Did your non-returnable outgoings for the first half..WHAT?!

Occasionally, Law is very, very confusing.  The New Lawyer gives us an absolute gem of an example with this excerpt from the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (Cth)below:taxes

A car is a predecessor of a second car if a third car is a predecessor of the second car and the first-mentioned car is a predecessor of the third car (including a case where the first-mentioned car is a predecessor of the third car by another application or applications of this paragraph)

Thankfully I have found that section has since been repealed. It does however remind me of the ‘taxes’ scene in ‘Black Books’ (fantastic English Comedy series, worth a watch if you’re into that kind of thing). Looking into case notes, discovering how important Headnotes are to determine if a particular case is relevant and to also assist to determine legal issues involved is a very handy tidbit that I honestly overlooked prior to this chapter. In Hindsight it would have been invaluable to read about this before handing in the first assignment, Although I’d imagine we all did reasonably well regardless. In particular I did really enjoy this chapter and module of my Law study.  Common Law Presumptions lay out a set of rules with which to provide groundwork when interpreting law.  I can see how I will be referring back to these again and again in my future studies.  Having a deeper understanding of how laws are interpreted is an integral tool to success in the legal field. I have spent a little spare time that I’ve had to look into a case or two and attempt to determine the ratio decidendi and the obiter dicta  of the respective Judge’s decisions.  It’s certainly something that will take some time to get my head around, but I would highly recommend fellow Law students grab a few cases and give it a good go. rulesAs someone who identifies themselves as a “gamer” when it comes to my pastime, particularly table-top, collectible card and board games occasionally on a competitive level, I found this topic quite close to home.  Some games are very rules intensive on competitive levels, but there’s a term that is used (in both a positive and negative light) regularly among ‘Gamers’ particularly at competitive events called ‘Rules-Lawyering’ (or referring to a person as a ‘rules-lawyer’). It may or may not be true that the term has been used to describe me on more than one occasion (There are shirts for it and everything!).  It essentially means that you are using the rules to effectively give yourself considerable benefit over your opponent (positive) or that you are abusing or exploiting loopholes in order to create an unfair advantage for yourself, or to ‘wriggle’ your way out of a situation that would be detrimental to your plans or strategy. I bring this up as our text talks about how the nature of language makes law naturally ambiguous.  The same is true for many games that have rules more complex than say the traditional Monopoly, or the award-winning ‘Settlers of Catan’.  Interpreting the rules for these games can be a key point of argument in many situations (most predominately in table-top games such as ‘Warhammer’ and ‘Warhammer 40k’)  and there are two terms used to describe the way the rules “should” be interpreted (though there is no consensus as to which is the ‘correct’ approach). They are ROW (Read as Written) and ROI (Read as Intended) – at this point this should be sounding eerily familiar! I am cautiously anticipating an opportunity to attempt interpreting some complicated cases or legislation, it seems like it could very easily swing from interesting and challenging, to nightmarish in a heartbeat!

Edit: 16th May 2015

I think at this point as well I’ve been having some great interest in the Hot Topics each module.  It’s been great to look a bit more deeply through the news relevant to the legal field and being able to discuss with our fellow students what has been happening recently and the challenges we will eventually embroil ourselves in.  I think it is what I look forward to most each module, answering the hot topic and reading other’s responses.

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