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Editorial

n case you haven’t noticed, or are yet to get into the swing of things, it is now August. Eight months of 2008 have passed without you possessing a copy of Purely Dicta to get you through the year. Tragedy? Travesty? Nightmare? Yes, all of the above. But fear not as we welcome you to Volume 1 of Purely Dicta for 2008. Why, you might ask, has it taken so long for this holy-grail, king of distractions, coup d’état to reach your hot little hands? Well…the answer is complicated. We could put it down to some stunning graphics (that took weeks to design), to our attention to detail in bringing you the BEST student magazine in the Law School, or to our rigorous editing regimes, but in truth – we’ve been busy. So busy. You see, when dear Belinda and John threatened to take the Igauna club’s licence – we were there. When Brumby announced his 2am lock out, we were discoing in the back row of Parliament. Finally when K. Rudd passed his tax bill on alco-pops, we were bulk-buying Cruisers at Dan Murphy’s (the day before, of course). For the last eight months we’ve had our finger on the pulse of the semi-comatose law world (yes, there is still a pulse) in order to bring to you the things you need to know and the issues you should be talking about. Indeed Purely Dicta v(1) is all about you. The law student. Exposed. We’ve collaborated with some fantastic writers to reveal your alienation from non-law students, your cynicism towards your law degree, the battle lines you’ve drawn with Monash law students and the pecuniary interest you accrue in your marks. Furthermore, we’ve uncovered your relationship problems (and the places you need to know about when you get the itch). However, on a more serious note, it would be remiss of us as Editors to not acknowledge that the

Melbourne Law School is undergoing changes, and no – we’re not talking about better wireless internet or the LCD TV screens everywhere. The introduction of the post-graduate JD program as the new generation law degree has caused a stir amongst law students. What’s more, there is unfortunately no integration socially or academically happening between the LLB and JD students. Is this a flaw of the institution, the student societies or us as individuals? Most LLB students couldn’t name five JD students if they tried, and vice versa. However, both groups have a lot to offer the other. JDs have some of the world already behind them; they’ve experienced careers, graduations and even family life. The LLBs on the other hand have completed requisite subjects, are still rocking up to uni hungover and know their way around the entrenched commercial attitude of the Law School. In short, the LLBs are still fresh-faced and wild at heart as compared to the JD students serious undertaking of a career degree. It must be questioned why, in this time of transition, JD students and LLB students are not intermixed in any law subjects. Why has the faculty expressly divided the cohorts leaving one feeling over-worked and strained and the other alienated and left behind as the university trades up for a newer model. No judgment here, however. Purely Dicta welcomes submissions from both sides of the fence currently dividing the Law School. Let us know what problems or issues you are encountering and articulate your thoughts in either a Letter to the Editors or written piece. Who knows, you might actually change something.

Phil & Lil


Contents Editors Lily Fordyce & Philippa Noakes Thank you to all of our contributors: Phil Barker, Madeleine Chan, Ronny Chieng, Michael Daly, Andre Dao, Alex Derham, Amelia Edwards, Tim Farhall, Eliza Ginnivan, Rich Hewett, Jenny Jiang, Samantha Jreissati, Emma Jukic, Adam Laidlaw, Laurie Manson, Hadi Mazloum, Nicholas Modrzewski, Max Paterson, Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, Jessica Rae, James Rankin, Chula Ranong, Alex Rowe, Tim Scott, The Law Revue Crew, & Charles William-Albright

Regular Features 003 Letters to the Editor 004 Prima Facie Features

Issues 005 JD: The Verdict 007 Couchbound and Cashless 008 Price Marks: What are your law marks worth? Photography 009 The War on Fun Lily Fordyce, Matthew Taylor & Philippa Noakes 010 Victoria’s Public Transport System 011 Dear Mr Rudd: Re Bill Henson Graphics Lily Fordyce & Philippa Noakes

Artwork Anton Anin & Shamim Khan Support Team To our families, friends and fellow LSSers – thank you for your support and sensitivity in the face of melodrama and creative tension. Thanks to Mark at Printbound, our printers, for always returning our numerous calls and emails.

The Law Student Exposed 013 The Hot Spots 015 Law Ball 2008 016 Law Student: A case study 017 Melbourne vs Monash 019 A treatise… 021 The Offer

Love 023 To all of our contributors: 024 Thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment 025

Etc. Making an Honest Woman out of her The Love Guru Stairs or Lift

through out semester and semester break. We look forward to your future contribution. Disclaimer #1 All of the opinions expressed in this publication are those of the individual contributor(s) and do not reflect the views of the LSS, its sponsers or the University of Melbourne. Disclaimer #2 No Barbies or Ken dolls were harmed (psychologically or otherwise) in the making of this magazine. Purely Dicta welcomes submissions from all law students studying at the University of Melbourne. Please contact the editors if you wish to contribute to the next edition: lss-purelydicta@unimelb.edu.au

Purely Dicta’s Free Plug


REGULAR FEATURES

Dear Editors,

Dear Editors, I am a first year JD student, I am focused, dedicated and willing to work hard to get where I want to go. However, I have found that since entering into the new JD program I have been constantly stressed, tired and just generally strung out. During the exam period I was a mess, and along with many of my colleagues we questioned the Law School’s decision to put our first four law exams back to back in the first week of exams. I have come directly from university into this degree so I am used to exams, and exam time stress, but many students came from the workforce or from travelling and had not done exams in long period of time. Most students studied for about 14 hours a day continuously for 10 days and then sat four exams in a row. The law school was approached and asked whether there was any chance of changing the dates of these exams. They maintained that the time allotted for preparation was adequate. On 14 hours a day it was adequate, but how Melbourne expect to promote such things as a work/ life balance to firms when they can’t do it themselves is dumbfounding. ‘The elephant in the room’ is in the University as well! With a changing demographic of lawyers the law school cannot encour 03 PD•V1•08

age cramming and study that demands students’ attention no matter what. Firms that push their young employees and foster animosity and competition between young solicitors to work more and more just to keep up with their colleagues need to get real. There is not time to get sick, you can’t afford to have a breakdown, special consideration is more work than it is worth and the study load is too heavy for the time given. On top of all this, the law school shuts before 6pm Friday to Sunday so students with no place to study, literally have no place to study. Spend some of that precious money on examination supervisors… and open the library more during exams you stingy bastards! Alex Derham Related Crikey Article http://www.crikey.com.au/ Politics/20080616-Law-firm-workhours-discriminate-against-women. html

I love the new vibe at law school. If you’ve been bludging lectures, staying at home, or focusing on getting laid for the last six months you might not have noticed the changes that have been made. We’ve now got fancy LCD TV screens to welcome us into the library and into the law school. The LCD screen out the front also tells us what is on. This is a significant upgrade from the paper notices placed at the entrance. This upgrade now matches our numerous (and equally useless) hi-tech, super slow, kiosk computers. I have attempted to use them once or twice to check my timetable, but found them sooo pathetically slow. It is usually more efficient to go up to level 3, log onto a computer and then head off to class that way! Nice to see someones $1000s are spent on meaningful improvements. Three cheers for the law school administration! Charles William Albright


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ISSUES

JD: the verdict Well, the evolution has begun. This year marked the formal change to an exclusively postgraduate Law School, and it’s an issue no law student can resist passing comment on. Alex Derham, Emma Jukic and Chula Ranong share their impressions of the changing fabric of the Melbourne Law School. JD v LLB

So, some may think that the closest that a graduate law student comes to fun is a date with the library. Well, you’re wrong! We also enjoy looking for coins on the sidewalk and drinking excessive amounts of tea so as to confuse our stomachs. For those of us who live with our parents, as all sensible students should, other activities occupy our time; like tricking Mum into doing our washing and stealing beer from the fridge without Dad noticing. In reality, we are pretty normal. We aren’t nearly as young and fun as the usual intake of 18-year-olds with jacked up libidos and wiz-bang hair, but we still mess around and go to the pub; we just avoid the bitch piss and don’t (usually) get randy in dark corners with strangers. Funny thing is, as much as we are proud to be here in the Law School we feel a bit like the bastard child of the old Juris Doctor. We are neither undergraduates nor post graduates (we really are postgraduates, but a different sort) and granted, the LSS has been good to us and the Journals accommodating, but the President of the Postgraduate Law Society has not even recognised our existence except to bitch and moan about our presence on their otherwise reserved Level 6 area. Most post-grads are considered old and stuffy by people who don’t know them (at least, that’s what I thought when completing my BA), but JD students are so diverse you can’t really box us like that. We have 20-year-olds and 50-yearolds, we have Mums, Dads, doc-

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tors, pharmacists and an IT guy. We are really lucky as we are a small group and will come out of this degree with close ties etcetera etcetera but we are virtually isolated from every other law student, we are in a no-mans-land of bad law jokes and horrible innuendos, and we only ever even rub shoulders with other JDs. We are the future of the Law School, but at the moment we are only guinea pigs (which has its pros and cons). We do our thing, drink our tea and read our readings before class, and when not stressed out of our brains and jacked up on caffeine, I think that we even enjoy it. The law, I mean. What I learnt in Semester 1: • There is no better way to exercise the imagination than the study of the law. • There are two kinds of lawyers, those who know the law and those who know the judge. • Q : What can a goose do, a duck can’t and a lawyer should? • A: Stick his bill up his ass. Alex Derham Inside the Melbourne JD As the inception of the 2008 JD program drew closer, I found myself, like a conservative in a pro-Kirby crowd, growing more and more anxious. What would my fellow students be like? Would I know anyone? (yes). Would everyone be as bland and as thoroughly uninteresting as I anticipate? (no, thankfully). Will I finally have to shelf my laissez-faire approach to my appearance in favour of dreaded ‘grown-up’ clothing? (apparently not). As these thoughts, many of which had not crossed my mind since entering my first

degree at Melbourne, raced giddily, I tried to convince myself that maybe law wasn’t the path for me, and that truly, Arts graduates can obtain employment beyond a hellish job in the public service. After a few minutes (it took no longer than three) of rationalising that pertinent issue, I came to the realisation that had I better get used to my new life at the Melbourne Law School. Having completed one semester filled with self-doubt, far too many hours in the library, and having learned the supreme lesson for all law students – that law ‘jokes’ are never funny – I can now say that the JD has confounded and exceeded all expectations. In the first few weeks of the program I was very pleasantly surprised to discover how diverse the student body was – doctors, human rights activists, a few phDs, and a bevy of Arts graduates constitute the 2008 JD cohort. Bearing in mind the type of people that Melbourne Uni usually attracts, I was also astounded how many people had no desire to make the perhaps typical inroads towards working for a commercial law firm. In fact, never be-


fore had I heard the expression ‘sell- ing out’ being thrown around with such force of insult! This eclectic mix of students of all political persuasions manifest irony when, during our negotiation assessment for dispute resolution, passionate environmentalists were randomly allocated to defend a lumber mill, while their capitalist counterparts, so to speak, were charged with negotiating on behalf of the little guy the said mill was trying to crush. As you may know, the JD intake is signifcantly smaller than that of the LLB, and with a group numbering around seventy, it’s like being back at high school all over again (minus the bad skin and related teen-angst; though some might say the childishness lingers). Being in a small class has its benefits - for example, unlike countless tutes I took part in as an undergrad, I actually know the names of my peers. The daily contact with one another has allowed some wonderful friendships to flourish, to the point where, so I’m told, that some in the other class went to the unusual length of assigning one another nicknames. This, um, curious arrangement, highlights a defining characteristic of the program: we always seem to be around one another.

Nevertheless, it certainly is a privilege to be part of such a unique and talented group of people. Chula Na Ranong Lest we forget: Esteem and Injustice Last swot-vac (that time where discussing legal issues becomes procrastination on the sly; an attempt to fool oneself and others that this chat is in fact Relevant To The Course), a friend relayed a remark of her lecturer to me during a not-entirely-irrelevant conversation mid-practice exam. The crux of this criminology lecturer’s comment – not to indirectly incriminate any infidels within the Growing Esteem of the Melbourne Model – was to argue for the benefits of an undergraduate law degree, or more specifically, having undergraduates within a law course. Without dwelling on the already wellaired raised eyebrows in response to the lauded Juris Doctor, let’s briefly reflect on the debate thus far. Advocates of the new model wheel out well-oiled rhetoric, describing an enhanced academic environment, international recognition, and, the lynchpin –‘Growing Esteem’. Opponents are often pigeonholed as histrionic, and any concerns dismissed as overly abrasive. For a melodramatic mnemonic, recall talk of prepregnant parents, dutifully squirreling a small fortune (or at least a modest holiday dwelling in Portsea) to send their unborn ankle-biters to an imitation ivy-league institution of white establishment elitism. Without satirising this stereotype, it is necessary to broaden the debate about the development of a system which essentially involves the culling of undergraduates. To return to the comments of our lecturer, what are the benefits of these less experienced students of jurisprudence? Firstly, let’s be clear: this is no shot at post graduate students, but an argument for balance within a law school by maintaining a mix of school-leavers and career-changers. It is perhaps superficial to draw distinctions between undergrads and postgrads, however for the purposes of this article, let’s run with the lecturer’s observation before jumping into the p-c camp. There are

several purported particulars to students sans degree, namely age, professional inexperience or, naivety. But without overly romanticising undergrads, it appears that they do ask more questions than their postgrad counterparts. In first-year law classes, lecturers have been known to chuckle about the gradual erosion of idealism, whilst simultaneously acknowledging that students fresh out of school tend to be more challenging of the status quo. This may again beg the question of stereotyping. Surely it can be agreed, however, that some balance of ‘old’ and ‘new’ is useful to foster a challenging learning environment? Whilst from the very first day of second-year, most entertain a faint and largely conversational disdain of first-years, their presence is nonetheless important. Young thinkers can reveal the institutionalisation of an acceptance of injustice, if only at the very beginning of their degree. A legal theory teacher of mine once proved to the class how easy it is to unquestioningly digest legal text, as he reflected on his own undergraduate years. He described having experienced an improvement in his results when he stopped trying to re-formulate the words of judges into his own. The moral of the story? Far better to defer independent understanding and directly cite. Whichever camp you fall in on this first year question, it seems the Melbourne Model is ours and the anachronistic LLB, as well as its ‘heritage students’, have become a thing of the past. However, even in the guaranteed absence of undergraduate law students, the importance of questioning and challenging legal learnings must continue as the norm not the exception (at least in the form of that crazed leftie towards the back of the classroom). It is recognised and accepted that it is far easier to critique existing frameworks than to mastermind any comprehensive improvements. However, far better that students of the law challenge and scrutinise with a healthy dose of suspicion than unquestioningly defer to the volum nous jurisprudence religiously swallowed (at least at exam time). Emma Jukic

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Couchbound &Cashless Early in July, the issue of student homelessness suddenly became pertinent again. After months of apocalyptic media discussions on the state of the economy, particularly interest rates and housing, it was hardly a surprise when a Melbourne University study confirmed the obvious – students are poorer than ever and of all the costs of living, housing is hitting hardest. Vitriolic reports in The Age and on various threads of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that 440 students on this very campus are homeless, and that the problem isn’t much different in other capital cities.

In a recent interview, National Union of Students’ (NUS) president, Angus Macfarland sits the blame squarely on the way youth allowance is structured, noting that current youth allowance payments are 50% below the Henderson Poverty Line – a commonly used scale of poverty in relation to income. It is a comment that resounds with many of the personal experiences that came out of the study. Students

We’ve known it for years, and the media has finally seen the light: students are poor, and government support is out of touch with our needs. Bhakthi Puvanenthiran explains.

reported living in friends garages, couch surfing, and even then, being forced to miss class to work one or two jobs. As one student lamented on ABC radio, ‘the disadvantage of Centrelink is the cap is too low for students, the work, how much you can earn per week. So it forces students into cash-in-hand jobs where they don’t get the rights and protection they really need.’ Student welfare, while the traditional mainstay of Unions, ultimately impacts on the quality of student life (with many students going part-time) and the energy that students are afforded for academic life. It is a rare but welcome sight then, to see National Union of Students and other student associations including our very own UMSU (University of Melbourne Student Union) linking arms with UniMelb management in calls to ameliorate the situation. Regardless of whether this is a last-ditch attempt from an oft criticised management to seem relevant, or indeed the university getting its priorities right, it is certainly refreshing to hear student woes being taken seriously by both the University and with their help, the media.

But for all the handwringing, how do we fix it? How do we make access to tertiary education to equitable and manageable? In early 2008, Minister Julia Gillard announced an independent review of the Higher Education sector to be headed up by Professor Denise Bradley. The Bradley review is currently rounding up submissions from student organisations, and Professor Bradley has signaled she will urge an overhaul of schemes such as Youth Allowance and Austudy, amid complaints that they are either too hard to qualify for, or insufficient to live on. Other suggestions have included that student loans (HECS and HELP) incorporate the cost of living payouts to assist students paying rent. Coincidentally, Glyn Davis spoke on the topic of equity at a Higher Education Summit last year, well before the media furore. His speech brought in the big picture: HECS, Federal Government university funding, secondary education standards and students’ socioeconomic backgrounds. It makes sense then, that in a more recent speech, Professor Denise Bradley has suggested that it will take a very ‘brave’ government to fix the bureaucratic maze of programs that are currently holding us back. Here’s hoping that Ministers Rudd and Gillard are up to the challenge.

Bhakthi Puvanenthiran

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Ever wondered if you could trade a few so-called meaningless marks for some cold hard cash? Max Paterson gets fiscal with the marking system. I recently heard a tale of a handsome law student with a dilemma. He had been offered a several thousand dollar contract to sit on a beach in South East Asia for a few days. Some cameras were to soak up his beauty and later squirt it back into our faces to encourage us to buy stuff. The dilemma bit came from the fact that shooting was to take place days before his law exams, and studying would be out of the question. He’d been diligent throughout semester but knew that the week or so of closed books would inevitably cost him a few marks. He took the contract, but not without hesitation. And I got to thinking; how much is a law mark worth? If he had to think twice about accepting thousands of dollars at the expense of losing just a few marks, what are our marks worth in cash? People I’ve consulted have generally agreed they’re worth ‘a lot’. How much depends on the situation; the subject, what mark you’re currently sitting on, what stage you’re at in your degree. So, I’ve come up with a model for thinking about this. Say everyone does their exams, and gets their marks, but could then buy or sell them for cash in a stock market-like system. People willing to sell one or more percentage points (i.e. marks) enter a price they’d accept into a computer system. Buyers enter a price they’re willing to pay. For a person to buy one mark to add to their total, someone else must sell and forfeit one mark. Say you’re sitting on a 49 or a 79, you could buy one mark from some-

one happy to let their 63 become a 62 in exchange for some handy cash. You avoid a fail/supp or revel in an H1, while they walk away with some Yankee Dollar. A price too low for sellers or too high for buyers results in a non-sale. Much like the share market, a certain dollar amount would be reached for one mark. This mark price is like the ‘trading price’ for a single company share that Allan Collar reads out during the seven o’clock news. I love him. Lets iron out some ‘buts’. Firstly, the marks would become meaningless; employees, grandmas and the little voice in our heads that chants ‘achieve, win, beat all your friends, hide library books’ would cease to care what marks we had ‘bought’. Ignore this for a second. Pretend that marks in the new system carry the same significance they do now. Secondly, marks in different subjects would fetch different prices. OK, so work that in. Instead of being able to buy and sell a generic law mark, you could trade an ‘Admin mark’ or a ‘Corps mark.’ This is exactly like the share market; you’d buy a ‘Crim mark’ much like you could buy a ‘BHP share.’ So how much? Some of the people I’ve approached asking that very question have slapped me. Others have said that a fail costs you thousands if you have to pay for the subject again. Also, the difference between having a few 78s on your record and having a few H1s could mean the difference between getting Articles, or impressing an employer in any other field we choose. This could perhaps impact on career earnings entering the tens or even hundreds of thousands over your career, not to mention job satisfaction. So clearly people would be willing to buy. How about forfeiting a mark? Model man was reluctant to loose some

marks even for a few thousand (probably upwards of ten). If you were sitting on a 73 for Torts, would you go down to 72 for a few hundred? A grand? An H2B is an H2B. But then there’s your average to think of. If you sold a couple of marks per semester throughout your degree, that's quite a difference. Thinking back over your record, how many and which marks would you be prepared to lose? Who cares? This model is far-fetched and fanciful (bang), and would never happen. However, it is useful for thinking. My model friend’s dilemma is an unusual circumstance of a very usual phenomenon. Jobs. Most of us have them. They provide us with rent, food and living expenses. They also provide us with overpriced clothes, $8 alcopops (bang) and $25 cover entry a Prince (which, contrary to my assumptions, apparently doesn't include a free ecstasy/ pinger/bickey). Some of us work right through exams, most of us could use those several hours a week to read some more Diplock. Presumably, less time at work could mean better marks. If you really think about it, is the amount of time you spend working justified? Us lawyers just love putting a price tag on anything; a reputation, a broken spine, a person’s life. It makes sense that we should consider just how much our marks are worth. Max Paterson

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Recent policy moves affecting young people at both the State and Federal level have sparked fury from the socialising masses. Tim Farhall gets angry. Young people, you have been discovered. The government has looked into the depth of your soul and they do not like what they have found. They have found sex. They have found rebellion. They have found your love of staying out late and not getting up till midday. They have found your hopes and dreams and fears marinated in alcohol. Oh yes, kids. They have found your alcohol. Like an overprotective parent who thinks their daughter has never been touched, they recoil with horror when they learn what you got up to on Saturday night. Every time they drive past a bottle-o they see rows and rows of the demon drink, begging the children to take them, and a little part of them dies inside. They go back to their plush offices and weep into their scotch and fuck their secretary to make the pain go away. But it doesn’t work. Nothing works. And so they straighten their tie and practise their steely gaze and resolve that Something Must Be Done. For Kev and his mates that Something is making Cruisers as

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unattractive as possible. They’re not drinks, they’re ‘alcopops’, they’re poison. Just as nobody reads Playboy for the articles, nobody drinks them for the taste. They are bought solely for the sleaze, for the corruption, for the filthy alcoholic high they give teenage girls. They are not a legitimate choice of drink. Which is why they need to be taxed at a higher rate than hard liquor. You see, dear reader, vodka, absinthe and tequila are proper drinks. They are bought by connoisseurs and professional bartenders. They are used to create respectable cocktails that respectable people drink. Young people never buy such things, because their palates are not mature enough. They want lemonade that gets them munted, not 40% proof that tastes like metho and yak piss. You may have thought you were sculling Absolut from the bottle on Saturday night, but you were wrong. You may have thought that Brother Frangelico and Comrade Smirnoff were frequent guests at those wild parties out the back of Gaz’s place. You thought wrong. Kev knows. Dear Leader is not the only one afraid of young people enjoying themselves, however. Little Leader right here in Melbourne is not just scared of the kiddies sucking down moonshine. He’s terrified of anything that happens past his bedtime. You’ve heard of the witching hour? Sure you have. It’s real, and it’s 2am. Like a werewolf at full moon, anybody entering a bar after 2am instantly metamorphoses into a slavering assault machine, molesting policemen and

bouncers and innocent children for good measure. Luckily, The Stallion knows how to deal with them. He’ll force these half-baked Chopper Read clones to take their violent drunken antics onto the streets, where it will be safer for everyone. Of course, Crown Casino is exempt. Just as cigarette smoke doesn’t kill you there, late night drinking is totally ok when its accompanied by high rollers and poker machines. Similarly, strip joints on King Street are exempt. Packs of boozy guys with small penis syndrome and lots of alcohol are among the most respectable and law-abiding groups in our community. Oh, and pretty much any nightclub licensed into the thousands is exempt. You want to go to a little laneway bar for a quiet drink and some jazz? You are a menace who cannot be indulged. You want to go to Seven with four thousand other drunken dickheads trying to pick up? The government trusts you to behave yourself. Of course, this wouldn’t be a problem if we all had more sensible tastes in recreation. Rather than getting blind next weekend, why not have tea and scrabble with your grandma? Instead of socializing in the city, why not take up crochet? We could all rest much easier. Thank god for the ALP. Tim Farhall


Victoria’s Public Transport System Same old enemy, same old parliamentary apathy. Madeleine Chan queries State (in)action. Coming to Melbourne from a place where public transport is largely non-existent, Melbourne’s public transport system seemed to be a heavenly comparison to the erratic bus schedules and weather-contingent ferries that many Auckland students are forced to rely upon. While they may find Melbourne’s trams, trains and buses a welcome relief from systems at home, they should be proud of the significant concesions that Auckland’s students receive. While Melbourne’s local students receive hefty concessions, international students are forced to pay full fares at nearly double the price. Indeed, Victoria is one of the only two states in Australia that does not offer concession rates to international students. Yet, without the funding universities receive from the fees of international students, continuing development of resources and facilities within our universities would be severely compromised. Surely, it is only right for the State government to allow for international students to purchase concession

tickets. Some may argue that international students are not contributing economically in terms of taxes, thus justifying the lack of government subsidies. However, many international students maintain parttime jobs to fund their expenses and, no doubt, more would work if much of their income did not need to be wasted on over priced public transport fares.

tertiary students need.

International students are not the only group disadvantaged by Victoria’s public transport system. Tertiary students as a whole lack support by contrast to the discounted rates secondary school students receive, excluded from cheap yearly tickets available to the latter. Already burdened by HECS debt, tertiary students are further disadvantaged by a lack of financial support from the State government. Tertiary students, many of whom have left home and only have parttime jobs to support themselves, are left resentful of high school students with parental financial support receiving the financial assistance

The costs students must face in order to use a system which has become increasingly inconsistent are fast accruing. At an age where responsibilities are many and finances tight, tertiary students are at a loss as to why fares are so unreasonable and why these unreasonable fares continue to be on the rise. With the rising fuel prices, and threat of climate change, surely an effective, efficient and reasonablypriced public transport system would be beneficial not only for the hip-pockets of all students, but to the economy of the nation, and the well-being of all Melbournians.

Compare this to public transport systems in the UK and France, where all students, irrespective of citizenship, are eligible for hefty discounts. Emulating France’s system would see many Melbournians enjoying cheaper rates. For instance, those under 26 years old would receive discounted rates even if they are not students!

Madeleine Chan

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Dear Mr. Rudd RE: Bill Henson Nick Modrzewski

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THE HOT SPOTS

LAURIE MANSON

The Chinese occupation of Tibet, the downward turn in the global economy and recession fears, the US Race to the White House – all issues of great importance which have come to the forefront of inter-student discussions, as of late. Whilst this is all very academic and to be applauded, there’s no denying the fact that whilst talking about the treatment of Tibetans, you can’t stop focussing on that girl’s breasts and the fact that every time she rapturously proclaims that ‘IT’S NOT RIGHT!’ – you find it extremely intellectually stimulating. We’re all young, hormonal and wanting to get some…well, at least I am. But thanks to the ‘Melbourne Model’, this year has seen a lack of fresh meat walking through the grand ol’ gates of Melbourne University. That said, sometimes the only way to justify missing every lecture for a year-long, 100% exam subject, is by reminding yourself that you were doing something better... much better. So below, find my recommendations for where to go on campus, when you (and your significant other/random) feel the itch.

Baillieu Library Possibly the most defining resource of Melbourne University, the Baillieu Library is a quaint spot to make out if you don’t mind the odd ‘get-a-room’ stare. More specifically the East Asian Collection has an incredible set of study corrals, of which the one located in the top right-hand corner (closest to the window) is the best option. This corral means that you are shielded from the front, and also provides you with a chair. On Friday afternoons it is very quiet, hence you and your significant other may be able to progress beyond just making out. Words of warning: Other students do come there to practice the foreign philosophy of studying, so you may have to keep quiet. Other places in the Baillieu Library include between stacks. Words of warning: girls, propping yourself up on a shelf whilst your partner does his thing is not recommended: these shelves do not hold much weight. And if they break, picking up books and ensuring the integrity of the Dewey decimal system is maintained, will be a real bitch.

Arts Centre Surprisingly disappointing in terms of volume of expected make out places, given that Arts students reside there. However taking a lift up to level 5, then getting out and going up a further four flights of stairs, takes you to some abandoned lockers from the early 90’s. Words of warning: The fluorescent coloured chalk on the walls can stain your clothes, and once every three months, maintenance men require access to the area to check the air conditioning. So keep your ears peeled for any footsteps ascending the stairs then.

‘SMAC’ Oh where to begin?! SMAC (no pun intended) is host to possibly the best stairwell on campus. Because it’s new, the stairwell is both well-lit and clean, and the building has lifts, thus no one uses the stairs! It’s impossible to get caught because the echo allows you to hear anyone entering the entire stairwell, thereby providing you with at least 46 seconds to clean up and get out. Another venue located in SMAC (one which is likely to attract much abhorrence) is the disabled toilet located outside the Carillo Gartner Theatre. Now don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe that you shouldn’t use the resources of others in greater need. But the disabled toilets are fantastic because they are like a private room... only smelly.

13 PD•V1•08


Alan Gilbert

LAW STUDENT EXPOSED

Whilst we’re on the topic of bathroom delight, the Alan Gilbert Building is the post-graduate student building located opposite the Med Building on Grattan Street. This state-of-the-art building has a Shower adjoining the male and female toilets on the Ground level. The Shower in this building provides you with the privacy and comfort expected of the Disabled Toilet in SMAC, without the guilt of making a disabled person wet their pants. There is even a wide towel rack for you to be straddled on, for those inclined for heightus orgasmus, and of course there’s the shower. Words of warning: The exit strategy for the Shower is complicated. Use the grill located at the bottom of the door to judge whether there is anyone outside before exiting at different times. Generally, a person will walk pass every 13 seconds, so it’s a very narrow time gap to work with.

Sports Centre Amidst the blood, sweat and tears there’s always room for an exchange of fluids (and not just by forgetting to wipe your bike down after spin class). Surprisingly, the Sports Centre, in addition to being the home of the Uni Blues, is also the home of some great make out spots. In particular, the gallery area for the Squash Courts provides you with darkness and of course large stairs!

Law School Ah, motherland. The Law School is the newest building on campus, and despite its dreary, corporate exterior, it contains some incredible classrooms, corridors and lounges. As long as you gain consent, it’s all legal in the Law School. Firstly, there’s the Alcove. Located on Level 1 next to Room 108, the Alcove is a small space which was left alone by the Faculty because it was too small to convert into a lecture room. There are flat couch-like seats, which serve as excellent bed equivalents. An added bonus is the lack of security cameras in this area. Words of warning: Security guards of the building feel the need to compensate for the absence of cameras by conducting regular checks of the area. Apparently it’s for our safety, but if you’re wearing a condom, what’s the need for more protection?

Whilst learning at university

They say law students at Melbourne University are privileged because of our shiny new building, personalised Brunetti’s and un-graffittied toilets. This is all true. However, by far the greatest privilege for law students is the ability to book Discussion Rooms in the LRC. These rooms are private enough for all sorts of ‘quiet group discussions’. Whilst the glass walls may be off-putting at first, you’ll find that there are some rooms which are located such that possible exposure is not an issue. In particular, rooms 438 and 521 are spectacular (NB: you must book a week in advance to secure these rooms, as they are highly sought after). Each room is furnished with a table and swivel chairs, which come in handy when researching s 69 of the It’s So Good! Act 2006 (Vic).

can be a wonderful experience, it is always recommended that you take on some extra curricular activities. A bit of loving never hurt anyone, and while this list is not exhaustive I hope it provides a start for some. Happy hormoaning! Love much, Laurie PD•V1•08 14


Law Ball 2008

On 24 April 2008 a large cohort of law students gussied up and made their way to docklands for what

has been called the best law ball ever. We’d love to rave on about the original and fantastic venue, the gorgeous girls and cute guys, the fab music and the amazing table service, but frankly we can’t remember very much of the evening - we just had too much fun. If you missed out this year make sure you get in early next year - Ronny and Jono have set the precedent for awesome law balls - you’d be an arts student to miss it.

15 PD•V1•08


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The ‘Law Student’ Case Note Study: Scientific Name: lexis-juris-studentis Common Name: Law Student The Law Student is a unique and complex creature, sightings of which are highly prized by serious‘nerd watchers’. The species is renowned for its excessively nerdy characteristics,commonly exhibited in and around the exam period, particularly in swot-vac. CHARACTERISTICS

Nerdiness During the prime nerd watching period of swot-vac and exams, law students can be heard whinging about library opening hours – “I can’t believe it’s closed on Friday and Saturday nights!”, “What? It only opens at 8:30?”and frequently queue up in droves to be the first to enter at 11:00am on a Saturday morning. Once within the library, there is fierce competition amongst Law Students over the limited law library seats. Many members of the species have perfected a swift but outwardly-casual power walk that allows them to speed past weaker members to the coveted window carels without appearing particula ly rude or aggressive. Fit members of the species will also power up the two flights of stairs to level five (Note to nerd watchers, there are excellent viewing points throughout level five). Those members left behind, must share large tables on lower floors and cram laptop, textbooks, notebooks, snacks, pens etc. into a roughly 50 cm x 50 cm area of desk space. Not one precious moment of study time is to be wasted – the pace is fast, the strides are long and bags/books angled so as to minimize wind resistance. TERRITORIAL TENDENCIES Law Students’ territorial tendencies are noteworthy. They are particularly critical of neighbouring species’ use of their study space, be it students from other disciplines (e.g. Engineering students) or students from other institutions. Given the social awkwardness of confronting any such alien species in their territory, propriety restrains most law students from confronting

such species. Instead, territoriality manifests itself in grumbling to each other in the bathrooms and on coffee breaks – “Did you see their slides?! They were definitely not law students”,“Why can’t they get their own library?!” It is particularly interesting to observe behaviour when inter-species friendships form and Law Students clandestinely bring friends in from other disciplines and campuses. This kind of hospitality is only ever mentioned in passing to other Law Students and those who engage in it remain outwardly disdainful of alien species invading their study space. DIET The diet of any given law student actively studying for exams will generally consist of some or all of the following: • caffeinated drinks; • confectionary; • fruit that may be quietly consumed in the library (only the bravest of the species will attempt an apple); • asian take-out from down the road; and • panini and cookies from certain over-priced and under-serviced cafes in close proximity. In particular, members have become adept at sneaking hot caffeinated drinks into the library. This usually involves using one’s books/folders/clothing/the Voice/Farrago to shield the offending drink from the keen librarian’s eye and quickly scuttling up the stairs. Whilst the closest over-priced and under-serviced café offers covered seating, the Law Student prefers to wait in the extremely cold and windy space in front of the law building for their hot drink of choice before sneaking it upstairs. The seasoned studying Law Student knows when all of the eateries within walking distance close on any given night and will usually time their break away from study. The super seasoned law student will shun such eateries and power walk to the 7-Eleven on the corner of Swanston and Grattan Streets for sushi of dubious quality and rush back via the vending machines on Level Two because their coke zero is cheaper than that at the 7-Eleven. Despite carefully planning outfits that are usually either expensive or vintage (respectively the aspiring corporate lawyer and human rights/international/public interest lawyer) so as to appear ‘cool’, the typical law student is seldom able to repress the nerd within.

PD•V1•08 16


Which is the better institution? The debate rages on. Tim Farhall and Tim Scott take the ring for their respective campuses.

Named after an old dead white guy with a Hitler moustache best known for efficiently killing people during the First World War and being Vice-Chancellor of, ahem, the University of Melbourne. But as Bob Geldof clearly knows, a crap name is not the end of the story.1 A far more pressing problem appears in the form of a single word: Clayton. If you are fortunate enough to have both a car and an illicit relationship with a Saudi prince, you can drive to Clayton. Be sure to pack a lunch and a Sherpa, because regardless of where you live it will take you until next Friday. If you don’t have a car, just give up now.2 I could go on about the campus, with its collection of architectural horrors and population of marauding killer zombies (entrance requirements are low, after all), but since you’re never going to go there there’s probably not much point. Suffice to say, Rangoon is a more cheerful place. 1 Either that, or he’s a complete arsehole. He named his kid ‘Fifi Trixibell’ for fuck’s sake. 2 Although theoretically you can take a train and then a bus, this involves contact with the Oakleigh criminal fraternity and the utter uselessness of the public transport system. I tried it once. Trust me, you’re better off contracting a degenerative disease.

17 PD•V1•08

All of which seems like a rather cruel joke played on Monash law students. I mean, why not just have ‘I couldn’t get in to Melbourne’ branded across their foreheads on enrolment day and then leave them alone? The poor bastards don’t need to be reminded at every possible turn that they didn’t quite make the grade. They know. They know they could be studying in the heart of the city, strolling to Lygon St for lunch, sitting in seminars with beautiful people and accomplished academics. They know that they could be getting a degree from a prestigious university, instead of from the prestigious university’s bastard half-brother with buck teeth and anti-social tendencies. They know this, and it keeps them awake at night. Now, dear readers, is it any surprise that Monash law students suffer severe psychological damage as a result of all this egoshattering abuse? For proof, just go on to Facebook and admire the many groups desperately claiming that Monash is better than Melbourne. They try so hard. Now wait, I hear you say, surely Monash has some redeeming features. And indeed it does. For example, it’s not LaTrobe. It is also home to the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, the Monash Centre for Regulatory Studies and the International Institute of Forensic Studies. All of which are

very well-meaning and presumably worthwhile enterprises, yet when compared to Melbourne’s twelve separate research centres seems somewhat underwhelming. They have very high standards of research, as evidenced by the links to Wikipedia on their website,3 and have produced such respectable alumni as Peter Costello and Matt Tilley (if you think being associated with either of these people is positive, stop reading now). But from the corner of my eye I can see Phil & Lil demanding I stop wasting paper and really, it’s not like you needed me to tell you this. We have more holidays, South Lawn and swot vac. They don’t. We have quality programs, a beautiful location and good coffee. They don’t. After graduation we get jobs as lawyers. They don’t. Basically – in the words of my friend Molly – ‘you could go to Monash. Or, you could stab yourself in the leg.’ Tim Farhall

Cop-out clause (disclaimer, indemnity, limitation of liability – to the indoctrinated): This article was prepared by Monash University’s most disorganised and comedically challenged law student. The reader therefore indemnifies the author against all losses, liabilities, actions, damages, or claims arising out of or relating to the publication of this opinion piece. Any references to persons living or dead are entirely intentional, and intended to be full of as much vented spleen as the 3 I kid you not.


author could muster at 3.00am. The reader is reminded that the author’s views are his and his alone, and his lack of wit and abject reliance on Microsoft Word spell-check are not representative of Monash Law Students, most of whom are sufficiently intelligent to avoid being caught dead in print in this purely unauthoritative volume. 7.30am, Parkville The pale, rigid, lifeless body enters the Morgue. The mind is gone, the suit-clad pall-bearers shuffle through the bleak, sterile interior. The John Doe travels into theatre, where it rests in temporary peace, shelved before examinations begin.4 And so another hypercolour morning kicks off for our lively prototypical technicolour Melbourne Law student. JD’s a good kid; just a little nerdy and a tad too old to be living off Mummy and Daddy. Luckily for this year’s Melbourne cohort, the gorgeous JDdodging editors of PD have renounced the ways of 1986 Melbourne Uni Law School g r a d u a t e Julia Gillard, and are deliberately dispelling the ‘barren’ stereotype, even for the career4 Doe, J (2008). Hereafter ‘JD’.

dead on arrival, giving Monash students plenty to contrast against in initial consultations with the Caulfield architects.

motivated female! Help us depart from the cliché that [Melbourne] Law School kids are a bunch of socially-barren, exclusive, bookish lepers without a creative bone in their bodies.5 Good luck to you, ladies and gentlebodies, it’s going to need more than a little foundation and concealer to get this grave countenance partyready! And tread carefully so as not to trample any budding career prospects, for that social wasteland is fertile territory for pollies in the making, especially those ladies battling the glass ceiling but then I guess the realities of legal life are foreshadowed in the Parkville Law building’s greenhouse exterior. For those seeking truly greener pastures for personal growth and career fertility, the balls, boutique-beer-binge BBQs, vintage leather couches and believe it or not, academic quality at Clayton have been better than bumper rains in the middle of a Melbourne [Uni] drought. We too, however, may be paying our last respects to a stalwart of Australian legal education, as we consider shortening our daily commute with a migration to Caulfield. Prima facie, Melbourne should have ‘first mover advantage’ on the novus domus front, but a cavity search of the host pronounces its soul and that of its parasites 5 Purely Dicta webpage, about 5 minutes ago.

But I’m sure the Melbourne kids make up for the grimness of pretension artistically and comedically. Well, I was sure, until I saw Professor Snape’s (no doubt, a Melbourne Law lecturer) cameo in the Harry Potter trailer for a past Melbourne Revue, and found out that this year’s less mysterious attempt was going to be a whole lot of hot air and other crap, with guilt for puns worse than mine offset by remission of profits for charitable purposes.6 While the Monash Law Revue is No Longer Listed as Single, its pallid Parkville counterpart’s entire faculty is doomed to a spinster’s life of B.S. balls, rsvp.com and tragic speed-dating. All this, as the truth slowly dawns that the spurned Bachelor of Melbourne Law Scrubs up ok and looks close to eligible next to the daydreaming nerd that will be JD. And the good doctor almost missed a beat there. Balls. We’ve got them, you’ve got them. But ours are bigger and better. Say no more. 4.14am Monash Law Student goes to bed, safe in the knowledge he’ll still do better at the Bar than his rival from Melbourne who’s gearing up for their third coke-fuelled studysesh for the night.

Tim Scott 6 ‘Animal Emissions: Offset Your Pet’, University of Melbourne Law Revue (2008)

PD•V1•08 18


A treatise on the enculturation of third-year students into the legal fraternity and concomitant alienation from the mainstream student body, the rest of society and their families: Why no one likes us anymore.1 Disclaimer: the opinions expressed by the authors in this article are by no means reflective of the opinions of the authors.

1

Abstract

Accompanied by two friends from the Science Faculty, the authors attended last year’s Purely Dicta launch. The launch exposed the ostracism experienced by students on the southern quarter of the campus by virtue of their status as a member of the Law Faculty. Indeed, at the launch, the authors could all but help detect the ill-disguised, disapproving background murmur of their Science counterparts.1 This event inspired the writing of this article.

I: INTRODUCTION

Having reached the mid-point of the common path to an LLB/ BA, the authors have observed how the law student, as a ‘class of persons’, are subject to mass abandonment by their nonlaw friends. This incidence of friendship effluxion is offset by the augmentation of friendships with law student fellows. This essay proposes to provide a rationale for this widespread phenomenon using empirical evidence, namely our learned observations, to argue that an inherent prejudice exists against Melbourne University Law School (MULS) students.

II: THE MULS: A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN A. Building and facilities The location of the MULS constitutes a physical, as well as a metaphysical, displacement from main campus. This blatant severance serves only to reinforce the distinction between law and non-law students. It is highly foreseeable that MULS is the subject of envy and resentment, with its plasma screen ‘notice boards’, lifts which actually operate more quickly than the manual climb of steps, the library with park views, the functioning reverse cycle climate control systems, and the impeccable restrooms. Indeed, with such facilities it is not surprising that one of the tell tale signs distinguishing a law student from the non-law student is the haste with which law students flee main campus seeking refuge in the marble halls of the MULS. Other idiosyncrasies, undoubtedly unnoticed by our main campus fellows, include the additional 15 minutes examination reading time we enjoy, as well as the possession of the MULS’s very own bookshop (which, unlike its Baillieu equivalent, is ‘professional’). B. Work ethic The emotional distress of law students significantly exceeds that of their main campus counterparts and, at times, The existence of a licence to enter the launch venue precluded an action in trespass to exclude the said students.

1

19 PD•V1•08

approaches that of psychiatric proportions. Of prominence is the typical reaction to ‘non-teaching periods’, namely: ‘Yay, this holiday will enable me to start my Administrative Law assignment’. Moreover, swot vac constitutes a period of absolute recluse (and extreme weight gain or loss) rather than an intermittent holiday between classes and exams. And although small in number, the sadists who live for 8.30am the next day when the LRC reopens must not be overlooked. The authors theorise that these vicissitudes are the creatures of weekly seminar readings rivalling the whole subject reader of an Arts student, casebooks large enough to serve as dangerous weapons, and the wearisome task of decoding convoluted judicial opinion(s).

III: THE LAW STUDENT’S METAMORPHOSIS: FROM SCHOOL TO UNIVERSITY A. Student Body There are a number of factors symptomatic of the law student which may further contribute to this phenomenon. Every first year student who has studied Torts has been deterred from going to someone’s aid for fear of liability, per Chapman v Hearse. On account of the law of Contract and Property, respectively, every email is now qualified by disclaimer, and the return of borrowed belongings will be continually delayed in the hope that adverse possession will be effected. Annoying habits develop such as pointing out the rules of evidence being flouted in quality programs such as Boston Legal, using seemingly made-up words (unrecognised by Spell Check) such as ‘universilisable’, ‘incumbrances’, ‘indefeasibility’, ‘justiciability’ and ‘estoppelisable’2 in everyday speech, and of course, footnoting Arts essays to death to the extreme aggravation of lectures unaccustomed to such pedanticism.3 B. Family Life It is self-evident that by third year, the law student is equipped with knowledge unrivalled by parents, siblings and complete networks of relatives (or, at least, the law student is of this firm opinion). As such, the law student finds that loved ones no longer wish to pursue conversations seeking advice or an opinion for fear of being left perplexed by the student’s convoluted, yet highly relevant, answer. Additional resentment accrues for the student whose studies take priority over birthday parties and public holidays, and furThe authors concede that this is not yet a legal term, but hypothesise that it is only a matter of time. 3 This word was also made-up for the purposes of this essay. 2


ther, whom commence all responses with the phrase ‘in my learned opinion’ when asked simple questions such as, ‘do we need more milk’. C. Society Widespread public distain for those in the legal profession is a well-known tendency. Resultantly, law students are particularly sensitive to and attuned to lawyer jokes made on public transport, in public toilets, in libraries, through the media, in restaurants and walking down Collins Street. A caveat to law students who let slip their status to random, newlymade acquaintances, for they risk being attributed personal responsibility for the confiscation of hoon cars or the 2AM lockouts. The deep-seated suspicion which accompanies a career in law school is evinced by the common introduction/warning: ‘Petunia, let me introduce you to my friend Gertrude, who studies law.’

IV: CONCLUSION

Growing suspicion, resentment and unpopularity are unfortunately part of the peculiar vicissitudes of life of the law student.4 In concluding, more text is required, however a Code One word penalty is in operation, no doubt to mitigate the puffery which accompanies being a law student. To circumvent this inconvenience, the rest of the conclusion shall be finished in the footnote. Egregious generalisations are not the purpose of this essay. Rather, it is to highlight that non-law fellows lack the requisite good faith to a friendship, instead keeping law students at arms length.

4

A.E. and S.J.

ANTON ANIN

PD•V1•08 20


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21 PD•V1•08


and hard-w orking. Inc reasingly, y pathy. Envio ou’ve been us people c able to disg all you ruth employers uise or dive less, the un sometimes rt your natu successful c baulk at yo are people to ral kindness all you hard ur drive to be charmed and em-hearted. Ev su cceed. But ) or wow th en your frie you win the em into sub nds and m over with mission (if Success is: your charm they are peo (if they ple to be wo wed). a) Having an in tim b) Being comm idating number of boa rd it ted to achie ving excelle members and reporters leading edg n at your fune e ce in all tha in your field o ral t you do – e seeking the f expertise n su b and that yo est way forw ring that yo c) u are proac u are at the ard Aspiring to tive in utilisi the highest n g e y th our resourc and mutual ical standard es and respect are s in all you d) fu r dealings. H ndamental to The corner onesty, inte office the way you grity, fair tr treat others eatment and do busi Over the ye ness ars, you lost touch with made caree your friend r or life cho s. Some mo ices such th you remark ved intersta at a meeting to your part te or overse b etween you ner that it’s after exams as, while o w ould be mu fu or lying on nny how yo thers have tually emba the beach in u never see spoke as ind rrassing. Ov summer, yo it coming. H ividuals the er dinner u all talked ow sitting in futures you to chuckle, abstractedly dreamed we the pub tog you mentio a b o ether re always c ut the future n that none inkling of w ollective. P , and althou of those yo hat it would a u uths actuall gh you sing betwee bring, but c y believed n your next ontinued to in m th o e uthful ta fu lk tu and dream Thinking ab in order to p re at all, or at least, ha out your da d no ass the time ys at univers . ity you: a) Wonder wh at happened b) to all the bri Get overwh ght enthusi e lmed by a se astic people nse of wast something that crossed e to and regret, e at c) your path and immed Trade in yo iately look u r BMW and a bout your d buy a Kom before catch esk for bi van, driv ing syphilis d) in g so u Make a poin p the East C uth of Brisb oast and reli a t of humilia ting some lo ne ving your g could be at, lory days wer employ university ee in front o f e v eryone, esp Would you ecially if th kindly retu ey are at, or rn the com commencem pleted pap ent. As Joe erwork to Blogs Law completed us in the operates on paperwork envelope p before your a fortnightl first fortnig rovided pri y c o pay cycle, mmenceme htly pay cy or to your in the even nt, it may m cle. t that we do ean we are receive the unable to p f you have rocess your any questio sa lary by the ns, please d o not hesita te to contac look forward t me. to you joinin g the firm. ours sincere ly

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PD•V1•08 22


LOVE ETC.

Making an HonestoutWoman of Her

Cynic Eliza Ginnivan reflects on Law School romance and a generation plagued by conflicting ideals. I met the bride-tobe back in 2004, when we were both 18 and struggling to balance Torts and History Philosophy of Law with the unforgiving party lifestyle of college. I couldn’t believe that someone so confidently articulate was wearing a grey tapered-leg tracksuit which, to date, was the ugliest thing I had seen at Law School. She’s been messing with my preconceptions ever since. I now know that you can play classical saxophone and still have street cred. That you can rollerblade to Uni and retain your dignity. And that you can be getting married at the age of 22 and be absolutely happy and, more importantly, have my unconditional support. I’ve been a steadfast marriage cynic since my youth. Marriage seemed to kill passion and give people a licence to take each other for granted. I scoffed at the Church’s ‘abstinence until marriage’ line – to me, waiting until the ring was on until the pants came off seemed completely ridiculous and fatally misinformed. Discovering that joint bank accounts were de rigeur only strengthened my resolve. I would never tie the knot. Yet marriage is rife at law school. The bride is the third law student from my acquaintances to have married in the last year and a half. I was originally sceptical. Marriage amongst people my age seemed to be reserved for religious couples so desperate for a shag that the gravity of holy matrimony seemed a perfectly sane option. I also, bless my elitist heart, assumed that people studying law were too intelligent to get married. then my friends started to get 23 But PD•V1•08

married and it became untenable to cling to my stereotypes. While religion features prominently in their lives, it’s not why they’re getting married. To them, marriage is a necessary foundation; the first step in building a life together, rather than something you contemplate once everything else is humming along. All this is rather puzzling for a bachelorette such as myself. I’ve spent my university years pining for long-distance boyfriends and being shanghaied into love triangles. The bride, on the other hand, met her husband at a church ball within the first six months of university and hasn’t looked back since. Relationship angst is a distant and fading memory for her; a fact she unconsciously reminds the rest of us of when she brushes her fringe out of her eyes and ‘The Rock’ flashes triumphantly in the light. Then there’s the question of kids. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that couples still prefer to have kids in wedlock. It seems then a natural consequence of marriage that the family floodgates are opened. This has been the case for Sarah. The prefix of her name has changed at regular intervals ever since I met her, going from Engaged Sarah to Married Sarah to Pregnant Sarah and now to Mummy Sarah, nursing her beautiful son on her knee. She still has a few subjects to finish off before she graduates but she’ll tackle them (via correspondence from her coastal home) when things quieten down. Yet strangely, marriage has successfully maintained its romantic appeal despite the rapid decline in faith, the upsurge in non-married families and a tabloid media obsessed with bitter celebrity divorces. We still buy into the hype, genuinely believing Hallmarkesque statements such as ‘together forever’ and

‘he’s the one’, and conveniently ignore the fact that one third of marriages now end in divorce. It seems that a legal education doesn’t make the fairytale any less appealing. When I asked my law friends whether they’d sign a pre-nup they vetoed the idea quickly and brutally. It would show that you didn’t trust your partner, they said. Worse, it would jinx the union. Despite everything we’ve learned about the failings of the Family Law Act and the bitter breakdown of marriages cases in Property and Trusts, romance trumps convenience. But for me, the most frightening aspect of marriage is that it’s something that adults do. It struck me, as I watched the bride sashay down the aisle, that we’re growing up fast and big decisions (whether they involve the cake and car or not) are not far off. Getting married so young (as well as hosting a wedding on a student budget and squeezing in a decent honeymoon in the mid-year break) require phenomenal powers of conviction. You have to believe in what you’re doing. There is no fencesitting when it comes to marriage. Still, I’m not completely sold. I might turn my back on it altogether and, like a quarter of our generation, never get married. At the current rate of law reform, by the time I’m anywhere within twenty metres of a serious relationship there will be little substantial difference between the rights of married and de facto couples. So I’m happy to wait. Decades, if necessary. I positioned myself on the far side of the bouquet scrum, just to be sure.


Crush On You

Love Guru

the twenty-something law nerd. He may be harder to pin down, and resplendent in pale skin, bad BO and pimples, but at least you’ll be guaranteed he has his own teeth. Yours, LG Tainted Love

Oh Gary

Dear Love Guru,

Dear Love Guru,

Dear Love Guru,

I always find myself crushing on certain boys in class, but by the time I work up the courage to introduce myself, its so late in the semester that it feels weird to suddenly say ‘Hi, do you want to drink a steaming cup of Porta Via with me?’ having sat next to them for six weeks. Or, it gets to that stage in Legal Ethics where everyone stops showing up, and I never see him again.

They say the love of a lecturer should be strictly platonic. But for me, my enjoyment of Civil Litigation wasn’t just because of the well-organised lecture notes. There’s something about his suspicious-for-winter tan, fitted tweed jackets and cute receding hairline that makes me think I’d resolve a dispute with him any day. His voice is like hot chocolate, and I’d listen to Lectopia for hours just to hear his awkward jokes.

I wanted to write in about my one true love. Lately, things haven’t been perfect. He always distracts me in class. Sometimes, he isn’t responsive. Occasionally, I’m disappointed by our lack of connection. But even so, when I turn him on, his soft purr makes a sound that I can only describe as a sleeping leopard. His shiny complexion gives off a soft glow that one can only describe as heaven. In fact, he’s the whole package: the hardware, the 12 inch screen, the operating system, that cute little apple that shines when I put him to sleep. So I guess that while our relationship isn’t perfect, somehow, it just works.

Any hints on how to get him to talk first? I’ve already tried strategic pencil dropping, awkward humming in the lift, and three new hairstyles.

So what should I do? Play it safe and date another twenty-something law nerd, or work my way towards the next Mrs Cazalet?

From Shy Girl

From Gary’s Girl

Dear Shy Girl,

Dear Gary’s Girl,

We applaud your strategic efforts, but must say that your techniques are rather obsolete. Have you heard of a little thing called Facebook? There’s a whole new world of strategic stalking and courting out there. Once you’ve found him, check out his relationship history (no point in pursuing him if he’s got an ugly ex - ew - or worse, a really hot ex). Make the crucial move by initiating a Facebook friendship. Then, you’ll be able to access all those crucial details - in particular, which suburb he lives in. This will enable you to hang out at his local shops, increasing the chances that you will run into him. In sum: direct and immediate action is necessary if you want a chance with this guy. Otherwise you’re just surrendering yourself to a pattern of failed crushes. If this type of self-defeating behaviour is appealing to you, we suggest you develop some celebrity crushes instead. That way you can ensure it remains unrequited.

Firstly, I am worried about your infatuation with the chocolate voice, receding hairline, and orange exterior of Mr Gary Cazalet. Not that such an infatuation is unfounded, why a quick peek through the staff profiles on the Law School website reveals that while said tweed jackets are definitely a no-no, you’re taste isn’t that bad – I mean, you could have written in with a crush on Peter Costello and then I’d really be stuck for positives. Instead, I am concerned with you’re ability to remain faithful – indeed to remain ‘Gary’s Girl’. The course structure of your degree will throw you in the path of many a spunky law lecturer complete with receding hairlines, pot-bellies, myopia, false choppers and clothing that first saw daylight in the 70s. As the love guru I fear that you may, in a semester’s time, be wooed into becoming ‘Haydn’s Hottie’, ‘Christian’s Chick’ or ‘Andrew’s Armcandy’. The only thing worse than a girl infatuated with a law lecturer, is a girl who is serially infatuated with all of her law lecturers.

Yours,

I therefore advise that you stick to

LG

From I love my Mac more than my own mother. Dear Mac-lover, Not sure if you had a dilemma of any sort for me to solve with your beau ‘Mac’, but please do not take up precious and well-soughtafter space boasting about your successful liaison. This section is reserved for the desperados. The friend-less. The drama and melodrama queens/kings. In my books (and those of our readers), nobody cares about your blissful coupledom. Don’t get it? Check out the Bridget Jones books for more insight. Yours, LG PS. I would be happy to correspond with you further once you become bitter and disenchanted. Got a love gripe our guru can solve? Email LG at lss-purelydicta@ unimelb.edu.au.

PD•V1•08 24


Dear Friends, I surely know you all agree There’s almost nothing worse to see Than some loser who is so obscene He elevates from ground to mezzanine. This lazy habit’s bound to send This monster to an obese end Did any of you ever know Of a person drooping oh so low? This dreadful creature saw no wrong In elevating all day long And when the lifts were out of use He’d launch into some wild abuse! And scream and shout and break some glass Simply by shaking that massive arse! And as if that wasn’t enough to do He’s next step was, of course, to sue. For years and years he got his way Elevating some 50 times a day Until one winter’s eve alas A horrid business came to pass Mr ‘Big and Slow’ stayed late to read In the law library on books he’d feed At last he decided to call it a day AND off to the lifts to get on his way. And in he went and pressed on ‘G’ Thinking of home and the food of the sea But now how strange although he waited, The lift just stood there OVER-weighted. He pressed ‘G’ twice and even thrice But to this fat man the lift wasn’t nice. ‘Stop’, ‘Emergency’ he pressed it all until the lift just started to fall! And with the most enormous KABOO The poor fat boy ended up in two! And that is why I tell you friends That such means don’t justify the ends. So, as not to end up in my prayers, For fucks sake just take the stairs. 25 PD•V1•08

Hadi Mazloum


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