Monday, May 17, 2004

Dammit, now that’s what I call study

Yesterday, I sat in gorgeous spring weather and twenty degree weather, on a picnic rug in the Queen’s college backs, by the Cam.

We observed croquet and punts, I squeaked excitedly about ducks, an acappella group rehearsed nearby (I lost it completely during the “Can you feel the love tonight?” number from the Lion King).

We flopped and lolled and debated the theory of international law.

“I like Kelsen’s reasoning, but he just won’t show you the grundnorm.”

“Can governments have a subjective intent? Or is opinion juris simply speech-act state practice?”

“I like it when Hart calls that idea a meaningless anthropomorphism hiding an empty tautology. It makes me laugh.”

“Can you have two contradictory legal norms that are valid in the same space at the same time?”

“What’s the difference between constutionalism and constitutionalisation?”

We bantered, we debated. I observed, in fine egalitarian style, a punt full of beer-swilling lads float by – a mate running along the tow path, shooting down the bank, using a punt full of tourists as a stepping stone, and leaping in among them.

“You know,” I said, “the rumour is if you fall in the Cam in Trinity Hall’s backs, they have to send you to the nurse. A few years ago a porter’s dog fell in. Died two days later.”

“It does look rather algal.”

We got back to the nature of international society, customary law and the international constitution (we’re confident there is one, really) and reflected that it would have been fabulous if we could have had champagne, strawberries and that amazing professor in a deckchair just giving us a grade for the course based on our conversation.

Best study-group meeting of my life. It even beat revising international criminal law and debating whether universal jurisdiction and state immunity are contradictory concepts over a cooked brunch.

T-minus 10 and counting

In exactly nine days from now, I will be staggering from a grad hall dinner in search of after-dinner drinks, my last ever law exam having been over by that point some five hours.

I do not intend to be sober.

Back here in the present, I think I’ve hit the eye of the storm. I’m tense, but it’s a low background hum. I think I’m working efficiently and methodically. I’m sleeping reasonably well.

Hatches are battened, the wheel house in order, what’s not vital has gone overboard. Maps are out, course plotted; though I know I'll just have to react to what's thrown at me.

Now let’s see how we come through this.

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