(From The Age's "My Melbourne" series. Click for more.)
Another reason it's impossible to speak common-sense to lawyers
A girlfriend's mother once wisely said to me that when she studied a law unit in a mangement course, for the first time she realised law was not a body of knowledge but its own system of reasoning - a philosophy.
A Cambridge Professor of International Law agrees:
“To learn the law is not to learn law, but to learn to be a lawyer. To be a lawyer is to live through a particular looking-glass, inside a law-world with its own law-mind and its own law-reality.”
P. Allot, The Health of Nations, 2002, p. 38
This is so recognisable, especially when he speaks of law as a “private language” evolving in parallel to ordinary English, using ordinary English words (such as innocent, purpose, intention, reasonable) in a particular way, making it impossible for a non-lawyer to join the debate by using the words in their ordinary meaning.
It's scary, 'cause it's true ...