The Comic Blackstone / by Gilbert Abbott à Beckett.

“Every gentleman ought to know a little of law, says Coke, and perhaps, say we, the less the better”.
It is not a message intended to discourage our students in their quest for legal wisdom but merely a quotation from the recent addition to the Law Library Rare Books collection, The Comic Blackstone (original 1844 edition).  This witty and infinitely entertaining book was written by Gilbert Abbott à Beckett (1811 –1856), an English humorist, journalist, and a lawyer, who belonged to a family claiming descent from Thomas Becket. It is so well written and so gently humorous that I am sure it will be appreciated even by exams-stressed Law students. These are few more quotes from The Comic Blackstone:

  • “It is a beautiful fiction of the English law that no man pays taxes without his own consent; and, from this assertion, it would naturally be supposed that the tax-gatherers were the very idols of the people, who flocked round them, tendering specie and asking receipts for it. By legal imagery, the people are declared to tax themselves […].” (p. 25)
  • “When the common law differs from the statute law, the latter prevails — and a new statute supersede an old one — which is just turning topside-turvy the principle which governs the common law, where the older the custom happens to be the better. Widdicomb and Methuselah are the two best authorities on questions of common law but this is not germane to the subject.” (p. 12-13)

Sustainability Tips

Recently, I have seen several Law students pondering for a while in front of the McGill recycling/ garbage bins trying to figure out where to put their empty coffee cups. These are few simple tips that should help to solve this problem:

  • The McGill recycling system has three waste streams, which may differ from the way many of us are used to recycling at home. The three streams need to be properly used in order to keep recycling out of the landfill
  • Three partitions of the recycling/ garbage bins that correspond to three streams are left to right:
    • Plastic/ metal/ glass (green stream)
    • Trash/ landfill
    • Paper/cardboard (blue stream)
  • Emptied and, if possible, but NOT necessary, rinsed milk cartons, PAPER COFFEE CUPS, and juice cartons go into the plastic/ metal/ glass partition

No Previous Years Exams & Secure Exams Laptops at the Law Library

Apparently, there has been quite a bit of confusion about where the Law students can find the exams from previous years or get a laptop with the secure exam software. To save you some trouble and time, this is a short summary of what we have and what we do not have at the Library:

  • The Faculty of Law exams are NOT available through the McGill Library’s E-Exams Catalogue
  • The Law Library does NOT have any print copies of the exams from previous years. We used to have them in the olden days when the Law Library was still in the New Chancellor Day Hall
  • The McGill Library, including the Law Library, does NOT lend the laptops where you can install the secure exams software. To get more information about the secure exams software for your laptops, Law students should contact the Student Affairs Office tel. 514-398-3544 

Good luck with your exams!