News and Events
Through social media, the monolith of speech has infiltrated all forms of space. The individual has instant access to self-expression. The public interest has seemingly been served by instant access to information and a variety of forms of engagement with that information. The law has struggled to adapt and for good reason: how does the law regulate speech; a term which is viewed as an inherent good of a democratic society? The presenters at this conference will address this question based on different legal disciplines.
Winner for best overall performance in the LLM Employment Law by Distance Learning for 2012–2013 is Paul McGrath. Paul graduated with Distinction in the summer of 2012. His Dissertation, entitled “Band on the Run”, examined an important aspect of the law of Unfair Dismissal and was described by his supervisor as a “highly commendable piece of work”.
Paul is an associate in the Employment Team at the London office of US Law Firm McDermott, Will & Emery. Having qualified as a solicitor in 2008, he chose to enrol for the LLM to fulfil a long-held ambition to undertake further academic study in his chosen field of expertise. Our distance learning course enabled him to consolidate and extend his knowledge of employment law whilst maintaining his professional practice. Although the LLM is an academic qualification, Paul found that his studies helped him to respond to and even anticipate issues of relevance to his clients. He also describes the residential weekends as a particular highlight of the course, giving the opportunity to meet the wide range of people undertaking the programme of study.
Paul learned of his success in winning the prize whilst on honeymoon and was delighted because “it made the many evenings and weekends spent in the library all the more worthwhile”.
The School of Law is delighted to announce that New Walk Chambers who have sponsored the prize since 2009, have agreed to continue supporting the School for a further two years.
The School of Law and New Walk Chambers congratulate Paul and wish him and Mrs McGrath every happiness.
15 postgraduate researchers gathered in January for the second training week of this academic year. Many of the part-time researchers who had travelled from far-flung places found our cold weather a bit of a shock! The programme encompassed:
- Interviewing techniques
- Quantitative research
- Literature reviews
- Researching legislation and the legislative process
- Empirical research (workshops and presentations)
- Comparative research
The students enjoyed a local restaurant as a good chance for networking with friends and colleagues from their visit in November 2012.
‘Cyber Piracy: Can File Sharing be Regulated without Impeding the Digital Revolution?’
Michael’s thesis examines modalities of regulating digital file sharing in the online environment, highlighting how common misperceptions and impediments to digital innovation can be sidestepped through open and efficient avenues of reform.
Michael has presented his research (The Digital Economy Act: Is the DEA DOA?) at a British and Irish Law, Education and Technology Association (BILETA) conference, and has had elements of his thesis published in journals including the International Review of Law, Computers and Technology and the European Journal of Law and Technology.
The School of Law was pleased to be able to host the SLSA Postgraduate Conference, jointly organised by the universities of Keele and Leicester, and held at the University of Leicester on 9—10 January 2013.
The conference was aimed at those starting out in their careers who may need guidance on issues such as: completing their postgraduate research; getting their work published; finding their first academic job; and establishing links with like-minded scholars. Encouragement is also gained from conversing with other socio-legally minded individuals.
Fifty-eight researchers from Ireland and UK universities attended the conference, with seven academics leading seminars within the two groups. Delegates enjoyed the hospitality of local restaurant during their overnight stay.
PhD success: Judicial Independence in Kenya, European Convention, Insurance Regulation in Nigeria, and Reform of State Banking in China
Judicial Independence in Kenya – Julie Ouma Oseko
'Judicial Independence in Kenya: Constitutional challenges and opportunities for Reform'.
The research highlights the dangers of failure to maintain the appropriate balance of power between the executive, judiciary and the legislature, its ramifications to judicial independence and the rule of law. It identifies new threats and proposes further research, constitutional amendments and use of non-legal initiatives as key for future judicial reform.
Julie is a long serving magistrate in the Kenyan judiciary. Returning to Kenya from Leicester, she was seconded by the Chief justice of Kenya to work at the Judiciary Training Institute as the Assistant to the Director. The Institute undertakes training and capacity development for Judges of the Superior Courts, Magistrates and other non-judicial staff in Kenya and the East African region. Her role at the institute includes teaching, research, developing and reviewing course content, coordinating and facilitating training. This is with a view to improving performance of judicial officers, strengthening the administration of justice and reforming the justice systems. Julie, who is also a member of the Kenyan Bar, was recently admitted into the prestigious list of Counsel at the International Criminal Court, at The Hague in recognition of her expertise in International Criminal law (LLM Public International Law).
European Convention – Maribel Canto-Lopez
Maribel’s thesis argued for a new jurisdiction test that would replace the present uncertainty in the context of applicability of the European Convention to troops abroad, offering a better protection of human rights for individuals trapped in conflict and enhancing the supervisory effect of the European Convention.
Maribel was awarded an Anniversary Scholarships when she began her PhD in 2008. She was a founder member of Café Lexis, a gathering of PhD researchers who met to discuss their theses, and was the joint initiative director of the successful student conference ‘Human Rights Beyond Borders’. She continues to work as a tutor at the University of Leicester and her main focus now is to start publishing.
Insurance Regulations – Yeside Abiodun Oyetayo
'Insurance Regulation in the General Agreement on Trade in Services: a model for liberalisation and development in Nigeria'.
The study argues that the insurance sector performs developmental functions in the economy and that the principles and rules of the WTO/GATS offer regulatory models on which the reforms in the insurance sectors of developing countries can be hinged for efficiency, competitiveness, development and growth. This led to the construction of a model for liberalisation of insurance in developing countries which was used to assess the legal framework of the Nigerian insurance industry and identify areas of reform. Yeside is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and the British Insurance Law Association. She continues her work at the Lagos State University, Nigeria where she currently lectures both in the Insurance and the Business Law departments.
Corporate Governance Reform of State-Owned Commercial Banks in China – Zhenyun Chen
The study attempts to explore the potential problems in China’s banking laws, present the corporate governance reforms of Chinese state-owned commercial banks and create an appropriate framework of corporate governance for China’s state-owned commercial banks from internal and external aspects. He is now working as a lecturer in the School of International Law at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, China.
Law Fair 2012
The annual Law Fair was held on Wednesday 14th November. The forty local, national and international Law firms and legal education providers that attended were:
- Addleshaw Goddard
- Baker and Mckenzie
- Berwin Leighton Paisner
- Bird and Bird
- BPP (legal education provider)
- Browne Jacobson
- Burges Salmon
- Chambers Students Guide
- Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX)
- City University Law School
- Clifford Chance
- CMS Cameron McKenna
- College of Law
- Cummins Solicitors
- De Montfort University
- DLA Piper
- Freeth Cartwright
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
- Howes Percival
- Institute of Legal Executives – Tutorial College (ILEX)
- Leicestershire Junior Lawyers Division (LJLD)
- National College of Legal Training (NCLT)
- Nottingham University Law School
- Oxford Brookes University
- Reynolds Porter Chamberlain
- Sheffield University
- SNR Denton
- Spearing Waite
- University of Leicester School of Law
- Web Legal Education
- Wragge and Co
Students had the opportunity to discover more about the wide range of internships, vacation schemes, further legal education options and training contract opportunities available. It was great to see so many of our students engaging with the firms and legal education providers.
Many thanks to the firms and legal education providers in attendance, members of the Leicester University Law Society (http://www.luls.org.uk/) that organised the event (Simran Sahdra and Elizabeth Toh) and the Leicestershire Junior Lawyers Division (http://www.ljld.co.uk/lawyer/) for the preparation talk in advance of the event.
The Illicit Trade in Art and Antiquities, Professor Janet Ulph
Law School Professor Janet Ulph, has written a new book (together with barrister Ian Smith) concerning 'The Illicit Trade in Art and Antiquities.'
Art and antiquities are stolen every day, often from public places and buildings. It is a global problem, as items are smuggled from one country to another to evade detection. This text considers not only international laws but also English criminal and civil laws to determine whether enough is being done to deter the illicit trade in art and antiquities, and to recover stolen items.
The Illicit Trade in Art and Antiquities (Hart Publishing)
Research Roundtable On The Codification Of Commercial Law: The Proposal For A Common European Sales Law
On Friday, 19 October 2012, the Centre for European Law and Internationalisation (CELI) at the School of Law, University of Leicester hosted the first in a series of two research roundtables on “The Codification Of Commercial Law: The Proposal For A Common European Sales Law.”
The aim of this roundtable was to critically examine recent developments on the proposal for a Common European Sales Law and related fields in consumer contract law, unfair commercial practices, private international law and comparative law. Papers were presented by Professor Hugh Beale (Warwick), Professor Geraint Howells (Manchester) and Professor Adam Cygan (Leicester), Dr Paolisa Nebbia (Italian Competition Authority), Dr Camilla Andersen (Leicester), Dr George Zhou (Sheffield) and Christopher Bisping (Warwick). The papers were then commented on by Professor Louise Gullifer (Oxford), Professor Christian Twigg-Flesner (Hull) and Dr Severine Saintier (Sheffield).
Jan Grodecki School of Law Lecture 2012
Bribery and Corruption in a Changing World
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC
Baroness Scotland QC will deliver the Jan Grodecki School of Law Lecture on Thursday 18 October 2012 at 5.30pm. She will speak on the theme of "Bribery and Corruption in a Changing World".
Thursday 18th October 2012, 5.30pm
Ken Edwards Lecture Theatre 1
RSVP: Teresa Rowe, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 0116 252 3454
The School of Law is delighted to announce the appointment of Judge Howard Morrison as Honorary Professor of Law. Judge Morrison has a distinguished career in legal practice and the judiciary. From 1998 to 2004, he was appointed defence counsel at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda in The Hague and Arusha, Tanzania respectively. In 2009, he was appointed Judge of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia by the UN Secretary General. Most recently, in 2011 he was elected by the Assembly of State Parties as the UK Judge of the International Criminal Court until 2021.
In order to mark his appointment at Honorary Professor, Judge Morrison visited the School of Law on 29 May 2012 to deliver a talk entitled: "The impact of the institutions and the practice of International law". He examined the reasons for the emergence of contemporary international criminal law and in particular the creation of the International Criminal Court. His talk included a reflection on the challenges faced by the International Criminal Court in the present environment and the evolution of its approach to issues such as evidence and the burden of proof.
The School of Law celebrated the success of its students at the Summer Graduation ceremony on 13 July 2012. The ceremony included the award of Honorary Degrees to Lord Justice Goldring, Lord Justice of Appeal, Senior Presiding Judge of England and Wales, and Frances Patterson QC, Public Law Commissioner for England and Wales. Dr. Dawn Watkins’ contribution to excellence in teaching innovation within the School was recognised through the award of a University Teaching Fellowship. We were also delighted with the granting of a Teaching Partnership Award to Charles du Couedic de Kererant, studying for a LLB/Maîtrise in English and French Law (Year 2). He was recognised for his dedicated approach and valuable contribution to the enhancement of the student experience as a student representative at department, college and University levels.
Research Student Graduation July 2012
Congratulations to David Hosking and Anan Younes on the award of their PhD degrees. David (A Critical Study of EU Law and Policy Related to Disability) will be exploring further avenues for publishing articles from his home in Canada, and Anan (International inclinations to solve the problems of overlapping among trademarks and domain names, and the impact of this upon E-commerce) will be working as a university lecturer in Jordan.
Leicester Professor before the UN Security Council Leicester Professor before the UN Security Council
Professor Malcolm Shaw QC has proposed the creation of a College for Mediation in a lecture delivered on 30 May in the United Nations at the invitation of the President of the Security Council.
The meeting was held under the auspices of the Security Council and took place in a conference room at the UN in New York with a large audience of representatives of UN member states of around 200.
Professor Shaw, who recently retired as the Sir Robert Jennings Professor of International Law at the University, spoke on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes. He focused on mediation as an appropriate technique of resolving disputes between states. In particular, he noted the recent emphasis on this approach in UN documents and practice and underlined the need to ensure adherence to the principles and rules of international law both in the process of mediation and in the outcomes.
Professor Shaw formally proposed the creation of a College for Mediation under the auspices of the UN in order to provide a framework for academic reflection, practical inspiration and intellectual invigoration in an institutional environment and in order to imbue mediators and trainee mediators with the necessary training, experience, values and normative framework.
The lecture also discussed the role and importance of the International Court of Justice. After the presentation, a question and answer took place. The meeting was chaired by the Permanent Representative to the UN of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which held the presidency of the Security Council during the month of May.
Julie McClelland successfully submitted a case note to the Modern Law Review. Her commentary ('A Purposive Approach to Employment Protection or a Missed Opportunity?') analyses the significant case of Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher and others  UKSC 41 and considers whether the Supreme Court has adopted a new approach to interpreting the scope of employment law. Julie is currently in the third year of her part-time PhD which is entitled 'A Question of Status? A new inclusive model for employment protection'. The case note was published in the May edition of the academic journal.
Each year our PhD researchers meet to share their research through a presentation and questions by colleagues and academic staff. This year we had an excellent mix of first-time presenters and established PhD researchers. There was a wide range of topics (see below) and lively debate.
- Abi Adesanya, ‘Whether Convergence is required in the regulation of the Nigerian telecommunication sector’ (Commercial/Regulatory Law)
- Samuel Akorimo, ‘ICTR Concurrent Jurisdiction’ (International Criminal Law)
- Fatma Alshuraian, ‘Market manipulation in Kuwait stock market’ (Commercial/Financial Law)
- Maria-Paula Barrantes-Reynolds, ‘Human Rights v. Legal Pluralism in multi-ethnic societies: the Case of the Constitution of Bolivia of 2009’ (Human Rights)
- Reza Beheshti, ‘Why the contracts are enforceable? How can it be justified?’ (International Commercial Contracts)
- Sara Benedi Lahuerta, ‘Towards the effectiveness of the Racial Equality Directive at national level. A comparative study between Spain and the UK’ (European Law/Human Rights)
- Jeremy Bradley, ‘ The Judicial Imagination’ (Jurisprudence)
- Jacques Couvas, ‘Copenhagen Criteria: still relevant in the EU’s current state of health?’ (European Union Law)
- Kevin Crosby, ‘What can a silent jury do?’ (Criminal Justice/Legal History)
- Ovo Imoedemhe, ‘Universal Jurisdiction under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court: a consensus or a controversy?' (International Criminal Law)
- Henry Jones, ‘Peace and property in the history of international Law’ (International Law/Legal Theory/Legal History)
- Jean-Claude Kalume-Misenga, ‘A critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women’ (International Human Rights Law)
- Shweta Luthra, ‘Socio-Legal perspectives on the consequences for mentally disordered defendants in India and England’ (Criminal Law/Criminal Justice)
- Sangwani Ng'ambi, ‘Stabilization clauses and the Zambian Windfall Tax’ (International investment Law)
- Azin Niksefaty, ‘Why the patients' human rights should be in the centre of medical law?’ (Human Rights)
- Irem Tore, ‘The concept of Foreign Direct Investment' (Investment Law)
- Joe Wills, ‘After Austerity: where now for Socioeconomic Rights?’ (Human Rights)
Each year, the Law Student Course Representatives organise an online survey to identify those lecturers whose teaching has been especially appreciated by students in each year of the degree programme. The results were announced at the Annual Law Ball organised by the Student Law Society and certificates were presented to staff in March 2012. In addition, special awards were made to Dr. Paolo Vargiu (Client Interviewing Competition ) and Dr. Tracey Elliott (Mooting Competition) in recognition of their contribution to the development of student competitions.
Leicester students at the University of Castilla la Mancha, Spain for European and Comparative seminar in Economic Dismissals
In March 2012, students and staff from the School of Law took part in a European and Comparative Labour Law seminar organised at the University of Castilla la Mancha by the European Working Group on Labour Law (EWL)*. The theme was Economic dismissals.
The three day seminar involved the presentation of a students’ national report on the legal framework applicable to redundancies. The following sessions required students from each national delegation to discuss, in a comparative context, a topic associated with the relevant law. The final day saw the working groups present their comparative report in a plenary session and debate on possible reforms of the law.
A delegation of six attended from the University of Leicester: Pascale Lorber and Professor Mark Bell (staff), with Carl Fender, Louise Mackay, Simon McCrossan, and Rachel Willcock (students from the Employment Law LLM by Distance Learning).
Other universities present were: Hannover (Germany), Utrecht (The Netherlands), Castilla de la Mancha (Madrid, Spain), Cassino (Italy), Strasbourg (France).
Students were delighted to discuss a topical employment law subject as numerous European countries are reviewing parts of their employment law in the context of the economic crisis. They also enjoyed working and socialising with European colleagues.
* The School of Law is a member of the EWL and is usually represented by Pascale Lorber and Mark Bell. The EWL is a research network which organises conferences and publishes research papers on European Labour law in a comparative context.
Congratulations to David Hosking who successfully defended his thesis on 2 March 2012 entitled ‘A Critical Study of EU Law and Policy Related to Disability’. His examiners were Mr Colm O’Cinneide, Reader in Laws at UCL and Dr Eugenia Caracciolo di Torella, Lecturer, University of Leicester. David’s supervisor was Prof. Mark Bell.
Deniz’s thesis, ‘Intra-Community Cross-Border E-Commerce: A Consumer Confidence Enhancing Package’, provides a study on possible substantive legal solutions to eliminating barriers that undermine consumer confidence in cross-border e-commerce in the EU. Confirming that accessing rights and remedies is the principle disincentive to consumer confidence, it argues that the answer to increasing consumer confidence lies in empowering individual consumers with effective remedies for goods with quality defects. Her studies in the UK were supported by the Turkish Government. Deniz is a member of the Istanbul Bar Association and is currently working as a researcher at the International Law Department of the Faculty of Law at Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey.
Ruth’s thesis, ‘Access to social security benefits for people who are unable to work because of mental illness’, examines the difficulties which people with mental health conditions experience in establishing and maintaining entitlement to the welfare benefits which underwrite incapacity for work. Ruth worked for many years as an adviser for Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), before joining the University of Leicester, as a (very) mature student, leading to the degree of LLM in social welfare law. On completion, she continued her studies for a doctorate. Ruth continues her CAB work, in which she provides advice on social security benefits and representation of appellants at First-tier and Upper Tribunal appeal tribunals.
James' thesis is entitled 'The Legal and Human Rights Basis of HIV Positive Undocumented African Migrants' Access to Healthcare services in the UK and US: A Non-governmental Based Organization Study'. The study incorporated qualitative research methodologies to perform and empirical examination of the experiences of undocumented African Migrants related to gaining health services. The study focused on the interactions between the health needs of this highly vulnerable population, domestic laws and international human rights law. James will continue his work at the Florida State University in Tallahassee Florida, USA, where he is an Associate Professor.
Dr Sean Thomas, Lecturer in Commercial Law at the School of Law, has been invited to become a member of the Secured Transactions Law Reform Project (Chairman: The Right Hon Lord Saville of Newdigate). This Project was set up following the consultations to changes to system of registrations of charges under the Companies Act 2006 (see http://www.bis.gov.uk/Consultations/registration-of-charges). The Project’s website is http://securedtransactionsproject.wordpress.com/. Dr Thomas will be working alongside legal practitioners, representatives from the financing sector, and other academics as a member of Working Group B on Priorities.
Professor Malcolm N. Shaw Q.C. delivered the first Shabtai Rosenne Memorial Lecture on 24 November at the Peace Palace in The Hague.
Professor Rosenne devoted an important part of his academic life to the study of the International Court of Justice and its predecessor the Permanent Court of International Justice leading to a series of authoritative writings on the law and practice of these courts. He was the first person to be awarded The Hague Prize for International Law in 2004.
In his lecture entitled, “The Peaceful Settlement of Disputes: Paradigms, Plurality and Policy”, Professor Shaw gave an overview of where dispute resolution was at the moment. He emphasised the need to see international law generally and the peaceful settlement of disputes within the context of the contemporary social, political and economic circumstances. Changing circumstances require changing laws, institutions and mechanisms discussing as an example the resolution of the Bakassi dispute between Cameroon and Nigeria with the close involvement of the UN, International Court of Justice. He concluded that international law is about getting things done in the most convenient manner and thus building cooperation, but with the purpose, as Shabtai Rosenne noted, of seeking justice.
On 1 December 2011, Professor Dame Hazel Genn delivered this year’s Jan Grodecki School of Law Lecture, “A New System of Appointing Judges: The First Five Years”. Excellently placed to analyse this issue as she was appointed in 2006 as an Inaugural Commissioner of the Judicial Appointments Commission. Her lecture traced the background to the creation of the Judicial Appointments Commission; in particular the concerns about the extent to which the judiciary reflects the diversity of society.
Thirteen researchers early into their PhD programme met for Research Skills and Legal Argumentation and Method training. Although the November skies were dull and overcast, there was lively discussion and positive feedback from the weeks teaching and workshops. Friday morning saw each researcher make a 10 minute presentation to their PhD colleagues and some members of staff. Earlier in the week a pleasant evening was enjoyed by those who joined the Postgraduate Research Director and Administrator at Terracotta, a local Chinese restaurant.
David Pollard: the University man (1939–2011)
Eulogy delivered by David Bonner at the funeral of David Pollard, who died on 11 November 2011. It was one of three tributes paid to David, and concerned his contribution to the University of Leicester.
The Centre for European Law and Internationalisation changed its name in October 2011 (previously it was known as the Centre for European Law and Integration). The change of name marks a change in direction for the Centre which celebrated its 10th Anniversary this year. The increased flexibility and inter-connectedness between global trade and regulation has allowed the Centre to expand its research interests to embrace internationalisation as well as regionalism.
Professor Erika Szyszczak has edited three books during 2011. The Research Handbook on European State Aid Law, published by Edward Elgar analyses the critical and controversial role of using state funding which propelled issues of state aid to the centre of public discussion as the full extent of the financial crisis unfolded. A second (co-edited) book, Legal Developments in Services of General Interest, published by TMC Asser Press contains two contributions from Leicester academics – Dr Jim Davies, a former LLM and PhD student who is now a Senior Lecturer at Northampton University, and Dr Priscilla Schwartz, a lecturer in law and is the outcome of an international conference, held in London. The third (co-edited) book, Health Care and EU Law, also published by TMC Asser Press, and the outcome of a large international conference held in Nijmegen, addresses the growing competence of the EU to regulate health care law in the Member States of the EU. This ranges from the mutual recognition of medical practioner qualifications, the free movement of medical professionals and establishments (such as medical or dental clinics), to allowing patients to move abroad for medical treatment. This is a controversial issue as the EU has assumed greater regulation over issues of medical ethics, data protection, procurement of medical services and equipment.
Too Many Hurdles
Barriers facing vulnerable consumers in the energy market
A new report by the Centre for Consumers and Essential Services, based in the School of Law, examines the barriers facing vulnerable consumers in obtaining critical information, advice and support in the energy market; the work was funded by the eaga Charitable Trust. The research highlights the increasingly challenging nature of this complex and fast-changing sector, and explores the multiple factors which can place people at risk of being vulnerable, especially in relation to this essential service.
Daniel Attenborough wins Society of Legal Scholars Best Paper Prize
Dr Daniel Attenborough, a Lecturer at the School of Law, has recently been announced as the winner of the prestigious Society of Legal Scholars Best Paper Prize 2011. The Society's 102nd Annual Conference was held at Downing College, University of Cambridge, during the 5th-8th September 2011. His paper 'Giving Purpose to the Corporate Purpose Debate: An Equitable Maximisation and Viability Principle' will appear in the first issue of Legal Studies in 2012. Legal Studies is widely recognised as one of the foremost academic law journals in the UK and enjoys an international readership within the common law world and beyond.
The Role of Labour Standards in Development: From Theory to Sustainable Practice?
The Role of Labour Standards in Development: From Theory to Sustainable Practice? is a collection of essays, which examines the multi-faceted ways in which labour standards can play a role in the achievement of development.
Co-edited by Tonia Novitz (Professor of Labour Law at the University of Bristol Law School) and David Mangan (Lecturer in the Law of Obligations at the University of Leicester), this book draws on papers delivered at a conference sponsored by the British Academy in 2009, including a piece by Professor Mark Bell. It is published by Oxford University Press for the British Academy. Podcasts of the original papers are available on the University of Bristol website.
The theme that transcends all the contributions to this collection is that of human agency. The authors are not merely interested in the realisation of an individual person's 'functioning' in society (which development will assist), but also with the ways that people can be engaged in the very process of defining what development aims should and can be. They do not wish to see economic, social and environmental development objectives as being determined by technical experts and implemented according to their prescriptions. Rather, they consider development in procedural as well as substantive terms, and in participatory as well as material terms.
Three representatives from Allen & Overy, two of whom are Leicester graduates, spent the day meeting students informally in the School of Law’s Harry Peach Library to outline the opportunities for traineeships in the law firm, and what is required to succeed in the competition for such posts. Allen & Overy is one of the country’s five ‘magic circle’ law firms with offices in 39 major cities world-wide. This is one of a number of events organised by the Student Law Society to assist our students in planning their future careers.
At the start of October, Kevin Crosby, one of our PhD students, will be going to Washington DC for four months to study the changing role of the criminal trial jury in nineteenth-century America. His research, funded as part of a joint AHRC/ESRC scheme for PhD students already supported by one these two Research Councils, will be carried out at the Kluge Center in the Library of Congress.
The Library, hidden behind the US Capitol, claims to be the largest in the world, and the Kluge Center is located in the oldest of the Library’s three buildings, the Thomas Jefferson Building. The Library itself a product of the American nineteenth century. Kevin says that this will be “an amazing place for me to learn about nineteenth-century American juries".
James Burbidge QC (LLB, 1978) has been appointed as a Circuit Judge. The law school congratulates James on this judicial appointment. James was formerly practising as a silk from St Philips Chambers in Birmingham. For the chambers announcement of his appointment, see http://www.st-philips.com/StPhilipsHome/News/Judge_Burbidge_QC.aspx
This year there have been two Degree Congregations for law graduates, though the January Congregation was for the conferring of postgraduate degrees only. We congratulate all those who received doctorates, masters degrees and first degrees in 2011.
The weather was kind for the Midsummer ceremony and we all enjoyed the wine and strawberries reception in the quadrangles which the law school overlooks. For the academic staff degree congregations mark the successes of our students at all levels; for those who graduate, this is one of life’s milestones often tinged with nostalgia for time at university coupled with a sense of new beginnings. We encourage all our graduates to keep in touch and to visit these pages often to see what is happening in your law school.
Corporate governance: Stelios Andreadakis
Stelios's thesis is entitled 'Corporate Governance in the Aftermath of the Scandals: The EU response and the role of Ethics', and provides a study of the European Union's initiatives in the area of corporate governance following the series of scandals at the outset of the new millennium. Its main focus is on the role of ethics in the strategy and decision-making process of modern companies worldwide. Stelios worked as a University Tutor in the law school and as a research assistant for Professor Mark Bell, while reading for his doctorate. He is now a Senior Lecturer in Law in the Department of Law at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford.
The best interests of the child: Fortune Ihua-Maduenyi
Fortune’s thesis is entitled Considering the rights and best interests of a child in a multi-cultural civil society with special reference to Nigeria, and provides a study of children’s rights generally from a jurisprudential and historical perspective. It illuminates the difficulty faced by Nigeria in protecting the rights of the child and implementing the best interests of the child principle as contained in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The thesis proposes mechanisms which Nigeria can adopt to ensure that children’s rights and their best interests are protected. Fortune works with the Nigerian Parliament as a Legislative Officer. She combines her job with her strong advocacy for children’s rights and has set up a Non-Governmental Organisation named Advancement for Women and Children’s Rights Initiative (AWACRI) which aims at advancing their rights as well as enlightening policy makers and stakeholders on the need to protect children.
Mohammed’s thesis is entitled The Saudi Arabia Capital Market and the International Standards. Mohammed is now working in his home country of Saudi Arabia. He started his career as a corporate lawyer working with Al-Majal Company for Services and Security Services. In 2004 he joined the Saudi Economic and Development Company (SEDCO). The opportunity to work with SEDCO, considered to be the holding company for all local and regional enterprises owned by the Bin Mahfouz family, provided him with the chance to broaden and hone his legal experience, by interacting with specialists in the fields of law, Sharia, business administration, banking and real estate. Furthermore, it gave him the opportunity to have a close look at a huge quantity of contracts and agreements. His role in the company was primarily to answer all legal enquiries that originated from all our subsidiaries, in addition to reviewing all contracts and agreements during negotiation states and submitting his legal opinion and commentary.
Intellectual Property Law: Walid Muhaisen
Walid’s thesis is entitled Religious and cultural justification of protecting Intellectual Property Law. Walid was active as the Postgraduate Research Student Representative for part of his course. He is currently working as Senior Law Tutor and Acting Head of the Law Department at Brookes College in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.
The main 2012 universities league tables have now been published. The law school has improved its position in every league table:
- The Times Good University Guide ranks Leicester 11th
- The Complete University Guide in association with The Independent ranks Leicester 17th
- The Guardian University Guide ranks Leicester 15th
Leicester does particularly well in terms of student satisfaction.
On 16 June 2011, staff, students and visitors to the Law School welcomed Prof. Allan Beever (University of South Australia) for an inaugural Global Private Law lecture on the law of nuisance entitled ‘The Failure of Modern Private law’. In a tour de force drawing on case-law from throughout the common law, Prof Beever began, citing Fontainebleau Hotel Corp. v. Forty-Five Twenty-Five Inc. ( 114 So. 2d 357, 1959 Fla. App.) , by analysing the role of private law in resolving nuisance cases by balancing individual rights inter se, he then turned to the more policy-oriented, judicially activist approaches of more recent times referring inter alia to Lord Denning’s famous eulogising of the game of cricket in Miller v Jackson (1977) Q.B. 966. Prof. Beever argued that the law of nuisance is increasingly losing sight of its function, ethos and underpinnings, and is now incapable of even respecting its own core values. As a result tort law is becoming increasingly authoritarian and, regrettably, this is a process in which academic lawyers are heavily implicated. Arguably, though this trend is most visible in the law of tort, it can be found, in different guises, in other areas of private law. Prof. Beever concluded that the trend to authoritarianism should be a source of much greater alarm.
The event was organised by Global Private law and supported by the Centre for European Law and Integration.
On 10 June 2011, the Labour Law Cluster of the Centre for European Law and Integration hosted a half day seminar on the Equality Act 2010, in conjunction with the LLM in Employment Law distance learning programme. The Equality Act is one of the most significant pieces of legislation in employment law for many years. The aim of the seminar was to consider some of the aspects tackled, or not tackled, by the Equality Act one year on and assess where we are now on the equality agenda with the benefit of hindsight and within the context of a change of government. Five speakers were invited to give their analysis: Barbara Cohen a discrimination law consultant, currently the vice chair of the Discrimination Law Association introduced the Act and the main changes it brought to anti-discrimination law; Sally Brett the equality officer of the TUC and graduate of the LLM in Employment law programme focussed on the thorny issue of equal pay; Professor Lizzie Barmes from Queen Mary, University of London considered the potential of positive action through the relevant sections of the Act and touched upon the positive duties imposed on the public sector and Professor Mark Bell and Pascale Lorber, from the School of Law, discussed the operation of the principle of equal treatment outside the Equality Act considering the protection available to part-time workers and fixed term employees. The seminar attracted a good audience of current and past LLM students, as well as University staff and lawyers, human resources managers and academics.
During her recent period of research leave, and in the light of continuing developments in the conflict of laws at European level, Lorna Gillies has started a research project on the 'Europeanisation of the Conflict of Laws' towards a monograph on the subject. In April 2011, Lorna gave a paper at the Fourth Journal of Private International Law Conference held at the University of Milan entitled 'The Europeanisation of Private International Law, Residual Jurisdiction and Third States: Competence and Necessity' at a session which was chaired by Professor Fausto Pocar (University of Milan, former UN ICT President). Lorna has also secured a Visiting Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London, to further assist in the research and writing of her project. She expects to visit the Institute during 2012. Lorna has also been invited by the Chinese Society of Private International Law to give a paper in Beijing in October 2011 at a conference to be held at the Faculty of International Law, China University of Political Science of Law (CUPL) .
Pablo Cortés at the Online Dispute Resolution Forum in Chennai
Pablo Cortés has been funded by the British Academy to attend from the 7th to 9th of February the Online Dispute Resolution Forum in Chennai, India. At the Forum he presented his new book, Online Dispute Resolution for Consumers in the European Union, and discussed new trends in the field of conflict settlement and technology.
Pablo Cortés at the UNCITRAL expert meeting
From the 28th of February to 1st of March Pablo was funded by the UN to participate in an expert meeting held by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). The meeting was organised by UNCITRAL in Vienna for the preparation of draft rules for Online Dispute Resolution in Cross-Border Electronic Transactions. Subsequently, from the 23rd to the 27th of May, he attended the meeting with all the delegations at the UN in New York. This meeting was the 23 rd session of UNCITRAL Working Group III and Pablo participated as part of the Internet Bar delegation.
Over the last year the School of Law has been taking part in the national Green Impact accreditation scheme <www.eauc.org.uk/green_impact> designed to minimise our environmental impact by reducing, reusing and recycling materials as much as we can around the School. The Law Green Impact team introduced recycling points across the School to facilitate the recycling of batteries, stamps and scrap paper, and to ensure that best environmental practice was followed wherever possible. The team also worked to Increase awareness about greener travel methods and energy saving. As a result of its efforts, the School has been awarded a Bronze Green Impact award (and a Fuchsia plant now resident on Law Reception) at a ceremony attended by the Pro Vice Chancellor Christine Fyfe and representatives of the national Green Impact organisers.
Not one to rest on its (green) laurels the Green Impact team is already working towards achieving the silver award next year. For more information regarding the University’s plans to be greener, please visit http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/estates/environment
On May 18 2011 we hosted the second of the Leicester Legal & Political Theory Lectures. We welcomed Leslie Green who is Professor of the Philosophy of Law at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Balliol College as our speaker. Professor Green gave an immensely rigorous and engaging lecture on 'Sex-Neutral Marriage', chaired by Professor Claire Grant (Law) and Dr. Philip Cook (Politics).
The lecture was followed by a wine reception in the Harry Peach Library. The event was attended by around seventy staff and students from departments across the University, in addition to some staff from nearby Universities and members of the public. This lecture series features eminent legal and political theorists; they are the first of several initiatives jointly organized by staff in the School of Law and the Department of Politics and International Relations.
In a one-day symposium, the School celebrated the work of former colleague and friend Aileen Kavanagh. Aileen’s book Constitutional Review under the UK Human Rights Act (CUP, 2009) is one of the most prominent analyses of the British constitutional landscape after the Human Rights Act. Aileen’s work was commented on by Jan van Zyl Smit (Oxford Brookes), Adam Tucker (former colleague, now at Manchester), Kai Möller (LSE) and Panu Minkkinen. Stefano Bertea and another former colleague Trevor Buck (DMU) chaired the sessions. Aileen responded to her commentators and also revealed that she will be continuing her work in constitutional theory, perhaps now focusing on the separation of powers which was an underlying theme of her book, as well. Together with Stefano Bertea, Aileen founded the School of Law’s Legal Theory Discussion Group. So the symposium was a chance for the key figures of the Group to get together to discuss Aileen’s work in the inspiring and collegial atmosphere that the Group always stood for.
A one-day workshop on 28th April celebrated the launch of the European Society of International Law‘s new interest group on Feminism and International Law. ‘International Law and Feminist Futures‘ brought together an international group of academics, committed to feminist approaches in order to develop and share their research, generate ideas for future events and collaborations and consider what contribution feminist analysis can make to the future of international law. Professor Dianne Otto of the University of Melbourne gave a rousing keynote speech, which examined the paradoxes of feminist engagement with law‘s engrained power structures, in particular Security Council Resolutions on women and peace and security issues. The event ended with a roundtable discussion in which a shared commitment to bring feminist transformations to the mainstream of the international law discourse emerged; and with this in mind, the interest group will be running a panel and another roundtable discussion at the ESIL Research Forum in Tallinn in May. For details and the group’s blog, see http://igfemlaw.wordpress.com ).
Loveday Hodson’s NGOs and the Struggle for Human Rights in Europe has been published by Hart Publishing. The book provides a fresh perspective on the litigation of the European Court of Human Rights by focusing upon the role that non-governmental organisations play in it. The inspiration for this work was the growing literature that points to human rights as the outcome of political and social struggles. The role that NGOs play in these struggles is well-documented in the context of other international and regional human rights tribunals, but has been less widely written about in the context of the European Court of Human Rights. The Court is typically subject to legalistic, as opposed to socio-political, scrutiny. In this book the Court's litigation is re-cast as a site where politically motivated actors attempt to impact upon the meaning that is given to the language of the European Convention on Human Rights and to use the Convention as a mechanism that can contribute to social change. For the purposes of this research a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research techniques are adopted. These methods facilitate the author's desire to obtain both a de-centred perspective on the Court's functions and a systematic picture of the scale of NGO involvement in the Court's litigation. The core of this work is primarily based on data obtained from a sample of cases in which the Court had delivered judgment, and a plethora of associated materials, including extensive interviews with NGOs that were involved in those cases. Ultimately, this book challenges the idea that the litigation of the Court is bound to the idea of achieving individual justice and highlights the meaningful impact that NGOs have on certain important sections of the Court's litigation.
Philip Milton, who joined the law school in 1974, retired at the end of April 2011. Philip has taught generations of students criminal law, jurisprudence, and legal history during his career in the law school. He is an expert on the life and work of John Locke; and he plans to continue this work into his retirement. In 2006 he published with his twin brother, An Essay concerning Toleration and Other Writings on Law and Politics, 1667-1683 in the prestigious Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke. It has been widely praised by reviewers. One reviewer referred to the material as being presented “with stupendous scholarly care and attention to detail” and described the book as a “marvellous aid for those teaching and studying Locke's political thought.” Philip will be remembered in the law school for his erudition and lively wit in both formal and informal settings. To mark his retirement, a group of colleagues spent an enjoyable evening over dinner reminiscing on his 36 years as an academic in the law school.
The Supreme Court convened in March to hear argument in an appeal to determine whether a builder who had agreed to accept a lesser sum in settlement of the full debt could nevertheless sue for the balance of the contract price for renovating property. This was the final of this year’s Senior Mooting Competition. The finalists were Krishma Patel and Priya Bakshi for the appellant developer, and Amanda Montano and Elizabeth Ho for the respondent builder. All four finalists are to be congratulated in coming through four earlier rounds in the competition to reach the final. The final was closely argued with distinction by both teams, and Tracey Elliott, the presiding judge, said that it was difficult to separate the two teams. There had, however, to be a winning team, and by a narrow margin Amanda Montano and Elizabeth Ho were declared winners of the 2011 competition. The Peter Kavanagh Plate for the best individual mooter was awarded to Amanda Montano. The competition is sponsored by SNR Denton, and largely organised by the Student Law Society’s Master of the Moots, Rory Abel. This year the proceedings were filmed, which added additional glamour and excitement to the final.
On 22-25 March, the Law School participated in the annual seminar of the European Working Group on Labour Law. This year the School was represented by Julie McClelland, Ryan Hunting, Nathan Woodcock and Robyn Craven who presented their report into the situation in UK law for those who perform work, but without a contract of employment (e.g. casual workers or agency workers). The team gave a presentation to an audience of students and academics from six European universities and participated in comparative law workshops.
On a warm March day, some of our PhD researchers met to deliver a presentation on an aspect of their research, and attempted to answer questions from their colleagues and staff members, at the annual Graduate Conference. There were 15 presentations on topics ranging from ‘juries in the seventeenth century’ to ‘the impact of corporate governance on foreign direct investment’ decisions in Turkey’. Once again, the Belmont Hotel kindly sponsored an evening meal for the participants and an enjoyable evening ensued.
Research student presentation titles
The launch event of the European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group on Feminism and International Law was held 28th April 2011. Bringing together individuals committed to feminist approaches in order to develop and share research, generate ideas for future events and collaborations, and consider what contribution feminist analysis can make to the future of international law.
Conference page: Feminism and International Law Interest Group Launch Event
On March 9th 2011 we hosted the inaugural session of the Leicester Legal & Political Theory Lectures. The LLPT Lectures are the first of several new initiatives jointly organized by staff of the Law School and the Department of Politics. The lecture series hosts scholars working at the pinnacle of their fields in legal and political theory. We were therefore delighted to warmly welcome Matthew Kramer who is Professor of Legal & Political Philosophy at the University of Cambridge as our first speaker. Professor Kramer gave an immensely rigorous and engaging lecture on 'Austin on Punishment', chaired by Professor Claire Grant (Law) and Dr. Philip Cook (Politics). The lecture was followed by a wine reception in the Harry Peach Library. The event was attended by around fifty staff and students from Law & Politics, in addition to some staff from nearby Universities. The next lecture is on May 18th, when we welcome Professor Leslie Green who will talk on 'Sex-Neutral Marriage.'
Dr Paul Behrens from the School of Law and Dr Olaf Jensen (School of Historical Studies) have been awarded funding from the British Academy for a research initiative under the title 'A Contextual View of Genocidal Intent'. Specific intent is the element which gives the crime of genocide its particular character, but it is also an aspect which can be particularly difficult to prove. The British Academy award will allow the organisation of a conference on this topic (from 21 – 23 September 2011), which will bring together international experts from a variety of disciplines with an interest in genocide studies. The findings of this event will be of particular interest to academics from legal, historical and political sciences, psychology and anthropology, but also to policy makers, NGOs and journalists who have to deal with genocide on a regular basis. Dr Behrens and Dr Jensen intend to publish the conference conclusions as part of a book series. The research initiative is part of the Leicester Project on Genocide and the Holocaust.
Professor Malcolm Shaw QC retired from the Sir Robert Jennings Chair of International Law at the end of February after nearly 22 years as a professor at the University. Full story
On 26 November 2010, our doctoral students held their inter-disciplinary conference entitled ‘Human Rights Beyond Borders: Challenges and Opportunities in the Contemporary Globalisation Era’ as part of the Centre for European Law and Integration tenth anniversary activities.
The conference, attended by over 50 delegates, provided a forum in which doctoral researchers from different disciplines such as law, international relations, political and social theory, and economics, addressed contemporary human rights questions in a range of formal and informal settings. Ten doctoral researchers from all over Europe and as far afield as Israel presented their work. The presentations were thought-provoking, and were followed by lively debates with an engaged and enthusiastic audience.
Keynote lectures were delivered by Dr. Saladin Meckled-Garcia (UCL) on ‘Human rights state and non-state actors: A brief for an international convention on extra-territorial criminal liability’ and by Professor Sigrun Skogly (University of Lancaster) on ‘Foreign policy and human rights violations; complicity or impunity?’
The dynamic day ended with a general discussion at a round table, followed by a reception.
Once again, and in the current austere financial climate, the students have organised what we believe is the only law fair organised by students for students. This year’s career reps for the solicitors branch of the profession, Louise Monk and Sweta Tejpal, led a team of helpers in arranging for well over thirty stands to be presented in the Students Union by leading law firms and LPC course providers. Both visitors and students were impressed with the organisation of the day, and the interest shown by our students. It was good to see a number of our own graduates representing leading law firms.
Congratulations to Alex Kastrinou on the award of her doctorate. Alex’s thesis: European Corporate Insolvency Law: an analysis of the corporate rescue laws of France, Greece and the United Kingdom, provides an overview of the insolvency laws of the three jurisdictions, while the main focus is on the corporate rescue mechanisms that are available in the those jurisdictions. Alex held a scholarship as a graduate teaching assistant in the law school while reading for her doctorate. She is now a Senior Lecturer in Law in the Department of Finance and Business Law at the University of Westminster.
Professor Conor Gearty FBA has delivered the 2010 lecture which is delivered annually in memory of the law school’s founding professor Jan Grodecki. Conor Gearty’s subject was ‘The UN and Human Rights: Time for a Great Awakening’.
In his lecture, which links with his current online writing project— http://therightsfuture.com/about/ —Conor argued that there were limitations in the protection of human rights under United Nations and Council of Europe machinery, which allowed States to offer a pretence at human rights protection. Only the protection of fundamental rights within the European Union, by reason of its supranational status, had the capacity to penetrate the national legal orders in a meaningful way.
Richard Sykes, a partner with national law firm, Mills & Reeve, again visited the law school to present the Mills & Reeve Scholarship to the student with the best results in the first year examinations. Richard Sykes is pictured making the presentation to Maija Uibo.
A sizeable audience enjoyed this year’s Junior Moot Final which serves to showcase the mooting experience, in particular for the first year students who might be contemplating taking part in the 2011 competition. The competition is sponsored by The College of Law, to whom the law school is grateful. Laura McQuitty from the College of Law was the presiding judge joined by Cosmo Graham and Tracey Elliott from the law school. The winners, in a well-contested moot, were Kathryn Stewart and Katrina Thomson, counsel for the appellants. The runners up were Kevin Sharpe and David Morawetz, counsel for the respondents. All the finalists were congratulated on the quality of their advocacy in an excellent final. Laura McQuitty is pictured presenting the trophy to Kathryn and Katrina.
In partnership with academics from the School of Law, the International Labour Organisation is providing its first training course on international labour standards and precarious workers (22-26 November 2010). This event will be held at the ILO International Training Centre in Turin, examining topics such as fixed-term and part-time work; home work; agency work; and disguised employment relationships. The ILO training courses are typically aimed at officials from Labour Ministries and trade unionists, often from the developing world.
Contact: email@example.com | Event information
In a second piece of work, Virginia Mantouvalou was commissioned to produce a research report for the International Labour Organisation on 'Labour Inspection Sanctions and Remedies in the United Kingdom'. The report, part of a major international study, will be presented at a conference with experts from different jurisdictions in Venice in December 2010. In 2011 it will be published in a collection edited by the International Labour Organisation.