Law Reporter The Newsletter of Kent Law School at the University of Kent www.kent.ac.uk/law
Issue Six, Spring 2008
ACADEMIC SYMPOSIUM CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF SOCIO-LEGAL TEACHING AND RESEARCH AT KENT
Staff, former staff and alumni in academia came together for an Academic Symposium celebrating 40 years of critical legal theory through teaching and research at the University of Kent on Saturday 9th February. The Symposium featured a series of seminars focusing on areas of critical legal research in which Kent has has either led the way or has been particularly active in contributing to over the past 40 years. A session on International Law opened proceedings, with various members of the recently established Kent Centre for Critical International Law leading discussion, accompanied by former staff. The next seminar explored past, present and future approaches to Feminist Legal Study at Kent, with various members of current and former staff, many of whom are also members of the Kent based AHRC Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality, drawing on the rich history of feminist legal study at Kent Law School. The final two seminars; 'What is Legal Education For?' and 'Critical Legal Theory', continued the theme of the day in exploring the role that critical legal theory has to play in the study and research of the law. The Symposium also gave those in attendance the opportunity to share their experiences of legal education at Kent Law School, with an evening reception and dinner concluding the event. The Symposium was part of the ongoing programme of activities celebrating 40 years of legal teaching and research at Kent Law School.
FINAL YEAR STUDENT? If you are a final year law student and havenâ€™t yet completed the National Student Survey, please spare a few minutes and do so at www.kent.ac.uk/survey The survey gives you the chance to tell us about your student experience, and gives us invaluable feedback which will be used to shape the future of the Law School.
LAW CLINIC STAFF AND STUDENTS COLLECT QUEEN’S ANNIVERSARY PRIZE On February 14th, students and staff from the Kent Law Clinic attended an award ceremony at Buckingham Palace for the official presentation of a Queen’s Anniversary Prize, awarded to the Clinic for 'enriching academic law study with casework service for the local community'. Taymour Keen and Hannah Jeffreys, second year law students, were part of the group who went to Buckingham Palace. They spoke the Reporter to share their experience of the day:
We then proceeded into the Picture Gallery and met the Chancellor, Professor Sir Robert Worcester and the Vice Chancellor, Professor Julia Goodfellow. The Duke of Edinburgh visited us all asking us about the Cases we had taken on. We then eagerly awaited our visit from the Queen. Just before her arrival a staff member from the Master of the Household explained what we had to do.Then the
moment of truth, which lasted a few minutes but will be remembered for life. After we all travelled to a restaurant and enjoyed lunch on the Law School which made it all the more appetising. The day was very eventful, not least in terms of the somewhat troublesome journey to the Palace; however it is one which we all thoroughly enjoyed and no doubt will remember for life.
One word to describe the day would be ‘surreal’.As we entered Buckingham Palace (at a running pace as we arrived slightly late!) it soon hit home seeing all the Tourists wondering who we were and why we were allowed in. Once inside the surrealism didn’t end as we were ushered into the Ballroom with the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards Orchestra playing. The relaxed mood soon changed as we were informed of the programme of the day. We all stood for the National Anthem and then the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh entered. The Prize-giving was superb with us all feeling a sense of pride when John Fitzpatrick and the Vice Chancellor collected the Prize.
ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S AWARD NOMINATION FOR KENT LAW SCHOOL STUDENT Many congratulations to Taymour Keen (the author of the above account of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize ceremony) who has been shortlisted for the award of Best Individual student in the Attorney-General's Pro Bono Awards 2008. The panel of judges included Mrs Justice Linda Dobbs QC and Professor Richard Grimes.Taymour will be going to the awards ceremony at a reception
in the House of Lords on 24th April. Taymour was nominated for his sterling performances in representing a client in the Employment Tribunal, and for consistently stepping forward and taking the initiative over the last two years in order to help clients of the clinic and also to help his student and staff colleagues in many ways. John Fitzpatrick Director, Kent Law Clinic
NEW HEAD OF DEPARTMENT FOR KENT LAW SCHOOL John Wightman, current Head of Department for Kent Law School is nearing the end of his term in office, with a new Head of Department taking the position in the summer. As with all departments at the University of Kent, the Head of Department position at KLS is a fixed term appointment.
The process of appointment of the new Head is under way, with staff within Kent Law School undertaking extensive consultation to ensure that the appropriate candidate is made available. Keep reading the Reporter for the latest news on the appointment of a new Head for Kent Law School.
JULIEN MEZEY PRIZE Kent Law School Lecturer Dr Brenna Bhandar has been announced as the winner of the 2008 Julien Mezey Prize, awarded annually by the US based Association for Law, Culture and the Humanities. This annual prize is awarded to the dissertation that most promises to enrich and advance interdisciplinary scholarship at the intersection of law, culture and the humanities. The award was presented to Dr Bhandar at the Association's annual meeting in San Francisco, March 28-29, 2008, hosted by San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley. The Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities brings together a wide range of people engaged in scholarship on legal history, legal theory and jurisprudence, law and cultural studies, law and literature, law and the performing arts, and legal hermeneutics.
REFORMING BRITAIN’S WAR POWERS A major law and policy conference was held in Whitehall on the 17th of March 2008 entitled Reforming Britain’s War Powers.
The conference was held at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and was a joint venture with the Constitutional Law Group. The conference was organised by KLS Law Lecturer Sebastian Payne who is an Associate Fellow of the RUSI and a member of the Executive Committee of the Constitutional Law Group ( The UK section of the International Association of Constitutional Law).
Pauline Neville Jones (Shadow Security Minister) made lively contributions form the floor. Conference speakers included Lord Falconer (pictured below right), Sir Menzies Campbell (pictured right), James Arbuthnot (Chairman Commons Defence Select Committee), Field Marshall Lord Vincent and Sebastian Payne. Sebastian Payne commented about the conference; “It was excellent to bring together so many politicians,Whitehall insiders, major military figures and constitutional lawyers. The presentations were first rate and the contributions from the floor were so well informed and lively that it was exciting to participate in the event. It was also wonderful to see colleagues and students from Kent Law School.” From the staff, Dr Eleanor Curran, Dr Bernard Ryan and John Fitzpatrick were present. KLS undergraduates
Louis Karaolis, Katarzyna Burdzy and Andrzej Wieckowski also participated with Louis Karaolis asking Sir Menzies Campbell a challenging question on the Royal Prerogative. Field Marshall Lord Vincent in his concluding remarks said that he hoped that the Government paid close attention to the deliberations of the conference when it finally came forward with its reforms.
Over 140 people attended the conference including former Cabinet Ministers Baroness (Shirley) Williams and Lord King of Bridgewater. Three former Chiefs of the Defence Staff participated with Field Marshall Lord Vincent (pictured above) giving the closing speech of the conference. Baroness Williams and Baroness
NEWS FROM CENTRELGS
CentreLGS continues a full programme of activities, from seminars at Kent by visiting academics to larger events at the three member institutions. On the 23rd- 24th April, we have our annual two day PECAN workshop at Westminster for doctoral students and early career researchers, followed by a one day workshop on 1st May at Keele University, entitled Mobilizing the Imaginary: the ‘Unreal’ in Law, Gender and Sexuality Research. Our Annual Lecture, given by Australian international law scholar, Hilary Charlesworth, on Women and Peace, will be held in London on 15th May, a workshop on Utopian Citizenship here at Kent, on the 17th May (part of a funded ESRC seminar
series), and then our last major event of the academic year is Gender and Regulation: A Global/ Local Conversation, at Kent from 13th – 14th June. If you’re interested in attending or participating in any of these events, please check the events pages of our website: http://www.kent.ac.uk/clgs/events.html CentreLGS is also coming towards the end of its fourth year, with one more year of AHRC funding to go. Discussions are now taking place about what form the Centre might take after next summer, and what new research and networking initiatives we want to pursue. If anyone has any ideas or interest in being involved in these discussions, please contact Davina Cooper (email@example.com).
SLSA ARTICLE PRIZE Donald McGillivray, lecturer at Kent Law School, has won the Socio-Legal Studies Association Article Prize 2008. The award was for an article entitled ‘Locality, Environment and Law: The Case of Town and Village Greens’ (2007) 3 International Journal of Law in Context 1-17. The article was written with co-award winner Jane Holder. The Prize is awarded by the SocioLegal Studies Association on an annual basis. The announcement of the 2008 award was made at the annual SocioLegal Studies Association Conference which took place in Manchester at the end of March. The win marks the second time a KLS academic has won the prize within three years - Helen Carr was the winner in 2006.
KENT LAW TEMPLE SOCIETY DINNER The Kent Law Temple Society held their annual dinner in Darwin College on Friday March 7th. Vasileios Klianis, President of the Temple Society, gave us this report of the event: The Temple Dinner solidified the reputation of the Temple Society as a primary source of information and advice for intending barristers at Kent. The event was wonderfully successful and gave those students in attendance the opportunity to network with some of the most accomplished legal
professionals in the country. As in years past, we welcomed many local and London based judges and
barristers, whose loyalty and support of the Temple Society is appreciated and was further enshrined through this occasion. Amongst other notable guests, we had the privilege of enjoying the presence of the Master of the Rolls and the Chairman of the Bar Council (pictured left), who was our Guest of Honour for the night. I would like to extend the thanks and compliments of the Temple Committee (pictured above) to
everyone that was directly or indirectly involved on the proceedings, with particular thanks to our members for their support and attendance. For pictures please visit our Gallery on www.kent-temple-society.org
KENT STUDENT LAW SOCIETY DINNER The Student Law Society held their annual dinner at the Cathedral Lodge on Saturday 26th January. Tom Bates, President of the Student Law Society, gave us this report of the occasion: Hosted in the grounds of Canterbury Cathedral, the Annual Dinner was an evening of exceptional food, ample wine and superb company; a chance for students, lawyers and academics to
don their finest black tie suits or dresses and laugh away the night in a relaxed atmosphere. Guests included the President of the Kent Law Society, John Pritchard, solicitors and trainees from a range of firms and ex-Kent students. Following dinner, guests heard from Peter Wilkinson who told of his colourful past before deciding to study
Law and what encouraged him to work in the legal profession. Peter, through examples of his own experience, concluded by reminding everyone that their background is not a barrier to the career they wish to follow, be it in law or otherwise. The dinner concluded with an opportunity for guests to mingle with each other and exchange contact details before continuing the evening in a variety of bars around Canterbury.
TIMESHARE CASE SUCCESS FOR CLINIC A couple who were pressured into signing a timeshare agreement were successfully represented by staff and students from the Clinic in a recent case before Canterbury Crown Court.
After three hours of pressurised sales techniques they signed four pre-filled out documents so that they could leave. It was not until they came to the Law Clinic in September 2006 that they realised they owed £14,382.29.
Maddie Power, a second year law student, current Student Chair of the Clinic and one of the students who worked on the case, gave us this report:
Mr Pete Wilkinson of 6 King’s Bench Walk who is also a former University of Kent student agreed to represent the clients on a pro-bono basis. The hearing was held on 18 January 2008 where Mr Wilkinson submitted that the clients did not owe money as the agreement had been signed as a result of the undue influence placed on the defendants which if found would make the contract invalid. He also argued that as neither Mr Bartlett nor Mrs Collier received copies of the documents they sold which they should have done subsequent to Sections 3 and 6(2) of the Timeshare Act 1992 (as amended) which provides that where a person has not received a copy of an agreement containing 14 day cancellation rights, cancellation may be given at any time.
Canterbury County Court gave judgment in Asset Link Capital (No 1) Limited –v- Ian Bartlett and Rosemary Collier dismissing Asset Link’s claim for £14,382.29 against our clients Mr Bartlett and Mrs Collier which they alleged was owed as part of a Timeshare Credit Agreement. Both defendants were receiving state pension, Mrs Collier claims incapacity benefit and Mr Bartlett suffers from poor eye sight. Neither has a passport and never wanted a timeshare. They were subjected to persistent phone calls until they went to a presentation.
NEW KENT LAW SCHOOL AND LAW CLINIC LOGOS After the redesign of the University of Kent logo last year, Kent Law School and Kent Law Clinic have new logos.
The new Kent Law School logo
The new Kent Law Clinic logo
What do you think of the new logos? Share your views with the Reporter (contact details on back cover).
U.N. CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE IN BALI 2007 could go down in history as the year that finally made climate change the world's most important issue. With the help of KLS funding, I travelled to Bali in November 2007 and participated at the Climate Change conference (technically, the event was the 13th UN Conference on the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 3rd Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol ). More than ten thousand people gathered and I was lucky to see the moment that Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ratified Kyoto, leaving the US even further isolated. And Former US Vice-President Al Gore - of 'Inconvenient Truth' fame made an inspiring speech, exhorting the delegates - and the outside world - that 'Political will is renewable'. Hundreds of side events were also held. The main outcomes of the conference are establishing a fund to help developing countries adapt to global warming and setting out the Bali Road Map to discuss future commitments
from both developed and developing countries to mitigate and adapt to the global warming problem. These issues are directly relevant to my doctoral research which considers the role that equity and fairness should play in climate change mitigation. Although I went to Bali as an NGO participant, I liaised directly with the Sri Lankan government delegation, and
thus was fortunate to be able to use my knowledge in official negotiations. This has led to an invitation to join the Sri Lankan delegation at the next UN climate conference in Poland. I returned to Kent with a great spirit and entered the final year of my PhD very much inspired by what I had been able to take part in. Achala Chandani
KENT STUDENTS AT THE NATIONAL LAW STUDENT NEGOTIATION FINALS Every year the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) sponsors the Negotiation Competition; a competition designed to test the negotiation skills of law students from universities and law schools across the country. Acting as lawyers, the participants engage in a series of legal/commercial scenarios and are judged by academics and professionals. Last year Francis Wildman, now Supervisor of the Kent Law Clinic at Medway, took law students from the Canterbury campus who reached the final, but this year Janie ClementWalker and I, Marina Doku from the Medway campus represented the University of Kent at the competition. After winning the in-house competition, Janie and I attended the regionals which were held at The College of Law in Guildford. Our hard work paid off and we were chosen as one of the seven teams from the Guildford heat to proceed to the finals. This year, the finals were held at the University of Leister, where the successful teams from Guildford were
Marina (right) Janie (left) prepare their case at the CEDR finals in Leicester
joined with the successful teams from York (where the other regional heat was held). Only twelve of the fortyfour teams that entered the competition reached the final and so Janie and I anticipated some stiff competition, which turned out to be the case! Unfortunately we did not win the national final but we are glad to have
made it so far. As finalists, we were awarded a free training day in Fleet Street that was run by the sponsors, CEDR and we had a great weekend in Leister which ended with an enjoyable banquet. I’m sure that all the skills we learnt in the Negotiation Competition 2008 will prove to be useful to us as aspiring lawyers. Marina Doku
INTERNATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MOOT, OXFORD March 2008 saw the advent of KLS’s added participation in the 6th International Oxford Intellectual Property Moot. It was in short, a unique and brilliant experience for all involved. Teams came from across the globe to compete in this wellrenowned competition, ranging from Australia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Canada but to name a few, and the whole event was conducted by none other than the most esteemed academic in this area of law, Professor David Vaver himself. The competition had two separate stages; the initial written submissions on a fictitious case in relation to copyright, infringement and trademark law, which had to be handed in during December, and then the oral rounds conducted in the beautiful surroundings of Worcester College, Oxford. The mooting proved to be intense but highly enjoyable with judging being conducted by experienced IP practitioners and academics. KLS fared respectably well getting through to the quarter finals but then lost out
to the University of Hong Kong in a very contested debate on the technical nuances of what exactly constituted the ambit of ‘copyright’ and ‘trade marks’. The final round between the National University of Singapore and the University of British Columbia proved to be even more intense, with the panel of judges comprising of Lord Justice Jacob, Lord Justice Mummery and Mr Justice Floyd, sitting as the Supreme Court of Erewhon, to a standing room only house in the splendid backdrop of the Linbury Room at Worcester College. Regardless of not making it all the way, the event in itself is not one that can be so easily forgotten by all those involved. It was not only an event focused on the academic side, but the social too, as demonstrated by the welcoming drinks reception, the Pub Quiz on the Saturday night, and the wonderful Gala Awards Dinner on the Sunday evening in the stately Hall of Worcester College, which brought the weekend to a befitting climax. Despite it being KLS’s first ever time
KLS Mooters Dilpreet Kaur Dhanoa (pictured far left) and Samir Safar-Aly (far right) with the competition winners Liu Zeming and Nuraisah Ruslan from the National University of Singapore (not present: Olga Leimoni – KLS reserve mooter and Andrzej Omietanski – KLS observer).
to take part in this competition, it is hoped that this is a moot we continue to take part in. The sheer generosity of the Organising Committee, the warmth of the host college and the fun that was had both in and out of mooting spheres, is something to be applauded, and most certainly encouraged. Dilpreet Kaur Dhanoa
BVC DIARY WITH TOMAS MC GARVEY Tomas Mc Garvey (pictured left opposite) graduated from Kent in 2007 and is now on the Bar Vocational Course (BVC) at the College of Law in London. This is his second diary entry, giving readers of the Reporter an insight into life on the BVC. It is now coming towards the end of March on the BVC and I have over half of my exams completed. On the BVC we are examined all year around which really takes the pressure off at the end of the year. I really enjoyed the Advocacy exams because the exam conditions are akin to being in court, complete with a judge (who will keep intervening). We have 3 weeks off for Easter, and then we have a whole fun filled week of Multiple Choice Tests. They will examine everything we have learnt over the past 6 months or so. Once these are complete, we move into the Mock Trial part of our course. I am really looking forward to this part of the BVC as it is a chance for each student to weave together all the components we have been taught and
to deal with them in one big trial situation. When the Mock Trial is complete, we have several weeks in which we study our elective modules. I have chosen to study Advanced Criminal Litigation and Family law as these are the areas in which I would like to practice in the future. As I am sure all prospective Barristers amongst you are aware, in order to be
called to the Bar on completion of the BVC, you will need to have taken part in 12 dining sessions at your Inn of choice. I am a member of Lincoln’s Inn and I have been dining every couple of weeks to ensure I get through them all in time for call in July. Dining at the Inn is an awe-inspiring event at first being surrounded by many Barristers and QC’s and even some of the highest members of the Judiciary. Members have to wear a cloak and are required to bow as the Benchers enter the dining hall (the benchers are the most senior members of the Inn). Anyone intending on doing the BVC should join an Inn as soon as possible. It is worth checking out the available scholarships that each Inn offers before you choose your Inn. Here’s a Tip – you are able to apply for scholarships with some of the Inn’s before you join, allowing you to join the Inn that will offer you some form of Scholarship. But check out the Inn’s Websites as there are stringent deadlines for applying for scholarships.
LIFE AS A KLS MENTOR The Mentors at KLS are a student run organisation and provide a critical first point of contact for first year law students on campus. Whether it be questions on essay writing, revision or on-campus activities, the Mentors provide valuable and confidential support. As Mentors we work closely with the student’s personal tutors and the Student Advisors office, and help refer students to these sources of help where necessary and/or appropriate.
The mentoring scheme also has its own office in Eliot E3.W1 and each Mentor has allocated office hours each week allowing students the opportunity to drop-in for conversation. Mentoring has proved to be a highly rewarding part of my student life and I would recommend it all upper year students. I remember the rigor of first year and the help that my Mentor gave
me and now in my final year I hope to share some of that experience I gained. If you are interested in becoming a mentor for the 2008/2009 academic year please e-mail Kirsty Horsey, the member of staff responsible for the scheme at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Graham Andrew Burch Barr Third Year KLS Student Mentor
LIFE AFTER KENT - CARLITOS BECKLES Law Reporter (LR): Hi Carlitos, greetings from sunny Kent. Just to make us jealous, what's the weather like in Barbados right now?
blast.The Critical Lawyers Conference was wonderful and working for Kent Union was a great experience as well. The law student reps, mentors, sitting as Department Rep at Union Council were really great experiences. They allowed me to get involved with making my university and better institution.
Carlitos (C): Hi, first, I am quite pleased that you called on me, it’s truly a pleasure. The weather in Barbados right now is wonderful. It’s about 30 degrees, nice blue sky, wonderful Atlantic breezes and as it’s crop season we have the sweet aroma of sugar in the air (with a hint of molasses and rum). LR: You graduated from KLS in 2006, can you tell us a little about what you’ve been doing since? C: To be honest the path I took was not the one I planned to follow. After a brief internship with Ernst and Young I successfully applied for a placement as the Judicial Assistant to the Supreme Court of Barbados. I‘ve now been in the post for fifteen months and I must say this job, at this point in my legal career was what I would call a “boss move.” I’ve been able to learn so much and it has made the law so real. I am the Senior Judicial Assistant and I am currently working for their Lordships at the Court of Appeal; this involves working for 5 Court of Appeal Judges. The Court of Appeal presents a very different set of circumstances from the High Court and has been the greatest possible experience for me. Since I started work at the Court here, I have realised that the Solicitors route is not my passion. I love being on my feet, the argument, the presentation in court and the required work involved and to further this ambition I will be returning to the UK to study the BVC at the Inns of Court School of Law this September. When that’s completed I intend to work for a firm for a while and then branch out into my own chambers. Strangely enough I already have 2 partners for my firm..lol LR: How is the legal profession is Barbados/Caribbean different to in the UK, and how is it similar? C: One major difference is that the profession here is a single profession.
Carlitos at the Kent Law School garden reception for graduands in 2006
We do not distinguish between Solicitors and Barristers; when you qualify you are an “Attorney-at- Law” with rights of audience up to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal is our highest domestic court and the Caribbean Court of Justice has replaced the UK Privy Council as the final appellate body for many countries in the Caribbean.There is no House of Lords but UK decisions are highly persuasive. Our jurisprudence is quite young; Barbados became independent in 1966 and the common law prior to this date is the same as it is in the UK. The judiciary here is made up of 13 judges in total, 5 of whom are Justices of Appeal. There are about 13 Magistrates throughout the Island but the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal and High Courts) is situated in Bridgetown, the capital city. We have been using the same law courts building since about 1736 but a new Judicial centre is to open in September 2008. LR: Can you share with us some of your memories of your time at Kent? C: Oh there are so many. I promised myself that Uni had to be about more than a degree for me and I made some wonderful friends from all over the world. It was the first time I heard “garage” which I will admit was a very “interesting experience.” I learned to do Ballroom and played American Football for the first time so I had a
I used to work for “Wicked Coffee” at the Sports Café and I think that’s why I love all types of coffee now. HMMmnn. I ran for Education Sab unsuccessfully but I enjoyed the campaign immensely. If you are at Uni make the best of the opportunity because too often we take for granted what some people in other countries would give anything for. A major memory is graduation. My name was the first one on the list. I think walking down the aisle in Canterbury Cathedral and knowing that I had made it through was a wonderful feeling. LR: Finally, when we interview staff, we always ask them for the one piece of advice they'd give to current students. As a recent graduate, what advice would you give to current law students? C: Make the best use of the resources at Kent Law School. Play attention to what you are being told because you are being wonderfully prepared for a legal career. Challenge yourself, ask questions and always do your best. I wasn’t the type of student who always got a first but I was the type of student who always listened and asked questions and did my seminar work and I am reaping the benefits now. Above all give back to your law school…. Become a mentor, a student rep or something in your law school. Do not just be a student number. Read more - the above is an abridged version of the full interview with Carlitos which can be found online at www.kent.ac.uk/law Would you like to appear in a future issue of the Kent Law Reporter? If you are a former Kent Law School student and would like to share your memories of Kent and to discuss your experiences since leaving, please e-mail the Reporter using the details below.
Contact us: The Kent Law Reporter is produced by Daniel Lee, Communications and Admissions Officer at Kent Law School. Comment, suggestions and requests for news and information to be published in a future issue should be sent to email@example.com