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.

Chris Newdick appointed to the Committee of Public Inquiry into NHS Wales on Individual Patient Funding Requests

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).

Professor James Green wins ESIL book prize

Professor James A. Green has been awarded the European Society of International Law Book Prize 2017 for his monograph The Persistent Objector Rule in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2016).

This prestigious prize is awarded to the best book published in the preceding year on any topic of international law.  James received the award in Naples, at ESIL’s annual conference (7-9 September 2017).

As part of the conference programme he discussed the book with Professor Nico Krisch (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva), and then was formally presented with the award itself by ESIL president Professor André Nollkaemper (University of Amsterdam) at the conference dinner.

Ruvi Ziegler comments on Israel’s new immigration rules

The Israeli Interior Ministry says the new immigration rules are intended to benefit the migrants and asylum seekers, whom the government refers to as illegal infiltrators. However, Ruvi Ziegler, Associate Professor of International Law at the Reading University says it is a calculated plan to make people understand that they are not welcome.

Listen to his interview by ‘Voice of the Cape’, Cape Town, South Africa.

The Rights of EU27 citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU27: A response to Theresa May’s ‘fair and serious’ offer

Dr Ruvi Ziegler and Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, Brunel Law School co-authored a report setting out the case for unilateral guarantees rather than recicprocal agreements to secure the rights of EU27 citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU.

See here for more details + downloadable report.

President of European Parliament visits London: ‘Rights of EU citizens a red line’, and the way forward

On Thursday, 20 April, European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani met in London with ‘New Europeans‘ and other NGOs.

It was encouraging to hear from the President that the maintenance of rights of non-UK EU citizens and UK citizens in the EU-27 is a ‘red line’. Mr Tajani noted that, absent a satisfactory arrangement that ensures that their acquired rights will be maintained post-Brexit, the European Parliament will vote against an exit agreement.

However, the President’s framework accepts that the question of rights of non-UK EU citizens and UK citizens in the EU-27 is part and parcel of the exit negotiations, that its resolution will be tied to the conclusion of these negotiations. Moreover, a rejection of the exit agreement may lead to disorderly exit, which is surely the worst outcome for citizens of the Union. The guiding principle ought to be that rights of citizens of the Union should not be bartered away.

Thus, Dr. Ruvi Ziegler, an adviser to New Europeans and a Britain in Europe expert, called in the meeting for the adoption by the European Parliament of a motion drafted by New Europeans calling for parallel guarantees of rights of non-UK EU citizens and of UK citizens elsewhere in the EU irrespective of and disentangled from the negotiations between the EU-27 and the UK.

 


New Europeans is launching its Brussels office on Monday 24 April 2017 and will be seeking cross-party support for its motion (text below).

The European Parliament,

  • Noting the anxiety felt amongst citizens of other Member States residing in the UK and among UK citizens residing elsewhere in the Union, about their own and their families’ situation, in light of the outcome of the referendum held in the UK on 23 June 2016.
  • Celebrating the role of Union citizens in the democratic life of the Union and deeply concerned about the adverse effects of the UK’s EU Referendum on their ability to continue to enjoy their acquired rights as citizens of the Union, including the right to remain in the member states where they reside.
  • Believing that, in the Twenty-First century, it is unacceptable to treat individuals as ‘bargaining chips’ and that Union citizens’ rights should be guaranteed irrespective of the outcome of the overall negotiations between the UK and Union institutions.
  • Calls on the Commission to make proposals to the Council, which shall act by a qualified majority, for adoption of measures with a view to the maintenance of rights acquired by UK citizens residing elsewhere in the Union during the period when the UK had been a Member State of the Union

The language in the final bullet point is taken, verbatim, from Article 2 of the Protocol on Special Arrangements for Greenland, which was part of the ‘Treaty Amending, with regard to Greenland, the Treaties Establishing the European Communities‘ (13/3/1984)

Local Law Firm continues support for our final year students

The School of Law was delighted to welcome Tony Roe, Principal at Tony Roe Solicitors and Visiting Fellow in Family Law on 19th April 2017. Tony Roe ran a session with final year family law undergraduates on financial provision on divorce, combining practical insight with revision for forthcoming exams. As a family arbitrator himself, Tony also presented the School of Law with the new edition of Family Law Arbitration by D.Sheridan and S.Kingston, The Law Society 2017.

From left to right: Dr Thérèse Callus, Mr Tony Roe, Dr Annika Newnham