November 2015

The Case of the Sixth-Formers and the Cannibals – A True Story…                                                                               Ismini Katsadouri

Friday 6th November 2015 saw the arrival of 14 students from Haringey Sixth Form College to The London School of Business and Management (LSBM). The occasion was a ‘Taster Day’ where prospective law students got to experience a flavour of what the  LSBM could offer as a potential next step in the students legal education.

Ismini Katsadouri, a Senior Lecturer in Law at LSBM, was the facilitator for a legal debate which explored the nature of morality and what it really means to study law. She explained that studying law needs to be seen in a wider context than just passing the seven compulsory legal modules and the electives, and that at its heart law is about settling moral dilemmas.

In order to communicate the thought process behind that, Ismini asked the students to discuss the case of Dudley vs. Stephens, which is a celebrated case from 1884 that settled legal precedent that necessity is not a defence against a charge of murder.

This rather gruesome case revolved around survivors of a shipwreck who managed to stay alive by killing and eating one of their fellow survivors. At the heart of the case was the question of whether you can ever justify murder on the basis of necessity. In this case, the man who was killed, Richard Parker, had consumed salt water and had fallen into a coma. No-one on the boat had eaten or drunk for a period of around a week and faced the prospect of everyone on the boat dying, even as it seemed likely that Parker would in any case succumb.

Two students attending the LSBM Taster Day on Friday 6th Nov 2015You can read more details about the case here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_v_Dudley_and_Stephens

Because of the murder of Parker and the subsequent cannibalism, the other three people on the boat were able to survive for a further five days until they were finally rescued.

The case, and the wider moral question, was then whether or not a murder in such a case could ever be justified.

To explore that and what it really means to study law, Ismini then split the students into two teams to think about both the case for and against the defendants in the trial and a lively debate ensued.

This mirrors the approach to learning law at the LBSM, which prides itself on teaching students in a more personal way than traditional law schools can offer, while still offering the same highly-rated Northampton law degree.

The students discussed two primary personal moral questions.

Do you carry your morals with you?

Or.

Do your morals change according to the situation?

If you find yourself wondering about the legal and moral implications of the Dudley vs. Stephens case, or thinking about where you stand on the above two questions, then perhaps the Law School at LSBM could be a good fit for your next step into a legal education?

If you would like a tour of our campus or wish to discuss your particular situation then please get in touch so we can answer your questions. We can also advise on future ‘taster days’ and give you the personal attention that we pride ourselves on.

Our contact details are:

Email: Enquiries@lsbm.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)207 7078 8844

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