It was too hard for you. We know. Here are the answers anyway
You know how you think you’re so clever? Well, you’re not. And neither are your friends. Because no-one got all these right. Law is supposed to be a profession for intelligent people, right? Well, we reckon we’d have been better off asking these questions down at the local Primark.
Ben Varian came closest, and therefore gets the vouchers. Ben, rest well in your bed tonight: you are now officially the cleverest man in law.
1. Cash paid composer Gordon Jenkins $75,000 for plagiarising his 1953 track “Crescent City Blues” as the basis for his song “Folsom Prison Blues.”
2. “Helter Skelter”, which Charles Manson believed contains coded references to a race war (going out on a limb here, but: it almost certainly doesn’t).
3. The song was inspired by the Cleveland Elementary School shootings, in which 16 year old Brenda Ann Spencer took a rifle to school, killing two adults and injuring several children. When asked why she did it, she said, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.”
4. The song is a protest against the wrongful murder conviction of African-American middleweight boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. Eventually freed after 20 years’ imprisonment, Carter went on to receive two honorary doctorates of law.
6. The book deals with Fred and Rose West, and is known for its eerily accurate recreation of Fred West’s voice, which makes it an exceedingly difficult and troubling read.
7. Not a recipe book, but “The Anarchist Cookbook”, written in 1971 by William Powell. It contains ‘recipes’ for numerous essentials in the countercultural struggle against ‘The Man’, including explosives, trigger devices and LSD. In the UK in 2007, a teenager was arrested for possession of the book (in addition to other alarming items), but was released without charge.
8. In startling evidence that the ability to distinguish fact from fairy-tale remains beyond the grasp of some, the first Harry Potter novel was greeted, in some quarters, much as if it had been a guidebook to Satan worship.
9. Orwell’s masterpiece was banned, as one might expect, in the Soviet Union, for its blistering portrayal of a totalitarian state. With mad irony, it was simultaneously banned in the US for the ‘communist’ content of some of the text in the introduction.
10. 275 million.
11. ‘Going on a frolic of his own’ remains, of course, a defence against an employer’s vicarious liability for the actions of an employee. It arises from an 1834 case (Joel v Morison) in which a horse and cart struck and injured a passer-by – but since the driver had deviated from the path his employer had instructed him to take, the employer was not liable for the injury.
12. True. During the First World War, serving as a soldier could count towards the term of years of a solicitor’s training. Current trainees bemoaning debts and deadlines might want to let that sink in a bit.
13. Before the Norman Conquest – and indeed for a fair few years after – there was no unified legal system in what is now the UK. Instead, oral laws and regional justice was relied on. Rightly exasperated by this ramshackle state of affairs, in 1152 King Henry II instituted a legal system ‘common’ throughout the country, including elevating local customs to national level.
14. Parliament in the wake of the Civil War decamped from Westminster to Lincoln’s Inn, which is (as they delight to remind us) the oldest of the remaining Inns of Court.
15. Richard Nixon was the lawyer.
16. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, has confirmed that the internet’s foremost source of dubious facts plans to resist demands to remove links to information under ‘Right to be forgotten’ legislation.
17. Julian Assange, who is said to be suffering from numerous health complaints, reportedly bemoaned that it was difficult even to keep a pot plant alive in the Ecuadorian Embassy where he is in hiding to avoid extradition on sexual assault charges.
18. Claims the police tipped-off the media prior to searching Cliff Richard’s property in connection with historical sexual assault claims have been met with considerably raised eyebrows – two years after the publication of the Leveson Report.
19. Bensouda is the ICC prosecutor at the Hague. She is currently involved in highly fractious and politicised debates as to whether the ICC should mount an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza. And you think you’ve had a tough day at work!
20. Barry Roux. Of course. SP & AB