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It is 8 pm on a Sunday evening, and I am still in school. The library is closed, and the canteen was never open. I am sprawled along a carpetted corridor in LKY School of Public Policy, munching on the pizza my tutorial group ordered and desperately trying to put together a rule for tomorrow’s LAWR presentation.

The main thing you learn in LAWR is cite, cite, cite. What you think doesn’t matter – what matters is what judges, who are long dead and buried, thought 50 years ago. Whatever you say, if you dont have authority, then it is worthless, even if it is absolutely brilliant. After combing 50 000 books in the library for cases, usually found in footnotes and annotations, you start to get in the habit of looking for the citations for anything that is said.

Recently I received a chain-email from my mother [mum… no one forwards chain-mail anymore. Get with the times.], claiming to be the latest news out of John Hopkins about cancer research. The email was fairly sensible, telling us that cancer cells are not fully destroyed by chemotherapy/radiation [really? no shit, sherlocks], we must eat more fruits and vegetables etc. But I discarded without much thought, for its one single crime of never citing a source. From John Hopkins, you say? Surely there are research papers to back up this “latest news”.

If this goes on, I might end up asking my girlfriend to cite her sources when she says I love you.

LAWR is taking over my life.

November 4, 2007 - Posted by | Law |


  1. You could always tell your mum or anyone else who sends you chain email about the site, where they debunk all that crud. That’s where I usually head whenever a chain letter barges into my inbox, then reply to the friend with the article that shows the chain email to be a hoax and why. Or even if the chain has some truth in it, that fwds are anything but a reliable source of information.

    Comment by Capri | November 5, 2007 | Reply

  2. Citing… my dear, you ain’t the only one withering away under the inexorable pressure to cite! 🙂

    Comment by A. | November 5, 2007 | Reply

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