London, Law, and Me

All of our first year law undergrads took part in an exercise in week one of their LLB where they escaped City and went to visit a number of buildings of significance in the local area, before tackling some research questions.

They were then asked to write a blog post inspired by their travels. 21 winners were selected from all those posts submitted – this is one of those – thanks to Jake Kendle.

This is the part of the blog where I would greatly enjoy showing off a vast amount of knowledge of how London is one of the most significant cities in the world in terms of its legal history and how it remains an integral contributor to the legal profession across the world. However, due to the very slight disadvantage that I have only been studying law for less than the amount of time I attempted yoga (not very long), I am probably unable to provide a worthwhile in-depth analysis. But wait! Do not close this page to scroll through your twitter feed or count how many birthday wishes you received on Facebook compared to that co-worker/arch-nemesis quite yet. Instead of a history lesson or a contempt analysis, I can provide an interesting insight of how law and London look from a university fresher’s eyes (or a “noob” as one might say).

About me

Credit: South Eastern Star on Flickr

Croydon! Credit: South Eastern Star on Flickr

Before I begin, I should probably tell you a bit about myself so we may get to know each other better (sorry, I can’t really get to know you through my blog; if you’re looking for friends I advise Facebook). I am currently an 18 year old student at City University London who has just a week ago jumped into studying allegedly the most difficult subject a person could choose: law. I am yet to learn for myself how true this myth of difficulty truly is, but the four “core” textbooks I received on my first day that required two average sized bags to take home may be a sign of things to come.

So far I have spent most my life living in Croydon; a place a French newspaper named a “sad suburb” and what was also voted ‘the worst place to live in the UK’ by its own inhabitants (no place like home, right?). For a very long time, the closest I came into contact with the subject of law were the occasional stabbing in the local area. The way I developed an interest for law was through my politics classes, and my interest grew from there.

I thought equity was a finance subject topic?

Whilst walking around the streets of London, I began to ponder about what London had in store for me (other than an evolving hatred towards public transport). Sometime after realizing that the Royal Courts of Justice are not a particular fan of “selfies” on their premises, I came to the conclusion that London was the centre of the law of the nation; it is the place where the laws are made, and the place where the highest courts of the land distribute their justice. I would go far as saying the entire city is in fact connected via laws, courts, and offences; all the way from Jack the Ripper in the 19th century to a wine bar named El Vino’s facing a sex discrimination case only 32 years ago.

Lessons from London

I am beginning to learn a number of things in London that will most likely have an impact on the rest of my life, and I’ve only just started my time here! There is too much I could say about my experiences for a single blog, so maybe I’ll have to write more in the future. A brief browse through one of my textbook displays how important London is for law of the land, so learning law at a London university is one of the best choices I could have made. I’m excited to learn more. My next quest however: finding the best places for lunch that do not eat a hole in my wallet…

Look! I can use citations!

DSCN0312smallGill v El Vino [1983] QB 425 is an interesting case [read Guardian piece: 30 years ago today: El Vino’s treatment of women drinkers ruled unlawful] because the company refused to allow women to stand at the bar; and this was 8 years after the Sex Discrimination Act! What is even more shocking is that there were at least 3 cases against El Vino after the Sex Discrimination Act was introduced that were ruled in El Vino’s favour.

Although it may be seen as just a small case against a stubborn bar, this case highlighted the importance of the law and its interpretations to me. The fact that on the front window of El Vino’s there is a sign stating “hiring now, ENGLISH SPEAKERS ONLY” in great bold letters suggests that maybe discrimination isn’t totally dead on our high streets quite yet…

Or I’m just overanalysing (probably that).

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