Tag Archives: Law

The taxman cometh (but only for what he can see)

There have been two great transformations in human affairs. One is the Neolithic Revolution, the transition from foraging to farming. This is a transformation which is still going on, as there are still some foraging groups around the planet (though it is a vanishing way of life). The second is the Industrial Revolution, the shift […]

Random travel observations (Malta and Sicily)

My tips for long flights are: Stick to water on the flight; Have salt; Get massages. (Had a massage the evening I left and at the Dubai stopover. So worth it.) Malta Australian cuisine being Mediterrasian means that, when one gets to the Mediterranean, the food is familiar. There are lots of construction cranes dotting […]

What is this thing called property?

My nomination for the most misleading metaphor in modern philosophy is John Locke’s notion that, in a state of nature, one mixes one’s labour with something to rreate property. In John Locke’s words: The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out […]

Who is responsible for learning?

One of the hard things about teaching is that there is only so much you can do. You can try to lead students to information, but in the end, it’s up to them how much of that information they choose to take in, and final responsibility for performance in exams, tests or essays rests with […]

Humanising law

One of the standard complaints against giving queers (by ‘queer’ I mean any person who does not conform to being definitively male-or-female and heterosexual: i.e. same-sex oriented, same-sex attracted, intersex, transgender people) equal protection of the law is that it is an offense against the Christian, or Judaeo-Christian (if Christians want to include Jews rather […]

Suffer the little children: the burden of God

Just when I thought I had a full grasp of the moral depravity that is suicide bombing, another level of horror is revealed. Al Qaeda’s preferred target group for recruiting suicide bomber is—orphans. As one Pakistani political activist writes: We have observed that most of the suicides bombers are orphans who are less than 17 […]

Review of ‘Freedom of Religion & The Secular State’

On 2 February 2012, I attended the launch of Russell Blackford’s new book, Freedom of Religion and the Secular State. I’ve finished the book so I thought I’d write a brief review as well as some comments on the visible move to secularism in one of my areas of study, trusts law. Blackford’s central thesis […]

Patenting stem cell technology legally ‘immoral’ in Europe

The Daily Mail reports that the European Court of Justice has just ruled that it is illegal to patent technological processes and treatment which use of embryonic stem cells because this constitutes ‘commercial exploitation’ which is contrary to morality: Scientists warned the ‘devastating decision’ will stop pioneering treatments for degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and […]

Breaking News: High Court declares Malaysian “Solution” illegal

Just handed down at 2:15pm today: the High Court has declared the Malaysian “Solution” to be illegal in Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2011] HCA 32. I shall shamelessly reproduce the High Court’s summary of reasons available on their site — more detailed commentary (I hope) to follow [on which, see UPDATE […]

Online animals and the law

For people who haven’t experienced online virtual worlds, no doubt they sound like a pretty weird thing. Although if you’re reading this post, you’re probably more than usually open to the idea of online communities in the first place – what is a blog but an online discussion point? Nonetheless, I don’t think I could […]