The Scots Law Student

The SLS : Life and trials of learning law in Scotland

Tag: comedy

Life advice from

Many a true word spoken in jest

It should not be a massive surprise to many people that there is a difference between the rules that apply to movies and the rules that apply to real life. There is one particular example: the rules governing romantic gestures.

Twilight gets a mauling for things that seem to be deeply romantic in the movie being a bit creepy if you actually did them in real life. For example I’m yet to meet someone who appreciated being watched from the bushes. In fact, my first exposure to the Twilight series was a Guardian article which pointed out the issues in presenting men and women in quite that way – controlling and domineering relationships are laudable as long as you don’t have sex. have gone and spelled out the things that are really good in movies that you should absolutely not do yourself.

Examples include running through airport security to see someone getting on a plane – this can be a lethal error if you’re unlucky and yet it’s one of the most watched episodes of Friends there was. Thanks to E4 it still is.

The big ones are actually hitting people or poisoning people which is a big deal, despite how funny or apposite it is. The more debilitating whatever you’ve done to someone is, the less likely that the police are going to like you doing it.

What is more remarkable is how many states don’t have rape by fraud laws at all (there have been calls to change that for years). The objection seems to be that once you can convict a guy or girl of lying to get sex, there may not exist enough bricks to build that many prisons. But for now, let’s just say that if you’re in a situation where the girl is only consenting because you’re wearing a mask or she’s wearing a blindfold, stop and rethink your life.



“Never plead guilty!”

John Mortimer, author of the deeply loved Rumpole of the Bailey, has died today at the age of 85. It’s an event that can’t really be missed on a law student’s blog because it was a very good legal drama and it’s a shame to see Mortimer bow out along with Leo McKern, the face of Rumpole.

Mortimer, as well as a prolific author, was also a practicing family and later criminal barrister. He experienced the two very different fields and later remarked:

“Matrimonial clients hate each other so much and use their children to hurt each other in beastly ways. Murderers have usually killed the one person in the world that was bugging them and they’re usually quite peaceful and agreeable.”

This is a wise word for anyone who’s looking at fields to enter from law school.

Although his health was failing in his later years it did not stop Mortimer from writing and he was in the process of dictating (his eyesight became too poor to continue writing in longhand himself) a book when he died, he only had “three or four chapters written”. This is a great loss of a talented barrister and a talented comedy writer, of which there can never be too many, whose works are probably some of the earliest popular entertainment which concentrated on humanising the legal process and providing a very necessary accessible insight into the profession.

Mortimer was also a strong advocate of free speech and civil liberties while at the same time, to quote his autobiography, he was “the best playwright ever to have defended a murderer at the Central Criminal Court.”  His like is always needed in the profession.

A different definition of Alibi

Just a quick definition post here but it’s far too good to hide away in my glossary of terms.

I’ve already got alibi listed in the glossary and as all law students who have done their semester of Criminal Law know :

alibi Lat, [I was] “somewhere else.” A special defence providing a complete defence from any accusations if accepted. As it is a special defence the defending counsel must submit it in advance of the trial beginning and defending counsel must accept the burden of proof to prove that the person truly could not commit the crime. The Criminal Law Deskbook of Criminal Procedure states: “Alibi is different from all of the other defenses…it is based upon the premise that the defendant is truly innocent.”

However, in the words of “Ireland’s International Comedian” Hal Roach:

“The judge said to Murphy, “Are you guilty or not?” Murphy said said, “I don’t know until I hear the evidence and that’s my alibi.”

The judge said, “Don’t you know what an alibi is?” Murphy said” Yes, your honour, an alibi is to be after proving that your weren’t where you were when you committed the offence that you didn’t commit at all, and what’s more I wasn’t there at the time.”

Now that’s one to remember when you start to practice drafting pleadings.

I know a little of that copy looks odd so I’ve included the original for the quote here:

I know some of that quote looks dodgy so I decided I\'d show the original here