UCL Faculty of Laws


UCL Laws delighted to host 2018 Bentham Association Presidential Address and Dinner

22 March 2018


UCL Faculty of Laws is proud to have welcomed over 100 alumni and friends to the 2018 Bentham Association Presidential Address and Dinner on Wednesday 21 March 2018.

Professor Dame Hazel Genn, Director of the UCL Centre for Access to Justice, delivered the 70th Presidential Address on ‘When Lawyers are good for your health’.

During her address, Professor Dame Hazel Genn discussed the value of integrating community legal advice with health services, as well as some of the challenges involved in lawyers working closely with doctors within the NHS. Dame Hazel highlighted the growth of ‘Health Justice Partnerships’, such as the one between the UCL Centre for Access to Justice and a GP practice in Newham. She explained that such partnerships represent vehicles through which law becomes part and parcel of the approach to improving the health of citizens.

Among the attendees were Lord Carnwath, Justice of the UK Supreme Court, Lord Pannick, Lady Justice Hallett, as well as Court of Appeal judges and many other distinguished alumni and Faculty friends.

Professor Piet Eeckhout, Dean of UCL Faculty of Laws, said:

‘The annual Bentham Association Presidential Address and Dinner is always one of the highlights of the year for the Faculty. It was a genuine pleasure to attend such an enjoyable event and meet so many of our alumni and valued friends.

Keeping strong links with our community has always been important to us and I’m grateful for the continuous support we have received throughout the years.’

Professor Dame Hazel Genn said:

‘After the privilege of serving as the Faculty’s Dean for nine years it is an honour and delight to have been asked to act as Bentham Association President this year following in the footsteps of so many distinguished predecessors.

I have always hugely enjoyed our annual alumni dinners and the chance to re-connect with our community of loyal supporters.’

Martin Rushton Turner, UCL Laws LLB alumnus, said:

‘Having spent my career since UCL grappling with complexity, whether in banking, reinsurance, films or engineering technology, I recognize that problems worth solving are rarely open to simple definition or to easy fixes.

Dame Hazel’s work has shown the same in many public policy arenas – not least in health and justice. The Guttman Health Justice Partnership is an exciting initiative to leverage the skills and enthusiasms of UCL Laws staff and students to deliver better holistic health outcomes within under-served communities.’

Michael Flesch QC, UCL Laws LLB alumnus, said:

‘I obtained my law degree from UCL in 1962, the late Professor Denys Holland having taken a chance on me three years earlier despite having only two mediocre A- levels! I have been eternally grateful to UCL Laws ever since.

The Bentham Association Presidential Address and Dinner is always a splendid and happy occasion, not least because it provides a great opportunity to meet and catch up with old friends. It is a particular pleasure this year to have Professor Dame Hazel Genn as our President. Hazel has been a brilliant Dean and the Faculty’s universally recognised pre-eminence is in no small measure down to her.’

Georgina Butler, UCL Laws LLB alumna, said:

‘I graduated from UCL Laws Law 50 years ago this year and, although my career was in the Diplomatic Service rather than the Bar, I still maintain an interest in legal issues and have kept in touch with the Faculty over the years.

The Annual Bentham Association Presidential Address and Dinner always has such distinguished speakers who deliver orations of the highest quality, so I feel privileged to be part of the audience. The dinner itself provides a great opportunity to catch up with other graduates and their guests, so it is always an event I look forward to and enjoy.’

Professor Dame Hazel Genn’s speech will appear later this year in Current Legal Problems.

About the Bentham Association Presidential Address and Dinner

The Bentham Association Presidential Address and Dinner is an annual reunion event for UCL Laws alumni since 1949. This year we particularly welcomed graduates from years ending in eight who will be celebrating 10, 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years since graduation from UCL.

Read more about the event 

Read Professor Dame Hazel Genn's lecture

Watch Professor Dame Hazel Genn's lecture on YouTube

See photos from the event

Read more about the UCL Bentham Association