The PhD that never was

[I found this when I was cleaning up documents in my computer. I was invited to submit my research proposal outline to enrol in the PhD program at Monash University. So I prepared this first draft, sometime in December 2002 while I was in my first year of legal practice, but never sent it out. How silly I sounded here, thinking I could be accepted into a PhD program with this very flimsy research proposal outline. Here, amuse yourselves…]

Jurisprudence: The Impact on Today’s Modern Legal Framework: A Critical Analysis

Proposed Title of Dissertation: “Waxing Lyrical” by Ms. P.L. Lau

Since my exposure to the theories of jurisprudence and the impact of its basis of revelations on the modern legal framework in 1998, during which I was reading my final year of Law, I had been acutely and keenly interested in a wide expanse of that study. During that time, incidentally, and with voluntary willingness, I had begun to understand better the cultural and sociological aspects of the theories of philosophy in my free time (you could find me reading David Hume and Hakim Bey most times, critical bedtime reading!). I believed that the tie-in of these philosophical works have had a hand-in-hand growth with the development of jurisprudential theories in relation to legal aspetcts, and with the vastness of an open ocean in my mind, I believe that I would be capable of devoting my creative and analytical energies to pursue a study of jurisprudence in greater depth.

I have not designed a specific, detailed framwork as to how I would like to undertake the research of this area of study, but I believe that I have identified several branches of thought which I shall be more than pleased to discuss with your goodselves privately, and with the guidance of a university counsellor, I believe that this will help me achieve a better understanding of today’s modern equilibrium in the legal context.

In brief, however, and as a pre-cursor of greater things to come, my aim of research is to undertake further, digest and dissect the studies of academicians such as Hans Kelsen, Ronald Dworkin and John Austin, and American realists such as R.W.M. Dias, K. Olivecrona, Alf Ross and A.V. Lundstedt. The studies propounded by these academicians have resulted in fiery colourful arguments and debates on the impact the jurisprudential world has had on the modern legal framework. To this day, the views of these academicians stand as the basis on which law has been founded, and it is this area of study in which I have great interest in researching and in presenting a paper, to enable us to comprehend the delicate plethora of legal and moral rules surrounding our world.

I have also recognized the perennial problems of jurisprudential theories in the formation of legal reality. I believe there is a need to question in a pragmatic form, issues which are relevant and emergent in growing societies of today, and how these issues intertwice to postulate subordinance and compliance with “legal rules”. There is also a need to understand better issues of human rights and fundamental freedom, which cannot be separated from law. Does the principle of Equality Before the Law and Equality of Opportunity hold water? Is the Rule of Law constantly being monitored and maintained to ensure a state of social equilibrium? Is the elevation of man’s moral nature amidst the process of social changes verified and taken into account? What about the promotion of economic growth and social well-being of the citizens of a country as a whole? Jurisprudential theories, on the whole, do ot address these recurring issues and hence, the importance of emphasizinf these “series of tasks” are relevant in the context of legal development.

With these issues borne in mind, and aided with extensive research and well thought-out analysis, I believe I am capable of marrying these issues to form a web of complex yet structurally sound arguments to support the proposition of a jurisprudential-based legal network of rules, statutes, Hansards, and other like legal escapades practised by us in today’s world.

With the guidance of a university supervisor to help nurture my mind and with my characteristics harping on hardworking, well-motivated, commited and dedicated with an independent streak, I believe I am able to meet the challenges of demanding duties and responsibilities. I try to do my best to meet the standards and expectations of any work assignments. Aided by extensive research and critical analysis which I have learnt to cultivate during my period of legal practice, I am not afraid to seek out creative solutions to problems and blend them with oft-adopted time tested approaches.

[6 years on, and I am still in legal practice. I’m certainly happy now, and there are times when I forgot I ever had a dream of pursuing my PhD. Perhaps someday in the future, I will be able to revive this dream. ]