The Law as a “Muse”

LLB1 student Fatema Dhanani was the first-prize winner of our #exploringthelaw exercise in induction week at City, University of London. Students followed various trails across legal London – tracking down specific buildings and doing some research, before writing a short post for the Lawbore Future Lawyer blog. Fatema was the only student to put these reflections into verse!

Now I’m sure I’ve broken all the blog-writing rules,
As one might do to light a ‘though-provoking’ fuse,
I know I’ve used the law as a muse,
Oh take me to court!
I’ve just expressed my hidden views.
Although, some might say,
It’s an Article 10[1] over abuse,
Bear with me,
Because in the story that ensues,
There are plenty legal clues.

Once upon a time,
A little group of nine,
Locked in academic confine,
We walked a legal line,
In the hopes that we might shine.
We’ll tell you what we found,
In Angel Court’s ground,
Thomas Paine wasn’t around,
But his statue sure was profound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You see,
I was asked to research and write down,
Paine’s ‘influential piece of writing’ most renown,
On Moodle, later on, the option,
‘Common Sense’ [2] just wasn’t shown,

And although it was, ‘Rights of Man’ engraved,
It begs the question, was I being enslaved?
Answering a non-objective question,
Under my teacher’s 4 option constraint?

As we walked yonder, and I continued to wonder,
I was interrupted by a mate’s street crossing blunder:
“You can’t possibly cross the streets like that”,
I said appalled,
Jay walking is what it’s called,
The police will have you stalled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A friend from the Queen’s land recalled,
That Livingstone had it scrawled [3]
But it’s a law that has yet to be installed,
And thus, I needn’t be so galled.

That’s just in America, another said,
If you’re black, they’ll have you tased,
Here it’s just a caution raised,
A ‘personal responsibility’ that you behave,
In order to cross the street unscathed.

Moving further on,
27b Canonbury Square’s don,
Orwell’s home we came upon,
Remembering pieces of “Napoleon’s Song”,
I’m refreshed of tyranny’s iron prongs,
Which is ironic,
Since Orwell’s building is brick strong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you’ve come so far along,
Gone to Orwell’s home and beyond,
Stay with us just a little further on
And you’ll see how much we’ve bond.

At first look,
25 Noel road,
Couldn’t possibly hide a crook
White walls and fancy doors,
It’s a respected people’s nook.
Except,
Joe Orton was on the hook,
For vandalising some library books,
AND giving a man a heartfelt loving look.

 

 

 

 

 

We moved the trashcans from the door steps,
To take a photo for our projects,
When the current tenant living,
A single woman sitting,
Livid from our shifting,
Motioned for us to begin remitting,
And 9 people did as per her bidding.

It’s then really quite interesting,
That 5 minutes later,
The group chose to cater,
To the majorities’ favour
Picking to walk over the bus,
Making the minority waver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of majorities,
Our last stop for the day,
Led us to a conflict of authority,
Tolpuddle Martyrs against conformity [4].
The Edward Square mural,
Painted public superiority,
Over judiciary seniority.

At the end of our journey,
We’re hardly attorneys.
But by now I’m sure,
You know it’s not just a tale,
It’s all in the details.

Follow the trail,
And all will prevail.

 

References:

[1] Human Rights Act 1998, s 10
[2] ’What every Brit should know about jaywalking’ BBC News (United Kingdom, 12 January 2007)
[3] Biography.com Editors, ‘Thomas Paine Biography’
(The Biography.com website, 3 October 2016)
<http://www.biography.com/people/thomaspaine- 9431951> accessed 5 October 2016
[4] Dave Bangs, ‘Toldpuddle Martyrs Mural’ (London Mural Preservation Society) <http:// www.londonmuralpreservationsociety.com/ murals/tolpuddle-martyrs-mural/>, accessed 30 September 2016

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