UCL News


Bentham Project wins major international fellowship

10 February 2009


UCL Laws ucl.ac.uk/Bentham-Project/" target="_self">Bentham Project
  • Newton International Fellowships
  • UCL and China
  • A law lecturer from the University of Peking is to spend two years at UCL Laws, which has secured a major fellowship grant.

    The Bentham Project, the Faculty of Laws team devoted to the work of utilitarian social reformer Jeremy Bentham, has won a prestigious Newton International Fellowship.

    Dr Xiaobo Zhai, a lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Peking's Law School, will join the project in June 2009 to work on Bentham's constitutional theory, in particular his writings on representative democracy. He will be hosted during his time at UCL by Professor Philip Schofield, Professor of the History of Legal and Political Thought at UCL Laws.

    Professor Schofield said: 'Jeremy Bentham regarded himself as a "citizen of the world", and invented the word "international". He would have been delighted at the  prospect of his ideas having an impact in twenty-first century China. I'm looking forward to this exciting collaboration with such an outstanding young scholar.'

    The scheme, run by the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society, provides annual grants of £24,000 as part of a long-term goal to build a global pool of research leaders and foster international collaboration with the UK.

    The fellowship covers the broad range of natural and social sciences, engineering and the humanities.


    About UCL Laws
    UCL Laws position as a world-leading law school was confirmed in December by its ranking in the UK government 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. The faculty was placed joint first in the UK for the proportion of its research activity in the top two star categories (75% 4*/3*).

    Recent news

    • In February, the UCL Student Human Rights Programme launched a website. The programme is a non-profit organisation led by UCL students and advised by human rights professionals that acts as a focal point for debate, information, networking and support to people dealing with human rights issues.
    • Also in February, Catherine Redgwell, Professor of International Law, was appointed to the Peer Review College of the UK Arts and Humanities Council, one of the main funders of academic research in the UK. The role involves advising the Council on its decisions concerning research funding applications.
    • In January 2009 a report by Professor Dame Hazel Genn (Dean of the Faculty of Laws) looking into "The attractiveness of senior judicial appointments to highly qualified practitioners" was published. It was commissioned by the Judicial Executive Board and identified the key factors that practitioners saw as a barrier to a judicial career.

    Find out more about these developments at the UCL Laws website.