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.
Chris Newdick was appointed by the Welsh government to be a member of a six-person Committee of Public Inquiry into NHS Wales on Individual Patient Funding Requests for medicines and other treatments not routinely purchased by the NHS. The report and the evidence it received were published in January 2017.
In March 2017, the Welsh government accepted all of the report’s recommendations. The proposals are to be implemented throughout Wales by September 2017. In his statement to the Welsh Assembly, the Welsh Cabinet Secretary, Vaughan Gething states: “Today, I’ve written to health board chairs to confirm the arrangements for implementing all of the recommendations by September of this year… taken together, all of the recommendations, when implemented, will have a positive impact on the IPFR process, making it more easily understandable and less prone to being misused… I would like to finish by thanking the review group in their entirety for their effort and commitment in tackling what is a highly complex area, and in doing so compassionately and intelligently, and delivering their recommendations within a challenging timeframe” (agenda item 3).
On Saturday 12 March 2016, the Reading team competed in the UK National Round of the prestigious Telders International Law Moot Competition, which was hosted at the University of Sheffield. The UK round involves teams from across the country competing for a chance to take part in the International Finals in The Hague in April. Telders is an external mooting competition specific to International Law, which is now in its 39th year. The Reading team – Angela Bokias, Coralie Barker, Salvatore D’Arrigo and Katharine Robinson – performed to an extremely high level. They ultimately came second in the competition, only five points behind the eventual winners Inner Temple, who now go on to compete at The Hague. Congratulations to the Reading team!
Following on from Susan Breau’s visit to Oman, the Law School was delighted to host a delegation from Sultan Qaboos Univeristy on Monday this week.
The Delegation included Dr Rashid Al Balushi (Assistant Dean and Prof of Criminal Law, Sultan Qabous University), Dr.Iman AlBusaidi (Deputy Director, Sultan Qabous Cultural Centre) and Salahaddin Al Saadi (Assistant Director, Internationalisation, Sultan Qabous University).
The group were met by Colleagues from the International Office and the Law School and potential partnership opportunities and ways of working together in the future were discussed.
Susan Breau, Head of the School of Law, visited the College of Law at Sultan Qaboos University recently. Ways to develop academic and research ties between the two institutions were discussed. Members of the College of Law at SQU were interested to hear about the Pro Bono projects and other opportunities for law students in Reading. Professor Breau said that collaboration with a law school in Oman is very important for the School of Law considering the importance of Oman as a mediator in resolving the crisis in the Middle East and the Arab region. She also said that Reading is offering the first postgraduate program in Global Crisis, Conflict and Disaster Management and that many Omani students are pursing higher studies in law at the School of Law at the University of Reading.
Today the Supreme Court and the Privy Council reversed 30 years of English case law and effectively abolished the doctrine of ‘joint enterprise’ in murder cases.
Dr Beatrice Krebs, a lecturer at the University of Reading’s School of Law, had previously argued in two articles, cited to the Court by the appellants, that the Privy Council took a wrong turn in Chan Wing-Siu and that the House of Lords was wrong to have followed that decision in Powell and Rahman.
Dr Krebs said: “It was wrong to equate foresight of a killing by the principal offender with intention that the principal offender commit the killing. Consequently the threshold for conviction of secondary parties was lower than that required for convicting the person who actually wielded the knife or gun. Both these arguments were accepted by the Court.
“The Supreme Court acknowledged that, in contrast to previous courts that considered joint enterprise, it had ‘had the benefit of a far deeper and more extensive review of the topic’.
“I am proud to have assisted Ameen Jogee’s defence team, led by Felicity Gerry QC, and I am grateful to Felicity for giving me the opportunity to help change the law.”
Read Dr Beatrice Kreb’s landmark paper: Mens rea in joint enterprise: a role for endorsement?
The School of Law at the University of Reading was identified as one of the UK’s top 10 research-intensive Law Schools by REF 2014, reflecting the volume and concentration of internationally-excellent research conducted across the whole of the School (THES, 01/01/2015). We were also ranked 25th in the country by the REF 2014 process for our excellent research strength, with 100% of our research activity being adjudged to be of world-leading or international quality. In particular, the REF confirmed that Law at Reading offers an outstanding research environment which has an inclusive culture of producing work of the highest quality across all areas of research activity.
For more details on the University of Reading’s REF performance and results, please visit http://www.reading.ac.uk/ref-2014/ref-2014.aspx.
The law school has just launched Global Law at Reading (GLAR), a major new teaching and research hub for law staff and students working in public international law, EU law and human rights. The GLAR website has recently been developed and is now live: www.reading.ac.uk/globallaw This provides up-to-date information on GLAR, including news and events, relevant staff profiles, publications and research, and much more. As such, it is an invaluable resource especially for those interested in studying public international law, EU law or human rights at Reading, whether for one of our dedicated GLAR LLM programmes or the PhD. The GLAR website will be continually updated with news and events concerning the work done in global law areas at the University, and will soon feature a regular free podcast featuring debates and papers on GLAR topics.