The Value of Studying Law Abroad

Julia Faragher

Over this year’s winter break, I went to study Global Media and Communications Law at theUniversity of East Anglia International Summer School in Norwich, England. I was keen to start breaking into my electives after two and a half years of dictated law courses and also wanted to diversify my learning experience with some international exposure. I went overseas with high expectations, and somehow they were not just met but even exceeded.

Global Media and Communications Law covered topics such as Internet privacy, music
sampling, the role and responsibility of the press, smartphone wars and social activism. It was a really refreshing change to be able to take a course in such a specialised area of interest, especially since this topic is not currently offered at the ANU. The course was taught by eight different academics, so each of my teachers was lecturing on their expert area which I thought was a great strength of the course. It meant that every one of my academics was passionate about the area they were teaching and extremely qualified, as most of them held a PhD or were working towards a PhD on their expert topic.

As a photographer and a law student, it’s probably very unsurprising that my favourite topic was the legal implications of photography. I am always trying to find ways in which my Arts and Law degrees intersect, so this class was definitely a highlight. We discussed how recent developments in photography have created the need for privacy laws to adapt to new situations which may fall into legal grey areas. For example, an actor who walks to the supermarket to do their local grocery shop is definitely not in their private home, but they are also not at their place of public work. A rock star who takes their children to the park wishes to tell a photographer to stop taking photographs of their family outing, but the photographer believes they have freedom of expression.

The course also had more practical components than any of the ANU law courses that I have taken so far. It included two academic field trips to London to visit the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the Royal Courts of Justice, the Inns of Court and the Science Museum. It was exciting to be able to see where some of the cases that we were studying had actually been decided and helped teach us the hierarchy of different courts in the UK.

Additionally, a lot of the classwork was very practical. We often had debates in smaller
groups about contentious issues and workshopped particular definitions which ensured that we were all actively thinking about the course instead of half-heartedly listening to the lecturer. A great favourite of mine was our music sampling class, where the teacher brought in his drum kit and announced that we all had to have a go at playing or he would fail us (he was joking). He then also played us several music clips from the cases we were discussing to see if we could spot where they had sampled previously existing songs and decide whether or not we thought it constituted a substantial part of the original song.

It was also really fascinating to learn about a different jurisdiction. Given the global nature of not just the course, but the Internet as well, it did have an international dimension but it was mainly focused on the UK. I enjoyed learning about the different levels of the UK appeal system and the immense influence that EU law has on the UK system. It also opened my eyes to the changes that are most likely comparing as part of Brexit, and how the legal system might be in for a lot of work in order to fully separate the two.

Funnily enough, completing this elective also taught me that my compulsory courses are
actually necessary and valuable. This is due to the fact that the law overlaps in so many
different ways, including surfacing in a course about media law. Taking Torts allowed me to better engage in discussions about Internet privacy and taking Administrative Law meant that I could recite Australia’s position on freedom of information.

Overall, I very much enjoyed my time at UEA and would thoroughly recommend the course to anyone else interested in media or communications law. Studying abroad definitely opened up my perspective in so many different ways and taught me to better appreciate my own degree. Go forth and study widely, without fear.

Julia Faragher is a third year Arts/Law student and Publicity Director for the LSS. Photo is Julia’s own.

S44 Set to Spike APL Enrolments

S44 Set to Spike APL Enrolments
Brigid Horneman-Wren

The ANU College of Law has entered into talks with senior parliamentary officials, with negotiations underway to allow all federal politicians special entry into Australian Public Law.

Those with parents, grandparents, and suspected long-lost cousins born overseas will be the first to be enrolled.

“Obviously this is usually a second year course,” said a spokesperson for the College, “but we’re of the opinion that our politicians should have the same understanding of the Constitution that we’re currently teaching nineteen year olds.”

A source inside parliament cited ANU’s proximity to Parliament House as a key draw point for the push to get the politicians enrolled in law school.

“So many of the staffers here go to ANU, so we got talking to them and the ANIP students. Once we realised how easy it was for them to get between work and uni, we thought the taxpayers wouldn’t mind copping the Uber fees if it meant we’d stop having daily dual citizenship referrals to the High Court.”

Admissions experts, however, are sceptical as to how many parliamentarians would be able to prove the equivalent intelligence of the current 98 ATAR requirement. Legislation to allow them to circumvent the UAC application process is expected to soon be passed.

If the program is successful, it will be expanded to all party lawyers and anyone up for preselection.

Brigid is in her third year of BA/LLB. She surprisingly enjoyed APL, and frequently despairs over the state of Australian politics.

 

Image credit: http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/national/its-decision-day-for-the-citizenship-seven-as-the-high-court-decides-on-mp-eligibility/news-story/9f24a63523da31c323c04bb409b2eb93

Feeling Homesick? Why not try these tricks?

by Tiffany P. Monorom

5

No matter how amazing Australia is, there is no place like home.

 

Just when you finally feel like you have settled down in a new place and have started a new life, that uneasy feeling of missing home begins to creep on you. It does not matter whether you are a first year or in your final year, anyone can feel homesick.

 

I moved away from home three years ago and only visit home once every year. I understand what it feels like and had to overcome certain challenges in order to prevent it from getting in the way of my uni experience.

 

It is absolutely natural to feel homesick when living at a new place and there are ways to overcome it. Everybody deals with homesickness differently, but these are my personal tips and tricks to try when you start missing home.

 

Keep yourself busy

Whether it is working part-time, indulging yourself in a new hobby or joining uni clubs and societies, keeping yourself busy can take your mind off missing home.

 

ANU CareerHub, Seek and Indeed are among the most popular job sites for students looking for casual and part-time employment. ANUSA also organises the Skill-Up Program for those interested in hospitality work but do not have adequate skills and experiences.

 

Joining clubs and societies is one of the ways you can meet new people and engage with a much broader uni community. If you are unsure what clubs and societies there are on campus, you can check out this clubs list associated with ANUSA.

In my first year at ANU, I was too occupied with trying to achieve good marks that I did not bother putting myself out there and trying new things, or even looking for a job. Although I did receive Ds and HDs in the end, there wasn’t really anything exciting to look forward to each day and I still ended up with the depressing thoughts of homesickness.

 

I wasn’t fully satisfied with my overall uni experience but it wasn’t too late for me to realised that going to uni abroad is not just about the academic experience, it is about the culture, the people and so much more. On top of having a happier lifestyle, you also have something to add to your resume!

 

Get in contact with those from the same background

Meeting other students from the same cultural background may help you feel a bit closer to home. Knowing that there is someone else going through the same thing as you are, means that you can share your experiences or struggles with them and maybe help one another in overcoming this homesickness phenomenon.

 

Once again, check the ANUSA’s clubs list as it generally contains student association from specific country such as Indian Students’ Association and Thai Association. They generally organise social and cultural activities amongst members of the ANU community.

 

Share your food 

Food brings people together, because who doesn’t love food, right? This strategy is my personal favourite because, while you get to share traditional food from your home country with your friends, you’ll also get to eat food from their country and enjoy great company at the same time. It’s a win-win situation!

 

For me, I did not know how to cook as I barely cooked at all back home (mum’s cooking is the best!). After a while, I started to miss my mum’s homemade dishes so I eventually called her and ask for the recipes. It wasn’t easy at first, but I finally got the hang of it after many fail attempts.

 

Preparing your favourite meal on weekends or stressful days will make you feel more at home.

 

Adapt to the new environment  

I have to admit, this is easier said than done.

 

Humans are natural-born professionals in adaptation but it takes time and patience to fully achieve this. The first step would be to accept that it is okay to feel homesick at times. Once you’ve realised this, you can start stepping out of your comfort zone and experiencing the new environment that you’re currently living in.

 

Uni students have at least 3 years studying in Australia, so might as well try to learn and adapt to their culture and society. My tip would be to observe the behaviour of local people and the way they speak. If you feel uncomfortable in that situation or you feel like you’re creeping people out by staring at them, try watching day time television. Maybe you can catch some spoken slangs or any specific etiquettes.

 

Conclusion

If after trying these tricks, you still struggle to cope with homesickness, keep in mind that there are professionals that you can talk to at uni. Read this bLAWg to find out more about other resources and services that are available to help you.

 

Take care!

Mental Health and Wellbeing

by Tiffany P. Monorom

4

 

According to the Australian Financial Review, lawyers and legal related professionals have the lowest health and wellbeing compared with other professionals.

 

Lawyers’ high risk of mental health illness and depression originates as early as their time at law school. As a law student, you are expected to do well in your assessments and to have a part-time job while feeling pressured to engage with extracurricular activities and other social commitments. These demands often mean that law students forget to take care of our mental health and wellbeing.

 

As such, knowing how to properly cope with mental health issues early on is one of the first essential steps to succeeding as a law student at university.

 

What is mental health?

The World Health Organisation refers to mental health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.

 

Headspace further explains that mental health problems can arise when feelings of anger, anxiousness or disappointment persist for long periods of time. For students specifically, the cause of these feelings results from stress at university and work, financial difficulties, and any other personal related issues.

 

Each student learns how to cope with these stresses and anxieties differently, whether it is eating healthy, meditating or getting plenty of sleep. Most importantly, knowing what resources and services are available to students and where to get them is the way to attain the best possible coping mechanisms.

 

Seeking Help

Through my experience, I think the first few people to seek help from would be those who are closest to you—that is your friends and family. You may feel more at ease discussing personal struggles with them and they may be in a better position to give you advice through their own life experiences because they might have gone through something similar.

 

If you are looking to speak to a professional, you can make an appointment with ANU Health or ANU Counselling Centre. Due to a shortage of staff, you might have to wait for a couple of weeks before you get to see your counsellor. An alternative would be to attend the centre from 8:55am or give them a call at 6125 2442 to get a shorter, same-day appointment.

 

The LSS Wellbeing Director can also provide support or direct you to the right resources and services regarding law students’ mental health. Ella Masri is the 2017 Wellbeing Director and she is contactable through the LSS Wellbeing Facebook Page.

 

Lifeline and Beyondblue also provide 24-hour anonymous support through online chat or over the phone. Headspace and Batyr are also platforms aiming to engage with and educate people about mental health by providing online resources and a range of interactive programs.

 

Helping Others

Keep in mind that you are not the only one who is suffering from mental health problems—those around you will be experiencing other difficulties too. But if you know of any further resources and services, do let your friends know and help them through this stressful period in their life.

 

University is one of the best experiences you can have so go easy and take care of yourself and your friends. One idea is to grab a friend and participate in ANUSA’s Wellbeing Week and LSS’s Wellbeing in the Law Week that usually occur during May. They have a range of activities throughout the week including yoga and meditation, a petting zoo, and health and nutrition workshops.

 

Further Resources

A number of resources are available online for you to access if you need further guidance in dealing with your mental health and wellbeing. Here are some of the resources to get you started:

Student Wellness: Coping with Anxiety & Stress at University

LSS Wellbeing Publications

ALSA Wellbeing Guide

ALSA Wellbeing Tips and Tricks

Uni-Virtual Clinic

ALSA Competition Experience: Client Interview

Alexandra Cornfield and Isabella Sorby
As two fourth-year law students, Bella and I are so glad we got involved with the
LSS Client Interview Competition in Semester One.
Not only did we gain invaluable practical legal skills, but we had fun competing
in both the LSS Competition and at ALSA, the national competition. What we
enjoyed most was getting to know different legal situations and gaining the ability
to read different clients.
We learnt throughout the competition that treating your client with respect was
the best thing you could do in creating a friendly and safe environment. Difficult
clients were inevitable, and making them happy and calm was a major objective for us. We made sure we put ourselves in the shoes of the client, quickly learning what it was they sought to gain from the interview. Each round we were faced with a completely different set of facts and a new client so flexibility was crucial. Adapting to new clients and each situation enabled us to change tactics when giving our advice to the client.
We were lucky enough to win the LSS Competition and progress to ALSA, which
was such a great week. Not only were we competing but we went to cocktail nights
and socials at Parliament House and the War Memorial. We left the competition
having had a great time and having come fifth which we were extremely proud of.
We would highly recommend getting involved with the LSS Competitions. It’s a
great way to further your legal skills and have some fun too!
Alexandra is a fourth year Law/International Relations student and Isabella
is a fourth year Law/Arts student