Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Understanding Common Law

In Thoughts, Treasures on April 27, 2011 at 9:19 am

If you are, as I am, neither legally schooled nor originally from a Common Law Country, the studies of English, and to a lesser extent Scots law will seem initially a little mysterious.

Where I come from, law is, what is on the statute books (with a little review and interpretation by the courts). Legal language is comparatively easy, and you do not have to know the meaning of a writ, a summons or a certoriari.

But then, you are studying Common Law with all bells and whistles. And if you think a little bit like me, your understanding is helped by a grasp on where things come from, and why they are as they are. In that context, I have found a nugget in the shape of a very readable and thin, yet comprehensive book:

A Sketch of English Legal History

It starts from the English law just before Edward the Confessor and takes it from there to the Victorian Era. The amazing things is (okay, it is also a facsimile published by The Lawbook Exchange and really cheap) that it was written, or rather collected from a series of journal contributions, in 1915. And still it is coherent, readable, clear and interesting. The OpenLibrary also has an electronic copy available for free, if you don’t want paper. So it is definitely worth a look!! Let me know what you think.


Blogging, journals and diaries

In Thoughts, Treasures on April 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I don’t know how long it has been that I had a look at my own blog, and it shows that maybe blogging is either not the right thing for my lifestyle, or I lack the discipline.

However I was encouraged and reminded, what a good blog can do. I came across the Alistair Campbell Diaries (third volume out this July). And it is quite amazing what he has done with them. He had the opportunity and energy to record his thoughts of the moment during the rise and decline of the Blair administration in the UK, and he has edited them nicely, so that they now give a very readable (if, of course, subjective, maybe biased) account of this remarkable time in the UK.

So if nothing else, this discovery has prompted me to have another look at this blog and leave at least this posting. Maybe I will get around to put something else, once I have time  to think of it.