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Derby law student calls on EU know-how in bid to show government’s tuition fee policy is unlawful

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26

Has Theresa May’s review come about because of his actions?

A University of Derby law student who used his EU law studies as a springboard to petition the European Union to bring infringement proceedings against the UK government has told Legal Cheek he thinks our tuition fee system is unlawful and he won’t back down in trying to prove this.

David Gale has sent a legal petition to the EU regarding the UK’s implementation of Directive 2008/48/EC via the Sale of Student Loans Act 2008, which he thinks saw “consumer credit protection stripped from student loans”. He believes British legislation has been drafted with the assistance of private investment bankers in preparation for the sell-off of billions of pounds of student loans.

Gale petitioned the European Commission on this, requesting the initiation of infringement proceedings on violation of EU competition law and consumer rights grounds. Speaking to Legal Cheek, he says:

“The basic idea came to me having studied EU law. I’m always trying to place what I’m learning into practice if I’m going to stand any chance of recalling it, so I used the EU law module content as a basis for my claim.”

The Commission has now replied to aspiring barrister Gale’s petition, stating it believes student loans are excluded from the scope of the application of the directive and are subject only to national legislation. But, it also noted that national authorities “should in any event monitor these loans to ensure that they continue to meet the conditions allowing their exclusion” from the directive.

The latest comments from across Legal Cheek

The EU’s nudge to monitor tuition fees comes just as Prime Minister Theresa May announces a review of tuition fees and university funding, which Gale speculates may have come about because of EU calls to “monitor” student loans. (Interestingly, her speech announcing the review was made in Derby.)

Gale, who was in his second year of university when he filed the petition, continues to “push on with exposing the fact that consumer credit protection has been stripped from student loans”. He has now provided evidence to the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords.

David Gale

This isn’t mature student Gale’s first tuition fees-focused battle.

In 2016, we reported that Gale had found himself in a spat with the student loans company when it refused to cough up the full amount he was owed.

In full lawyer mode, Gale called upon the 1877 contract law case of Parker v South Eastern Railway to show the company’s terms and conditions were not readily accessible at the point at which the contract is agreed (and therefore didn’t apply). The independent assessor that handles student loan disputes found in Gale’s favour.

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26 Comments

Anonymous

This is lovely, but at some point in the future, Mr Gale is going to have stop larking about and get a job. Student debts will be repaid.

(36)(4)

Anonymous

If this is the same David Gale that’s on Linkedin, it looks like he’s already on a wedge

(0)(0)

Anon

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

(0)(0)

Nope

Erm, the answer to the question in the title is no.

(10)(0)

Anonymous

This article:

1) Man thinks something is wrong

2) Man finds out something wasn’t wrong

3) Something happens with coincidental timing

(35)(0)

Anonymous

Hey, lay off LegalCheek. This is one of the best kinds of article here.

Title usually goes something like “Budding lawyer cites ancient case in a bid to win a true David v Goliath fight which would help him bag a top TC”. Then we find out that the budding lawyer is a first-year LLB student, the case is Donoghue v Stevenson, the fight was hopeless from the start, and the TC application is to Slough and Wigan Legal Services LLP.

But if you scroll down the painful body of the article, you get to the savage roasting in the comments.

(26)(0)

Anonymous

He looks rather old to be a student.

(13)(3)

Anonymous

He also looks like a real see you next tuesday, if you get what I’m saying!

(5)(4)

C U Next Tuesday

You what?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Dealing with the EU aged him – he’s actually only 20

(26)(1)

Anonymous

He looks incredibly unhappy, he will fit right in, in this sector!!!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

When you don’t have any clients you can just bring your own claims.

(14)(1)

Cynical Cynthia

Mmm, another ‘I don’t wanna pay off my student debt’ case!

I wonder what sort of university the student who brought the case studied at?

Oh, ofc it’s Derby

(18)(10)

NQ

I’m not paying my loan and will not pay it. It’s nothing to do with the University you went to. I went to Durham by the way, if that means anything to you.

(2)(44)

Cynical Cynthia

Who the fuck are you lol

(7)(0)

NQ

I’m someone a little smarter than you lot. 😉

(0)(3)

Anonymous

University of Derby student? Looks like the case is lost then

(12)(8)

NQ

At least he had the balls to do something that he thought would be useful and might bring a positive effect on those in the same shoes.

(4)(2)

Anonymous

Thick as mince. These people have no place in the legal profession. Embarrassing.

(2)(5)

Anonymous

I wouldn’t want to pay if i’d had to endure Derby University either!

(8)(5)

Anonymous

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

(1)(0)

Does not know Katie King

The suggestion that any of this breaches EU competition law is risible. If this guy’s trying to draw attention to his legal skillz, he should probably have tried to look into the basics first. He’s not exactly going to have Monckton knocking on his door.

The commission appears to agree with me:

“As a preliminary remark, it should be noted that the purpose of Directive 2008/48/EC on
credit agreements for consumers is to harmonise certain aspects of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of Member States concerning agreements covering credit for consumers (Art.1). Therefore, this Directive does not regulate issues related to competition, as the petitioner seems to suggest.”

(3)(0)

Anonymous

I read the EU Directive differently, albeit I read all of it. The Directive seems to say that if a loan isn’t below market rates it wouldn’t qualify for exclusion. That would put student loans in breach of EU law. Just sayin’

(0)(0)

Anonymous

👍😆

(0)(0)

Anonymous

*2nd Year drop out

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I love how his article has brought the legal ‘experts’ out from under their bridges. If any of them had actually bothered to read the Directive, they might have realised that the EU Commission’s statement in response to the petitioner was confirming that, if student loan interest rates are not below the mainstream rate, they ARE illegal under EU law.

(3)(0)

Comments are closed.

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