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UCL Laws celebrates 2018 Graduation Ceremony

4 July 2018

UCL Faculty of Laws celebrated the success of both students and staff at the 2018 Graduation Ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on 3rd July

Prof Resnik of Yale graduation ceremony 2018

Professor Piet Eeckhout, Dean of UCL Faculty of Laws, last night welcomed members of the Faculty, friends, and families, who came together to celebrate the achievements of the graduating class of 2018, and to also confer honours on Professor Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School. 

Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost of UCL, started the afternoon ceremony with his opening address, followed by Professor Eeckhout’s welcome and Faculty message. Professor Dame Hazel Genn introduced Professor Resnik and delivered an oration on the conferment of honours.

Provost Arthur and Professor Genn give addresses on behalf of the UCL Faculty of Laws

LLB, LLM and PhD graduands received their degrees from Professor Arthur, and during the ceremony a number of UCL Faculty of 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 Dr Anna Donovan, Dr Oliver Gerstenberg, Professor Paul Mitchell and Dr Steven Vaughan for the LLB; Martin Petrin and Dr John Sorabji for the LLM.

Professor Eeckhout announced the UCL Laws Faculty Medal, which was awarded to UCL Laws LLB graduate Annie Woods for her exceptional marks and dedication to her studies.

Professor Judith Resnik was also recognised for her outstanding achievements and awarded an honoris causa (LLD). Professor Resnik chairs Yale Law School's Global Constitutional Law Seminar and is an Honorary Visiting Professor at the UCL Faculty of Laws.

Professor Resnik said:

'Being part of UCL is to be part of a remarkable university whose commitment to inclusion dates from its inception. UCL was ahead of its peers in welcoming individuals of all religions, in admitting women, and in committing itself to innovative and radical critique. In the current world, this provides shining examples of values to celebrate. I am deeply honored to receive the honorary doctorate.'

Professor Resnik receives honours

Professor Piet Eeckhout, Dean of UCL Laws, said:

‘To graduate from UCL Laws represents a significant step in what I hope will be long, fulfilling and varied career paths for you all. Whether your path takes you to the practice of law or to one of the many other areas of endeavour that your degree has prepared you for, I know that the skills you have developed and the essential values with which you are now imbued will serve you well in the future. I want to say to our graduates how proud we are of you all.

Today also provides the opportunity for us to honour an exceptional individual. We are delighted to be awarding an LLD Honoris Causa to Judith Resnik of Yale Law School whose work on the impact of democratic, egalitarian principles on government services, from courts and prisons to post offices, and on equality and gender has huge significance to legal communities worldwide.'

Professor Resnik of Yale gave the address to the graduating class of 2018

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 Big Ben.

Olga Thomas, Vice Dean (Education) and Faculty Tutor, said:

‘I would like to thank you all for what you have done for the Faculty, for engaging with a huge array of activities in addition to your intensive workload. For making us one of the departments with the highest number of students engaging in volunteering despite the pressures of a law degree. For the excellent performances in national and international mooting competitions, in debating, in client interviewing and negotiation. For all your pro bono work through our Centre for Access to Justice and our Pubic International Law Pro Bono Project.

I hope you will remember your time at UCL with great fondness and that you will come back from time to time to visit us and share with us what undoubtedly will be your many successes in the future.’

Rak-Aki Siribhadra, President of the LLM Law Society (2017-18) said:

'I’d like to extend sincere congratulations and the very best of luck to you today. I am confident you will remember your year on the LLM fondly – today is a celebration of that year and I hope it is a happy occasion for you.

We all started this LLM at different stages of our lives and with diverse ambitions.After a year of hard work and lots of fun, I hope the degree and subsequent experience has helped you to clarify, deepen and pursue those ambitions. I am certain you will all have enriching and fulfilling futures, having been able to draw from the wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities at UCL. It has been a pleasure to get to know and interact with such a kind, lively, inspiring and diverse cohort and I take huge pride in being able to celebrate with you.’

Amrit Singh Gill, President of the LLB Law Society (2017-18) said:

‘UCL Laws captures a wide variety of students from various nationalities, backgrounds, beliefs and characteristics like no other. In 2015 we were 180 strangers hailing from a plethora of countries to study what many regard as the best discipline in the world. Years later, we leave having forged some of the best friendships and greatest experiences. 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 and we questioned and debated with the sharpest legal minds in the world (or at least we tried to). 

Class of 2018, as we embark on new chapters in our lives, I believe that we will all exercise this power in a way that is meaningful and true to ourselves. I hope that we will constantly recognise how well-placed we are to contribute towards achieving our goals and helping those around us.'

Find out more about UCL Graduation

Read Professor Genn's oration