A Partridge in a Pear Tree

By | 3 December 2012

Welcome to the first in the series of the 12 (Legal) Days of Christmas. Having  failed at the first hurdle to find anything legal relating directly to partridges and pear trees  together we have put a mixture of partridge and pear related material below.

A Partridge in support of Pear Tree

That well-loved presenter Alan Partridge once commented

“That was Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell, a song in which Joni complains they ‘Paved paradise to put up a parking lot’, a measure which actually would have alleviated traffic congestion on the outskirts of paradise, something which Joni singularly fails to point out, perhaps because it doesn’t quite fit in with her blinkered view of the world. Nevertheless, nice song.” (I’m Alan Partridge, BBC, 1997)

Those local to Oxford will have  heard of the practical parking solution known as the park and ride and the Pear Tree Park and Ride off the A34 would no doubt meet Alan’s approval.  Parking and transport initiatives fall under local development.  A lot of development of a local nature falls under  local legislation and this is something that is not all that easy to find, especially older legislation.  If you are wanting to find local legislation below are a few sources you can try.

legislationLocal and Personal Acts:  These are available on Westlaw (1991-) or from Legislation.gov (selected older ones going back to 1609 but there are few before the late 1980’s)  They are also available at the  Bodleian Law Library  in hard copy.

Local Statutory Instruments:  There are 2 types of local statutory instruments: published and unpublished. More recent local published statutory instruments (from 1987)  can be found on the free database Legislation.gov.  However the Bodleian Law Library also has a large hard copy collection of  local statutory instruments going back to the early 1960’s.  Other sources include the National Archives or the British Library and these have collections going back to 1922 (but not complete).

If you think that was fairly tenuous it is about to get a little bit worse!

Mignonette Edwards StepensAn ‘edible’ Peartree

Richard Parker (from Ithchen Ferry village, on Peartree Green) must have wished that they had either pears or partridges when the Mignonette  got into trouble at sea in 1883.  For it was he who drew the short straw (or not as it turned out) in the infamous case of R v Dudley & Stephens (1884) 14 QBD 273.  The case which involved murder and cannibalism was the trial of his shipmates who, having been stranded on a yacht, proceeded to survive using him as sustenance.  Needless to say that this case and other UK cases are available on many different databases as well as in hard copy.  However no matter how specialized your area of law it is worth checking our catalogue you never know when we will have a book on the subject (Simpson, Cannibalism and the common law : a Victorian yachting tragedy, 1994 Hambleton Press London).

Chitty on ContractsA Common Law Partridge

Let’s finish with a partridge.  One of the more well known legal partridges is Partridge v Crittenden [1968] 1 WLR 1204.   The case relates to the sale of wild birds and whether an advert was an offer for sale.  In this case it was established that it was not an offer but an invitation to treat which was good news for Partridge as he avoided prosecution under the Protection of Birds Act 1954.   Case law, essential to common law subjects such as contract, can be found on a number of databases.  The 3 main databases for UK case law are Westlaw, Lexis Library, and Justis, all of which have analysis functions that allow you to find other related cases and to establish that a precedent is still good law.    Westlaw also has the Common Law Library (including Chitty on Contract) under the ‘Books’ tab and Lexis has a large range of books online (including Halsbury’s Laws) under the Commentary tab.   For more information about how to use these and other databases see our Libguide.   All e-books are catalogued on SOLO but do ask if uncertain.

Join us tomorrow for the next ‘chapter’  –  2 Turtle Doves.


3 thoughts on “A Partridge in a Pear Tree

  1. Pingback: 12 Lords a Leaping « Law Bod Blog

  2. Pingback: 12 (Legal) Days of Christmas « Law Bod Blog

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