Ruvi Ziegler at the 10th constitutional court review conference in Johannesburg

 Dr Ziegler has been keeping busy during his research visit to South Africa, under the auspices of the South Africa Research Chair in International Law (SARCIL)

Last Month, he participated in the 10th constitutional court review conference in Johannesburg, presenting a paper on ‘effective access to refugee protection in South Africa’ alongside Justice Kapindu of Malawi High Court (a conference report is available here).

In September, Dr Ziegler gave invited talks about “No Asylum for ‘infiltrators’: Israel’s Dysfunctional asylum system” at the Refugee Rights Unit, University of Cape Town and at the African Centre for Migration and Society, University of Witwatersrand.

He also chaired a panel at the ‘Beyond 50 and 10 beyond the rhetoric: international conference on the protection of forced migrants in Africa’ hosted by the centre for human rights at the University of Pretoria.

Former University of Reading student becomes solicitor for Blandy and Blandy LLP

A FORMER University of Reading Law student began this week as a qualified solicitor, after completing her training contract with leading Reading-based law firm Blandy & Blandy LLP, which also offices in Henley-on-Thames.

Sophie Clark gained A*AA in her A Levels at The Henley College in 2013, before going on to study Law at the University of Reading, where she obtained a 2:1.

Sophie was previously a pupil at Langtree School in Woodcote.

She has joined the firm’s busy and growing Probate, Tax & Trusts team, in which she spent 12 months of her training contract, and she will be based in Blandy & Blandy’s Henley-on-Thames office at 24 Thameside.

She said: “I applied for a training contract at Blandy & Blandy because of its fantastic reputation and I am delighted to be joining the firm’s leading private client team.”

“My experience of training here has been an excellent and enjoyable one and I am greatly looking forward to developing my experience as a solicitor at the firm.”

Partner Caroline Casagranda added: “Congratulations to Sophie on her qualification – we are very pleased to welcome her to our team and to our growing Henley office.”

Sophie has previously returned to both the College and the University to share her experience and insights with students considering a career in Law.

Blandy & Blandy is recognised as a top tier firm of solicitors in both of the UK’s leading guides to the legal profession, Chambers UK and The Legal 500, and recently celebrated its 285th anniversary.

Students presenting at the University of Surrey

On Monday 16th September 2019 2 University of Reading LLB students presented at a conference at the University of Surrey – “Towards Meaningful Partnerships“.

Finalist Krissy Hiu co-presented with Amanda Millmore about the staff-student partnership they were involved in to embed employability skills into a module, with a group of Law students collaborating with academics Dr. Annika Newnham and Amanda Millmore to design the assessments. She follows in the footsteps of her fellow undergraduate students who have presented this project at other conferences; Tom Fuller and Megan Bennett presented the project to the SEDA Conference in Belfast in May, whilst Jess Davies co-presented with Amanda at the Advance HE Teaching & Learning conference in Newcastle in July. The new module that they designed collaboratively (Children, Families and the State) will be running for final year Law students for the first time this autumn.

Meanwhile school rep and finalist Will Page presented the “Life Tools for Law Students” project at the University of Surrey along with Alicia Pena Bizama from the Student Wellbeing Service who runs the Life Tools programme and Amanda Millmore (School Director of Academic Tutoring). Will wanted to improve the wellbeing of his fellow students during his time as school rep in the School of Law and so collaborated with Alicia who runs the Life Tools programme university-wide and Amanda to develop a Law School version of the programme designed specifically to support the Law students and run within the School of Law.  Life Tools for Law Students will be running again in 2019/20 for all Law students, alongside the university-wide programme, following the success of last year’s pilot.

Commercial Law Research Network – Nigeria (CLRN_N): Call for Participation in Early Career Researchers’ Methodology Training

The Commercial Law Research Network – Nigeria (CLRN_N) invites applications to its inaugural Early Career Researchers’ Methodology Workshop. CLRN_N is a network through which researchers connect to influence the development of Commercial Law and policy in Nigeria. It promotes the application of inter-disciplinary research methods to the analysis of commercial law and policy in Nigeria, encourages collaborations amongst members and contributes to the development of the next generation of researchers.

In line with its main aims, CLRN_N invites commercial law researchers studying for their doctorate degrees and those within 5 years of their first academic post to participate at its inaugural methodology workshop to be held on the 13th of September 2019 at the University of Reading. The workshop will provide an avenue through which they can be introduced to, discuss and develop methodologies.

Interested researchers should apply, describing their main research questions, outlining the methodologies applied thus far, and explaining how these methods support considered resolution of their research questions. Applications, which must not exceed one-side of an A4 paper, should be sent to Dr Bolanle Adebola at b.adebola@reading.ac.ukno later than the 9th of August 2019. Selected participants will be informed of the decision by the 16th of August 2019.

Contributions will be made towards the attendance expenses of selected participants.

Commercial Law Research Network – Nigeria (CLRN_N): Call for Papers

Theme: The nexus between Nigerian Commercial Law and the Principles of International Commercial Law

The Commercial Law Research Network – Nigeria (CLRN_N) invites the submission of papers for its inaugural academics conference funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Networking Scheme. CLRN_N is a network through which researchers connect to influence the development of commercial law and policy in Nigeria. It promotes the application of inter-disciplinary research methods to the analysis of commercial law and policy in Nigeria, facilitates engagement between researchers and stakeholders, encourages collaborations amongst members and contributes to the development of the next generation of researchers.

One of the oft-mentioned barriers to effective law reform in countries in the global south, of which Nigeria is one, is the failure of reforms to cater to local realities. There are multiple contributors to this mismatch between law and local reality in such countries. One reason is that the laws are often reformed through legal transplants, which seek to modernise dated legislation without due consideration for the adaptations that would be required to fit the recipient system. Another key contributor to the mismatch is the poor consultation practice underlying law reform. There is often poor communication amongst policy-makers and regulators, on one hand, as well as amongst policy-makers and stakeholder groups on the other. This approach to law reform results in the fragmentation of laws, as well as the creation of parallel regulatory systems within the same areas of commercial law. It is an essential requirement of effective reforms that important local realities are articulated and examined, as well as juxtaposed with the principles of the international order before reform recommendations are designed and/or implemented.

CLRN_N aims to engender a considered approach to commercial law reform by building a bridge between researchers and key stakeholder groups. To that end, it convenes an academic conference at which researchers can set out their assessments of the law and make recommendations which will be the subject of subsequent discussions with policy-makers, regulators and end-users. Its inaugural conference will be held on the 13th and 14th of September 2019; hosted by the University of Reading School of Law and its Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation (CCLFR).

Its main research streams include:

  • Company Law, Insolvency Law and Secured Transactions Law
  • International Trade Law and International Economic Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • International Arbitration
  • Oil and Gas/Energy Law
  • Commercial Law broadly-speaking

Each session will be led by reputed researchers from leading institutions across the globe.

Interested speakers should send abstracts no longer than 300 words to Dr Bolanle Adebola: b.adebola@reading.ac.uk. Submission closes on the 9th of August 2019. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by the research-leaders of the relevant research streams. Selected abstracts will be communicated by the 16th of August 2019.

Amanda Millmore from the School of Law – awarded a University Teaching Fellowship

Lecturer & School Director of Academic Tutoring, Amanda Millmore has been awarded a University Teaching Fellowship for 2019.

The Fellowship is a prestigious and competitive award for staff who demonstrate individual excellence and dedication to the development of teaching and learning within the University and beyond. It also aims to support staff to further develop in the area of teaching and learning.

The Panel welcomed Amanda’s clear commitment to providing high quality learning experiences for students, informed by her legal practice experience, and to being an active part of the T&L community at Reading and across the sector. The Panel recognised Amanda’s impact on student learning and the student experience, particularly in respect of employability, student support and working in partnership with students.

Amanda said “As a teaching intensive academic, I was really honoured to be awarded a University Teaching Fellowship this year. I love teaching and working with students, and it is heartening to see the University’s commitment and support for excellence in teaching put into practice with the fellowship scheme.  I am looking forward to joining the vibrant UTF community of like-minded teaching-focused colleagues who champion and share best practice in teaching, to help me to develop my teaching further.”

Local firm recognises top-performing family law graduates

Two final year law students scooped the prize for the best performance in the Family Law exam sponsored by the  Reading branch of Stowe Family Law.

Shama Ali and Alice Hanney both achieved first-class honours in the module with the top marks out of the year. At a ceremony at Foxhill House on graduation day, Naheed Taj, Managing Partner at Stowe Family Law, Reading, presented the jointwinners with their prize.

Dr Thérèse Callus, Module convenor for Family Law said:

We are very proud with the outstanding performance of our prize winners whose hard work and commitment clearly showed in their results. We had a high standard across the year and all of our family law students can be proud of their achievements. We are delighted that Shama and Alice will benefit from work experience kindly provided by Stowe Family Law. Our collaboration with local firms is very important and enables our students to combine academic study with practical insight. We are very grateful for the support that Naheed Taj and her team provide.

Accepting her prize, Alice Hanney said:

I found family law the most enjoyable part of my degree. Thanks to Stowe Family Law for sponsoring the prize: I am excited to work with them.

Shama Ali confirmed the added benefit of Stowe’s input: “Stowe’s support has been appreciated because it allows students to see the practical side of the law.

Naheed Taj, Managing Partner at Stowe Family Law, Reading said:

At Stowe we are passionate about training young people and giving them guidance and insight into life as a family lawyer. This guidance can be critical in helping them to understand whether family law is right for them and if so, allowing them to build confidence to be leaders in this field later in their career.

 

Professor Therese Callus France 24 News interview on the Vincent Lambert case in France

Professor Therese Callus gave a television interview on France 24 about the laws around the right to die following the Vincent Lambert case in France.

The case of Vincent Lambert, a victim of a motorcycle accident over ten years ago and who has been in a vegetative state ever since, has raised serious questions relating to the value of life, the meaning of death, and medical decision-making at the threshold of the two. Given that France has adopted End-of-Life laws which allows for the withdrawal of treatment in certain circumstances, it was ultimately the question of the role of different family members in the decision-making process, and the existence of conflict between them, that has thrust this case to the fore of media attention. The case was prolonged due to the disagreement between Vincent’s family: his wife and children agreed with the doctors’ decision to withdraw treatment and relied upon what they claimed to have been Vincent’s own wishes on the subject, in accordance with French law. His parents and siblings on the other hand refuted that Vincent would have wanted to stop treatment and claimed that French law violated his fundamental rights and discriminated against him on the basis of his disability. After exhausting all national courts and their case being rejected by the European Court of Human Rights, the parents had sought the intervention of the United Nations Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, the French Supreme Court held at the end of June that any investigation which the Committee could carry out did not prevent the State hospital authorities from giving effect to the declaration by the national administrative court that the withdrawal of treatment was lawful.

Besides complex jurisdictional issues as to which courts should deal with this issue, this case highlights the difficulty in making medical treatment decisions for patients who are unable to communicate what their wishes would be. What role do family members play and what role should they play in identifying what the patient would want?

Professor Therese works predominantly in the areas of family and biomedical law. As the UK Representative in the International Academic Network on Bioethics, she has co-edited a number of comparative law collections in biomedical law and ethics.