30 September 2010


I've been a touch distracted by academic "hand-wringing" and "sipping lattes", so this week's Idol update is a little late.

Anyways, it's down to the Final 3: me, someone from Psych, some guy with barefeet from CompSci.

This week's question was:
Out of flight, invisibility and telepathy, what super power would you have and what crimes would you solve with it?

My answer:
"Pfft. Such silly super-powers when it comes to solving the real crimes in our world today. Constitutional crimes. Assaults on democracy. Political felonies.
One needs special legal, forensic and constitutional super-powers to solve these crimes—not smarty-pants, cartoon-like powers. The power to sniff out a violation of the Rule of Law at 100 yards. The power to quickly parse a long, multi-judgment decision of the Supreme Court for a breach of the separation of powers. The power to bang one’s fist firmly and loudly, with Sir Geoffrey Palmer-style, hyperbolic constitutional outrage.
Actually, telepathy might be helpful—if not just to work out what “Gerry order” is being dreamt up in the mind of our now omnipotent Earthquake minister!"
Voting closes at 5pm today (Thursday).  I hear that it's me and the guy with the barefeet who are fighting it out for this week's wooden spoon...  so there's a reasonable chance this might be my last update from the Island.
If you want to vote, text"Dean" 027 CUSTARD (+64-27-287-8273) or editor@salient.org.nz.  Apparently you don't need to be at Vic to vote.

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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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