9 February 2011

Despatches from a new HQ

Oh.  I should mention that, for a while, blog posts will be despatched from new headquarters - from London.

I'm presently on sabbatical from Vic and have commenced working on a PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science (http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/law/

They have elephants here too, including one in the main street of the university (see photo).

For my PhD I'm thinking about (and writing 100,000 words on!) the different ways the courts calibrate - or should calibrate - how closely they scrutinise the decisions of public bodies and officials when determining applications for judicial review.  More on that later, once I get some words on paper...

Anyways, blog posts will continue sporadically on whatever I deem interesting - whether from here or there...

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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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