Showing posts from February, 2019

The Yellow Jackets, Protest and the Crisis of Representation

Zoe Smith - Writer The yellow jacket protests in France saw an online petition spark mass demonstrations, beginning on the 17th November and spanning several months of collective action as protests were held, blockades were implemented and riots were instigated. Though the protests were in direct response to proposed fuel tax increases by Macron and the incumbent government, the movement came to represent a more general desire for economic justice. This encompassed discontent towards the political favour economic elites witness and demands for Macron to resign as president of France. The fluorescent yellow jackets were chosen as a symbol by protestors due to their accessible nature; French legislation implemented in 2008 deemed the jackets as mandatory for all motorists in case of an accident. However, the jackets also represent the factory oriented industries which they are associated with and thus enforces the working class character of the protests. The gravity of the yellow jac

The Oscars' Unlikely Hero

Niamh Brook - Writer It’s a tale as old as time, as we reach late december the art house, oscarbate films are released. Usually a moody drama or a bio pic, these films are key contenders to win the coveted best picture award. However, times are changing. Last year we saw visionary director Guillermo del Toro win for his tribute to film and monsters complete with an overt political message,The Shape of Water, an unlikely win from an academy known to give the least controversial films that prized golden statue. However, with past controversies such as #oscarswhysowhite, a movement that was formed after the shocking lack of black actors and creators nominated resulting in the academy now taking measures to assure they are inclusive. This factor leads me to my main point. This year, a new contender has been nominated for best picture, a film that was received in high regards from both critics and audiences alike: Black Panther. Now, this film does not mirror it’s peers, as I am sure you

The Emergence of Data Cities

Alison Romaine - Writer Cities, with their density of diverse population, infrastructure, ideas, identities, culture and commerce, form magnets of innovation- from the first Industrial city of Manchester to Barcelona graduating as a ‘Smart City’. Often framed as systems or ‘organisms’ where ‘things’ happen, where future trends are generated (the smart city, the sustainable city, the garden city, transport networks, experimental society laboratories) and where power is produced and starved. It is to note that the dynamism and microcosmic nature of these clusters forces me to be selective on a burgeoning topic which involves more than what this post can cover with fear of being simplistic, generalist and reductive. Thus, with the increasing affinity of technology and cities- from the urban design stage, remote sensing, big data to ‘digital twinning’, mapping and surveillance, I thought to join and highlight the discussion on how technology (and its agency) is shaping and perhaps inscri

Technology and the Law - Where Does This Leave Junior Practitioners?

Eleanor Parsons - Writer Look at any of the leading law firms’ recruitment literature and guidance over the past few years and you will see one emerging area mentioned more than all the rest - technology, and its uses in the legal services industry. Technology is the fastest changing entity in our society, and has overhauled entire business areas in the space of two decades. It is understandable therefore, that as Law firms within the service industry move to a more automated style of working, many individuals in the formative stages of their careers may feel insecure about what jobs will await them in future years. The fabled roles of Trainee and newly-qualified (NQ) solicitors, Paralegals and Legal Secretaries can often stem from wide generalisations, and this piece in no way intends to suggest that the only work that these practitioners carry out is menial or purely administrative in nature. In fact, it is this work and attention to detail that makes real difference where it com

Defining Charlie Chaplin’s Cinematic Style in City Lights (1931), Modern Times (1936) and The Great Dictator (1940)

Alex Titcombe - Guest Writer A criticism often aimed at celebrated comedian and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin is that whilst the substance of his films display genius through his comic timing, physicality and ability to have his comedy succinctly reflect on societal matters, his films are sparse in terms of cinematic style. This notion is articulated by Sklar, who determines that ‘[Chaplin] seemed content with simplicity in the exterior elements of cinematic style in order to keep the viewer’s focus on the complex nature of his own comic persona’ (1994, 114). Whilst it is undeniable that the substance of Chaplin’s films reflect a cinema which prefers to let the spectacle of his comedy play out with little camera tricks or edits, arguably this does not mean a lack of cinematic style. Instead his films possess a cinematic style which focuses on a purposeful choice of shots that aids the mise-en-scène, and, in his later films, a unique use of sound and dialogue which suggests a clear critic

The History of FGM in English Law

Lily Frost - Writer & Deputy Editor The Ministry of Justice defines FGM, or Female Genital Mutilation, as a, ‘procedures that includes the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs for non medical reasons’. This practice has been illegal in the United Kingdom since 1985 and the Act was furthered in 2003.  The statistics regarding the amount of girls and women who have been subjected to FGM are unknown due to the crime being widely unreported to the police. This may be due to a variety of reasons, including the fact that FGM is usually conducted on children, and therefore it requires the child, parent or school staff to contact the police. As it is a domestic crime, it is highly likely that the person conducting or allowing the FGM to take place will be a parent or relative of the victim. Due to the traumatic nature of the crime and the domestic setting, it is also unlikely that the victim will report this crime to their school or anyone else especially as

An Examination of Violence and its Restorative Properties in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Matthew Hodder - Writer Frederick Douglass was an African-American who became “one of the most eminent human rights leaders of the 19th century” (Britannica, 2018), owing in particular to his harrowing account of his escape from slavery and subsequent human rights efforts. In 1845 he published his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass which served to become a significant piece of literature from the perspective of the slave (Britannica, 2018). This article will attempt to reveal the brutal world of slavery that Douglass was faced with in the first Section, and following this the role of violence and its restorative properties in Douglass’ sense of humanity will be discussed in the second Section. 1.1 On Slavery The first Section of this article examines slavery and how violence was used to oppress all those subjected to it, including Douglass. We can especially see this as attitudes towards slavery permeated into broader society where ideas of White supremacy manifested the

The Legal Aid Crisis - The Source and the PSU

Daniel Priestley - Writer and Editor “Am I going to be able to get someone to represent me?” or “Am I entitled to legal aid?” Questions heard by PSU volunteers, every day across the country from desperate individuals on one of the hardest days of their life,  which are on most occasions met with the answer they don’t want to hear. Austerity measures have left the general public with one option: turning to charities. The Personal Support Unit is a charity that is based within the courts, which provides practical and emotional support to people representing themselves in person (known as litigants in person). In Cardiff there is a unit on the ground floor of the Cardiff Civil and Family Justice Centre (or the Family/County Court to the layman) which I have now been working in for over 5 months. The actions of a PSU volunteer can vary from setting out court procedure, helping clients understand the position they are in, going into court with them, drafting witness statements and the l