Monday, March 14, 2005

What I Have Gained From The Course I Am Taking.

It is the end of semester, and one of the task assigned to me was to write an essay (which is due today):

Coming here was my last choice!

Prior to my completion of A Levels, I have settled all those application documents in relations to my planning to further my law reading in the UK. When the results came out, it turned out not so good, but nevertheless, I managed to secure a place to do my LLB in the University of Lincoln. However, unfortunately JPA was not satisfied with my result, thus resulting to them terminating my scholarships, which is the only means of my financial source to study in the UK. So, here I am in Kedah...

It is my first time studying Jurisprudence and Political Science. When I was in A Levels, although I took Law as a subject, but the law I studied was more or less the "black letter law" which is mostly referring to old cases or statutes and the main body of it are determinate. So, if you ask me whether murder is illegal or not, I can refer to the criminal code or case law that says that murder is illegal. Or whether a unitary offer can be accepted and thus constitute a valid contract, I can answer that, yes, it can, by citing the famous case of Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Co.

Jurisprudence is different. It is far from simply falling back to the old decided cases. The studies of philosophy behind the law really fascinate me. If before this, I was only exposed to the ratio decidendi of the presiding judge, now I am aware that behind each ratio of each judge, lies the philosophy that lead to the judge making such statements besides the rules on interpreting statutes or the doctrine of judicial precedent.

Political Science, on the other hand is very much like history. Coming from pure science education back ground (I took Science stream in Form 5) I personally do not really enjoy history. I found it hard to visualize the texts, written in such a mundane manner. Thus, making it hard for me to memorize the important points. For example, in the topic of legislature, I found it relatively difficult to visualize the stages in which how laws are made. The first reading, second reading and so on...

Despite that, I found it quite interesting when I came across the topic of the separation of powers. To be specific, on the matter relating to the independence of judiciary. Out of curiosity, when my Political Science lecturer first mentioned about the well known legal figure, Tun Salleh Abas, I took the trouble to look for his book, entitled; Kebebasan Kehakiman. This book has given me great in-depth knowledge on the issue relating to the attack on the independence of our judiciary system, in 1988. This thus made it very clear to me how important the doctrine of separation of power is.

One thing which I notice about the students here is that they seem to be less curious in exploring what really is the legal career. Some does not even know, what chambering is, in the legal career. This maybe is due to the lack of exposure. Comparing with my mates during my A Levels in Sunway College, we were very much exposed to the legal career. I still remember when my classmates and I dined with lawyers from the Raja Daryl and Loh Legal firm. It was a great opportunity for us to have a better look at how lawyers behave, how they speak, how they socialize etc. Most important, is the chance to have conversation with them, and sharing their experiences. Besides the dinner, we also received constant visit from speakers from legal background, giving lectures on the legal field.

Exposure, in my opinion is essential, as it works as motivation for the students. It helps the students to plan their vision for their future, besides it helps to shape the students’ mind so that they are able to think critically, as how lawyers normally do.

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