Monday, June 19, 2006

You appear to have installed a life-size cut out photograph of yourself in your office. There is a rumour that this cut out also appears in your lecture theatre in your absence. I would be obliged if you could enlighten me as to what use you are making of this device in your teaching. - Professor xxxxxxx Department Head.


'PARIS (Reuters Sat Jun 17, 2006 03:44 PM BST) - The nephew of a former Socialist minister has successfully sued the French state after failing a philosophy exam because his teacher rarely showed up in class.

In the first ruling of its kind in a country as protective of its public employees as its intellectual roots, the student won his case after his failure to recognise German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer deprived him of a top graduate school place.

Jerome Charasse, whose uncle Michel Charasse served as budget minister under late President Francois Mitterrand, scored a poor 6 out of 20 in philosophy despite getting good grades in the rest of his baccalaureat high school exams.

As a result he failed to get into the prestigious School of Political Science.

"I am surprised that our public service should be so lacking," his lawyer Gilles-Jean Portejoie told Reuters.

A court in Clermont-Ferrand ruled in his favour and awarded him the right to damages which have yet to be set.'

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