UCL Laws News
January - October 2011 News
Professor Philip Schofield gives Conway Memorial Lecture 2011
In this year’s Conway Memorial Lecture held on 27 October, Philip Schofield, Director of the Bentham Project at UCL discussed the recently uncovered, almost prophetic writings of philosopher and reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) concerning the teachings of St Paul and the nature of sexuality and morality.
The prestigious annual Conway Memorial Lecture is given in honour of Moncure Conway, the American abolitionist and biographer of Thomas Paine, who also gives his name to Conway Hall in London. The lectures have been given every year since 1910. Past speakers include luminaries of the humanist movement and some of the most distinguished philosophers, scientists and cultural commentators of the last century, including Bertrand Russell, Leonard and Julian Huxley, David Starkey, A.C Grayling and Steve Jones.
Dr Douglas Guilfoyle Shortlisted for Law Teacher of the Year Award
Dr Douglas Guilfoyle of UCL Laws has been shortlisted for the Oxford University Press Law Teacher of the Year Award. The six shortlisted candidates, involved in higher legal education, were chosen by a panel of judges. Dr Guilfoyle was shortlisted after meeting the following criteria:
Talking about his nomination, Dr Guilfoyle explained: "I am genuinely delighted to have been both nominated and shortlisted. I'm looking forward to the judges' visit to UCL, and the opportunity to showcase teaching at Laws." The Award, sponsored by Oxford University Press, is the only one of its kind in the UK set up specifically to reward great law teaching. The winner will be announced at the 2012 LILAC event held at the University of Warwick in February.
For more information:
British Bill of Rights debated at Institute for Human Rights event
On 26 Oct, UCL's Institute of Human Rights hosted a lively evening on the much-debated British Bill of Rights. Discussion included the current push by Attorney General, Dominic Grieve, to use the principle of subsidiarity to get more leeway for domestic interpretations of European Convention rights.
Dr. Saladin Meckled-Garcia from the Institute described this as an unfortunate attempt to shift the meaning of subsidiarity from "primary responsibility for implementation to primary responsibility for interpretation" of convention rights. Colm O'Cinneide (UCL Laws) persuasively argued that expanding the margin of appreciation for Britain would open the floodgates for countries like Russia to limit human rights claims. Aileen Kavanagh (Oxford), also on the panel, warned that there was no legally expedient way to distance the UK from Strasbourg jurisprudence and described the Human Rights Act as Britain's Bill of Rights. The discussion was provocatively reported in the Guardian the next day. Members from the Government's Commission on a Bill of Rights were in attendance, to hear speakers dissect a number of proposals.
Dr Arad Reisberg appointed Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Brooklyn Law School
Dr Arad Reisberg of UCL Laws has been appointed a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Brooklyn Law School. During his one week visit to New York, Dr Reisberg presented a paper titled ‘Access to Justice or Justice Not Accessed: Is There a Case for Public Funding of Derivative Claims?’ and sat on a panel on shareholder Litigation as part of an international symposium ‘The influence (or non-influence) of the American model of litigation in other countries’, held on 21 October 2011.
He also taught a class on the course in advanced topics in corporate law and delivered a lunchtime seminar as part of the Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law workshop series at Brooklyn Law School.
Sir Robin Jacob Gives Testimony to Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property
The Rt Hon Professor Sir Robin Jacob, Sir Hugh Laddie Chair of Intellectual Property Law at UCL and Director of the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law, gave testimony on 18 October to the HOC Business, Innovation and Skills Committee's second evidence session on the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property. The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the administration, expenditure and policy of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and its associated public bodies, including Ofcom and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Professor John Lowry Joins Research Grants Council of Hong Kong
The Research Grants Council of Hong Kong has invited Professor John Lowry of UCL Laws to join their 2012 Research Panel, which awards funds to overseas PhD Fellows. The Research Fellowship Scheme aims to attract the best and brightest students in the world to pursue their PhD studies in Hong Kong. This important, collaborative role will foster the ongoing ties between UCL Laws and its colleagues and alumni in Hong Kong.
For more information:
UCL LexisNexis Legal Education Debate 2011
What is the purpose of a qualifying law degree? Are law students being adequately prepared for legal practice? What skills will those providing legal services need in 2020? The LexisNexis Legal Education Debate, a topical event held by UCL Laws on 11 Oct, created a forum for law teachers and professionals to openly debate the purpose of academic legal education, recognising areas of commonality and of difference.
The distinguished panel of speakers included Prof Philippe Sands, UCL, Rebecca Huxley-Binns, Nottingham Trent University, Prof Stephen Mayson, Legal Services Institute, David Bickerton,Clifford Chance and Prof Richard Moorhead, Cardiff Law School. It was chaired by Dean of UCL Laws, Prof Dame Hazel Genn.
Each panel member put their views to an audience of academics, lawyers and students and informative commentary was provided by Sir Mark Potter, Co-Chair of the Legal Education and Training Review. The event was both timely and important, raising a number of topical and thought-provoking issues in anticipation of the legal education review.
To see photos from the event:
Professor Joanne Scott gives Evidence to Energy and Climate Change Select Committee
On 11 Oct, UCL Professor of European Law Joanne Scott gave evidence in Parliament to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. The Select Committee is investigating whether the EU emissions trading system can deliver the EU’s climate change mitigation goals in the absence of a legally-binding international emissions reduction commitment. The session explored a range of issues, including:
To watch the meeting:
For more information:
New LLM students and Faculty members kicked off the academic year in style at the UCL Laws annual Dean's Welcome party on 5 Oct. Students were welcomed to their Masters programme by Dean Professor Dame Hazel Genn, who gave a speech noting their significant achievement in joining UCL. Director of Graduate Programmes, Mark Blakely, encouraged students to make the most of their time in the Faculty, noting that "the LLM at UCL is a fantastic way to reorientate your legal career." The Dean's LLM Welcome party brought together students from over 70 countries worldwide - a truly international graduate student cohort.To see who attended:
Flickr photo gallery
Dr Ronan McCrea of UCL Laws has recently been appointed, with three other prominent legal academics, as an Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. The Academic Fellows Scheme aims to recognise the outstanding contribution of legal teaching and research of early to mid-career academics to the Bar of England and Wales. It also aims to support their research and to build stronger ties between barristers and legal academics. The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple is one of the four barrister Inns of Court and holds the exclusive responsibility to call candidates to practise at the Bar of England and Wales.
Fiona Smith awarded Research Grant to study Food Security as a Human Right
UCL Laws Senior Lecturer Fiona Smith has been awarded a grant from the Swiss Government to work on a two year project with the World Trade Institute, Switzerland, on 'Food Security as a Human Right.' The grant is for SF10,000 over 2 years and will run from Oct 2011 to end Sept 2013. Fiona is the lead researcher. She will be working with Dr Christian Haberler and Professor Christine Kauffman at the World Trade Institute.
This project explores the normative impact of human rights, in particular the right to food on the concept of food security. Its objective is to prepare the ground and contribute to a regulatory framework that integrates social and economic rights into trade and investment rules together with an appropriate mix of policy space. It will provide insights necessary so that a new conceptual framework for appropriate tools to implement food security respecting the right to food can be developed.
For more information:
Cheryl Thomas, UCL Professor of Judicial Studies, has been awarded a research grant from the new ESRC Follow on Fund for a one year project entitled Preventing Improper Juror Conduct and Ensuring Effective Jury Deliberations. This research, following on from the findings of her 2010 study Are Juries Fair? is designed to answer two crucial questions:
1. How can jurors be prevented from improperly using the internet during trials?
Working exclusively with real juries at Crown Courts, this project will establish new tools to be used in jury trials to ensure proper conduct and effective deliberations. This will ensure that trial by jury can survive the digital age and continue to play a crucial role in a 21st century criminal justice system. This ESRC grant starts from Sept 2011 and is funded at just over £110,430. Many congratulations to Cheryl.
For more information:
The emergence of a European contract law is a significant legal development of our times. This new book by Dr Lucinda Miller of UCL Laws examines the origins of the discipline and its subsequent evolution. It brings the discussion up-to-date with full analysis of the debate on the Common Frame of Reference and the future that this ambiguous instrument may have in the contemporary European legal framework.
One of the central themes of the book is exploration of the multi-level, open architecture of the EU legal order, and the implications of that architecture for the EU's private law programme. The analysis demonstrates that the key to understanding European contract law in the 21st century lies in adopting a perspective and mechanisms suitable for a legal order populated by multiple sources of private law.
UCL Centre for Commercial Law co-hosts international roundtable debate on shareholder rights
On Tuesday 20 September the UCL Centre for Commercial Law, in association with the US-based Institutional Investors Educational Foundation, held a lively and topical roundtable debate titled ‘The Future of European Shareholder Rights: Are the US and European Models on Governance and Securities Regulation and Litigation Converging?’
This special invite-only event, held at the London Marriott Hotel on Grosvenor Square, was attended by a diverse group of participants including leading legal professionals and academics from the US and UK, together with representatives of major UK and European institutional investors.
The session began with an expert panel discussion of the implications of the US Supreme Court’s recent landmark decision in Morrison v NAB concerning the ability of foreign investors to seek protection under US securities laws. The panel members were Geoffrey Jarvis (Grant & Eisenhofer), Andrew Onslow (3 Verulam Buildings), Alexander Reus (DRRT) and Daniel Summerfield (USS). This was followed by a broader ‘open floor’ discussion of current comparative issues with respect to shareholder rights, chaired by the Centre for Commercial Law’s Deputy Director, Dr Marc Moore.
Dr Ian Williams of UCL Laws recently lent his expertise in British legal history to Radio 4’s “Tracing Your Roots” programme. The show has a genealogy/family history focus, helping people find out more about their ancestors. In the episode entitled "Life in Confinement", Dr Williams helped to explain the law of the 16th and 17th centuries on imprisonment without trial, and how an Irish nobleman could be imprisoned by the English on and off for some forty years without ever being charged or tried for an offence. His segment appears at 14:43 in the broadcast.
An important new book, edited by Ian Havercoft (formerly Senior Research fellow with UCL's Carbon Capture Legal Programme and now with the Global CCS Institute), UCL Laws Professor Richard Macrory (Director, UCL CCLP) and Professor Richard Stewart of NYU, has just been published. Carbon Capture and Storage: Emerging Legal and Regulatory Issues brings together some of the world's leading practitioners and scholars working in the field of carbon capture law and regulation to provide a critical assessment of progress to date and challenges on the horizon. The book is “essential reading for lawyers, policy-makers, and decision-makers in industry involved in climate change policy and law.”
Professor Macrory spoke recently about the book in a two-part interview with Kristina Stefanova of the Global CCS Institute.
The Rt Hon. Lady Justice Hallett, an English judge on the Court of Appeal, has been named 2012 President of the Bentham Association, the UCL Laws Alumni group. The Bentham Association was launched in 1949 (originally as the Bentham Club) as a means to maintain and strengthen relationships with former students and friends of the Faculty. It is made up of UCL alumni who studied, practice or have an interest in law. A new Bentham Association President is appointed each year and delivers the prestigious annual Bentham Presidential Address in March.
Lady Justice Hallett was called to the Bar in 1972. She became a QC in 1989 and a Bencher of Inner Temple in 1993. She was the first woman to chair the Bar Council in 1998. Lady Hallett was appointed a High Court judge in 1999. She was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2005. In 2006, she became a member of the Judicial Appointments Commission. In 2009, she was chosen to act as coroner in the inquest of those killed in the 7/7 bombings in London. She became Treasurer of the Inner Temple in 2011. More recently, she was appointed Vice President of the High Court Queen's Bench Division effective 3 October 2011.
The latest edition of Jeffrey Jowell and Dawn Oliver's The Changing Constitution (7th edition, OUP) has now been published. Since 1985, The Changing Constitution has cemented its reputation for providing concise, scholarly and thought-provoking essays on key issues surrounding the UK's constitutional development, and the current debates around reform. New to this edition:
How Constitutions Change
edited by Dawn Oliver (UCL Laws) and Carlo Fusaro
This book, a comparative study, is a set of essays that explores how constitutions change and are changed in a number of countries, and how the 'constitution' of the EU changes and is changed. The countries studied include, from the EU, a common law country, a Nordic one, a former communist state, several civil law systems, parliamentary systems and a hybrid one (France). Chapters on non EU countries include two on developing countries (India and South Africa), two on common law countries without entrenched written constitutions (Israel and New Zealand), a presidential system (the USA) and three federal ones (Switzerland, the USA and Canada). In the last two chapters the editors conduct a detailed comparative analysis of the jurisdiction-based chapters and explore the question whether any overarching theory or theories about constitutional change in liberal democracies emerge from the study.
For more information please see:
UCL's Judicial Institute is launching the UK's first CPD course for lawyers interested in becoming judges. Understanding Judging: Roles, Skills and Challenges will be held on 12-13 November 2011. The course is aimed at practitioners and legal academics who do not currently hold a judicial post but who may be interested in taking on a fee-paid or salaried judicial appointment in future. It will offer lawyers a greater understanding of what it means to be a judge and is designed to answer two key questions:
Understanding Judging is open to all solicitors, barristers, ILEX members, employed lawyers and academics. Participants will gain a clear understanding of different judicial roles, the skills needed to be a judge, the difference between being in practice and being a judge, and the challenges practitioners face when moving into a judicial post. Diversity Bursaries covering the full course fee will be awarded to at least 25% of participants from groups currently under-represented in the judiciary. The deadline for course applications is 14 October 2011.
Faculty recognition - Laws staff achievements
Congratulations to Dawn Oliver, Emeritus Professor of Constitutional Law at UCL, on receiving a Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree from the University of Cambridge. The LLD is awarded to established scholars who have given “proof of distinction by some original contribution to the advancement of the science or study of law”, usually in the form of published works.
A number of Laws staff have also been awarded recently in UCL's 2010-11 Senior Academic and Research Promotions round. Congratulations to Dr Sylvie Delacroix, promoted to Reader in Legal Theory and Ethics, and to Dr Douglas Guilfoyle, Dr Myriam Hunter-Henin and Dr Marc Moore who have been promoted to Senior Lecturer. All internal Laws promotions will take effect on 1 October 2010. Read more about:
Pascoe Pleasence, co-director of the Centre for Empirical Legal Studies at UCL Laws, has recently been awarded a research grant from the Nuffield Foundation. The grant, of almost £53,000, will be directed towards a review of the international experience of 'legal needs' surveys. It will also cover the production of technical guidance for future surveys and analyse the best course for such survey to take in order to add to our growing knowledge in this area of empirical legal studies. Congratulations to Pascoe on this achievement.
350 judges, practitioners, governmental officers, academics and students gathered at UCL on 22 June to celebrate the legacy of Sir Hugh Laddie, esteemed former judge, professor of Intellectual Property at UCL Laws and founder of the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law. The third Annual Sir Hugh Laddie lecture was delivered by The Hon Mrs Justice Fidelma Macken, judge of the Irish Supreme Court, formerly of the EU Court of Justice. The event, kindly supported by Taylor Wessing LLP, was chaired by Lord Justice Mummery with Lady Stecia Laddie in attendance.
In a talk entitled ‘Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg: Too Many Trade Marks?’ Mrs Justice Macken considered whether the barriers to the registration of trade marks are too low, and discussed ways to combat the problem. Proposed solutions, which generated a lively response from the floor, included a reconsideration of the degree to which trade mark applicants and owners should be required to demonstrate an intention to use their marks and greater reliance on bad faith and competition law.
Pictured (l-r): Lady Laddie, Sir Maurice Hatter, The Rt. Hon. Sir Robin Jacob, The Hon. Mrs Justice Macken
Douglas Guilfoyle appointed special advisor to Foreign Affairs Committee piracy inquiry
On 22 June, Dr Douglas Guilfoyle was appointed a special advisor to assist an inquiry into piracy off the coast of Somalia by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. He has previously assisted the international Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia working group on legal issues, chaired by the Danish Foreign Ministry on this topic.
Further information about the inquiry can be found at:
On 13 June, UCL’s Centre for International Courts and Tribunals (CICT), in collaboration with Baker & McKenzie, hosted their first Annual Lecture: 'The Function of Litigation in the International Community'. Held in the historic Middle Temple Hall, the lecture was delivered by Professor Vaughan Lowe QC, Chichele Professor of Public International Law and Fellow of All Souls College in the University of Oxford, who is also a practising Barrister at Essex Court Chambers. Taking its cue from the pioneering work of Sir Hersch Lauterpacht, the lecture addressed issues and challenges facing the international community on the function of international litigation and the rule of law.
The lecture was chaired by Professor Philippe Sands QC, CICT Director, who thanked Professor Lowe for "a tour de force that set an ambitious and provocative set of challenges for all involved in the work of international courts and tribunals, and raised the bar for future lectures in the series." The Centre on International Courts and Tribunals was established at UCL's Faculty of Laws in 2002. It serves as the London home of the Project on International Courts and Tribunals (PICT), which was established in 1997 by FIELD in London and the Center on International Cooperation at New York University.
For more information:
On 10 June, a delegation of senior officials from Dubai, including His Excellency Dr Hadef bin Jua'an Al Dhaheri, Minister of Justice for the United Arab Emirates, visited UCL's Judicial Institute in London. This visit was part of an itinerary that included meetings with the UK's Minister of State for Justice Lord McNally as well as a visit to the Supreme Court. The purpose of the visit, which comprised a key meeting with Professor Dame Hazel Genn, Dean of UCL Laws and Co-Director of the Judicial Institute, was to look at ways of improving the training and qualifications of new judges in the UAE, through innovative legal practices. The delegation also explored the possibility of Emirates judges gaining more experience of the UK’s legal environment by spending time in British courts.
This visit reflects the growing prominence of UCL's Judicial Institute, the UK's first and only centre of excellence devoted to research, teaching and policy engagement on the judiciary. Its Directors, based at UCL Laws, serve as UK representatives on leading international projects pertaining to the judiciary. The Institute also conducts innovative, comparative research on key issues involving judges and courts around the world.
On 7 June the Hon'ble Mr. Justice Surinder Nijjar of the Supreme Court of India, University of London alumnus (LLB 1972), visited current students in the Faculty of Laws. The event was hosted by Professor Dawn Oliver and Vice Dean John Lowry, who welcomed Justice Nijjar back to Bentham House.
Justice Nijjar had specifically asked for a meeting with Indian students in the Faculty during his visit to London, and spent some quality time meeting and greeting them over a cup of tea. It was a rare and enjoyable opportunity for both Justice Nijjar and the students to share and compare their university experiences in London, past and present. Justice Nijjar also spoke about his time growing up in England, and his work on the Supreme Court in India.
Speaking of the event he said: "Coming back to the faculty, after three and half decades, was a wonderful experience. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the warmth with which I was received." Many thanks to Justice Nijjar for such an inspiring visit, which meant a great deal to all the students who participated.
UCL's Faculty of Laws has come third in the Guardian's University Guide 2012 subject tables for UK law schools, receiving an impressive overall score of 91.3% and outperforming 92 other LLB programmes. Some 94% of students surveyed were satisfied with their course at UCL Laws and 93% were satisfied with the teaching experience. The Faculty also scored highly in the area of employability. The Guardian's university league tables cover full-time, undergraduate courses at universities across the UK, and are aimed at those wanting to start university in the 2012-13 academic year.
In Legal Week Intelligence's 2011 Law Student Report, which surveyed more than 3,700 law students at leading UK universities or studying Graduate Diplomas in Law, UCL Laws reached third place, with 61% of its students placing the institution in the top tier and rating it "excellent".
On 26-27 May, a group of over 20 students and faculty members attended the third annual UCL Laws Research study retreat at Cumberland Lodge, an educational conference centre at Great Park, Windsor. The workshop's aim is to facilitate research and a sense of community by offering students the time and space to think about their research projects, receiving peer feedback in an informal and supportive setting. The Cumberland Lodge retreat is open to all research students in Laws, with priority given to those in the first year of their PhD programme.
This year's Cumberland Lodge event was organised by Prof Jane Holder of UCL Laws, in conjunction with Alison Diduck, Director of Research Studies, and faculty members Douglas Guilfoyle and Marc Moore. Participating students provided valuable input on the conference agenda and related activities. During the retreat, students held an 'ideas fair' and a writing clinic, and listened to short presentations from their peers as to current research in progress.
Two Faculty members from UCL Laws were amongst a select group of UK speakers at the first St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, held 19-20 May. Its purpose was to create "a unique platform for the discussion of today's most pressing legal issues, including the social and economic challenges currently facing countries worldwide." Russian President Medvedev addressed participants at the plenary session.
The Rt. Hon. Professor Sir Robin Jacob, holder of the Sir Hugh Laddie Chair at UCL Laws, spoke on the rule of law. Dr Arad Reisberg, Director of the Centre for Commercial Law and Vice Dean, Research at UCL Laws presented on the UK's Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The forum provided a unique opportunity for Russian and foreign officials to engage in dialogue with international lawyers, judges and business representatives, with a view to the modernisation and reform of the Russian legal system. Lord Justice Jacob and Dr Reisberg also participated in a bilateral meeting to discuss key areas of legal cooperation between the UK and Russia, hosted by Russian Justice Minister Konovalov on 21 May.
Images: Dr Arad Reisberg talking with the Indian Justice Minister; Sir Robin Jacob listens to proceedings.
UCL's Transcribe Bentham project has been honoured with an Award of Distinction in the Digital Communities category of the highly prestigious Prix Ars Electronica 2011. The Prix is the world's foremost digital arts competition and has recognised many superb projects since it began in 1987. Former winners include Peter Gabriel, Tim Berners-Lee, Wikipedia and the animation team responsible for the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park.
Transcribe Bentham is a major crowdsourcing project designed to transcribe the hand-written manuscripts of legal philosopher and reformer Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) from the archives of University College London. Over 1000 volunteers have worked on UCL's significant Bentham collection since its online Transcription Desk was launched in 2010. In many cases, transcribers are the first to have read Bentham's papers since he wrote them. Through their efforts over 1,300 Bentham manuscripts have been transcribed and are now available to scholars and the wider public. The prize will be awarded in September.
On 20 May, an event co-organised by UCL's Institute for Human Rights, its Centre for Law and Governance in Europe, UCL's European Institute and the German Embassy explored a compelling and current topic: who is the ultimate guarantor of human rights in Europe? The Union's own court (the European Court of Justice), the European Court of Human Rights or the highest national courts? With the entry into force of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the envisaged accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights there was ample reason for re-visiting this question: both might completely change the landscape of human rights protection in Europe.
The day-long conference brought together distinguished speakers from academia, legal practice and major European institutions. In the evening, a panel discussion was held at the German Ambassador's residence, with judges from the two European courts, and national justices, speaking to the issues. Dr Tobias Lock of UCL Laws stated: "This was the first major conference dedicated to this topic since accession negotiations have started. Our speakers' outstanding contributions have sparked some very insightful discussions."
Judge Cassese talks about Global Standards for National Democracies
Judge Sabino Cassese, professor of public law at the University of Rome and judge at the Constitutional Court of Italy, presented the last ius commune/global law lecture for this academic year on the topic of "global standards for national democracies." Judge Cassese explored the increasing involvement of international organisations and global public actors in the dissemination of democracy at the national level. Drawing on a number of case studies he critically explored the emergence of global standards for democracy and highlighted the impact of the different kinds of democratic legitimacy developed at the global level on the national level. Pictured (l-r): Judge Sabino Cassese with chairman Dr Ioannis Lianos, organiser of the lecture series.
The Ius Commune/Institute for Global Law speaker programme includes confirmed and promising scholars from non-Commonwealth jurisdictions who present their work on different aspects of comparative law (public and private), private international law and the conflict of laws or interdisciplinary work on themes that are of interest to a variety of legal systems.
Professor Dame Hazel Genn, Dean of Laws and Co-Director of the UCL Judicial Institute, spoke at an international conference held by the Rule of Law Institute at the European University of St Petersburg on 13 and 14 May. The focus of the conference was 'How judges make decisions: the Russian judicial system and the sociology of law', with participants from the Russian court and its research community alongside international speakers. Dean Genn spoke to her experience of research in the UK court system. Her participation was supported by the British Consulate-General in St Petersburg.
On 12 May, UCL's Bentham Project hosted the first of three events in May 2011 forming part of Bentham in the Community: an exciting new initiative bringing together academic and amateur historians to raise awareness of the life and work of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832).
The evening featured Professor Philip Schofield, Director of the Bentham Project, Lucy Inglis, author of the Georgian London blog and Mike Paterson, Director of the London Historian's group to discuss Bentham, the great utilitarian philosopher and reformer, his life in the city, and his role in the foundation of the University of London (later UCL) in 1826. The group also discussed UCL's Transcribe Bentham initiative, a participatory project aimed at engaging the public in the online transcription of original manuscript papers written by Bentham. After the talk, audience members visited Bentham's Auto-Icon and the Jeremy Bentham pub.
All Bentham in the Community events have been funded by a UCL Beacon Bursary for public engagement.
UCL's Judicial Institute has recorded a rare interview with Lord Saville for American television about the operation of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. In the interview Lord Saville, Chairman of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, explains how digital technology played a crucial role in the conduct of this landmark judicial inquiry. The interview was broadcast on the US television series "Digital Age". The programme is called "Can a Public Inquiry Work Without Digital Technology?" and can be viewed on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJL9L8rs3Rc
Lord Saville was interviewed by Richard Susskind, President of the Society for Computers and Law, member of the Judicial Institute's Advisory Board and IT Advisor to the Lord Chief Justice. The interview was recorded at the UCL Laws Faculty and was produced and directed by Professor Cheryl Thomas, Co-Director of the Judicial Institute. The interview was made possible through the generous support of the UCL Faculty of Laws Public Engagement and Impact Fund.
On 30 April 2011, the UCL Laws team won the Telders International Law Mooting Competition for the second consecutive year at the International Court of Justice in the Hague. To reach the final round, the team competed in four moots during the International Semifinal Round held on 28-29 April.
The Telders mooting team comprised four LLM students: Sam Bright and Kirill Albrecht (competing as the Applicant); and Kathryn Heslop and Joseph Markus (competing as the Respondent). The team was coached by PhD student Arman Sarvarian and LLM student Irina Sergeeva.
UCL was also the first-time winner of the Max Huber Award for Best Overall Score, awarded on the basis of the team's cumulative scores during the Semi-Final Round. In order to qualify for the International Round, the team won the England National Round in February 2011.
For more information:
UCL Laws students plead before the European Court of Human Rights
The final round of the third UCL European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Moot was held on 8 April in the Grand Chamber of the Court in Strasbourg presided over by Judges Rozakis, Spielmann and Jebbens.
The 2011 ECHR Moot was organised for the third year by the UCL Students Human Rights Programme in collaboration with the UCL Institute for Human Rights. After two phases of elimination rounds, held at UCL and judged by such distinguished personalities as Lord Kerr, the finals were conducted at the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg.
Participants (l-r): Markus Joseph, Sarah Walker, Artemisia Papadaki (Moot Coordinator), Judge Jebbens, Judge Rozakis, Judge Spielmann, Azusa Kikuma, Martin Reynolds, Dr. Tobias Lock, Brian Leung (UCL SHRP).
Panelists included Sydney Brenner, 2002 Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine; Prof. Sir John E. Sulston, 2002 Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine; Prof. David Selwood, Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, UCL; The Rt Hon Lord Justice Jacob, Sir Hugh Laddie Professor of Intellectual Property Law, UCL and Patrick Vallance, Senior VP, Medicines Discovery and Development, GlaxoSmithKline.
Joshua Rozenberg, of the BBC's ‘Law in Action’, chaired the discussion, which brought together speakers and attendees from a range of disciplines for a stimulating debate that bodes well for future collaborations.
UCL's Institute for Brand and Innovation Law hosted over 200 early risers for an Intellectual Property panel and breakfast discussion on 4 April. The event, entitled: "A Dialogue with David Kappos, Director of the US Patent & Trademark Office" was organised by the Directors Roundtable Institute, with the co-operation of AIPPI UK. It was the first UK public address for Mr Kappos (pictured right). He was introduced by the Rt Hon Sir Robin Jacob, holder of the new Sir Hugh Laddie Chair of Intellectual Property at UCL Laws, who also joined in the debate.
Mr Kappos's main topic was the harmonisation of international patent law, a theme revisited by fellow speakers Richard Vary, Director of European Litigation for Nokia and Avril Martindale, Partner at Freshfields. It was highlighted further by the Rt Hon Sir Robin Jacob, who noted that there were still many differences between the world's main patent systems, but much room for global cooperation.
Arad Reisberg speaks at France's Senate House (Palais du Luxembourg)
On 31 March, Dr Arad Reisberg, Vice Dean for Research and Director of the Centre for Commercial Law at UCL, spoke at a conference entitled: "Investors Class Action Issues in France: A Comparative View" held at the French Senate, Palais du Luxembourg, Paris. The conference was chaired by Jean-Jacques Hyest, President of France's Senate Judiciary Committee, with participating legal experts and academics from around the world. Dr Reisberg's talk was entitled: "The recent evolution of the English collective redress mechanism: Is the UK regime adapted to investors?"
For more information:
How is competition law impacting on governments across the world? That was the key question addressed at a major conference organised by UCL's Centre for Law, Economics and Society in Hong Kong on 18 and 19 March 2011. No less than twelve heads and high officials from competition authorities and international organisations joined academics (lawyers and economists), practitioners and consultants to discuss diverse issues and approaches, exchanging views on this important topic.
Among the conference's keynote speakers were His Excellency, Gregory So, Undersecretary for the Commerce and Economic Development of the SAR Hong Kong and John Fingleton, chief executive of the UK Office for Fair Trading. The conference attracted considerable attention, with more than 150 attendees coming from major corporations, law firms based in Hong Kong and the region, and governments worldwide. This high-profile event was organised in conjunction with the University of Hong Kong.
UCL LLB student William Green has won a place on Clifford Chance's summer vacation scheme and a trip to New York following his victory in the magic circle firm's Intelligent Aid competition, beating two runners-up from Oxford University. Part of Clifford Chance's 2010/11 graduate recruitment activities, Intelligent Aid invited UK undergraduates to write an essay relating to microfinance, a term used to describe financial services for low income individuals.
The top ten applicants then took part in a final day of judging where they made a presentation and took questions from a panel of judges including Clifford Chance partner Mark Campbell. Green's winning essay focused on a plan to use microfinance to help with the rehabilitation of prison inmates.
Campbell said: "We were very impressed by the quantity and quality of submissions and the top ten who came to our offices to present their ideas did not disappoint. We'd like to congratulate all who took part."
On 17 March, UCL's Judicial Institute was delighted to host a visit by US Supreme Court Justice Breyer, a rare occasion for our law students to hear about the American justice system, from someone working at the highest level. In an energetic and candid talk, Justice Breyer covered issues discussed in his recent book Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View (Knopf Publishing Group, 2010). He clarified what the US Supreme Court decides, why they decide it and how. He also spoke to the importance of the US constitution, and how the job of Supreme Court judges is to apply the ideals within it to a world that changes constantly, with decisions potentially affecting millions of citizens.
Faculty students took part in a lively and thought-provoking Q&A session with Justice Breyer. In closing, he emphasised the role of the next generation in upholding the rule of law and in “understanding the institution, what they [the people] have and why they have it.”
The Prizewinners Ceremony is one of the highlights of the Faculty's calendar, when we gather to celebrate the exceptional academic accomplishments of our students, and the world-renowned research and teaching this reflects. "To be awarded a Faculty prize or scholarship is to be given significant recognition as truly outstanding amongst your peers," said Professor Dame Hazel Genn DBE, QC, Dean of Laws.
This ceremony would not be possible without the support of our sponsors, to whom we express our sincere gratitude. Like us, they are keen to recognise potential and achievement in students and, through their generosity, to help our best and brightest take forward their studies and careers.
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Bentham Association President 2011, delivered a timely and topical address to UCL Laws alumni at the annual faculty dinner on 2 March. His talk, entitled ‘Swindlers (including the Master of the Rolls?) not wanted: Bentham and Justice Reform’ spoke to the nature of civil society, Jeremy Bentham’s theory of adjudication, and the lessons lawyers can take from Bentham's theory to develop a continuing commitment to civil society in the 21st century.
But it was not all serious legal business. The annual event was warmly hosted by Bentham Association Chairman, Edwin Glasgow QC, CBE and enjoyed by some 120 convivial alumni guests. After the main lecture, Laws alumni in attendance were treated to a gala dinner in the very fitting Jeremy Bentham Room at UCL, where they networked and socialised until late in the evening.
Cheryl Thomas, Professor of Judicial Studies at UCL Laws, was interviewed by Joshua Rozenberg for R4’s Law in Action, together with Appeal Judge Lord Justice Moses, to discuss the future of trial by jury. The radio broadcast is presently available on the BBC’s Law in Action website.
Cheryl Thomas is the UK's first Professor of Judicial Studies, the country's leading expert on juries, and a specialist in judicial decision-making and diversity.
A major new title edited by Dan Prentice (Visiting Professor, UCL Laws) and Dr Arad Reisberg includes four chapters written by UCL Laws Faculty members Professor John Lowry, Iris H-Y Chiu, Dr Arad Reisberg and Professor Robert Stevens. The volume brings together contributions from over 18 international academic and practitioner experts (thus combining perspectives from practice, legal theory and doctrinal analysis) and presents a comprehensive examination of questions facing the current understanding and future application of corporate finance law, such as the optimal adaptation of regulation in highly dynamic settings and the scope for innovation in legal markets in light of the current debt crisis. The book includes a foreword by Lady Justice Mary Arden.
This book provides a comparative perspective of equity financing, debt financing, European law and policy, and practical research on how to improve and solve current problems related to corporate finance. It considers areas of corporate finance that are likely to be of key importance in the next few years, including regulatory reforms which are of present concern. It also addresses timely and important questions such as the impact of higher interest rates on capital market strategies and how directors should balance the demands for disclosure and transparency with the cost of compliance.
The Faculty’s new Denys Holland Lecture Theatre has been renovated thanks to a major contribution from Alumnus Vincent Cheung, as a lasting memorial to his former professor, Denys Holland. The new lecture theatre was opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, Chancellor of the University of London, at a glittering ceremony on 15 February 2011. For a full event photo gallery, visit our Denys Holland web page.
The day also saw Professor Dame Hazel Genn, Dean of UCL Laws, launch a new book about Denys Holland, which she had commissioned. Entitled A Law Unto Himself: The life and career of Denys Holland, by freelance writer and editor Sally Thomas, the book explores Denys Holland’s legacy, with anecdotes from family, former students and colleagues who remember him fondly, and well. Alumni and friends are warmly invited to add their anecdotes to the Remembering Denys Holland blog.
Vincent Cheung also funded a Portrait Competition open to all current and graduating students at UCL’s Slade School of Fine Art to produce a portrait of Denys Holland that would hang in the new lecture theatre. The winner, Donal Moloney, was announced by Vincent Cheung at the evening ceremony. The two runners-up were Kaneumiah Choi and Martine Frolich Poppe Wang.
Consistency and Effectiveness: Strengthening the New Environment Tribunal
More than 50 government lawyers attended the 25 January launch of Professor Richard Macrory’s new report on environmental tribunals. The report was commissioned by Lord Justice Carnwath, Senior President of Tribunals, who chaired the event.
Consistency and Effectiveness examined over fifty examples of appeals provisions in contemporary British environmental legislation, and found a complete lack of coherence — appeals concerning licences or the service of enforcement notices went to a wide range of different bodies including magistrates courts, the planning inspectorate, and the Secretary of State. Often there was no right of appeal.
Professor Macrory argues that it would be far more effective if most of these appeals went to the new Environment Tribunal set up in 2010, to determine appeals against civil penalties now available to environmental regulators. The report identifies a set of priorities for transfer.
The proposals are entirely consistent with the current regulatory reform agenda. Professor Macrory noted, “Over the years we have developed a system of environmental appeals which is complex and confusing. There is now a unique opportunity to make the current structure more coherent, simple and effective.”
Professor Catherine Redgwell’s book, Lyster’s International Wildlife Law, co-authored with Michael Bowman (University of Nottingham) and Peter Davies (University of Nottingham), has been published in second edition. The development of international wildlife law has been one of the most significant exercises in international law-making during the last fifty years. This second edition coincides with both the UN Year of Biological Diversity and the 25th anniversary of Simon Lyster’s first edition.
The risk of wildlife depletion and species extinction has become even greater since the 1980s. This new edition provides a clear and authoritative analysis of the key treaties which regulate the conservation of wildlife and habitat protection, and of the mechanisms available to make them work. The original text has also been significantly expanded to include analysis of the philosophical and welfare considerations underpinning wildlife protection, the cross-cutting themes of wildlife and trade, and the impact of climate change and other anthropogenic interferences with species and habitat. Lyster’s International Wildlife Law is an indispensable reference work for scholars, practitioners and policy-makers alike.
For further details please see the Cambridge University Press website.
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UCL lecturer Dr Douglas Guilfoyle was interviewed as part of a discussion on the law of the sea by Clive Anderson
for R4’s Unreliable Evidence show.
Other panelists included barrister Daniel Owen (also a visiting lecturer at UCL Laws), Commodore Neil Brown of the Royal Navy and Judge David Anderson (formerly of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea).
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The practice of law is increasingly global. To be successful, lawyers will need to interact with colleagues and clients around the world in fresh and innovative ways. LawWithoutWalls is a groundbreaking new project bringing together international students from six universities worldwide, academics, legal practitioners and entrepreneurs to explore innovation in legal education and practice.
UCL Laws, Harvard Law, New York Law School, Fordham Law and Peking University School of Transnational Law have joined forces with the University of Miami School of Law, who are leading LawWithoutWalls, as founder member schools.
The launch event for LawWithoutWalls was held at UCL in London on 15/16 January 2011, with LLM students and faculty from partner universities meeting in person for an initial two-day conference. LawWithoutWall engages those with a stake in the future of the legal profession and provides them with a powerful vehicle for innovation and change.
Eric Barendt, Emeritus Professor of Media Law at UCL, has written a new book entitled Academic Freedom and the Law: A Comparative Study. The book provides a critical analysis of the law relating to academic freedom in three major jurisdictions: the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. It outlines the various claims which may be made to academic freedom by individual university teachers and by universities and other higher education institutions, and it examines the justifications which have been put forward for these claims. This is the first comparative study of a subject of fundamental importance to all academics and others working in universities. It emphasises the importance of academic freedom, while pointing out that, on occasion, exaggerated claims have been made to its exercise.
Further details on Academic Freedom and the Law: A Comparative Study can be found on the Hart Publishing website.
Professor Dawn Oliver of UCL Laws has been elected Treasurer of the Honourable Society of the
Middle Temple is comprised of Student, Barrister and Bench Members
and is governed by the Masters of the Bench, who are usually senior members of the judiciary or Queen’s Counsel. The Treasurer is the Head of the Inn. We congratulate Dawn on this groundbreaking achievement.