Previous CEL Events

Prescriptive and judgement-based regulation of financial services: Are they compatible?

Publication date:

Start: Mar 10, 2015 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 10, 2015 7:00:00 PM

Financial Regulation

The financial crisis has ushered in not only more regulation but a regulatory approach that is more surveillance-based, judgment dependent and pre-emptive in nature. This is set against a background of increased distrust of financial institutions by the public, media and regulators. 

How independent lawyer monitors and investigators contribute to corporate ethics

Publication date:

Start: Mar 25, 2015 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 25, 2015 8:00:00 PM


Speaker: Lord Gold, David Gold & Associates

On the Historicity of Financial Crime

Publication date:

Start: Feb 10, 2015 6:00:00 PM
End: Feb 10, 2015 7:00:00 PM

Historicity of Financial Crime

The Origins of Modern Financial Crime: Historical foundations and current problems in Britain (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014) provides a multidisciplinary analysis of ‘the problem’ of financial crime in the ‘commercial sphere’ in Britain. 

CEL Annual Lecture - Embedding Global Markets: Lessons from Business and Human Rights

Publication date:

Start: Feb 25, 2015 6:00:00 PM
End: Feb 25, 2015 8:00:00 PM

John G Ruggie

The lesson starts with a powerful, consensus-based normative framework based on consultation with all key stakeholders, which shows what businesses and states should do, and which is made operational through guiding principles that provide a blueprint for how to do it. 

Moral Judgments: Insights from Psychology, Computer Science, and Neuroscience

Publication date:

Start: Oct 22, 2014 5:00:00 PM
End: Oct 22, 2014 6:30:00 PM

Moral Judgments

Originally, moral judgments were mostly discussed in philosophy where researchers would investigate the notions on which laws should ultimately be based. However, more recently an increasing amount of empirical research has been conducted with mainly two aims: a) to provide insights into the psychological mechanisms of how humans form moral judgments, and b) to provide advice and discuss the normative implications for moral theory and, ultimately, law.

International Conference on Access to Justice and Legal Services

Publication date:

Start: Jun 19, 2014 9:30:00 AM
End: Jun 20, 2014 5:30:00 PM

International Conference on Access to Justice and Legal Services

UCL Centre for Empirical Legal Studies, in conjunction with the UCL Centre for Ethics and Law, and the UCL Centre for Access to Justice is hosting the first biennial International Conference on Access to Justice and Legal Services.

CEL Annual Lecture - The Place of 'Institutions' in the Idea of 'Corruption'

Publication date:

Start: Mar 14, 2014 6:00:00 PM

In this talk, Professor Lessig introduces the idea of “institutional corruption,” and uses it to understand pathologies in important public institutions, especially the United States Congress.

Lunch Hour Lecture: Should We Trust Lawyers?

Publication date:

Start: Feb 4, 2014 1:15:00 PM
End: Feb 4, 2014 1:55:00 PM

Lady Justice

Public trust in lawyers is on the decline. Some of this is inevitable: Hackgate, the financial scandal and Hillsborough have all involved lawyers at pivotal moments. But are lawyers just doing their jobs in these cases or crossing ethical boundaries? An analysis of professional rules, lawyer psychology and economics suggest lawyers need to do some work to rebuild trust and behave more professionally.

Book Launch: The Foundations and Future of Financial Regulation - Governance for Responsibility

Publication date:

Start: Feb 25, 2014 6:00:00 PM
End: Feb 25, 2014 7:00:00 PM

Dr Iris Hse-Yu Chiu

In view of the publication of ‘The Foundations and Future of Financial Regulation- Governance For Responsibility’ by Professor Mads Andenas, University of Oslo and Dr Iris H-Y Chiu, University College London in early 2014, this book launch is intended to introduce the key concepts and arguments in the book.

UCL Inaugural Lecture: Precarious Professionalism - Some evidence on Market, State and Lawyer Utopias

Publication date:

Start: Mar 6, 2014 6:00:00 PM
End: Mar 6, 2014 7:00:00 PM

Professor Richard Moorhead

Since the era of Margaret Thatcher, and her much admired Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, the legal profession has found itself under increasing scrutiny and pressure. Legal Aid and legal market reform began then but has been significantly accelerated by the creation of the Legal Services Board. Professional power has decreased and the influence of the market increased. State – or rather politician - hostility to lawyers and fiscal retrenchment has led to a reduction in legal aid and concerted attempts to weaken lawyer and court roles in the resolution of disputes. Globalisation and the growth of large law firms has increased the extent to which law is seen as a business rather than a profession. Market reform and the recession have shed a harsher light on the economics and ethics of large law firms.

Banning Referral Fees - One Year On: Is the Personal Injury Field Now More Ethical?

Publication date:

Start: Apr 8, 2014 6:00:00 PM

Banning Referral Fees - One Year On: Is the Personal Injury Field Now More Ethical?

The banning of referral fees was one of the less controversial elements of the Jackson proposal but it nevertheless split the professions and their regulators.  Some defended them as essential or sensible elements of business; cheaper and more effective than other forms of marketing. Insurers were criticized for deriding the claimant personal injury market whilst generating income streams from referral fees themselves. The Bar, in particular, compared referral fees to bribes. The professional regulators varied in the extent to which they welcomed or tolerated the referral fee ban. Doubts about enforceability have routinely been expressed.

Debate with Lexis-Nexis - Legal Innovation: How should the Educators respond?

Publication date:

Start: Oct 29, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Oct 29, 2013 7:30:00 PM

Lexis Nexis Debate - Legal Innovation: How Should the Educators Respond?

With Phase 2 of the Legal Education and Training review upon us, we bring together leading innovators in legal services with two leading legal educators to discuss how the changing nature of legal services impacts on legal education.  Legal innovators are rethinking how legal services should be provided and who they should be provided by.  Disaggregation of legal services; greater specialisation; and, the emergence of new roles in legal services design, project management, and analytics pose challenges for practitioners and educators.  What will those challenges be?  How do the panel see education providers responding? How will we ensure students are adequately prepared for this new world of legal practice? What knowledge and skills will they need?  Should (and how should) learning on ethics contribute?

Business and Human Rights - Student Seminar

Publication date:

Start: Oct 20, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Oct 20, 2013 7:00:00 PM

Please note this is a student-only event and registration is required in order to attend.

About this event

Has the alternative legal market leftconsumers with no redress? CEL Think Tank with the LegalOmbudsman

Publication date:

Start: Sep 18, 2013 9:00:00 AM
End: Sep 18, 2013 11:30:00 AM

With the market for legal and professional services getting ever more complex, the Legal Ombudsman’s has published proposals for a common portal for complaints.  They are worried that legal services are being provided by upwards of 130,000 providers who’s customers do not have access to appropriate complaints mechanisms.  Is this inhibiting the aims of the Legal Services Act?  In their Consultation Paper [insert link] they moot the creation of a voluntary scheme, to improve the lot of consumers and assist Government in meeting its obligations to ensure alternative dispute resolution is available across a wider range consumer transactions.

Experiencing and Teaching Ethical Problems

Publication date:

Start: May 20, 2013 5:30:00 PM
End: May 20, 2013 8:00:00 PM

Innovation Touch Screen
About the Event:

This workshop considered the use of immersive virtual reality technology ("The Cave") to not only improve the understanding of ethical judgment but also explore the didactic value of such a technology when training (future) professionals.

Think Tank with Andrew Bailey

Publication date:

Start: Feb 20, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Feb 20, 2013 8:00:00 PM

About this event: The seminar was a think tank held with Andrew Bailey, who, it was announced that week, would take up the roles of Deputy Governor, Bank of England, for Prudential Regulation and CEO of the Prudential Regulation Authority (“PRA”) on 1 April 2013. 

Workshop on the Financial Sustainability of Banks

Publication date:

Start: Feb 6, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Feb 6, 2013 7:30:00 PM

Professor Roger McCormick

Speaker: Professor Roger McCormick (London School of Economics)

Chair: Professor Emilios Avgouleas (University of Edinburgh)

Lehman Brothers and the Lawyers: (When) Are Lawyers Ethically Responsible for Client Wrongs?

Publication date:

Start: Jan 30, 2013 6:00:00 PM
End: Jan 30, 2013 7:30:00 PM

Clients Handshake
  • Professor David Kershaw, LSE
  • Professor Richard Moorhead, UCL

CEL Annual Lecture 2012: Media Freedoms & Media Standards

Publication date:

Start: Nov 28, 2012 6:00:00 PM
End: Nov 28, 2012 7:30:00 PM

Annual Lecture 2012


  • Baroness Onora O'Neill


Between Law and Markets: Is there a Role for Ethics and Culture in Financial Regulation?

Publication date:

Start: Oct 10, 2012 6:00:00 PM

Speaker panel for Between Law and Markets
About this Event:

What do we do when law and markets fail?  When we hear the suggestion we need to transform the culture, or ensure there is a better tone from the top, should we reach for a pistol or, as I prefer to think of it, a dagger dipped in cynicism?  More pertinently, can regulators do anything with concepts as nebulous as culture or as contested as ethics? These questions were posed by the first in Centre for Ethics and Law series of events around law and the ethics of capitalism.

Handling Problem Projects - Accountability mechanisms at international financial institutions and case studies

Publication date:

Start: Oct 30, 2012 1:00:00 PM
End: Oct 30, 2012 1:55:00 PM

About the Event:

International financial institutions including the World Bank and major regional development banks and other financial institutions such as the International Finance Corporation have set up accountability mechanisms to address projects assisted by these institutions when these projects adversely impact on peoples. The first accountability mechanism was set up in 1993 and experience has been gained over the past 2 decades in handling problem projects through investigation, problem-solving and other modes. This seminar focuses on the growth of these accountability mechanisms, addresses governance aspects, and focuses on case studies of two projects where claimed have been filed with various international financial institutions including the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Finance Corporation, and European Investment Bank. The seminar addresses how problem projects can be handled more effectively and examines how improvements can be made to address these problem projects. This event is being held in collaboration with The World Trade Organisation Scholars' Forum

Humans vs. Robots: Where are the limits of what an autonomous system should do?

Publication date:

Start: May 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM
End: May 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM

About the Event

This Think Tank will draw together creators, legislators and users of autonomous systems to discuss the varied ethical issues that need to be considered in an increasing automated and 'smart' world. Researchers from UCL Engineering will provide a live demonstration of autonomous technology to start the discussion between the many parties involved, chaired and led by UCL Centre for Ethics and Law.

This event forms part of a wider series of Think Tanks organised by CEL. Ethical lapses around the globe by leaders in business, government and professions coupled with the increasing demand for ethics and compliance creates a need to enhance the relevance of teaching of ethics. It is important that good academic support exists for establishing the required skill set for academics, corporates, practicing lawyers and civil servants. The strengths of other academics within UCL can also be drawn on to provide crucial context to ethical issues.

The Centre for Ethics and Law hosts Think Tanks to identify, share and enhance best practice ethical decision making by bringing business and academic leadership together around a current ethical issue. The issue will be presented for debate in the context of a case study from which insights and materials can then be further developed for distribution to wider business and student audiences to work with as part of their educational development.

There is an aim to incorporate the output of the Think Tanks into the academic agenda for students of Ethics and Law courses. Whilst the UCL Centre will not form any part of a lobbying group, the debates and academic output may well inform discussions that corporate partners pursue as part of their own industry strategy.

Conflicts of Interest: A mere governance challenge or a moral maze?

Publication date:

Start: Apr 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM
End: Apr 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM

Think Tank Series

25 April 2012, 5:30 (please note this event is by invitation only)

Corporate Social Responsibility and the Provision of Public Goods by Multinational Enterprises

Publication date:

Start: Feb 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM
End: Feb 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM

Professor Sarianna Lundan & Professor Charlotte Villiers

On 29 February 2012, UCL Centre for Ethics and Law invited Sarianna M. Lundan, Professor of Business and Economics at University of Bremen to present on her current research.  Professor Lundan shed new light on the necessary connections between economics, law, politics and corporate social responsibility through her presentation on corporate social responsibility and provision of public goods by multinational enterprises.  The event also featured critical discussion by Professor Charlotte Villiers from the University of Bristol.  Lundan, through an economic lens, explored how multinational enterprises expanding into less developed countries obtain public goods.  These public goods, such as education, health, community infrastructure and other related elements, would usually be provided by governmental entities as an integral part of the production of the private goods which attracted the MNE to the emerging market.  Lundan proceeded to discuss what MNEs do in less developed countries where public provisions are not provided for by the nation state and not available on a contractual basis, and in what cases MNEs step in to provide these public goods.  What Lundan prescribed follows the process described by John Ruggie, UN Special Representative on business and human rights, of “Protect, Respect, Remedy”. By engaging in due diligence and involving the local communities and local NGOs, MNEs can reduce transaction costs and provide necessary public goods, while still adding core value to the business.  Audience discussions centred on the societal role of the firm and how the firm can learn to function in different environments.  What ultimately was called for was a rethink both of governance solutions and the interface between corporations and ever-expanding global society.  

Shareholder Engagement in the Embedded Business Corporation: Investment Activism, Human Rights and TWAIL Discourse

Publication date:

Start: Feb 14, 2012 12:00:00 AM
End: Feb 14, 2012 12:00:00 AM

Professor Aaron Dhir

On 14 February 2012, UCL Centre for Ethics and Law invited Aaron Dhir, Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, Canada, to present on how the global expansion of the corporation brings with it new tensions such as human rights related impacts. By examining certain sections of Canadian corporate law, Dhir looks at the impacts of the shareholder proposal on corporations and locally affected communities of third world countries.  Professor Dhir stressed that, as socially responsible corporations navigate this new terrain, they have an ethical duty to respect the interests of locally affected communities in the global business world and empower the communities in third world countries.  To empower communities, companies and investors should consult with these local communities, put them in a position to help and be involved in the process, and most importantly, obtain “free prior and informed consent of locally affected communities” before moving forward.  Dhir concluded that this new governance approach not only promotes a constructive mutual dialogue between stakeholders and corporations, but also reflects a “broader movement towards a new reflexive governance approach”.  Dhir expressed his hope that this approach will encourage corporations to focus on norm generation and the enhancement of “internal self-regulatory capacities”.  Described as “advocacy beyond orders”, Dhir’s presentation spurred audience discussion centred on whether using corporate law mechanisms to further human rights impact awareness will create a trickledown effect, encouraging multinational corporations to raise their CSR standards.

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