UCL Faculty of Laws


UCL Laws celebrates 2017 Graduation Ceremony at Royal Festival Hall

7 July 2017

UCL Faculty of Laws celebrated the success of both students and staff at the 2017 Graduation Ceremony at Royal Festival Hall on Thursday 6 July 2017

Students at Graduation

Professor Dame Hazel Genn, Dean of UCL Laws, was delighted to welcome members of the Faculty, friends, and families, who came together to celebrate the achievements of the graduating class of 2017, and to also confer honours on Justice Catherine O’Regan, former Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and Director of the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights.

Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost of UCL, started the afternoon ceremony with his opening address, followed by Professor Genn’s welcome and Faculty message.

LLBLLM and PhD graduands received their degrees from Professor Arthur, and during the ceremony a number of UCL Laws academics were awarded The Excellence Awards for Legal Teaching (EXALT).

The EXALT Awards are awarded to UCL Laws staff who have made an outstanding contribution to undergraduate and graduate teaching and support the student experience, and are made on the basis of student feedback and a popular vote.

This year’s winners were Professor Graham Penn and Dr Florian Wagner-von Papp for the LLB; Dr Anna Donovan, Julius Grower and Dr Ugljesa Grusic for the LLM.

Professor Dame Hazel Genn announced the UCL Laws Faculty Medal, which was awarded to UCL Laws LLB graduate Danielle Worden for the highest marks across all modules and also awarded Justice Catherine O’Regan with an honorary degree in recognition of her intellectual and scholarly association with UCL Laws.

Danielle at Graduation

Justice O’Regan said:

‘It’s a special day for me and receiving the degree is a huge honour because I‘ve had such a long awareness of UCL, relationship with and respect for it as an outstanding Law school.

Being singled out felt a little undeserving in some ways because I’ve just had this wonderful career that has been a series of wonderful opportunities that included working with extraordinary people. I’ve always felt part of a team but being here and receiving my degree is an enormous honour.’

Earlier this year, Justice O’Regan delivered the 68th Presidential Address on ‘A Constitutional Journey: Judicial review of administrative action in post-apartheid South Africa’ at the 2017 Bentham Association Presidential Address and Dinner as part of her duties as the Faculty’s Bentham Association President 2017.

Kate at Graduated

Professor Dame Hazel Genn, Dean of UCL Laws, said:

‘Attending the graduation ceremony and seeing all the graduates celebrating with their family and friends is always an uplifting experience. After all the hard work of the past few years, this is an opportunity for the Faculty and distinguished guests to come together to recognise the achievements and success of our students.

I’m also delighted that we had the opportunity to confer honours on Justice Catherine O’Regan who has been working closely with colleagues at UCL Laws and has contributed to our undergraduate and graduate programmes. This award will cement the growing relationship between the Faculty, the College and this exceptional public figure. ’

After the ceremony, students, guests and staff joined the Academic Procession to exit the auditorium and enjoy the reception overlooking the Thames with a view of the Big Ben.

Dr Anna Donovan, Vice Dean (Innovation), Co-director (UCL Centre for Ethics and Law), Lecturer in Law and PhD student, said:

‘Undertaking doctoral research at UCL offers a rare opportunity to become part of a diverse, world-leading academic community in the heart of the capital city. UCL Laws provides unrivalled support to its PhD students, giving them the opportunity (where necessary) to travel internationally to undertake research and share their work with a global audience.

More than this, the Faculty creates a friendly and supportive environment in which to pursue original research at the highest level, supported by internationally renowned scholars.  In this way, doctoral students are able to learn from the experience of the Faculty, mature as scholars in their own right and develop important research that has real world impact from the outset. In short, I can’t think of a better place to start an academic career.’

Anna at Graduation

Thulasi Kaleeswaram Raj, President of the LLM Law Society (2016) said of her time at UCL Laws:

’As the president of the Graduate Law Society, I had the unique opportunity to interact with different people in the batch. The activities of the Society also expanded over the year, making it more accessible. I truly enjoyed being part of this diverse crowd, sharing the common concerns and often coordinating between the administration and the students.

I am certain that all the lessons that we learned and the friendships we made will stay with us for a lifetime. Further, I hope the university has not only made us better students of the law, but better individuals as well.’

Students at Graduation

 Godwin Tan Gelun, President of the LLB Law Society (2016-17) said:

‘As the first person in my family to study abroad, I did not know what to expect when I left Singapore three years ago. This journey has exceeded my imagination in the best possible way.

UCL Laws means different things to everyone. But the one thing that I share with my fellow classmates is a newly acquired knowledge, and dare I say appreciation, of the law. We now view the world differently. During our time at UCL, we saw how law can be used to hold authorities to account; we demystified and challenged doctrines that have stood for centuries; we questioned and debated with the sharpest legal minds in the world.

I’m thankful to all the professors who helped me throughout my time at UCL Laws, and I’m grateful to have forged such strong friendships.

Students at Graduation

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