Reading University Law Society Wins ‘Best Mooting Activities’ Award

On 15 March 2018 the LawCareers.Net Student Law Society Awards brought together students, recruiters, partners and trainees with the LawCareers.Net team for a networking-rich presentation at Painters’ Hall in London.

The annual event recognises the dedication of student committees across the country offering their members innovative careers events and comprehensive pro bono and mooting activities, alongside more traditional opportunities to socialise with their peers. Nominated societies were selected from the submissions of 48 student law society committees, alongside over 2,200 votes from their members.

“This year was the second year in a row that the University of Reading Law society was nominated for the ‘Best Mooting Activities’ Award sponsored by Blake Morgan. We are extremely happy to have our work recognised this year by winning the award!” – Harry Stewart, President, Reading University Law Society

The Law School is incredibly proud of our student Law Society who work tirelessly throughout the year to provide social and co-curricular activities for our students and to advocate for our Law students. This award is thoroughly well-deserved for their efforts in organising mooting and advocacy activities for all of our Law students – we have the internal Osborne Clarke mooting competition (64 competitors) which has its final in the Supreme Court on Wednesday 20th March, speed mooting sessions, an internal criminal advocacy competition where students practice the art of prosecuting or defending in a criminal trial. They send advocates to the BPP Advocate of the Year competition (we have Sam Carson in the final 12 next weekend), USSU National Mock Trial competition, UH/Blackstone’s National Criminal Advocacy Competition as well as many external moots.

Congratulations to our Masters of Moots Edith Scott & Mukund Kalla and all of the committee!

Meditation Training and the National Student Mediation Competition 2018-2019, sponsored by BDB Pitmans Reading

The School of Law has a long standing relationship with Resolve, a Reading based Community Mediation organisation.  Resolve trains approximately 40 law students each year in community mediation skills, and many trained students go on to assist in Resolve based activities. In 2018 it was decided to invite three Resolve trained students to form a team to represent Reading in the Annual Student Mediation competition. To enable the students to obtain additional skills in professional mediation BDB Pitmans’ Reading Office agreed to provide six sessions of additional mediation training after hours in their Reading offices.  In addition to the three Resolve students (Alyana Rahman, Idara Etiebet and Clara Tate) four other final year students, who had not undertaken mediation training, joined the class (Beatrice Alamu, Rebecca Walker, Keitlina Gashi and Nur Diana Bini Aziz). The training was provided by Reading law alumnus Tim Clark and his partner David Gwillim. The students worked through previous competition problems, perfecting their role playing skills and increasingly became effective and confident mediators. It is a tribute to both students and their instructors that the classes had a 100% attendance rate and never finished before 7:30 pm.

The team of three attended the national mediation competition over two days in January at the University of the West of England in Bristol. They took part in three mediations with members of the team acting as either as a client or a mediator. Although the team was not one of the winners, it was a fantastic experience for all concerned, as can be seen from the following comments by the students.

“I have noticed a great difference in my mediation and role-playing skills and I could not be more appreciative of this growth”. “The training was beyond what I expected”. “The skills and experience i have got from this Programme are precious and I have built so much more confidence and improved my public speaking skills”. “I really appreciate the time, resources and encouragement Tim and David provided”.

The School of Law is extremely grateful to BDB Pitmans for sponsoring this competition and in particular to Tim Clark and David Gwillim for providing such friendly and structured training to this group of final year students.

Alumni Lecture – Dr Rosalynd Roberts discusses Serious violations of International Humanitarian Law

Ensuring Accountability for Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes

The University’s 2018 Alumna of the Year, Dr Rosalynd Roberts, returned to Reading in March to present an informative, inspiring and at points challenging insight into the adjudication of war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, and the role she has played in this regard.

Having graduated with a PhD from the School of Law in 2011, Dr Roberts was appointed as a Legal Officer in Chambers at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), spending much of her time between 2011 – 2017 assisting judges in the trial of Ratko Mladic – named by the media as the “Butcher of Bosnia”.

Having flown in from Sarajevo specifically for the event, Dr Roberts delivered her talk to a room of students, staff and members of the local community. And despite the raw subject matter and graphic depictions of some of the horrifying atrocities committed during the conflict – it was clear just what an inspiring journey she has had in her career since leaving Reading.

Dr Roberts set-out to an engaged room the legal mandate of the ICTY, explaining how this differs from that of other international courts, and illustrating, via the ‘Pyramid of Hate’, how bias, prejudice and discrimination, if left unchecked, have the potential to escalate to the serious crimes that fell within the ICTY’s jurisdiction

The impact the ICTY’s jurisprudence will continue to have on international criminal law is clear. Its judgments in relation to gender crimes, crimes involving sexual violence towards men and its precedent for no longer affording impunity to those in positions of power places it as a landmark tribunal in legal history.

The audience will have been left in little doubt that the impact of the outcomes and precedents that the Tribunal has set gives hope for the future that no-one, whatever standing they may have in their society, is immune from the reach of international law if they are involved in such awful acts and atrocities.

UoR School of Law Launchpad Pancake Race

© S2S Photography. Paul Clarke

The annual Launchpad Reading pancake race has been run on Broad Street for over 20 years to raise money for the Launchpad homelessness charity. Teams from local businesses batter it out, egged on by cheering crowds.

This year a team from the undergraduate land law module at the University of Reading School of Law, comprising of second year students Sarah Lister, Sarah Turner and Emma Francis and lecturer Adrian Aronsson-Storrier participated in the race.

The University of Reading Law School won Best Fundraiser for raising £1000 in five days.

Please follow the link below to see more details and to donate!

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/launchpadlandlawfundraiser

Criminal Justice: the limits of community

On Saturday 10 November 2018, the School of Law at the University of Reading hosted a public research event in the historic Grade 1 Listed building of Minster of St. Mary-the-Virgin, located in Reading city centre. It formed part of the ESRC’s (Economic and Social Research Council) Festival of Social Science, a week-long national programme of events designed to celebrate the social sciences and bring them to a wider public audience.

The programme for the event is available here.

Our event turned Reading Minister into an interactive exhibition space filled with studies on crime and criminal justice carried out by University of Reading researchers at the School of Law, plus a range of other partners and associated researchers. Through the use of mini-lectures and visual data – including photography, artifacts, and videos – the event challenged visitors to think about the history and impact of incarceration, criminalisation, and our societal appetite to punish offenders. It asked questions such as: Can the use of criminal punishments prevent unwanted deaths? How has punishment changed over the years? What does history tell us about what and who should be criminalised? Should the death penalty be reintroduced? How do prisons differ across the world?

Hundreds of members of the local community came by during the day to listen, view, and browse the projects on display, and to talk to the researchers involved in the projects.

Tweets about the event can be found at #limitsofcommunity.

 

Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation Research Seminar Series 2019

 

The Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation at Reading will host research events discussing topical issues on various aspects of commercial law between the months of January and March this year. The events are dedicated to interdisciplinary conversations and will bring practitioners from across the commercial law sphere together with national and international academics. The series aims to explore the main issues regarding Commercial and IP law and regulation as they concern the appropriate policy intervention to sharing of data, data security and data governance. The seminars will provide opportunities for students and guests to immerse themselves, and participate in riveting debates with our staff and participants.

Attendance is Free. Visitors coming from outside the University of Reading are requested to send advanced notification of their attendance to commercialllms@reading.ac.uk

Read more about the CCLFR Research Seminar Series.

Read more about the Intellectual Property Law Research Seminar Series.

Celebrating 40 years of Reading Law graduates

The reception in the Churchill rooms to celebrate 40 years of Reading law graduates

On the evening of Thursday 7 September over 90 Reading alumni, guests, staff and student representatives met to celebrate 40 years of Reading law graduates. The alumni present included eight of the first graduates, all of whom successfully entered one or other branch of the legal profession.

Alumni ranged from the 1977 graduates to those who graduated in 2015. It was clear by the volume in the room that old friendships were frequently renewed to the delight of all concerned. Students and recent graduates were able to talk to those whose memory of the School of Law were portacabins behind the URS building rather than the more imposing Foxhill House.

Six of the first Reading law graduates from 1977

A common theme in conversation was how friendly and supportive the School was, and still is, to its students. The reception was honoured to be addressed by His Honour Sir Robin Knowles CBE, a High Court Judge and a long standing supporter of the Bar Pro Bono Unit. Sir Robin in his address focused on the importance of JUSTICE and its vision of fair, accessible and efficient legal processes, in which the individual’s rights are protected, and which reflect the country’s international reputation for upholding and promoting the rule of law. He commended the School of Law for its commitment to encourage law students to become involved in pro bono activities, and expressed the hope that organisations like JUSTICE and the School of Law could assist in achieving the goal of strengthening the justice system in the United Kingdom. Professor Susan Breau, Head of the School of Law, thanked alumni for their support of the School and invited them to continue to do so in particular in the implementations of the proposed reforms to the profession. She also officially launched the Patricia Leopold Fund, named after Emerita Professor Leopold and established to support and encourage pro bono, co-curricular activities and work experience by law students. Emerita Patricia Leopold concluded by thanking the speakers and all who attended and encouraged alumni to ‘keep in touch’.

The University is grateful to alumnus Michael Hatchard for his support of the event and Robert Jennick MP for making it possible to hold the event in the wonderful location of the Churchill Rooms.

Reading Hosts University of Hertfordshire and Blackstone’s National Criminal Advocacy Competition 2015 Round 2

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From right to left: University of Leicester team (Robert Quartly and Sefki Bayram), Judge Johannah Cutts QC and University of Reading team (Mark Jenkins and David Tan)

 

On Wednesday 29th April 2015 the School of Law hosted the second round of the UH/Blackstone’s National Criminal Advocacy Competition against the University of Leicester. Finalist Mark Jenkins and first year student David Tan acted as prosecutors examining and cross-examining the complainant (marvelously played by first year student Ruth Cottington-Bray) and defendant (exquisitely played by Dr Nicholas Roberts) in the case of  R v Webber against the defence team (final year students Sefki Bayram and Robert Quartly). Judge Johannah Cutts QC of Reading Crown Court decided the case and provided detailed feedback to the competitors on their individual performances. As the competition is based on a calculation of scores, rather than a knock-out basis, we will find out in due course whether Mark and David have made it through to the semi-final round.