UCL Faculty of Laws


UCL Laws celebrates 2019 Graduation Ceremony

8 July 2019

On 4th July, UCL Faculty of Laws staff and students gathered together with friends and family to celebrate a successful year

Graduation ceremony 2019

Professor Piet Eeckhout, Dean of UCL Faculty of Laws, last Thursday welcomed members of the Faculty, as well as friends and family, to the Royal Festival Hall. Together, they celebrated the achievements of the graduating class of 2019, and also conferred honours on Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC and Angelina Lee.

Dr Dame Nicola Brewer, Vice Provost (International), delivered the opening address to start the ceremony, followed by Professor Eeckhout’s welcome and Faculty message. Prof Eeckhout then introduced Baroness Scotland and Angelina Lee for the conferment of honours.

Dame Nicola said:

‘We hope that today will be one of many warm memories you treasure of your time at UCL. Today you are joining a trailblazing alumni community of over 230,000 UCL graduates.  Together they – you – can make a major national and global contribution. The alumni community can also be a huge source of peer support, for you to give and to receive, and to extend your professional and social networks.

UCL is a place which - and our alumni are people who - believe in changing the world for the better. As people trained in law, trained to get on top of the detail, to question and argue, you are brilliantly placed to influence informed debate on issues that affect all our lives. Every summer since the death of the Labour MP Jo Cox, in 2016 just before the Brexit referendum, I have quoted at graduations her words: “we have far more in common with each other than things that divide us”. I believe we should all remember these words.’

Dame Dr Nicola Brewer, Professor Piet Eeckhout and Baroness Scotland at Graduation 2019

LLM graduands received their degrees from Sarah Campling, Director of Graduate Taught Programmes. PhD graduands received their degrees from Professor Virginia Mantouvalou, Director of Graduate Research Studies. LLB graduands received their degrees from Karen Scott, Director of Undergraduate Programmes.   

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 Professor Charles Mitchell and Dr Kimberley Trapp for the LLM, and Dr Sinéad Agnew, Dr Mark Dsouza and Dr Miguel-Jose Lopez-Lorenzo (teaching fellow) for the LLB.  

Professor Eeckhout announced the UCL Laws Faculty Medal, awarded to UCL Laws LLB graduand Yan Lai for her exceptional scholarship throughout her studies, and also the excellence of her dissertation.

Patricia Scotland, The Right Honorable Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and a UCL Laws LLB graduate (1976), was recognized for her outstanding achievements and awarded a UCL Honorary Doctorate (LLD).

UCL Laws graduation ceremony 2019 Baroness Scotland receives honorary LLD

Baroness Scotland said:

‘It’s been a huge honour to be granted this honorary LLD, 43 years after I graduated from the University of London with an LLB. I want you to remember what an extraordinary university you’ve been part of. As the first university to allow women to study law on an equal basis with men, UCL should be celebrated for the path they have taken in relation to equality between the genders. In terms of achievement, 33 Nobel prize winners have come from UCL. These are both things to be really proud of, and I’m extremely proud now to have a personal association with UCL.

As you stand here today, I want to thank each of your families, because without our families and our brilliant teachers believing in us, standing with us and supporting us, it would be very difficult to achieve anything. I’m also thanking each and every one of you in advance for the things you’ll do to make our world better, safer, kinder, and more generous. You can do anything you choose; don’t let anyone tell you that the dreams you dream are impossible!’

Professor Piet Eeckhout, Dean of UCL Laws, said:

‘To all of our graduating students: we are in awe when we see the tremendous hard work you’ve put in during your time studying with us. Thank you all for contributing so much to our Faculty and its work. You will always be part of our community; our doors in Bentham House will always be open to you. When our students graduate, we like to say they are not leaving our Faculty, but rather joining a global network of alumni through our Bentham Association.

We are also fortunate to have with us today a number of the women profiled in our '100 Years of Women in Law’ exhibition.  As we look forward to the bright futures of all our students graduating today, we’d also like to recognise the ground-breaking work of many of our former staff and students, who have gone on to do important work. One such example is Baroness Scotland, a UCL Laws graduate who has an incredibly rich and significant record of achievements, and who is today receiving an Honorary Doctorate (LLD) from our Faculty.  She is a true role model for all of our graduands.’

Angelina Lee, Solicitor and Senior Partner at Woo Kwan Lee & Lo and UCL Laws LLB graduated (1970) was awarded a UCL Honorary Fellowship.

UCL Laws graduation ceremony 2019 Angelina Lee receives honorary Fellowship

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 extend my warmest congratulations to you all on your graduation. I am sure you are overwhelmed today by feelings of sheer joy, pride for what you have achieved and excitement as to what comes next, as, I am sure, are your family and loved ones. We here at the Faculty, who have in the past few years watched you develop, thrive and excel, are also incredibly proud of you.

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 Public 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.’

Firoza Dodhi, President of the LLM Law Society (2017-18) said:

'When we joined the UCL Laws LLM in September 2017, I was instantly inspired by the unique outlooks, abilities and backgrounds of our cohort. The cross-cultural and cross-jurisdictional perspectives, as well as the diversity of thought and experience of those in our programme, cultivated a distinct intellectual setting. In academic contexts, during extra-curricular activities and throughout daily campus life, we shared the privilege of engaging with one another. It is with immense pride that I reminisce on the interactions of our cohort: marked with a willingness to listen, a passion for learning and a desire to build connections with those different from us.
Our achievements are the result of our dedication, resilience and focus—thank you for sharing your energy, your sincerity and your courage. The sacrifices and unwavering support of our personal networks of friends and families also enabled us to excel—thank you. UCL tutors, lecturers and staff encouraged our curiosity and guided our focus as we navigated life as LLM students in London—thank you.'

Shawn Siah, President of the LLB Law Society (2018-19) said:

‘At a vibrant university like UCL, each of us as unique individuals would have had a different law school experience. However, common takeaways that will stay with us for life are the tremendous personal growth through shared struggles, the cultivation of a global worldview and the privilege of having doors open to us around the world so long as we put our minds to it.

Out of tens of thousands of law students around the world, it is special that we as members of the graduating cohort have converged in London and at UCL Laws. Despite our diverse backgrounds, our graduating cohort has grown to be close-knit over the years. Life will take us to many different places after graduation, but let us treasure the friendships formed and transform them into lifelong camaraderie.’

Find out more about UCL Graduation

Read Professor Eeckhout's oration

Read the graduation brochure