Humour and law tests do not usually go together.
— LawFuel Law News (@LawFuel) May 8, 2017
Exam questions for a tort exam last Friday included characters named “Donald”, “Nigel” and “Boris”, an obvious reference to US President Donald Trump, UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage and UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Boris Johnson respectively.
First-year law students at LSE were asked to give legal advice to Donald and Boris in a scenario that unfurled as such:
- Nigel and Donald were at a party drinking several pints of imported Belgian beer.
- They then decide to co-pilot a light aircraft where Nigel will unfurl a banner when they fly over London’s popular tourist spot, Westminster
- But the banner got stuck in the propeller, causing the aircraft to plunge into the River Thames
- Nigel manages to swim to safety but “Donald (who is a weak swimmer)” is left floating as nearby policemen chose to not save him. Donald ends up with hypothermia
But the saga does not end there.
'Chris' also knocks 'Boris' off his bike with his car door https://t.co/i1praG4shF
— Legal Cheek (@legalcheek) May 8, 2017
On Westminster Bridge, Boris gets knocked over by a “Chris” (probably referring to ex-Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling) and suffers a head injury. The question continued with “Boris has an unusually thin skull and the injury would have been avoided if he had been wearing a helmet”.
The legal news media pointed out Nigel Farage had suffered a similar fate as the Nigel in the law test back in 2010. The UKIP leader had flown a light aircraft in Northamptonshire to unfurl a banner on the day of the 2010 general election, but it nose-dived when the campaign banner got stuck in the propeller.
An anonymous student said she was amused by the question’s storyline, but thought the reference to Farage’s accident may be a little over the line.
“It made me laugh in the exam, but was perhaps a little insensitive when considering Nigel Farage was seriously hurt in a plane crash a few years,” the student told Legal Cheek.
LSE declined to comment.
— Simon Curran (@SimonCurran) October 13, 2015
The London law school is not the only university to inject some popular culture and humour into grim exam halls.
In 2013, Cambridge University’s criminal law paper tested students based on a hypothetical scenario involving a college drinking society initiation ceremony.
While some students found it funny, others found it “horrific” for its graphic description of oral sex, male rape and torture. Cambridge responded by saying the hypothetical question was aimed to test students’ understanding of “different aspects of criminal law”.