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The beginning of the end for Tesco Law?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The implications of the Clementi Report into legal services have worried lawyers for some time, particularly in regard to the proposals to open up the legal marketplace to alternative business providers such as multi-disciplinary partnerships. Whether lawyers are resisting greater competition or genuinely fear for independent advice and standards depends on whom you talk to.

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New Supreme Court Justice

Sir John Dyson has just been appointed as the twelfth Supreme Court Justice. The UK Supreme Court blog has a brief profile of him here. For students, he makes an interesting case study - does this Grammar school boy conform to the judicial stereotype of old, white, Oxbridge males?

Appointments to the Supreme Court are made under s8 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. Another important feature of the Act to note it that it imposes, under section 3, a duty on government to uphold the independence of the judiciary.

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Illegality and Restraint picture quiz

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New resource for A2 Law of Contract students.

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Daniels v White

Friday, March 26, 2010

Daniels & Daniels v R. White & Sons Ltd and Tabard  is a useful case to demonstrate the basic concept of stare decisis when it comes to judicial precedent. Students “get” the similarity between a snail in a bottle of ginger beer in Donoghue v Stevenson and chemicals in lemonade in Daniels.

Plus, it gives you an excuse to show this classic 80s TV ad:

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Magna Carta

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tony Fox on the History blog has posted on the Magna Carta online - thanks for the heads up on this one Tony!

The following passage from Magna Carta is still good law today:

“No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.”

This has been used by Parliament in the fourteenth century to guarantee the right to trial by jury and by judge Sir Edmund Coke in the fifteenth century to defend the freedom of the individual against the King. In 1689, the English Bill of Rights was drawn up, relying heavily on Magna Carta. Some more key passages of Magna Carta include:

“In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.”


“To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.”

There’s a very quick video clip on this here. A good summary of the rights granted by the document can be found here

For extension-type material, Time magazine from 1969 has an interesting article on Magna Carta here.

Magna Carta makes a great starting point for discussions about juries, police powers, and anything to do with individual freedom.

Time to grow up?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Furrther to recent postings about the criminal age of consent, David Aaronovitch has written a cracking article on the topic in the Times.... well worth a read and again a great way to get a debate going!

“I feel as if they have ripped out my heart” - victim’s justice?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Under Section 142 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the judiciary are directed to consider a variety of aims when sentencing offenders. One of these is the making of reparation to victims.

This, together with the use of victim impact statements such as this one,  a moving statement made by Adele Eastman in the case of the murder of Tom ap Rhys Price, represents a growing trend of allowing victims a say that could possibly affect the outcomes of out criminal justice processes.

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How were your results?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Post a comment on your A level law results below, or on the forum! I was pleased with the results at my centre, where we use OCR. There was a new special study paper topic which went well, to my relief.
Let us know your experiences and views!

You Be The Judge

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 a cracking new site from CJS Online. Students can hear the facts of a case, arguments relating to aggravating and mitigating factors, and choose a sentence from a range of options. They can then compare their decision to the “real” one in the case. More cases are to be added soon.

This is a great resource for teaching sentencing, criminal courts and magistrates. Also, the Times have an interesting article about public perceptions over sentencing here. It’s good on the fact that the public, when presented with the full facts of a case, tend to agree with sentencing decisions, or even tend towards the lenient side. A marked contrast with opinions based solely on media reports!


Wordle is a really interesting tool for teachers. I am planning to use it with my class to test their understanding and recollection of terms and cases relating to Statutory Interpretation. Read on for worksheet!

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The Angola 3

Former prisoner Erwin James writes regularly for the Guardian on prison and prisoners. His latest article is a terrific example of an alleged miscarriage of justice as well as a fascinating insight into the American prison system in Louisiana. Well worth a read. Video clip below - one documentary, and the other a protest song - if you are down with the kids’ music!

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Quintavalle, cloning and the Purposive Approach

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I was teaching my group the purposive approach today and they wanted more information on the case of R v Secretary of State for Health ex parte Quintavalle than I could provide so I’ve had a read of the House of Lords’ judgment and summarised it below. The case involves the application of cloning techniques to humans and their legality….


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