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LAW STUDY NOTES

IDA or: How a kindly old lady can help you answer a substantive law question.

Monday, July 09, 2012

A good way to tackle a substantive law or scenario question is to think of a little old lady.  Do it now, go on.  Think of the oldest, wrinkliest old lady that you can.  She could look a bit like your Nan or that little old lady you see at the bus stop every morning or the woman who lives near you that tells you off every other day for bouncing a ball against her garden wall.  Have you done it?  Good.

Now we’re going to name this little old lady IDA and each letter of her name represents the three things that you need to do throughout your answer ...

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Tom Bingham and the Rule of Law

Friday, March 23, 2012

One of the finest minds in English legal history, Lord Bingham, passed away last year. His book, “The Rule of Law”, is essential reading, as BabyBarista explains. This giant of the English legal landscape is seen as a hero by the likes of both Shami Chakrabarti and Peter Oborne - quite a feat. As Lord Chief Justice, he was prepared to fight for the idea of the rule of law, particularly when it came to the issue of terrorism. The Independent, amongst many others, regard him as the greatest judge of his time.

For a more in-depth review of The Rule of Law, click here.

We want pre-nup!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A being considered as having “decisive weight” for the first time. There is so much in this story for law teachers - it’s an example of original precedent, can be argued to be judicial activism (should this have been left to Parliament?), law reform, and so on.

For those of us teaching Contract Law at A2 there is also a lot to ponder. Is a pre-nup not a classic example of a social and domestic agreement? Does this decision prioritise freedom to contract at the expense (potentially) of protecting the weaker party? Does it make matters more or less certain? Does this area of law need codification now?

There is of course the rider that, if unfair, a pre-nup may not be legally binding - but that is no longer the presumption. The court says it will consider matters looking at fairness on a case-by-case basis. However - is this a charter for the rich to pressure those less well-off into contracting out of the jurisdiction of the family courts, or should we allow consenting adults the freedom to contract as they see fit?

For more on the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling, click here and for more reaction Legal Week have a piece here.

It will be interesting to see what the Law Commission make of all this when they report in 2012!

ECJ makes a ruling on retirement age

Thursday, March 05, 2009


The ECJ has ruled that is is ok for employers in the UK to force workers to retire once they reach 65 years of age.

The ECJ said that this is acceptable if the government has a legitimate aim relating to employment and social policy.

In such cases, the ECJ gives guidance which is then applied in the relevant national court - so now that a ruling on the effect of European law on the UK has been made - albeit in a Spanish case - it will be up to the High Court to decide if the age limit is “appropriate and necessary”, just as it will be for the equivalent Spanish court to decide the issue there.

It will be interesting to see how this goes as most people see it as a setback for the claimant in this case, who was arguing that being forced to retire at 65 amounts to age discrimination… although Age Concern intend to push ahead with it.

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