6 September 2010

Academic Idol - Final Five

In lieu of a serious post (largely due to a flurry of other academic deadlines and addresses), I can report that I am still alive on Academic Idol and have made it to the final 5! 

This is the contest run by Salient, and has a number of lecturers from across the University answering quirky questions, with the lowest polling being evicted each week.  (See earlier post: http://www.laws179.co.nz/2010/08/ode-to-public-law.html)

This week's question is:

Name your favourite book/musician/film/television show and briefly explain why they’re your favourites.

My response:

Favourite book: Uncle’s Story by Witi Ihimaera. In the summer of 2000/01 it had me and all of my friends blubbing. A moving story blending Maoriness, gayness, sign language, masculinity—all told through a search for an uncle’s long-lost, war-time lover. Superb.

Favourite musician: Does Kathryn Ryan count? I confess my radio is usually glued to National Radio… But otherwise, Everything But the Girl. Or, for something upbeat, anything playing on GeorgeFM.

Favourite TV show: No question. West Wing. All 7 series. End of story. [FN: For the long list of favourite quotations and scenes from West Wing, see facebook status thread.]

Favourite film: I know as the law guy I should mention A Few Good Men. A 1992 classic law movie. Stunning cross examination of Jack Nicolson by Tom Cruise:
Col Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I’m entitled to them.
Col Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Col Jessep: You can’t handle the truth!
But, being truthful myself: J’ai tué ma mère / I Killed My Mother from Toronto and New Zealand film fests. Stylish, quirky film about a young gay boy’s love-hate relationship with his mother—written, directed and starred in by a really talented Quebec kid.

And, over the last couple of weeks some strange posters have appeared around law school and online: 

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Course Outline

Lord Justice Lawton in Maxwell v Department of Trade and Industry [1974] 2 All ER 122 said:

"From time to time ... lawyers and judges have tried to define what constitutes fairness. Like defining an elephant, it is not easy to do, although fairness in practice has the elephantine quality of being easy to recognise. As a result of these efforts a word in common usage has acquired the trappings of legalism: 'acting fairly' has become 'acting in accordance with the rules of natural justice', and on occasion has been dressed up with Latin tags. This phrase in my opinion serves no useful purpose and in recent years it has encouraged lawyers to try to put those who hold inquiries into legal straitjackets.... For the purposes of my judgment I intend to ask myself this simple question: did the [decision-maker] act fairly towards the plaintiff?"

This course examines the elephantine concept of fairness in the law, along with other contemporary legal issues.

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