Still harping on Hinks

Right now I should be doing my lecture notes on burglary (a wonderful subject, not least for the joys of Lord Edmund Davies’ description of the facts in R v Collins, available on [1972] EWCA Crim 1) but, as usual, I’m struggling to get my mind past theft and, in particular, the case of Hinks. Yes, I know this one has been done to death in the academic journals and everything that can be said about it has probably been said, but, in the interests of saving my husband’s sanity (“oh no, you’re not onto that again are you?”), I’m going to attempt to get out some of my frustrations here….

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I don’t think Majewski will help me!

It’s that time of year again. The last college class before Christmas. Always fun, but for the hapless law lecturer it does have its hazards….. Usually I count my blessings because I work with mature students and not 16 year olds but, at this time of year, it has it’s dangers….namely the gin! Let me explain..

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Thinking of hiring a private tutor? Don’t leave it too late!

Lots of students feel that they need a bit of extra help with certain subjects, especially when the dreaded exams are looming, so they decide to find a personal tutor. This can be an excellent idea – if you find the right person who has a knack of explaining the difficult subject in a way you understand, it can make a world of difference.

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Preparing notes on Pedigree Chum…..

OK, I admit it, I’ve been ducking this moment for some time. Over the years I have become pathetically attached to the law of provocation. I’ve found the ins and outs of personal characteristics in relation to the second limb of the objective test fascinating, and I thoroughly enjoy teaching the subject. Not any more. Thanks to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, provocation is no more. We have a new partial defence of “loss of control” and I need to update my lecture materials to take this into account, like it or not.

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Posted in Criminal law, exams, studying law, teaching law | 3 Comments

All Twitter-ready, but nothing to Tweet about…..

Law tutor has taken the plunge. Law School Online now has a Twitter account.  Don’t ask me why….I’m not really sure…but, if all else fails, at least I can keep up with the rugby news!  I thought I was reasonably computer/internet literate but, to be honest, much of it has me completely foxed, but I’m hoping to manage to hack my way around it.

I have just one problem. What on earth can you twitter about in 140 characters or less? I joked to a student only the other week that the current trend for dumbing down everything might lead in time to the Supreme Court tweeting a quick consensus judgment and saving on pages of legal analysis. Can you imagine Lord Atkin’s famous neighbour test from Donoghue v Stevenson being reduced to “U R liable. Pay up now. LOL”?

Concision is a virtue…but let’s keep it in its place.

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This is not just any old park….this is Ellenborough Park!

Apologies to good old M&S, but I just wanted to make the point. The new pic at the top of the blog is the park itself, good old Ellenborough Park. On a nice sunny day (not that we’ve had too many of those lately) I do enjoy a nice cup of tea at the Seaquarium in Weston, where I can gaze out to sea one way and stare lovingly over the road at dear old E.P. in the other direction.

It’s not quite how I imagined it but, if you read the case (go to ) you can find references to all of the roads and the houses involved in the original case and then you can go to Weston and walk around and look at them (and, in my case, take photographs for posterity!). It’s a very pleasant way of bringing land law to life. Highly recommended!

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Is this why everyone hates Land law?

Law tutor is having a bit of a difficult time at the moment, teaching Ilex level 6 Land law.  The Ilex level 6 courses are, in my opinion, considerably more challenging than some of the LLB courses I have known. There is a need to know a lot of detail and, unlike internally set exams, where a fortunate student might just have gleaned a little insider information about the lecturer/examiner’s personal preferences, there’s no way of guessing which areas of the syllabus might be tested.

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Schemes of work and lesson plans…..a custom more honoured in the breach than in the observance?

It’s September. The start of a new, bright term and, for millions of unfortunate college lecturers, this means a pile of admin…. For the part-time lecturer this is particularly annoying, as payment is only per teaching hour ‘to include necessary preparation, etc.’. Lecture notes, of course, take a lot of time to prepare but this is, at least, work that feels worthwhile…and for the law lecturer it allows a little indulgence to pore over a few interesting judgments along the way (hooray for – an absolute saviour for those of us who do not have the luxury of a nearby law library!)

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As a rugby fan, with more than a passing interest in the fortunes of Leinster, I followed the “Bloodgate” saga with interest last year. I was quite shocked to discover that the GMC hearing of Dr Wendy Chapman, the Harlequins doctor involved, is only just taking place. It is a year since the results of Tom Williams’ appeal were made public; the player has long since served his suspension, Dean Richards is a year into his ban, but the unfortunate Dr Chapman has spent all this while suspended from her duties and facing a hearing which, we are told, could result in her being struck off. Frankly, I think that’s extremely unfair.

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Antiques Roadshow conundrum

The other day I watched the Antiques Roadshow for the first time in ages…..and it’s been worrying me ever since! I haven’t watched in years but, seeing that the programme was broadcast from beautiful Bath, my all-time favourite place, I thought I’d turn on. Several days later, I’m wishing I hadn’t, because a little legal question is driving me mad….

One of the items featured a couple who had brought in a pair of antique bronze statues, of Lord Nelson and AN Other. Nelson nauticalia is not my cup of tea, but the story that accompanied the figures was interesting. The people in question had bought an old caravan to do up and had discovered Nelson and friend in a drawer of the caravan….

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Posted in General, land law | 1 Comment