Human Rights

How to Write a First Class Law Dissertation – Complete Guide

November 18, 2010 Academia

How to Write a First Class Law Dissertation – My honours law dissertation, top tips and a great video from an ex-Cambridge professor. Enjoy!

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How to write a first-class bibliography for a legal essay

November 9, 2010 Academia

How to write a bibliography to conclude your first-class dissertation There are three stages for completing an abundant and competent bibliography. First, go into the footnotes on your document, select all, copy and paste to the foot of your article, then separate into different categories. Then, second, go back through the materials which you have […]

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How to Conclude a First Class Law Dissertation

November 9, 2010 Academia

The conclusion to your dissertation is, arguably, the most important part and is, therefore, potentially a major differentiator between a first class dissertation and a second class one.

There are three things which you should bear in mind:-

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How to write a first class dissertation: Chapter 4: New Topic

November 5, 2010 Academia

Notwithstanding, the House of Lords effectively got human rights wrong, thus paving the way forward for reduced protection of Article 6 in the UK. However, this area is not devoid of hope; to effect compliance with this framework, Montgomery must be overturned, which does not appear too remote a possibility given the extensive criticism of the case.

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How to write a first class dissertation: Chapter 3: Creativity

November 4, 2010 Academia

Creative argument is essential if you’re going to get a first. Perhaps only unless your tutor or professor doesn’t know the topic well can you get away rehashing old argument and ideas that have been discussed thousands of times before.

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How to write a first class dissertation: Chapter 3: Fresh Perspective

November 3, 2010 Academia

Separating a dissertation into manageable chunks from the initial stages of structural planning gives you freedom to start afresh to write about a different but related topic once concluding another section. Access to a court, for instance, is a separate right from the right for a trial to be heard and decided within a reasonable time. It, thus, merits a separate chapter with its own introduction, subsections and conclusions.

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How to write a first class dissertation: Chapter 2: Concluding

November 2, 2010 Academia

A certain English teacher, Sandra MacCallum, at Kyle Academy once taught that, sometimes, “you’ve got to put your foot into the icy water”. Don’t be afraid to come to powerful conclusions.

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How to write a first class dissertation: Chapter 2: Developing the Debate

November 2, 2010 Academia

As noted in the previous post, one of the most important breakthroughs in writing your dissertation can come from spotting a gap where something has not yet been discussed. Once writing to fill that gap, it may be helpful to ask yourself what other angles there are to the debate. Or think about if the matter went to an official debate or, for law dissertations, to court. Think about creative arguments that an advocate might run and try to develop them yourself. Such development can lead to your getting a first rather than a 2:1.

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How to write a first class dissertation: Chapter 2: New Propositions

October 28, 2010 Academia

Another thing that truly separates a first class dissertation from a second class one is discussion of ideas and issues that have never before been discussed. The following is an example of such a proposition and discussion, all of which stemmed from one footnote in an academic article that said a certain proposition “had never been discussed before in the courts of the UK”. Finding this loophole was essential to the dissertation’s success.

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How to write a first class dissertation: Chapter 2: Consider the Future

October 26, 2010 Academia

Tip: Suggest Improvements for the Future It may be that, in the course of the research for your dissertation, you discover previous decisions and actions that may happen again in the future. You may want to suggest that there is such a risk in the future and that there are ways in which that risk […]

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Supreme Court holds Scots Law breaches Art 6 ECHR | Cadder

October 26, 2010 Criminal

The Supreme Court has on Tuesday 26 October 2010 held that Scots law breaches the right to a fair trial under Art 6 ECHR by not allowing lawyers to advise detainees in Police stations. The case, on appeal, is called Cadder. This is a big day for Scots law.

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How to write a first class dissertation: Chapter 2: Argument

October 25, 2010 Academia

Having set the scene, it is time to delve straight into comment and opinion, drawing on relevant facts and law where required. Where possible, suggest ways in which events or decisions could have been improved and do not be afraid to say that commentators, judges or even powerful institutions, like the ECJ, got it wrong.

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How to write a first class dissertation: Chapter 2: Main Body Intro

October 24, 2010 Academia

Comment on writing the first main chunk of your first class dissertation

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How to write a first class dissertation: Chapter 1: Set the scene

October 23, 2010 Human Rights

Chapter 1: Setting the scene Depending on the nature of your dissertation, you may need to set the scene further. In a legal dissertation, by “scene” is meant the bits of law that are relevant to set up key arguments in the main body of the dissertation. With this example dissertation, the target readership was, […]

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How to write a first class dissertation: Foreword

October 21, 2010 Academia

Centred on a narrow topic of international private law and human rights, this dissertation received a first class honours award from the University of Glasgow in 2007 under Dr Janeen Carruthers and Professor Elizabeth Crawford, and was verified externally by Professor Richard Fentiman of Cambridge University.

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PQE: Post Qualification Equality?

July 30, 2010 Employment

I have written a 1400 word professional briefing article for the Journal: the members’ magazine of the Law Society of Scotland, the Online version of which is updated almost daily and the RSS feed of which is followed at the foot of this blawG on one of the four sets of columns, navigable through the left and right arrows below. My article should, hopefully, be published in August this year.

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Walls takes Santander and its Bank Charges Case to the ECtHR under Article 6 ECHR: the Right to a Fair Trial

July 23, 2010 Banking and Finance

WardblawG supports the ECtHR move in its entirety and wishes Ms Allison Walls the best of luck. May Justitia swing her sword in her favour.

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Law 2.0 Search Engine

July 20, 2010 Banking and Finance

Your tutor said research more with this unique WardblawG search engine:-


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Reclaiming Bank Charges in the Tenties: Santander Demolishes Walls

July 15, 2010 Banking and Finance


In the author’s personal opinion, it is time for the courts and, perhaps, government to stop sitting on the fence with legal argument that lends itself to squeaky clean judges’ desks. It is quite clear that the public has noted its concern. They realise, (or at least should realise by now!), that banks are businesses unlike any other. And, while the banks might enjoy the benefits of having large capital reserves, somewhat questionable following the recession, the Scottish and, indeed, the British public expect them to be treated as such in the legal systems of the UK. This effective immunity from suit should seriously be reconsidered and, the author hopes, soon.

How to Claim despite Walls being breached

Consumers may be best advised to take the recent shock wave of Allison Walls v Santander with a pinch of salt: there are certain steps, including those from, which are still worth considering:-

1. Send a style letter and send to the bank;
2. If unsuccessful and the bank continues to charge, send a different style letter to the Financial Ombudsman;
3. If still unsuccessful, consult a reputable solicitor and take the bank to court, but be prepared for considerable legal expenses and long, drawn out proceedings.

Banks would be best advised not to get complacent: a battle may have been won; but the war, most certainly, is not over.

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Alpha Law: Kill or be Killed!

June 26, 2010 Banking and Finance

Written by two US law school professors, it portrays, in no uncertain terms, a rather bleak picture of the landscape of the legal and other top professions…And that was in 2005!

The alpha of any species, by inherent definition, is able to adapt quickly and well to change. It’s now time for lawyers, firms and the profession as a whole to adopt that alpha mentality; for many, it’s time to sink or swim.

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Foreword to the WardblawG: Lawnovation

June 23, 2010 Banking and Finance

With firms and professionals across the UK welcoming web 2.0, which includes new online technologies such as blogs, RSS feeds and even Twitter, so comes the inception, and, I’d like to think, conception of, formerly

Founded by me, Gavin Ward, a trainee solicitor at a Scottish firm in Edinburgh, qualifying in August 2010, former tutor and published author in the Juridical Review, this shall be a new platform for me and, indeed, my colleagues and peers across Scotland and beyond, to discuss, in an open environment without too much fence-sitting, the most important and relevant legal and commercial updates affecting Scottish businesses and law firms, together with other topics of interest to the legal profession.

I hope this creates as much contribution and success as the effort I ,and my colleagues, put into it!

Gavin Ward, 23 June 2010

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