Law comes to life at Leicester

Posted by mjs76 at Dec 09, 2011 04:15 PM |
Students gain legal insight from participant in famous case.
Law comes to life at Leicester

Dr Dawn Watkins with Mrs Valerie Burns

Final year students in our School of Law were delighted to welcome a ‘real life’ litigant to their ‘Equity and Trusts’ lecture recently. A guest lecture was given by Valerie Burns, one of the litigants in a high profile property dispute which reached the Court of Appeal in the 1980s.

Mrs Burns was an unmarried cohabitant and she received no assistance from the law. It is likely that her case would be decided in just the same way today.  Mrs Burns explained to the students the circumstances that gave rise to the dispute and her disappointment in the way that the law proved inadequate in protecting her interests.

For the students it was an invaluable opportunity to hear about a historically important, well-documented case from someone who was actually involved, as summed up by Swetha Ajit Kumar: “It helps us understand the need for reforms in areas of law to give rise to justice.”

Mrs Burns’ visit was organised by Dr Dawn Watkins, a lecturer in the School of Law, who is conducting a research project entitled ‘Recovering the Lost Human Stories of Law’.  Mrs Burns was interviewed by Dr Watkins as a part of that project and she kindly agreed to speak to the students whilst she was visiting the University.

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