Monthly Archives: April 2010

Life with a Law Student: The use of the term “Stare Decisis”

Scene 1

Me: “Will you mind helping me with hanging out the laundry?”

Mr. Cinical: “Yes, I do mind.”

(stare down for 5 seconds)

Mr. Cinical: “You know, you can actually instruct me to help. If you assume that you are a higher court and I’m a lower court, you can apply the term stare decisis. Given that I’ve always helped out, stare decisis binds the lower courts to follow the precedent set by the higher courts.

Scene 2

Mr. Cinical was positively grinning from ear to ear whilst sending me off at the ferry terminal for my weekend in Bintan with the girls.

Mr. Cinical: Stare decisis is not going to apply this weekend… You are in a different jurisdiction!”

*Stare Decisis: The principle that precedent decisions, particularly made by a higher court is to be followed by a lower court. This principle only operates when the courts are in the same jurisdiction. In separate jurisdictions, these decisions are not binding.

** I maintain my objection to Mr. Cinical’s claims of stare decisis applicability. I am of the opinion that our relationship is one based (more or less) on equality of Parties. Oh, and one of my pictures from the Bintan weekend. 😛


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Life with a Law Student: Hart vs Fuller






Mr. Cinical: Arggh, I can’t seem to understand the Hart-Fuller debate*, and legal theory exam is next week.

Me: Haha, so you need to get Har(d)(t) to understand Fuller? Or understanding Fuller makes you get Har(d)(t)?

Mr. Cinical: You are such a sicko.

Me: Actually, I thought it was funny. 🙂

*Hart versus Fuller is a debate on the nexus between law and morality. Hart takes a positivist view arguing that morality and law are separate, while Fuller’s response to Hart is that morality is the source which gives law its binding power. There’s even an wiki entry on this.

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Life with a Law Student: Grievous Hurt

The rustling of newspapers and the pitter-patter of feet woke me up this morning. It was way before my alarm was set to go off.

Mr. Cinical had been attempting (for the last 10 minutes) to “set a cockroach free” (in his words). This involved him trying to flip the scurrying cockroach with a piece of paper so that it landed on its back.

Irritated at his futile attempts (and disturbance of my usual sleep patterns), I grabbed some tissues, caught the cockroach by surprise and threw it out of the house.

Mr Cinical: “You could be charged for causing grievous hurt to the cockroach. Or even murder if you had intended to kill it.”

Me: “I just don’t want the cockroach in the house.”

Mr. Cinical: “You should defend yourself by saying that the cockroach was committing criminal trespass. You have the right of defense of private property. My criminal law exam is next week, so I’m studying.”

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It’s the time of year…


 ..for performance feedbacks and appraisals (at least in my current company where the year ends in June and starts again in July).


(1) You know what scares me? That I’m supposed to give career advice and guidance to the younger chaps I work with about what they should do with their (career) lives.

The part about getting them to set out specific project goals for next year is straight forward enough, but how do you advice on career choices, without (knowingly or unknowingly) screwing someone’s life in the process? Also considering that I probably also need some guidance of my own.

(2) And the even scarier part: Our management styles are a sum of our ex-bosses; the good, the bad and the ugly.

Yes, just as you turn out to be like your mother/father, and your approach to relationships is a function of how your previous relationships turned out.

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Google Search Story Video Creator: The Reformed Shopaholic

I’m not sure if any of you have tried out Google’s Search Stories Video Creator. It’s really fun.

My first attempt at creating a Google Search Story can be found here, titled “The Reformed Shopaholic”

I wanted to create a little story by piecing together book titles. 🙂

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Life with a Law Student: Strict Liability

Phone call from Mr. Cinical.

Mr. Cinical: “Hey, I have put all your clothes into the washing machine. Is there any special instructions before I switch the machine on?”

Me: “Urmmm, the clothes need to go into a laundry bag first, and I use the delicate wash mode.”

Mr. Cinical: “Sounds complicated.”

Me: “It’s alright. I can do the laundry when I get home.”


Facing pile of unwashed laundry in washing machine and spying my silk dresses inside.

Me: “I really appreciate you attempting to help me with my laundry, but you do know that I’m gonna scream if you actually switch that machine on with the silk dresses inside right?

And what made you call to check in the first place?”

Mr. Cinical: “I had good intentions and then I read about the concept of strict liability. The responsibility for damages even if the person responsible did not intend for it to happen. I figured it’s gonna apply.”

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Life with a Law Student: On Duress

Me: “Will you mind doing XXX, YYY,ZZZ….?”

So there I was, launching into another round of nagging at Mr. Cinical to do some general household chores like tidying up. Oh you know those stuff that irritates you when living together with a man, partly resulting from men’s higher tolerance to untidiness.  He mutters something (I’m sure it’s a swear word) under his breath while grudgingly carrying out said task.


Mr. Cinical: “Hmm, I just learnt a new term in contract law class that applies to this situation. It’s called duress. An illegitimate pressure that causes undue influence, exerted upon someone to perform an act he normally will not perform.”

Me: “It’s not illegitimate, I think we have a contract of marriage. Haha”

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