|Posted by Rachel J Roche on October 21, 2012 at 12:20 PM|
If you are one of my friends and family, you will have noticed that I have haven’t updated my blog for a little while… and you will also know that this is mainly because we have been super busy – to list a few of the recent events, we have visited the Cour de Cassation (the French highest court of appeal that deals with points of law rather than fact), we have also visited the Conseil d’Etat which is the highest administrative court in France (dealing with, inter alia, disputes between citizens and the state). There have been trips to libraries (there are always queues to get in!) and trips to starbucks for much needed coffees! We have had a number of birthdays (students’ and professors’) a few rendezvous on the odd Friday night, much walking and, above all, lots of studying.
Everyone is working really hard, me included. We have spent hours upon hours reading through countless Arrets (judgements) from the Cour de Cassation, been learning about the French Fifth Republic, the intricacies of European law, trying to commit to memory both the judicial and administrative system and have also been learning about the totally different systems of contract law, company law and civil responsibility. Needless to say, much of the content is in stark contrast to the system in England and Wales which is based on a common law system (as opposed to here in France, which is a civil law system).
The numerous books we have been given is daunting but now that we have all of our study materials and our much anticipated student cards, I think we are getting into the swing of things.
As a side issue, it is very interesting to note the frequency of which we end up talking about politics in class, and I have been fascinated to learn about some of the general differences in the way of life here compared to other countries which may not be initially very obvious. Mainly these topics come up in our Constitutional law class which is held on a Monday. For example, the French have no statistics on diversity or religion and discussion in this area is quite taboo – although they have had the equivalent of the civil partnerships for a lot longer than many other countries in the EU, and even the world, and offer the same rights to ‘PACS’ (civil partnerships) as they do to married couples. In some respects the French are streets ahead of other countries, in terms of the rights afforded to their citizens.
Living practically next door to Le Pantheon, I have also noticed a number of marches and demonstrations – there is a lot of debate at the moment of course about the EU crises and unemployment. There is a bill going through at the moment (which should be approved shortly) regarding ap’prenticeships for graduates. The idea of course is to make it easier for students to get into professional or vocations jobs to alleviate the number of unemployed in the long term.
With regard to my French, I know that I have made huge progress although there is quite a way to go and certainly no time to take my foot off the brake! I was lucky enough a couple of weeks ago to meet a French student who is currently taking an internship at a French law firm. She is great for talking legal issues to and is an absolute fountain of knowledge. I am sure she would make a great teacher!
Adam managed to come over the other weekend which was great. We found a lovely Moroccan restaurant nearby on his last night which I’d love to go to again. Two weeks later Abby (who used to live in my little room here) and her husband made a visit and it was great to be able to chat to them about the quirks of living in this apartment!
In the coming weeks, I have an exposé (oral presentation) on company law which is being graded, an exam on the 2 November for civil responsibility and the final exam for constitutional law.
I have booked flights to come home for the weekend in November and I can’t wait to see our new house for the first time!
Hope everyone is well back at home and I will talk to you soon.