Commemorating 100 Years of Women in Law at the School of Law

In 2019, the School of Law considered how best to commemorate the centenary of women being allowed to practise law. Our aims were to educate and inform each other through a cross-disciplinary and student-focused approach underpinned by the University’s Principles of Partnership, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment.

The series of events, “100 Years of Women’s Voices”, was born and involved the performance of a staff-student play, a cross-disciplinary symposium, a student-led art exhibition, a student poetry competition, and the production of a collaborative book. These activities aligned closely with the University’s Teaching and Learning Strategy by offering students the best possible co-curricular personal development opportunities that enable them to reach their full potential.

The Play

The Play: ‘The Disppearance of Miss Bebb’

In 1913, Gwyneth Bebb challenged the Law Society’s refusal to allow women to become solicitors. Research by Professor Rosemary Auchmuty at the School of Law on the life of Bebb inspired dramatist, Alex Giles, to write a radio play, “The Disappearance of Miss Bebb”. Given the play’s provenance, it was apt that the School of Law should stage the play as part of our centenary celebrations. A large cast of students was assembled, and four members of staff (including Rosemary) took cameo roles. The performances (at the University’s Minghella Studios) informed, educated, and inspired and the play was hailed as a ‘triumph’ by a packed house. Student feedback was also overwhelmingly positive. One student noted the “fantastic environment”, and the “excitement and passion” of her fellow students. Another said, “I’m so grateful to have collected such wonderful memories! Truly unforgettable.” Yet others remarked, “we formed a real comradery which I believe shone through”, and, “the play has taught me never to give up”. Another said that he had learnt, “a great deal” about “how essential it is that we strive for equality in today’s society.”

See here for clips of rehearsals for the play.

The Symposium:

The playwright, Alex Giles, joined speakers from across the University and from the charities, Alana House and Women in Prison, for an afternoon of short ‘TED’-style talks. The Symposium was open to all students and staff and consisted of three seminars: ‘Past Protagonists’, ‘Present Challenges’, and ‘Future Hope’.

The Art Exhibition:

The art exhibition, ‘The Empowerment of the Female Artist’ included the work of staff at the School of Law and students at the Institute of Education.

The Poetry Competition

A poetry competition was organised on the theme of ‘equality’ which was open to all members of the University. The entries were celebrated and shared during a reading at the School of Law.

The Commemorative Book

Student involvement was integral to the design and creation of a commemorative book. The contributions from each of the events were collated into a beautiful anthology that is a lasting testament to “100 Years of Women’s Voices”. The book enables a wider audience to be reached and it provides students with a material record of their achievements.

The Global South Dialogue on Economic and Financial Crime Network – Inaugural conference

Dr. Folashade Adeyemo is co-hosting the inaugural conference of The Global South Dialogue on Economic and Financial Crime Network due to take place on Saturday 12th September, 2020.

This conference welcomes abstracts on contextualized regulatory reforms with the aim of resolving existing asymmetries and strengthening financial crime regulations in the Global South.

Abstracts submissions can be on the following themes:

  • Money Laundering Regulation
  • Tax Evasion and Avoidance
  • Financial Regulation
  • Terrorist Financing
  • Tax Expenditures
  • Whistleblowing
  • Asset Recovery
  • Corruption
  • Bribery
  • Fraud
  • The Intersection between Financial and Economic crimes
  • International Economic Law (broadly speaking)

Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words. Please also provide a CV or brief resume and your current affiliation. Deadline for submission is 31st May 2020.

Abstracts should be sent to Vazinge@lincoln.ac.uk and/or F.adeyemo@reading.ac.uk

See here for more details.

 

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.