever happen. Could it? Should it?
mcgillianaire: (Default)
I wanted to wait till I was completely done but I gave in to the temptation. I had my first taste of an alcoholic beverage this afternoon since watching Liverpool lose to Chelsea in the 1st Leg of the European Cup Quarterfinals in a pub just outside of Newcastle on April 8th. Forty-three days. That's the longest I've gone between consumption of alcoholic beverages since the Dark Ages of the three-month hiatus in the Autumn of 2006 spent in California. Not surprisingly, the heady mix of two hours sleep, empty stomach and lack of regular alcoholic contact was sufficient to inebriate me to a level which would normally take at least a half-dozen pints or so. But it was such a great feeling. I cannae wait till Tuesday afternoon. I am going to get wasted like it's 1969. But till then it's EU Law cramming. G'nite!
mcgillianaire: (Scale of Justice)
"For example, D demands payment from P of a debt threatening to show to P's neighbours and the editor of a Sunday newspaper explicit photographs of P performing an unnatural sexual act if P does not pay. D may believe that he has reasonable grounds for making the demand. D may not know that showing an obscene photograph to another may constitute the offence of publishing obscene matter contrary to section 2 of the Obscene Publications Act 1959. If he believed that showing the photographs was not unlawful, he could only be convicted of blackmail if it was proved that he did not believe that this would generally be regarded as morally and socially acceptable. It is difficult to imagine that D would have a strong chance of success on this point."

I hate the fact it's a subjective test based on what D thinks but it's not as bad as the next part.

"However, if D is a person of low intelligence, poor education & from a social background where it is generally accepted that debts may be enforced by threats, he may genuinely believe his threat to be proper, in which case HE WOULD HAVE TO BE ACQUITTED."

Granted it's just an example in my Criminal Law Textbook but surely you need an objective and not a subjective test.

Or maybe the severe lack of sleep in recent nights is finally catching up with me. Just one more exam to go!!!

(taken from p517, Textbook on Criminal Law by Michael Allen)
mcgillianaire: (Scale of Justice)
In less than a week I will have completed the equivalent of an(?) LLB degree. A year ago I hadn't even heard of Lord Denning!
mcgillianaire: (Cricket Stumps)
"In summertime village cricket is the delight of everyone. Nearly every village has its own cricket field where the young men play and the old men watch. In the village of Lintz in County Durham they have their own ground, where they have played these last 70 years. They tend it well. The wicket area is well rolled and mown. The outfield is kept short. The village team play there on Saturdays and Sundays. They belong to a league, competing with the neighbouring villages. Yet now after these 70 years a judge of the High Court has ordered that they must not play there any more. He has issued an injunction to stop them. He has done it at the instance of a newcomer who is no lover of cricket. This newcomer has built, or has had built for him, a house on the edge of the cricket ground which four years ago was a field where cattle grazed. The animals did not mind the cricket."
-Lord Denning in Miller v. Jackson (1977)
mcgillianaire: (Scale of Justice)
I've been away revising for the biggest exams in my life. Less than seven months ago I began the equivalent of a law degree, and in just over a month's time it will all be over. The stress levels are gradually peaking and I'm going insane. I don't know how I'll remember all the case names, legal principles and definitions for the seven exams. I wish there was a shortcut. Life has been made much easier with mum taking over all non-revision activities, but it feels nothing short of a hell in my head. Bad dreams every night and the tension rising by the day. I hope I pass them all. A lot rests on it. I wish I'd spent more time learning the cases better as the year went along. Oh well, too late to worry about it now. Fourteen days to the rest of my life! Back on 27 May. Hope you're all well. :)
mcgillianaire: (Scale of Justice)
History was made today by the Bank of England as they decided to lower the rate of interest by half a percent from 2% to 1.5%. Since its establishment more than three hundred years ago (in 1694), this is the first time the Bank's interest rate has ever fallen below 2%. It's bad news for savers but it's great news for me. The variable rate of interest on my university loan will lower itself even further and there's every chance the downward journey is far from over. The day is not far when we will wake up to Japanesque 0% interest rates, a far cry from the days when my dad first arrived in this country nearly thirty years ago and was greeted with Thatcher's double-digit interest rates. How times have changed. I suppose you could say I couldn't have chosen a better time to be in school. By the time I roll out as a finished product, interest rates will probably be back on their way up and the economy will hopefully have picked up a bit. It's time to make hay!
mcgillianaire: (Default)
Today was the last day of class for the Autumn Term. We now break for three weeks of Christmas and it's an excellent opportunity to consolidate everything we've learned so far and catch up on a library full of cases. As usual, time has flown. I'm having the time of my life and I still find myself pinching myself to believe I'm making things happen in a city that I've always wanted to live in. You know you're living in the right place when you discover you once got drunk in a pub where two of the Jack the Ripper victims reputedly used to work! Though now that I know that piece of eerie information, I'm not sure if I'm keen to go back... Hope y'all have yerself a good weekend!
mcgillianaire: (Scale of Justice)
"Much of the [criminal] law you will study is based on principles and rules which are hundreds of years old, with some areas being positively archaic in both nature and form. For example it remains impossible in law to conspire with your spouse to commit a crime, this is based on the old idea that women are the property of their husbands. In this particular area of criminal law husbands and wives are seen as one entity and as it is not possible to agree with yourself there can be no conspiracy!" -My Criminal Law manual
mcgillianaire: (Ari G)
Results are out and I got 96% (48/50). They've published the results for all 1500+ Full-Time BPP GDL students in the country (there are three branches: ours in London Waterloo, one in Manchester and another in Leeds). 4 students got 100%, 15 got 98% and 28 others got 96%. That places me somewhere in the top 4%, a wholly satisfying performance. Unfortunately, the results in this exam don't count towards our final mark and the content was a lot easier to comprehend than the stuff we're doing now. It's crazy to think that at the end of next week we'll be a quarter way through our syllabus for the year!!! But for now, it's TGIF and a three-day weekend! Bhooyakasha!


Oct. 16th, 2008 02:45 pm
mcgillianaire: (Scale of Justice)
Exactly 200 days to my first final exam (and it's going to be Contract Law). I'm already nervous!


mcgillianaire: (Default)

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