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Alternative Study Methods: Torts

Donoghue v Stevenson

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The study of poorly built hotels and trespassing police officers; torts is the manifestation of life. Is my flatmate liable under nuisance for not washing his dishes? Maybe – if it’s beginning to smell and it’s a continuing problem. But we don’t always think about these things, or think about whether our flatmates are liable for torts. We instead think that we should be turning to our textbooks, lecture slides and notes that have been passed down from year to year to study.

Well, you’re doing it wrong. If it’s 1am, your torts exam is at 9am, and you’ve done minimal study, here are some quick ways to revise without trying to catch up on the 500 pages of reading you’ve missed throughout the semester. If you’re someone who learns through lived experiences, this will be for you.

1. Drink Ginger Beer. Lots and lots of Ginger Beer

So, you need to cram for an all-nighter? Then why not get a sugar boost from copious amounts of ginger beer? It’s a torts exam after all! Might as well live the case. Who knows. You might even find a snail in the bottle and set a precedent in the process.

2. Live in a Body Corporate

Well done. You’re now 180% more likely to be subject to a tort claim than non-body corporate dwellings. Tort judgments with the name Body Corporate 207624 are bound to be an interesting 3am read.

3. Trust a Building Inspector

If there was one thing you should take away from torts, it’s to never trust a building inspector. They’re great material for court cases. Not so great for homeowners. You look at every crack in your flat and conclude that the building inspector owes you a duty of care for the current mess you’re living in.

4. Play Village Cricket

Everyone tells you that you should try and stay active, especially during exam periods. Might as well get some physical activity in before the exam and play some last minute village cricket. At least you have Lord Denning’s blessing when you smash a few windows here and there.

5. Photograph Mike Hosking’s children

Its 8:50am. You go for the obligatory toilet break, just in case. Nervous and alone, you remember that your panicking self is safe here. There’s a reasonable expectation of privacy, and you have Mike to thank for that.

6. Exam = False Imprisonment

It’s 1 hour into the exam and you need to go to the toilet. The old granny exam supervisor says no one may leave. Your mind twists and thinks. This is false imprisonment. I have a claim for false imprisonment. The evil old granny won’t let me leave and I’m being held hostage in this room, sitting on a desk with a piece of taped cardboard separating me and the person sitting next to me.

7. Sue for nervous shock

You’ve finished. The mental torture of torts is now over. Or is it? Your mind is now reeling from distraught images of collapsing buildings, silent but threatening phone calls, and incompetent police officers.

You briefly indulge in thoughts of successfully suing your torts lecturer. Maybe for nervous shock or mental injury under ACC, only to realise that this is only possible as a figment of your imagination.

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