November 16th, 2007

happy girl

a word of advice to judges.

"There are numerous and very distinguished authorities. But it is agreed on both sides that none of them is binding on me. In the circumstances, I do not see that I can refrain from citing all those which were put before me, even if the result is an inordinately long judgment for a case where the argument lasted rather less than two days."

From Indian Oil Corporation Ltd v Greenstone Shipping.

Word of advice: Next time, don't bother. Not only are you making life difficult for yourself and your court reporter, you're making life extremely difficult for the poor third-year law student who has to read your bloody 25-page judgment in which you cite all the authorities put before you just to find one freaking point. Seriously, all the authorities? ALL the authorities? Whatever happened to quoting the most relevant or on-point or useful or locus classicus-y one? Faint.

Normally I would glance through them but I'm DAMN SICK OF THIS SHIT and I'm not going through TEN FREAKING PAGES of authorities so - NO.

I hate exams. When is this bloody torture ending?


In other news, I had a horrendous nightmare.

I dreamt that I had a C- for my Emergencies short essay and a C for my Personal Prop assignment.

I woke up in cold sweat thinking it was real but when I realised it was just a dream, I felt slightly better.

I honestly do fear for my own sanity.

I also dreamt, inter alia, that someone's back from overseas for the December vacation and I saw that someone with another someone and it was decidedly unpleasant, and not all that untrue, really.

But on a more pleasant note, in the dream a very cute boy was trying to get my attention.

Things like that should happen more in real life, no? Instead of shitty things like the two preceding events I mentioned. I totally think so, you know.


My head hurts I wanna burn all my pers prop stuff I can't believe I willingly subjected myself to this freaking torture I must have been on fucking crack.

happy girl

what is a 'reasonable doubt'?

In a 1894 case from the Utah Territory, a judge while giving his instructions to the jury, explained the concept of 'reasonable doubt' thus:

"A reasonable doubt is not an unreasonable doubt."

Seriously? Couldn't have known that. It's like explaining what 'white' is: White is not black. Good is not bad. Love is not hate. What?

More hilariously, the defendant who was apparently convicted appealed to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court upheld the conviction, "insisting that the judge's language 'gives all the definition of reasonable doubt which a court can be required to give.'" (Larry Laudan, "The Unraveling of Reasonable Doubt" in Truth, Error and Criminal Law at 34)

Note, also, an oddly and somewhat inappropriately succinct summing up of the law on what constitutes reasonable doubt and beyond a reasonable doubt by my hilarious lecturer: "What is beyond reasonable doubt is a matter of doubt."

Law is so hilarious sometimes.


On another note, I am left without much of a reasonable doubt that I am fucking behind for both Evidence and Personal Prop. I AM DEAD. Beyond a reasonable doubt. Because it is unreasonable for me to doubt that I am not dead.

It doesn't help that the right side of my neck has mysteriously begun to ache.

I haven't shopped since post-Rational Social Choice paper. Which was October 1. I SERIOUSLY need to shop. BUT I HAVE NO TIME. Life is so miserable.