Friday, January 21, 2011


As you may recall from my previous post "A Case of Privilege" there was a ruling last year in the Chaytor case on the abuse by some MPs of Parliament’s system of expenses, which surfaced spectacularly in 2009. In the latest episode in this saga at the start of this year David Chaytor, a former Labour MP, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for false accounting. On January 11th it was the turn of Eric Illsley, who kept his seat at the last general election, to appear before a judge. He pleaded guilty to fraudulently claiming £14,000 in expenses associated with a second home, and later announced his resignation from Parliament. He is likely to face jail as well. Four other politicians—two ex-MPs and two peers—have been charged with similar offences, and the police are investigating several others. Nice to see the wheels of law churning and catching a few guilty parties.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Matter of Perspective

I came across an really thought provoking book last night as I was wandering around the internet: The Legal Analyst - A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law by Ward Farnsworth. I've only read to the second chapter so far but what I've read really helps me to conceptualize things. One great point is to view the law through the perspectives of ex ante and ex post. The ex post perspective involves looking back at a disaster or other event after it has occurred and deciding what to do about it or how to clean it up. The second perspective, ex ante, involves looking forward and asking what effects the decision about this case will have in the future —on parties who are entering similar situations and haven’t yet decided what to do, and whose choices may be influenced by the consequences the law says will follow from them.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Another Milestone

When was the last time that you actually saw a milestone? I always find them quite interesting actually, almost like Stonehenge to be honest. A quaint relic of a time gone by, weathered by the elements yet still visible. Perhaps not as much of a mystery as the Wiltshire stones but still intriguing. At least to me.

In any event today I reached another milestone in my quest for the LLB. I stopped by my local examination centre this morning to get their sign off on my papers to sit my exams in the spring and I have just posted them to the university. In a few more days I can expect a much more visible sign when the fee for the exams is deducted from my account.

Slightly behind where I wanted to be at this point but I will be putting my nose to the grindstone over the next few months so keep the bandages handy...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year

Big apologies for the slide in my number of postings at the end of last year. I am going to use the excuse that I was deep deep in studying and could not even be bothered to lift my nose out of the books to eat and drink much less to post a few words here. I will leave it up to you to decide whether this is true or not but I am going to stick with it...

I have actually made a bit of progess in the past couple of months especially in criminal law but there is a strange thing which is slowing me down - a lack of index cards. Sadly it is impossible to get index cards where I live (hard to believe I know but seemingly true). I wanted to use them to make flash cards to study the huge number of accumulating cases. Somehow I got really fixated on this issue and searched high and low for index cards but was unable to find them in any shop or office supply store. Neither was Santa clever enough to find them. So I am left to my own devices to find an old fashioned means to study the cases. Open to suggestions so if you have any good tips please write back and let me know.