Why write Internationale Handelsgesellschaft when you can just write International Handjob instead?
Memorising the spelling of case names for exams can be a faff, but spare a moment for the poor soul who mixed up Gina Miller and Adolf Hitler in their public law assessment…
EU law is probably the worst for this. All law students will understand the trauma that is learning these often unpronounceable case names, like Re Wünsche Handelsgesellschaft for example. Makes distinguishing between direct and indirect effect seems a doddle in comparison.
We’re sure law tutors are used to the odd spelling clanger here and there, and thankfully there are plenty of shorthand references examiners will accept (Solange II for the above case, for example).
But sometimes a clanger becomes a real clanger, University of Stirling senior lecturer David McArdle revealing on Twitter:
“I once had a student refer to a case called ‘International Handjob’ in an EU law exam.”
Well, credit to the student, spelling out Internationale Handelsgesellschaft is a sure-fire time-killer in exams. (But, we reckon Internationale probably would have done.)
It’s not just EU law markers chuckling away at student spelling. Aileen McHarg, who teaches public law at Strathclyde University, couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at one reference to the Miller Article 50 challenge. She tweeted:
I had R (Hitler) v Secretary of State for Exiting the EU in last year's PL exam.
— Aileen McHarg (@AileenMcHarg) November 15, 2017
These academic confessionals come thanks to a prod by Borja García, who teaches at Loughborough University. He said:
Could we make a ranking of "best" EU law cases' names? My top 3 has to be Casis de Dijon, Endives and Dannish tennis balls. Any suggestions? #EULaw @eusportslaw @davemcardle @BenVanRompuy @prof_mark_james @prof_guy_osborn @FootballLaw @Geoff_Pearson
— Borja García (@DrBorjaGarcia) November 15, 2017
Responses included Van Gend en Loos v Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen, Commission v UK (Wine and Beer) and Danmark v Daddy’s Dance Hall. What are your favourite EU law cases?