21 September 2010

IDOL UPDATE: Still lurking in the final four...

It seems a fictional character was evicted from the Island of Academic Idol this week, so I'm still alive.

My frustration with the recent threats to our constitutional fabric may have come through in my answer to this week's question.  Sigh.


You have found a magical genie in a bottle. The magical genie can grant you three wishes. What would your three wishes be?

The rules outlined in the Disney animated classic Aladdin apply:
1.You can’t wish for more wishes.
2.You can’t wish to bring someone back from the dead.
3.You can’t make anyone fall in love with you.

How to vote: text 027 CUSTARD or email editor@salient.org.nz by 5pm Thursday.

Dean Knight, Law

"One wish only please.

A wish that we didn’t just wish for things, but we made things happen ourselves.
Not just wishing that the government didn’t pass Muldoon-like powers in the name of the earthquake. People actually speaking out against it.
Not just wishing our local democracy was better. People actually voting to make it better.
Not just wishing MMP wins the upcoming referendum. People educating friends and family about why it’s better than FPP.
Not just wishing the student associations were more representative and robust. People participating to make it so.

I know. An earnest response. No jokes about the Iliad, Marc’s telly show or Pondy’s bare feet. I wish I was more funny… sigh."

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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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