LSE masters exam features question about ‘President Trumpet’ building a giant wall

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Exclusive: Assessment even contains a Donald-esque tweet

London School of Economics (LSE) masters students were this week asked to answer an exam question involving a character named “President Trumpet”, who intends to build “the biggest wall the world has ever seen.”

The Investment Treaty Law exam, sat by a number of LLM-ers on Tuesday morning, invited students to consider a commercial dispute that is referred to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Tricky legal issues to one side, section A of the assessment (screenshotted below) centres around the fictitious “President Trumpet of Megalomania”. Trumpet — who appears to be inspired by a major political player of a similar name — has struck a deal with a company called “MegaBricks” to build “the biggest wall the world has ever seen” along the border of Megalomania and Despondent.

Section A of the Investment Treaty Law sat by LLM students on Tuesday

Continuing, the question reveals that Trumpet — keen to put Megalomania first — wants “all construction materials to be sourced and manufactured” within his country.

However, issues arise when MegaBricks plans to outsource some of the work to another company, Brickworks, which — much to Trumpet’s dismay — is incorporated outside of Megalomania. Violating his “Buy Megalomanian” clause, MegaBricks is forced to undertake the work itself “at much greater expense.” Unhappy with the way it has been treated, MegaBricks registers a claim with the ICSID.

Upon discovering that MegaBricks is taking action against him, Trumpet tweets that MegaBricks is a “terrible company, the worst company ever, very bad for Megalomania. Sad!” Sound familiar?

LSE declined to comment.

This isn’t the first time LSE academics have seemingly taken exam inspiration from the world of politics. Last month, Legal Cheek revealed that a tort assessment included a question featuring characters “Nigel” and “Donald” crashing an aeroplane into the River Thames after consuming “several pints of imported Belgian beer”.

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Jones Day junior associate

Can we please see less of these exam “exclusives” and more of Katie’s wonderful smile?


What lies beneath

What about a tattoo article?


Corbyn. Sympathiser

Could we please have fewer of your “Katie’s smile” posts?



Could we please have fewer of any of your posts?


Corbyn. Sympathiser




This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.



Just like your mum then.



How are people able to take their phones in to take these photos of exam papers? Also – why bother?



You can keep the paper when you leave…



depends on the uni. We aren’t allowed to do that



Mmm, I am not sure about that. Usually all the materials are collected with the answer sheets



That sounds terribly secure.






Wow. An exam paper asks a question. Really fascinating stuff. Bravo LC.


Just Anonymous

Could someone please explain to me, rationally and calmly, why Trump is wrong in seeking to halt illegal immigration from Mexico?

I could understand if the argument were simply that the wall is a bad way of doing it (impractical, expensive, etc.)

But the outrage plainly goes beyond that. Trump is apparently wrong for even attempting to address the issue itself. This makes no sense to me. But maybe someone can explain…


Not Amused

One of the problems we have at the moment is that the people who for the last 20 years have been the ‘sensible people’ (and I mean that) have suddenly turned in to wailing and incoherent children.

Take the Lib Dems, once so obviously representing mainstream views and sensible discourse driven insane because a referendum didn’t go their way. Then just look at the levels of hysterical hyperbole expressed during that referendum – the punishment budget, the PM grinning while stood next to a foreign leader who was in essence threatening the country and ultimately dire warnings of WW3. People are apparently at the height of emotion over whether or not dull men in Brussels or dull men in London get to write our dull rules on a variety of extremely dull topics.

In to this maelstrom stepped MR Trump. Because he’s from a party that frankly couldn’t win more than 5 seats in the UK, he was never going to be hugely popular. He is distinctly odd. He is not my choice for president (although I remain unable to choose). He does do some odd things. But yes, largely reaction to him is itself ridiculous and his policies should be judged on their merits and not just immediately condemned because they are his.

I feel as though I am being dragged along in a world which has become distinctly binary – people are picking one side or the other in an almost tribalistic display. The problem is that I think that is silly, childish and counterproductive. I remember the fights between fascism and communism where, again, half of the world wanted you to pick a side. I am glad that Britain then said “errr, no, I shan’t pick a side, because you are both awful”.

I hope we can get back to doing that and stop pretending that we live in Star Wars with one side which is good and one side which is bad.



You didn’t answer the question. 0/10



Because immigration is good.



It is, but only if controlled and you allow people in that your economy actually needs to grow, you moron. Just take Australia as an example.



Lack of control > over control. The likes of May and Trump would be happy if it was at almost zero, which is counter productive.


Just Anonymous

Agreed that controlled immigration linked to the objective needs of the economy is good.

But why is uncontrolled, limitless mass immigration good?

This is the point I want answered.

This is the point which is never answered!



Creates more competition and a borderless world. Freedom of movement of people goes hand in hand with freedom of trade. Jobs will be fluid “country” to “country”, people will be priced out of living in areas if they cannot afford it (or, services will prop up to support the well paid in financial centres), etc. Superficial borders and lines drawn in sand are only required to the extent of funding public services and welfare and there are other means of doing that in a Europe (or world) where there is both freedom of trade and people. If you try and have one but not the other, or put in restrictions on the people-side that don’t marry up and prevent equal opportunity on a cross-border level, then it all gets a bit topsy turvy and doesn’t work – then we end up in the old days and you have settlements with walls around them and feudal battles.


Just Anonymous

“Freedom of movement of people goes hand in hand with freedom of trade”

No it doesn’t. The two are completely distinct. Consider NAFTA: a free trade agreement not involving freedom of movement.


There are sheep farmers that live in Land A. There are cattle farmers that live in Land B. Land A and Land B do not trade with each other. Those in Land A and Land B cannot move between one and the other. No trade, no movement.

Land A agrees to trade with Land B so both lands have a variety of meat and can produce a range of products. Progress.

Land A and Land B agree to allow people to move. Things become more efficient and land is better utilised as skills move fluidly.

Land A performs better so it can provide its people with better services and welfare. People from Land B flock to Land A. Land A struggles to continue to offer what it did previously because of the people who have arrived from Land B.

Land A wants to reap the benefits that it achieved through the free movement of people for the benefits of its own people (defined by when people were born or citizenship rights), whilst still enjoying free trade with Land B. They effectively want to cut the head off the beast so that it can suck the blood from the neck and reveal in their temporary glory.

That is not desirable, other than for the current fortuitous citizens of Land A. Keep free movement of people open and economic cycles will run their own course, but, like with free movement of trade, business remains fluid. Land B is still a land and it shall have its time.

Just Anonymous

How does that contradict my position? Under your scenario, “people from Land B flock to Land A [causing Land A to struggle] to continue to offer what it did previously because of the people who have arrived from Land B.”

So I repeat: why not simply have controlled, managed immigration linked to the objective needs of the economy (which thus permits the efficiency benefits you advocate) without permitting endless numbers of people (in your words) to “flock” to the country and bring standards down for everyone.


Because it is all a fluid see saw. Land A prospering at that snapshot of time is a temporary state of affairs that you should not be able to ringfence and make a private members club. It’s like somebody being a set up in a tennis match and telling your opponent they have to serve underarm.


Because the wall is environmentally unfriendly as he will use concrete,bricks etc.
Alternatively perhaps he can use friendly materials, e.g love, care, social justice, as his family originally came to the USA as immigrants, then they were helped by others including punters to setup business and settle in.
Just like the frying pan calls the pot, you are black.
We all need each other to live on this planet

Regards to all readers



What a covfefe question.



I look forward to the day that an exam paper features a President Trumpenkrieg…

The Germans mustn’t be able to take him seriously given that in their language his name means ‘President Fart’.



On reading this: I am so, so glad I didn’t do an LLM.


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