6 May 2011

TELEGRAM FROM LONDON: I love voting but...

Today, I wandered down the road with the intentions of casting a Yes vote for AV in UK's referendum on electoral systems.  However, I ended up only have a flat white in a local cafe instead. Sigh.

While I am entitled and registered to vote, I couldn't, in good conscience, express my preference. The choice in this referendum is about the long-term political and constitutional affairs of a country and community in which I am an alien. It's therefore a choice for locals, not interlopers like me.

Anyways, for those interested in the referendum itself, I did find this pod-cast by Johann Hari interesting and amusing:

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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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