8 October 2010

ACADEMIC IDOL: Yes, thanks, and sorry for all the spam...

I think I had earlier said there would be no more spam.  So forgive this last missive.

Yes, the competition did close at 5pm, yesterday. And, no, we don't know the results yet. I'm told we won't know until the final edition of Salient hits the news stands on Monday morning.

I do want to thank you though for tolerating all the spam, personal haranguing and other nonsense over the last 12 weeks or so.

I know I told some of you at the outset that I only wanted to make sure I wasn't voted off the island in week 1.  I was wrong.  My competitive rugby streak eventually took over – when one plays, one plays to win.  Well, one plays hard, clean and fair – and then hopes that is enough...  I dunno whether it's worked, as it sounds really close! 
And thanks also to the anonymous "campaign" team, known by their nicknames of Will Bailey, Josh Lyman, Sam Seaborn, and Ainsley Hayes, to name a few.

But there's another dimension to the competition that's probably more important.  It's nice to have some interaction and friendly rivalry between the faculties and schools at Vic.   I know the Uni is working on improving the student experience.  However, a conversation this week reminded me how fragmented the collegial experience is at Vic. I know this as an alumnus and now one of the staff. The physical architecture plays against faculty-interaction, with disparate campuses.  I worry about the silo-effect this creates, especially for law students at Old Government Buildings. Pride in the law school is one thing, but a connection to the wider University community is also important.  So these opportunities for real or virtual Faculty-interaction – like Idol, the 3 Minute Thesis Comp, Law vs Geo rugger etc – are really important and I'm pleased have had the chance to support this one.

And, you may not realise this, but the Idol candidates have engaged in a little bit of our own friendly rivalry and banter throughout the competition (and plan to honour the weekly pain of answering silly questions with a few drinks once the damn thing is announced...).  As competitive as it might have been, it's hard to get too wound up when the competitors aren't enemies and are all great folk - witty, cheeky and also passionate about the University/teaching mission.

And, yeah, it was kinda hard to come up with some of those answers and some of mine were a little bit naff.  There's one, though, I was pretty proud of in the end, my acrostic poem:

Daring adventures in the common law
Examining judgments for their every flaw
Abstract, though, the law is not
Ne’er the people should be forgot
King, Queen, and Guv’nor lead our realm
Nay, their ministers at the helm
In our names, they serve and reign
Good governance is our refrain
Hapu, family, plumber, and more
Tis people at the heart of law


Andrew Geddis said...

Now that you've FINALLY finished burnishing your ego, can we get back to saving the world? I mean, have you SEEN Nathan Guy's ""Directions and Priorities for Government ICT" proposal? Something must be done!!

Anonymous said...

Student life, comparable to that seen at other universities in New Zealand, has always been very weak across Victoria University. Many theories out there as to why.

At the law school it's also weak. In my experience, everyone hates one another in that place. Can spend four years walking those corridors as a student and not make one additional genuine friend. I think that's the experience for a lot of students at the law school. Most students can't wait to be shot of the place.

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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