Is There No Single ‘Right’ Answer in Law?
An Evaluation of Legal Reasoning
by Aman Bains
This article argues that there is no single ‘right’ answer in law by analysing the components of legal reasoning as they exist and the legal complexities and complications that surround them. This article discusses the ambiguity of certain components in the reasoning process. It critiques the judiciary and the sway of their unconscious judgements, in particular reference to the Case of the Speluncean Explorers. Finally, it briefly outlines the contrasting legal schools of thought in order to explore the differing verdicts they can provide, and the struggle between morality and law.
When ‘Happily Ever After’ Goes Wrong:
Divorce law in the UK in light of Owens v Owens
by Yiota Constantinides
The ultimate goal of functional divorce law is thought to be the facilitation of separation of the involved parties, as well as the limiting of hostility between them and the prevention of ‘collateral damage’ to third parties such as children. However, the UK system of divorce, which is founded on the concept of attribution of fault to one of the parties, inhibits the peaceful breaking up of relations by cultivating resentment. Recent cases as well as academic and judicial commentary highlight the need for reform to permit a ‘no-fault’ divorce system. This system will make parting tolerable and more reflective of contemporary society standards.
The Ethnocentric Law:
Double standards in Western approaches to Female Genital Mutilation and Male Circumcision
by Scarlett Stock
In the UK, female genital mutilation is viewed as unacceptable, and this is enshrined within the law, whereas male circumcision is widely practiced. This article sheds light on the similarities of the practices, how they both infringe upon fundamental human rights (especially for children who cannot consent), whilst focusing on the origins of these opinions. By investigating why these polarised opinions have come into existence, the ethnocentric views of cultural superiority shall be scrutinised in order to point out these blatant double standards. It will also outline how these practices need to be re-framed in the law and society’s mind to allow for a more objective, culturally-sensitive, and human rights-focused approach. Why the double standards between female genital mutilation (FGM) and male circumcision (MC) are present shall be explored, whilst simultaneously analysing whether they should exist.
Preach, not Punish:
Why we Need to Rethink our Approach to Youth Justice
by Jonathan Russel Ee Wen Suen
This article argues for the youth justice system of England and Wales to embrace a shift in method in dealing with offending youth. Particularly in relation to youths, overly punitive practices do not appear to be effective. Given the less developed state of a young mind, youths are unable to fully comprehend the rationale of punishment. This could have devastating consequences on youths, possibly causing many to spiral further into a life of crime. A welfarist agenda, on the other hand, will allow the youth to understand the error of his ways, as well as cater to his rehabilitation. Punishment in itself fails to tackle the root of the problem. Society should move toward embracing useful long-term solutions, rather than settling for the short-lived comfort of knowing that punishment has been meted out.
On Women, Law and Liberal Feminism
by Stephania Elis Karasamani
This article seeks to evaluate the pertinence of liberal feminism as the best normative approach with which to criticise and consequently lead to the modification of the law. Liberal feminism, along with other feminist theories like the radical or dominance theory, the anti-essentialist or postmodern theory and cultural or the ethics of care theory, have emerged as subtle acts of defiance against the law which is, at large, made by and for men. An analysis of liberal feminism and its constitutive aspects, including the focus on the notions of individualism, gender neutrality and the public/private dichotomy, deem the theory inadequate to fulfil feminism’s purpose—to make the lives of women better.
How Effectively does the United Nations Security Council Regulate the International Use of Force?
by Josephine Carver
After the atrocities of World War I and II, the victor states ratified the United Nations Charter in 1945 creating the UN Security Council to prevent such grave conflict from ever repeating itself. Fast forward to 2018 and the type of conflict has significantly changed. ‘World War’ appears to be a relic of the past and states now use ‘force’ by alternative means to achieve their goals. This article critically examines the effectiveness of the United Nations Security Council in regulating the international use of force and its ability to adapt to new landscapes and types of conflict. The UN Security Council’s most important articles, Article 2(4) and Article 51, are critically analysed in an effort to identify how states may sidestep the prohibition on the use of force, without a UN Security Council mandate. Current examples from the past decade are used to highlight the Security Council’s lack of control in the international cyber-sphere and analyse how sufficiently grave cyber-attacks may prompt future armed conflict.
Certainty versus Fairness:
Should the Discretionary Powers Conferred on the Court by the Amended ss
23-25A of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to Redistribute the Assets of Spouses be Confined?
by Jonathan Russel Ee Wen Suen
Upon the breakdown of a marriage, the couple’s assets are to be redistributed by the courts. This process is governed by part II of the Matrimonial Causes Act (MCA) 1973. However, the amended sections 23–25A of the MCA, in particular, are vaguely worded, allowing the courts a broad interpretation of the statutory provisions on ancillary relief, resulting in uncertainty in the judgements. This article argues that, specifically in this particular subject of family law, fairness should take precedence over certainty.
Assisted Dying and the Law:
The Duo that Works Better as an Ensemble
by Surekha Sujith
This piece argues for the legalisation of assisted dying in the United Kingdom by analysing the state of affairs as they exist and the legal complexities and complications that surround it. It discusses the struggles faced by those who desperately require assistance in dying, and their alternatives. It critiques the legislative body for its attitude toward assisted dying. Finally, it suggests a workable solution to implement and legalise assisted dying in the United Kingdom.
An Exploration of Sectioning under the Mental
Health Act: Failure of the Current (Medical) Model to Protect Patient Rights
by Scarlett Stock
Sections 2 and 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended) (MHA) allow individuals to be civilly detained for assessment or treatment without their consent. With Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights providing a ‘Right to Liberty’, though not an absolute right, the MHA represents extreme interference with human rights. As will be shown, the MHA s 2 and s 3 operate under the medical model. The traditional medical model approach purports a ‘focus on biological cure or management of the condition or person’ and ‘involves a power imbalance in the relationship between professional and patient’ with ‘diagnosis and classification functioning as ends.’ Within mental health law ‘a medicalised model of disability has been prominent,’ and the most recent MHA intended to move away from this and encourage patient involvement. However, whether this is the case in practice shall be explored whilst taking into consideration the Act, its Code of Practice, and case law. These sources will determine whether the medical model is still prominent in practice– but the words of the act and some realities reflect different models; hence, an evaluation is necessary to
determine whether this is the most effective way forward for mental health law.