Saturday, 30 May 2009

Psyched Out

I had my moot today.. needless to say we didn't win.
I am not so annoyed about not winning but the behaviour of the individual that did win.
I am nevertheless comforted by being reminded that you do not have to be an arrogant, tosser to succeed in life. The best people at the Bar as I am told are the ones who are nice and actually get on with people.

You do not have to be a fat head to succeed.
The best pupillage advice I have acquired so far, is learn when not to talk, don't piss people off because that's another vote against you at tenancy.

I am also slightly disappointed in the behaviour of the hosting moot team, in particular the timer of the moot who had no problem letting her hosting team continue once they had ran out of time, but began to furiously shake the piece of paper once I was seconds over mine.

This all seems quite bitter.
But now I know I have quite possibly met the most arrogant aspirant barrister yet.
I hope that when it comes to Bar School and Pupillage, that these people fall flat on their asses.
You don''t have to be mean, rude or arrogant to be successful.


Monday, 25 May 2009



I finished my undergraduate life on Friday after two very stressful exams, that were slightly more challenging than what I expected. Law of Evidence went ok... I know that I did well in two questions, who knows about the other two. Medical Law and Ethics was really shittingly tough, a lot of people came out of the exam feeling like they did not have a clue what they were writing about and many people after leaving the exam hall were crying. Suffice to say I think I have done well/ok and hopefully this means I shall get into Cambridge, if not and I have done soo badly that I have got a 2:2 I shall be jumping infront of a bendy bus.

I've had a bad hangover the last few days as you can imagine, 8 hours in a pub with £1 a pint.. Thats a lot of pints....

Now I have my Semi Final moot to look forward to, its about UCTA, something again I have no idea about, though hopefully this means that I can apply to some mixed common law sets as I have mooted so much on contract this year, that I actually know bits of it quite well!

3 yrs have gone by really really quickly, and I was a bit sad for moment until I realised that my skeleton was in for tomorrow evening and I don't know anything about it!

Good luck for all of the readers who have finished their exams for this year!!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Broken Piece of Sh*t!!!


The story goes that I dropped my laptop over a month ago and completely smashed the screen.
I was not happy and I spent the whole day panicking.

Luckily someone gave me their desktop screen and that worked as a replacement.
Now that desktop screen has decided to fuck up and NOT SWITCH ON, or display what my laptop is trying to project. It made this squeaking noise every time I tried to turn it on, but normally after 5-10 goes it would light up and work.

Today it decided not to work, after two hours of trying to make it work it didn't, so I had to have an emergency visit to PC shit world, and get a new monitor, the only ones available were WIDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDEEEESCCCCCCCCREEEEEEEEEEEEN ones that make me feel ill!!

Now not only have I got a screen that makes me feel like I want to vomit, but also one of the pixels on the screen doesn't work!!!

EURGH, I am going to return it after my exams next week and hopefully I'll scrap enough money together to get a laptop, then I'll return it saying it makes me want to vom and the pixel doesn't work!


Thursday, 14 May 2009

Does lightning strike twice? Apparently so!

What a crazy day this has been!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not only have I for some reason been given a scholarship by Middle Temple but I have also been offered a place to study the M.Phil Criminology at Cambridge!

My conditional offer is that I need a 2:1 of at least (66%), so I am now enquiring to academic stuff as to how my average mark is calculated, and whether or not I'm actually allowed to know! Ahh! Scary!!

Lightning has definitely struck twice today!!

I has the precious!!

The Honourable (and probably slightly deluded) Society of Middle Temple, have given me a scholarship! Hazaar!!!!

I wasn't expecting one, in fact I repeatedly told my flat mate that I wasn't going to get one, and that my Lady GaGa poker face explanation of criminal practice to the learned panel had probably meant that I had "REJECT" stamped on me.

I thought my paper application was shite and I thought the interview was even worse, so I consider myself very fortunate to come out with something :)

I hope all the other Middle Templers(especially readers from Middle Temple Student Society on Facebook) got something too :)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Re McE, the end of LPP?

In March 2009, the House of Lords handed down judgment in Re McE.

The case concerned whether or not the appellants had a right to know whether their confidential conversations with their solicitors were being monitored or were under surveillance. The Police declined to tell them whether or not they were under surveillance and the appellants sought judicial review of the Police's refusal. The divisional court held that RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) applied to consultations between legal advisers and their clients. However they agreed that in the absence of an authorising regime such as that needed for intrusive surveillance the monitoring of the lawyer/client conversations could not be justified under Art 8(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The divisional court certified questions to the House of Lords, asking whether or not RIPA covers surveillance of legal professional privlege and other questions.

The House of Lords held unanimously by 4:1 that s 27(1) RIPA 2000, meant that RIPA applied to legal professional privilege, however in order for LPP situations to be covered it does need a higher level of authorisation (as mentioned by the divisional court) and will need to be classified as intrusive surveillance.

What does this mean?
Whilst previous authorities have made LPP almost sacra santé it appears that RIPA will now be able to pierce and undermine LPP.

This seems in conflict with the recent Court of Appeal authority R v Grant, where the Court quashed a conviction as an abuse of process, where Grant's exercise yard was bugged, and there was no evidence of any prejudicial effect (as noted by the trial judge who conducted a three week voire dire in relation to the bugging)

So now it appears that Grant no longer bites, and that there will be little argument for Abuse of Process where the conduct of the police has been to bug prisoner's confidential conversations with their solicitors. The only Abuse of Process argument that I can see could be made is whether the manner in which the surveillance was conducted was so (out of order?) then abuse of process might be preferred.

If Police can bug these conversations what effect will it have on LPP? Especially as one of the appeals involved a vulnerable adult with mental health problems, with the psychiatrist assessing whether he was fit for being interviewed requested to know whether it would be conducted without surveillance. The impact of this decision is likely to completely undermine LPP, with nothing to ensure that these conversations are private, should lawyers now advise their clients not to say too much?

However their Lordships seemed all to be agreed that even though the conduct may be permissible under RIPA (however unpalatable that is according to Baroness Hale), the evidence obtained from such conduct is very likely to be inadmissible and the trial judge remains the power to exclude it under s 78 PACE.

In addition the restrictions on admitting surveillance evidence under RIPA should also be remembered, for the Intelligence Services are not allowed to put in evidence that has been intercepted directly between A and B, but it is ok to admit evidence that is listened to from a recording device in a phone as this is not a "direct intercept"

What is most interesting is that according to Lord Neuberger, the Home Secretary had in fact been allowing surveillance of LPP despite the divisional court's ruling that whilst RIPA was lawful, the kind of surveillance of LPP needed a higher level of authorisation such as intrusive surveillance, so therefore unless it was reclassified as intrusive surveillance it was illegal and contrary to Art 8! Bad naughty cock up Jacqui-Smith has done it again!

This case is likely to go to the European Court of Human Rights, and as the government lost in AL-Khawaja and Tahery v UK (sole evidence of Hearsay is not adequate on which to base a criminal conviction) it may be likely that they would lose again on this one!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Question Spotting

Now normally I would never condone such a practice, however it has come to my attention under the shear weight of jurisprudence revision, that it would be impossible to do more than 5 subjects coherently, for the exam.

This is a general agreement between all learned friends of my institution, that seeming it is obligatory to answer 4 questions, out of roughly 13 question, most of which contain an either or, so a perhaps a maximum of nearly 20 + questions. It seems quite apparent that it would be stupid to attempt more than 5 topics for revision, and is would be unnecessary to over do it, better to learn the topics in detail I say.

What I am slightly worried about is that I have delved into the exam papers past. The format was renewed in 2007, so that there were a lot more questions and choice why is good, seeming as we are taught something like 16 individual topics, that of course ALL interrelate because that's the jurisprudence world we live in (whereby learned professors write books, and never have to go into a real world of living, because they can simply make it all up and pretend to know what they are talking about, I call this the jurisprudence CONSPIRACY)

The 2007 paper had 13 questions, but only 5 of them were in part B of the paper, the 2008 paper had 6 topics, which accurately reflects how many topics were taught in the second term.
My worry is that unless they pick and choose which part of the paper has more questions, or it accurately reflects what is taught...

I am hoping that it is what is taught and the second half of the paper has 6 questions! For dear readers if it is FIVE, then I would probably be unable to answer a second question on that part of the paper.

So in conclusion - jurisprudence is hard and sucks.