LSE Law No.1 in Ref 2014
LSE Law has excelled once again in REF, the UK's nationwide assessment of research quality, impact and environment, which is undertaken every six to seven years. The results published today show that LSE Law is the UK's number one law school for world leading research.
The REF assessment takes place according to a quality scale from 1* to 4*, with 4* representing world leading research quality. In REF 2014 LSE Law had the highest percentage of world leading 4* publications of any UK institution. In light of the fact that nearly all members of staff in the Law Department were submitted to REF 2014 this is a remarkable achievement.
In the overall ranking, aggregating scores for research outputs, impact of research on policy, and academic environment LSE Law was placed in second place in the country league table. When adjusted to take account of the percentage of full time staff submitted to REF, LSE Law is by some distance the number one UK Law School for overall research quality.
Congratulations to everyone at LSE Law for a stunning set of results.
LSE launches Research Impact Website
LSE is joining the growing number of UK higher education institutions to showcase its own research impact via a new section of its website. For more information about the origins of this new site, see the LSE Impact Blog. The site itself is available here:
and contains seven case studies featuring members of the department:
Giving consumers the right to private redress over scams - Hugh Collins
Making the world a better, safer place for women - Christine Chinkin
Making waste treatment a safer business - Julia Black & Robert Baldwin
Protecting the human rights of refugees and displaced persons - Chaloka Beyani
Reforming England's libel law - Andrew Scott
Stephen Humphreys writes in the Guardian on International Law and Climate Change
Dr Stephen Humphreys writes for the Guardian on the silence of international law, when it comes to responsibility for climate change.
New issue of Law, Society and Economy Working Paper Series
We are delighted to announce the third issue of the LSE Law Department's Law, Society and Economy Working Paper Series for 2014.
In this issue, Helen Reece (WP21/2014) addresses responses to her recent article about 'rape myths' in an attempt to move towards a productive discussion on this topic; Paul MacMahon (WP22/2014) proposes a novel interpretation of the doctrine of good faith and fair dealing, taking into account the rhetoric as well as the reality of judicial enforcement; Jan Komárek (WP23/2014) argues against national constitutional courts' embrace of EU fundamental rights; Julia Black (WP24/2014) analyses six examples of regulatory disasters and discusses how regulators can learn from them to reduce the likelihood of similar disasters in the future; Matthias Lehmann (WP25/2014) identifies and analyses different approaches to structural reforms of banking systems across the globe; Michael Wilkinson (WP26/2014) suggests the constitutional tensions in the German Court's OMT reference reflect broader contradictions in the logic of late democratic capitalism; Sarah Paterson (WP27/2014) introduces the term 'law of corporate distress' constituting both insolvency law and restructuring law, and examines the implications of this distinction; Kai Möller (WP28/2014) provides a response to critical comments by Virgílio Afonso da Silva, Alon Harel, and Iddo Porat on his recent book The Global Model of Constitutional Rights; Pablo Ibáñez Colomo (WP29/2014) seeks to make sense of the perpetual controversy about the legal treatment of exclusive dealing and rebates under Article 102 TFEU.
Sarah Paterson discusses PIK and covenant lite debt on BBC Newsnight
Sarah Paterson recently appeared on BBC’s Newsnight in a feature on PIK (or payment in kind) and covenant lite debt. She explained how a PIK loan operates and discussed why the generous terms offered by PIK and covenant lite lenders may actually reduce the prospects of successfully rescuing a company which has taken advantage of them if the company later finds that it has taken on too much debt.
NI Law Commission publishes defamation consultation
The Northern Ireland Law Commission has published its consultation paper on defamation law authored by Dr Andrew Scott. The consultation asks whether the reforms reflected in the Defamation Act 2013 should be extended to Northern Ireland, either in part or wholesale; whether any elements of the 2013 Act should be revised in minor or more significant ways before adoption into Northern Irish law, and whether it would be desirable to introduce a further reform option: the withdrawal of the 'single meaning rule' in combination with the introduction of a bar to the bringing of claims where a publisher has made a prompt and prominent correction or retraction on a given meaning. The consultation runs until 20 February 2015. The paper can be accessed here.
Professor Michael Bridge made Bencher of Middle Temple
Congratulations to Professor Michael Bridge, who has been appointed Bencher of his Inn of Court, the Middle Temple. The Inns of Court have an historic role in the training and regulation of barristers. Each Inn of Court is governed by a Treasurer, who acts for one year, with the help of the benchers, who are senior barristers and act as the Inn's governing body or 'Parliament'.
Paul MacMahon on inquests and US police killings
Dr Paul MacMahon spoke recently to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog about the potential for reviving inquests in the wake of police killings in the US. Dr MacMahon's forthcoming article 'The Inquest and the Virtues of Soft Adjudication' (Yale Law and Policy Review, 2015) notes that inquests 'have significant advantages in the furtherance of important societal goals, including accountability for wrongful deaths, the collection and dissemination of information about risky activities, and helping the deceased’s family come to terms with a traumatic death'.
Andrew Murray discusses giving people personal property rights over their personal data
In a series of seminars in Belgium and The Netherlands, Andrew Murray discussed the concept of giving individuals ownership over their personal data. On Friday 21 November he took part in an event in Brussels organised by LSE Alumni Association Belgium entitled, “Big Data, Little Privacy? Quo Vadis for the Future EU Digital Agenda” where he debated with Ryan Heath, former spokesperson for EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes. On Tuesday 25 November he presented his a paper entitled “Commoditising the Person” at the Tilburg Institute for Law and Technology (TILT) and on Friday 28 November delivered the same paper to an audience at the Centre for Law and the Internet in Amsterdam. These papers discussed concepts at the heart of his forthcoming book The Objective Self.
Professor Emily Jackson on assisted dying
Professor Jackson is the latest LSE academic to undergo a Gearty Grilling, a weekly series of short, to-the-point video debates from LSE’s Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) on key issues affecting the world today. Conor Gearty, Director of the IPA and Professor of Human Rights Law, subjects academics to a five-minute grilling to showcase the School's world class research and faculty.
Professor Conor Gearty on justice and the passage of time
Conor Gearty appeared in Keir Starmer’s recent BBC Radio 4 programme Can Time Run Out for Justice which examined the way justice is being dispensed often years after the event that gives rise to the trial. Gearty discussed with Starmer the ethical and legal issues involved in such prosecution decisions.
Helen Reece discusses violence against women on ABC Radio
Helen Reece appeared yesterday on ABC Radio (Australia), together with Julie Bindel, discussing violence against women and 'rape culture'.
LSE International Law Traineeship Programme
INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE TRAINEESHIP SCHEME
Deadline: 15 January 2015
LSE is delighted to announce that it has been invited to submit applicants for the University Traineeship Programme at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The nine-month traineeship will commence in September 2015 and conclude in May 2016. The traineeship programme is similar to a judicial clerkship and provides the opportunity for an LSE student or recent graduate to work closely with the members of the Court on tasks such as drafting court documents, preparing case files and research on a variety of legal issues. Please note: There is no guarantee that the nominated LSE candidate(s) will be selected for the traineeship. LSE is among a select group of leading law schools, including Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, NYU, Columbia, Yale, Michigan and Geneva, eligible to nominate students to the ICJ. The Court reviews candidates nominated by these universities and selects its trainees from this pool of candidates. If an LSE candidate is taken on by the Court, he/she will receive a stipend from LSE to help support the cost of living while in the Hague.
Application materials are available below. Applications are open to current students and recent graduates. Interested students may contact Dr Devika Hovell at D.C.Hovell@lse.ac.uk.
WORLD BANK LEGAL ANALYST PROGRAM (LAP) AND LEGAL INTERN PROGRAM (LIP)
Deadline for LAP: 10 December 2014
Deadline for LIP: 15 January 2015
LSE Law has been invited to nominate applicants for the World Bank’s Legal Analyst Program. This is designed to introduce talented young legal professionals from around the world to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), through a temporary three year appointment. LSE Law is among a select group of leading law schools eligible to nominate students to the World Bank, but there is no guarantee that the nominated LSE candidate(s) will be selected for the program. The same positions will be open to applicants via a World Bank portal, and applicants are encouraged to apply both through the school and through the Bank’s online portal.
Separately, the LSE has also been invited to nominate applicants for the World Bank’s Legal Intern program. This program works on an as need basis, with nominated applicants’ resumes kept on file at the Bank until a need arises.
Links to the World Bank’s Terms of Reference, Application Guidance Documents, and Application Forms are below. Please email Andrew Lang (email@example.com) for further information.
Professor Chalmers' report on EU labour market and welfare benefits
Professor Damian Chalmers, together with Open Europe's Research Director, Stephen Booth, has written a pamphlet arguing for a three-year moratorium on EU migrants’ access to benefits via a new 'Citizenship and Integration Directive'. The paper notes: "These reforms would be far from simply symbolic, they would greatly increase the Government’s ability to target its welfare and employment policies at British citizens and reduce EU citizens’ incentive to migrate to the UK for low-income jobs…whilst setting out EU citizenship as the right to seek employment opportunities across Europe and to have the full benefits of a society when one has integrated into it." The paper has been widely discussed on the BBC, both TV and radio, and other news outlets. It was featured on the front page of the Financial Times, which suggested it was being considered by Prime Minister David Cameron.
For further details, see Open Europe.
For the full paper, click here
International Association for Legal and Social Philosophy Annual Conference at LSE
The Law Department hosted and supported the 2014 UK branch of the IVR (International Association for Legal and Social Philosophy) annual conference on 25 and 26 October. The conference was organised by Dr Emmanuel Melissaris (LSE Law), treasurer to the executive of the UK IVR. It attracted a large number of scholars from the UK and beyond, who discussed from various perspectives the overall theme of De-Juridification: Appearance and Disappearance of Law at a Time of Crisis. The aim of the conference was to explore whether, under conditions of globalisation and in the midst of a global crisis, the process of juridification of social spheres – a process identified by legal and social theorists not so long ago– is being reversed and whether law is subsiding and giving way to other modes of governance. This suspicion was prompted by various recent developments. To name but a few: governments offload many of their central tasks to civil society; international economic agencies exercise normative authority; people seemingly recognise each other more as economic actors than as legal subjects; interpretation of indeterminate laws being carried out not by courts but by actual power-holders. The contributions to the conference, which addressed the issue from a variety of disciplines such legal philosophy, socio-legal theory, and legal anthropology, tackled questions such as the following: Is a process of de-juridification underway? In which contexts does law recede? What replaces it and how? Does less law mean more or less politics as many hoped in the 70s and 80s? Does it entail a shift in the meaning of legitimacy?
The keynote lectures were delivered by Prof. Peer Zumbansen (Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London) and Prof. Antje Wiener (Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Hamburg). Roundtable discussants were Prof. Emilios Christodoulidis (School of Law, University of Glasgow), Prof. Dora Kostakopoulou (School of Law, Warwick University) and Dr Fernanda Pirie (Oxford University, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies).
For further information about the conference or the UK IVR, please contact Dr Emmanuel Melissaris.
Dr Beyani addresses UN General Assembly on Internal Displacement
Dr Chaloka Beyani, Associate Professor in the Law Department, addressed the United Nations General Assembly on 24th October 2014 and the United Nations Security Council on 28th October in his capacity as United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons. His address to the General Assembly was on the subject of urban displacement. His address to the Security Council was by special invitation during the Council's open debate on the theme 'Women, Peace and Security-Displaced Women and Girls: Leaders and Survivors'.
Both addresses are available on the UN Webcast:
Professor Bridge & Dr Braithwaite on 'Private rights and insolvency rules' at BoE
On Friday 17 October, Professor Michael Bridge and Dr Jo Braithwaite gave a lecture at the Bank of England entitled 'Private rights and insolvency rules'. The lecture considered case law that has emerged from the financial crisis, with a particular emphasis on Lehmans decisions dealing with the ranking of claims on an insolvency and the interpretation of standard form financial agreements.
Stephen Humphreys talks at Tokyo IBA report launch
Stephen Humphreys spoke at a panel in Tokyo on October 22, for the launch of the final report by the IBA Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights. Dr Humphreys was a member of the Task Force and also acted as ‘academic advisor’ to the Task Force Officers and report drafters. Also speaking at the session in Tokyo were former US Vice President Al Gore, UN Special Climate Change Envoy Mary Robinson, the former President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, and of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, and Task Force co-chairs Baroness Helena Kennedy and David Estrin.
More information here:
Professor Jeremy Horder on infidelity and murder on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour
Professor Jeremy Horder appeared on Woman's Hour on 15th October. He was talking about the sentencing of men who have killed their partners when the latter have allegedly been unfaithful. He suggested that the courts were wrongly still regarding unfaithfulness as a potentially very serious provocation, warranting a lighter prison sentence for the killer who reacts to it by murdering the unfaithful victim.
Professor Michael Lobban on treason on BBC Radio 4's PM
Professor Michael Lobban recently appeared on BBC Radio 4's PM to discuss treason, the purpose of the original statute and potential attempts now to use it against IS.
LSE Law student starts Let us Learn campaign for students affected by change in residence requirement
Chrisann Jarrett, a 19 year old LSE Law student, has started the Let Us Learn campaign, recently highlighted in the Guardian. The campaign aims to help ambitious young people who are lawfully resident in the UK, but unable to take up their place at university because of financial barriers. Chrisann explains on the campaign's website:
Since September 2012, non-UK nationals with Discretionary or
Limited Leave to Remain here are no longer eligible for student finance, despite
being allowed to go to university in the UK. On top of this, they are classified
as international students and are therefore expected to pay full international
fees – which are often as much as £15,000 per year.
For many young people, this barrier is simply too high and so they are unable to realise their dreams of attending university in the UK.
Prior to July 2012, those with Discretionary Leave to Remain in the UK had to complete six years’ continuous lawful residence here before they qualified for Settlement. However, the Government recently extended this to ten years. Young people granted Discretionary Leave to Remain after July 2012 will therefore now have to wait ten years before they are eligible for student finance.
This campaign calls for a change. Driven young people who have the grades and have earned their place at university should not be held back. Let Us Learn!
Dr Yaniv Roznai wins thesis prize
Congratulation to Dr Yaniv Roznai whose recently completed thesis 'Unconstitutional constitutional amendments: a study of the nature and limits of constitutional amendment powers' (supervised by Professor Martin Loughlin and Dr Thomas Poole) has won the Thesis Prize of the European Group of Public Law.
Professor Gearty on Conservative proposals for a new British bill of rights
Professor Conor Gearty writes in today's Guardian:
Even by the standards of contemporary politics, the Conservatives’ proposal for a new British bill of rights and responsibilities is incoherent. The prime minister’s conference speech attacked the European court of human rights in Strasbourg. The subsequent announcement is not what would have logically followed – a withdrawal from the convention system under which that court operates – but rather repeal of the domestic Human Rights Act, which has no institutional connection with it. All this will do is increase the number of cases that go to Strasbourg, and will almost certainly produce more, not fewer, negative rulings against the UK. ...
Dr Ian Roxan discusses tax avoidance by US companies on R4 Today
Dr Ian Roxan recently appeared on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 discussing the new US rules to restrict tax inversions by US multinationals such as Burger King and the pharmaceutical company AbbVie. In a tax inversion the multinational uses the acquisition of a foreign group to relocate its parent company outside of the US and so to reduce its US tax liabilities on foreign profits. Asked whether the new rules would stop companies from doing inversions, Dr Roxan said, "I'm sure there will be some that still find it interesting, but this will make it less attractive for the more aggressive ones." He noted that the new rules this time are not designed to affect foreign multinationals investing in the US. Responding to the comment of former President Bill Clinton that the US needs to lower its corporate tax rate, one of the highest in the world, Dr Roxan said, "The US corporate tax system certainly needs reform, and a reform would likely involve a reduction of the US tax rate. The problem is that the US government won't want to lose revenue, so they'll want to close a lot of loopholes at the same time, and so getting that through Congress is going to be difficult.
Dr Davor Jancic on national parliaments, subsidiarity and EU law
Dr Davor Jancic, British Academy Newton Fellow, gave a talk in the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) on the role of national parliaments in the EU and the principle of subsidiarity at a seminar organised by their European Affairs Committee on Monday 22 September 2014. Dr Jancic underlined that the scope of the EU law framework of subsidiarity monitoring by domestic legislatures is very narrow and warned that the work of parliamentarians should be focused on substantive policy scrutiny. He assessed the European Commission’s approach to the early warning mechanism as rather restrictive. Dr Jancic furthermore gave a number of policy recommendations on how to enhance the process on the basis of the existing EU Treaties. The seminar was open to the general public and attended by up to 100 participants, including citizens, civil servants, politicians and academics. Dr Jancic was the only scholar invited to speak. Other speakers included representatives of the Lithuanian Government and Parliament, the European Parliament, and national parliaments such as the UK House of Lords, Swedish and Dutch parliaments.
Dr Devika Hovell on legality of air strikes in Middle East
Dr Devika Hovell was recently interviewed on BBC News 24 about the legality of air strikes in Iraq and Syria. Dr Hovell noted that, while the Iraqi government had authorised air strikes in Iraq, no authorisation had been forthcoming from Syria. She was asked to respond to statements by Prime Minister David Cameron that Syrian consent was not necessary as it was not a 'legitimate government' and explained that 'a leader who violates the human rights of his or her citizens does not write a blank cheque to any state to invade for any reason'. While it was not clear that the UK could rely on self-defence as there was no known imminent threat against the UK, Dr Hovell explained that collective self-defence on behalf of Iraq might be an available defence. She also raised the suggestion that the UK government could raise the more controversial defence of humanitarian intervention and spoke briefly about the distinction between the legality and legitimacy of the use of force in international relations.
LSE Law Professors appointed to Bank of England Fair and Effective Markets Review Academic Panel
On the 12th June the Chancellor announced that the government would establish a joint review by the Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) into the way wholesale financial markets operate. Professor Julia Black and Emeritus Professor Joanna Benjamin have both been appointed as academic advisors.
Jan Kleinheisterkamp appointed to ICC Governing Body
Dr Jan Kleinheisterkamp has been appointed to serve as the academic member of the Governing Body of the Dispute Resolution Services of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which includes the ICC International Court of Arbitration, the leading international arbitral institution. The role of the Governing Body is to set out the strategic aims of the Court and to propose policies for the future business and direction of the Court for approval by the Board. It also assures the preservation of the independence of the Court within the ICC framework and to ensure its sound governance. Dr Kleinheisterkamp succeeds Professor George Berman of Columbia Universityerresrser.
LSE Awards to Dr Devika Hovell and Dr Solene Rowan
Congratulations to Dr Solene Rowan whose significant contribution to teaching at LSE was recognised by a Major Review Award. Asked about her experience of teaching at LSE, Dr Rowan replied:
"My best teaching experiences usually occur when I introduce comparative law elements into my lectures or classes. Looking at the way other systems work is not only instructive, but it also stimulates wider discussion about legal and cultural differences. It shows students that in many cases there is not just one way of answering a legal problem, and that there is often no right or wrong to answer. LSE is the perfect place to introduce comparative law in this way as it is such an international institution. It is thrilling to hear what students from so many different parts of the world have to say about their own legal systems and cultures and to hear their comparative observations about English law."
Congratulations also go to Dr Devika Hovell, winner of the LSESU Award for Professional Mentoring and Personal Development:
"She is by far the best teacher we have ever had - she is an inspiration to us all"
Devika masterfully combines academic rigour with professional mentoring, going above and beyond to make her course content relevant to the wider world and incorporating practical skill training into her classes. She frequently invites guests to speak to students, judge mooting competitions or discuss their practice areas after a seminar. Devika has inspired many students to pursue law careers and sharpened the interests of those who had already decided on this path.
New issue of Law, Society and Economy Working Paper Series
We are delighted to announce the second issue of the LSE Law Department's Law, Society and Economy Working Paper Series for 2014.
In this issue, Andrew Lang (WP12/2014) reflects on what has happened to techniques of governing-by-knowledge after post-positivist critiques of scientific objectivity; Grant Huscroft, Bradley W. Miller, and Grégoire Webber (WP13/2014) introduce their edited collection on the doctrine of proportionality in constitutional and human rights adjudication; Philipp Paech (WP14/2014) explores conflict-of-laws issues surrounding insolvency and close-out netting and proposes a new approach in this regard; Matthias Lehmann (WP15/2014) analyses the need for and justification of civil liability of rating agencies under EU law Zelia Gallo, Nicola Lacey, and David Soskice (WP16/2014) present a comparative analysis of serious violent crime in the US and England and Wales; Davor Jancic (WP17/2014) argues that international parliamentary relations evolve in layers of overlapping forums and specifically analyses relations between parliaments of the EU and Brazil; Astrid Sanders (WP18/2014) explores the impact of the Ruggie Framework and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights on transnational human rights litigation; Tola Amodu (WP19/2014) presents a critique of the community Infrastructure Levy as part of the Planning Act 2008; Ewan McGaughey (WP20/2014) asks whether behavioural economics can help make better labour law.
Dr McCandless Co-director of Northern / Irish Feminist Judgments Project
The Irish and Northern Irish Feminist Judgments Project launches with a new website: www.feministjudging.ie
A collective of
academics and practitioners based in Ireland and abroad will rewrite 30
important legal judgments, which they believe would have been decided
differently if a feminist perspective had been brought to bear on the case. The
cases selected will cover constitutional law, child and family law, reproductive
rights, property law, criminal law, immigration law and religious freedom. By
rethinking the process of judgment, the project will demonstrate the influence
which judges have had on women's lives, and on the politics of identity in
Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The project will run from October 2014 to September 2015. A series of workshops will be held throughout Ireland in the autumn and in the spring, at which draft judgments will be presented for discussion by academics, practitioners and activists. A book, collating the feminist judgments produced during the project, will be published by Hart in 2016. For further details, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The project is led
by Dr. Aoife O'Donoghue (University of Durham), Dr. Julie McCandless (London
School of Economics) and Mairead Enright (University of Kent).
You can follow the project on twitter at @irishfjp and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/irishfjp
Professor Moloney appointed Specialist Adviser to House of Lords Inquiry
Professor Niamh Moloney has been appointed Specialist Adviser to the Inquiry on Review of the EU Financial Regulatory Framework by the House of Lords EU Select Committee (Sub-Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs), launched on July 15. The Inquiry will cover areas such as: How effective are the reforms to the financial regulatory framework introduced since the 2007 outbreak of the crisis? Which are the biggest strengths and weaknesses in the regulatory framework? How effective has the EU’s attempt to harmonise rules in the form of the Single Rulebook been? Have the needs of consumers of financial services and products been met satisfactorily? What is the best balance between the powers of Member States and the EU when it comes to regulation and supervision? Are there any inconsistencies between regulation of the eurozone and of the wider European Union?
What will the challenges be for those Member States not in the eurozone, such as the UK? Has the UK done enough to defend its strategic interests?
The Inquiry Call for Evidence is available [here]
and written submissions by interested parties are to received by the
Committee by September 30 2014.
Professor Horder elected Fellow of the British Academy
Congratulations to Professor of Criminal Law, Jeremy Horder,
who has been elected a Fellow of the British Academy. Each year, the
British Academy elects to its Fellowship up to 42 outstanding UK-based scholars
who have achieved academic distinction as reflected in scholarly research
activity and publication. Professor Horder graduated from the Universities of
Hull (1984) and Oxford (1986) before taking up a Research Fellowship at Jesus
College, Oxford, from 1987-1989. He then became the Porjes Trust Tutorial Fellow
in Law at Worcester College, Oxford, from 1989-2010. He was Chairman of Oxford’s
Faculty of Law from 1998-2000. From 2005-2010, he was a Law Commissioner for
England and Wales, with responsibility for criminal law reform, before becoming
Edmund Davies Professor of Criminal Law at King’s College London, from
2010-2013. He is an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple and holds an Honorary
LL.D from the University of Hull.
Edmund Schuster wins Wedderburn Prize
Edmund Schuster has been awarded the Wedderburn Prize, awarded by the
Modern Law Review.
The article “The Mandatory Bid Rule: Efficient, After All?” analyses the economic efficiency of the so-called mandatory bid rule, a core element of UK (and EU) takeover regulation, and compares the rule’s costs and benefits to the alternative approach taken by US corporate law. The Wedderburn Prize is named in honour of Lord Wedderburn of Charlton, who served as General Editor of the Review from 1971 to 1988. It is awarded annually for a contribution to that year's volume which in the opinion of the Editorial Committee is exemplary of the type of scholarship that The Modern Law Review aims to promote. In awarding this Prize, the Committee pays particular attention to the work of authors who are at a relatively early stage of their careers.
Professor Jill Peay contributes to the Out of Our Heads visual arts exhibition
Professor Jill Peay contributed to the Out of Our Heads visual arts exhibition at Shoreditch Town Hall on the 25th June with a lecture on Crime and Mental Health. The scientific lecture programme included contributions from Professor David Nutt (Psychiatrist and Neuropsychopharmacologist), Prof Fiona MacPherson (Philosopher), Prof John Foot (Historian), Dr Konstantinos Moutoussis (Neuroscientist), Prof Semir Zeki (Neurobiologist) and Claire Swift from the London College of Fashion. As the curators observed: the project aimed to ‘engage the public in a diverse dialogue about hallucinations and mental health and challenge the stigma that surrounds mental illness’. And the displays of visual art in the labyrinthine passages of the basement of Shoreditch Town Hall were quite simply extraordinary.
Honorary Doctorate for Professor Gearty
Professor Conor Gearty, Department of Law and Institute of Public Affairs, was awarded an honorary doctorate by University College Dublin on Monday 16 June. Conor said that he was very proud of the award as he took his first degree at University College Dublin.
Dr Paech at BIS
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) – the central bank of all central banks – has invited Dr Philipp Paech of LSE Law to conduct a study on the legal impact of special insolvency protection for financial infrastructures such as payment systems and securities settlement systems. The Study under the lead of Dr Paech involves BIS experts and will be published by the bank later this year.
President Higgins quotes Gearty's The Meanings of Rights
In a speech at the University of Limerick, opening a Royal Irish Academy Discourse entitled "International Human Rights and Democratic Public Ethics", the Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, made multiple references to The Meanings of Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2014; co-edited by Professor Conor Gearty and Professor Costas Douzinas). President Higgins discussed "disturbing uses which have been made of the term in the decades since the end of the Cold War – of its misuse as a rhetoric of abuse on so many occasions".
Dr Orla Lynskey on the 'right to be forgotten'
Dr Orla Lynskey was recently interviewed by Joshua Rozenberg for the BBC Radio 4 programme Law in Action. Dr Lynskey discussed the legal and practical implications of the ECJ’s judgement in the Google Spain case where the Court had held that individuals could request a search engine, such as Google, to remove their personal data from its search index if the processing of that information was no longer compatible with the EU data protection rules.
The Law Department regrets to announce the death, on 6 May, of Cedric
Thornberry, who was a lecturer in law at the School from 1960-1978. Cedric
pioneered the teaching of international human rights law at the School and left
in 1978 to join the United Nations. He retired from the UN in 1995, as Assistant
Secretary-General. An obituary can be found on
The Guardian website.
'Do the Powerful Still Need the Police?'
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has launched radical reforms of the police service, already the hardest hit of all public services. Why have the police plunged in political clout sufficiently to make the deep transformation in their resources and powers possible? The bottom line, writes
Emeritus Professor Robert Reiner, is that the powerful are simply less dependent
on public police protection, benefiting from bespoke services that are cheaper
than extending universal guardianship to all citizens ...
[continue reading blog post]
Dr Beyani addresses UN Security Council on Internal Displacement
Dr Chaloka Beyani, Law Department, addressed members of the United Nations Security Council in New York last week on 30th May 2014 on the challenges of internal displacement, protection of civilians, and threats to international peace and security in his capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons. He also completed an official mission to Azerbaijan 18-24 2014 May where he explored durable solutions to protracted displacement lasting more than 20 years.
LSE Law ranked in the top three law schools in the United Kingdom
We are delighted that LSE Law has again been ranked as one of the top three law schools in the United Kingdom with the highest rating of any Law School for its research outputs. Further information on the rankings is available here.
Dr Beyani finishes UN mission to Kenya
Dr Chaloka Beyani, Associate Professor in the Law Department, just completed an official UN mission to Kenya in his capacity as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons. He examined the issue of durable solutions for internally displaced persons as well as peace building initiatives among displacement affected communities in Northern Kenya. He also addressed the Legal and Human Rights Affairs Committees of the Senate and County Assemblies on their roles under the new constitution.
Visiting Fellow Simon Wong contributes to Myners' report on Co-op
Visiting Fellow Simon Wong was part of the leadership team that assisted Lord Myners in his Governance Review of the Co-operative Group. The report provides 'a set of practical reforms intended to strengthen the Group's ability to recover from the traumatic shocks it has suffered over the past year and help position it for renewed success'.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death, on 30 April, of Professor Simon Roberts. Simon first arrived at the School as an undergraduate in 1959 and, after a short period lecturing in Malawi in the early 1960s, from1964 he forged an academic career of great distinction here at the School. Simon produced pioneering scholarship in such fields as anthropology of law, family law, property law and alternative dispute resolution processes, and he served the School in many ways, including as Convenor of the Law Department and as Vice-Chair of the School’s Academic Board. Although Simon formally retired in 2006, he continued to teach for us, especially on our anthropology and law degree programme, the establishment of which was itself Simon’s initiative. Simon will be greatly missed by many generations of his students and colleagues. A celebration of his life will be arranged later this year.
A memorial page with messages of
condolence can be viewed here -
Establishment of Traineeship Scheme at the International
Court of Justice
We are delighted to announce that LSE Law has been nominated as a sponsoring institution for the University Traineeship Programme at the International Court of Justice. This gives LSE law students the opportunity to apply along with students from a select group of universities to undertake a nine-month funded traineeship at the ICJ in the Hague. The traineeship programme is similar to a judicial clerkship and provides the opportunity for an LSE student or recent graduate to work closely with the members of the Court on tasks such as drafting court documents, preparing case files and research on a variety of legal issues.
Application forms will be available from the commencement of the 2014/2015 academic year and the deadline is likely to be January 2015. Applications will be open to current students and recent graduates. Interested students may contact Dr Devika Hovell at D.C.Hovell@lse.ac.uk
Two regulatory appointments for Professor Moloney
Professor Niamh Moloney has been appointed to the Consumer
Advisory Group of the Central Bank of Ireland. The role of the Consumer Advisory
Group is to advise the Central Bank on its performance in relation to protecting
consumers of financial services.
Professor Moloney was also recently re-appointed by the Board of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to serve a second term on its advisory Securities and Markets Stakeholder Group. Professor Moloney served on the Group in its inaugural term, during which she was Chair of the Group’s Prospectus Working Group and a member of a number of Working Groups addressing issues related to ESMA’s regulatory and supervisory activities with respect to EU capital markets. The press release of the Chairman of ESMA on the appointment of the Stakeholder Group is available here.
Professor Gearty's new book The Meanings of Rights
Professor Conor Gearty's latest book The Meanings of Rights: The Philosophy and Social Theory of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2014), co-edited with Professor Costas Douzinas is now available:
'Does the apparent victory, universality and ubiquity of the idea of rights indicate that such rights have transcended all conflicts of interests and moved beyond the presumption that it is the clash of ideas that drives culture? Or has the rhetorical triumph of rights not been replicated in reality? The contributors to this book answer these questions in the context of an increasing wealth gap between the metropolitan elites and the rest, a chasm in income and chances between the rich and the poor, and walls which divide the comfortable middle classes from the 'underclass'. Why do these inequalities persist in our supposed human rights-abiding societies? In seeking to address the foundations, genealogies, meaning and impact of rights, this book captures some of the energy, breadth, power and paradoxes that make deployment of the language of human rights such an essential but changeable part of so many of our contemporary discourses.'
Professor Gearty was also recently awarded an honorary degree by Sacred University. SHU President John J. Petillo noted at the award ceremony, “We are very pleased to have Dr. Gearty visit Sacred Heart during this 50th anniversary year. Not only is he an outstanding educator and scholar, but his commitment to human rights exemplifies our mission of preparing students to make a difference in the world."
Sanctions should not meddle with private contracts
Visiting Professor Jonathan Fisher QC recently wrote for Financial Times (10/04/14) on contract sanctions against Russia, arguing 'they are an unwarranted threat from the state to freedom of trade, and likely to do more harm than good.'
25 April 2014
Helen Reece on rape and criminal justice
Helen Reece was recently interviewed on the ShoutOutUK blog, discussing the criminal justice system's response to rape.
'Londongrad' dealmakers threatened by sanctions
Visiting Professor Jonathan Fisher QC has been quoted by Bloomberg News, describing the prospect of Russian sanctions as a "significant irritant" for Russian business people, and positing whether many may have already moved money out of the UK ahead of time
Stephen Humphreys interviewed on BBC Russian Service about Crimea
Stephen Humphreys was recently interviewed on the BBC Russian Service on the status of Russian military presence in Crimea under international law.
New criminal offences proposed to protect hospital patients from gross negligence
Hospital patients who have been subjected to gross mistreatment and appalling standards of healthcare will be protected by a new criminal offence of ‘wilful neglect’ under plans sanctioned by the UK Government.
Law professors Karen Yeung (King’s College London) and Jeremy Horder (London School of Economics and Political Science) have put forward the recommendation in the wake of the Stafford Hospital public enquiry which called for tougher legislation.
In an article published in BMJ Quality and Safety this month, the law professors argue that existing legislation only protects mental health patients and children.
“There are a few cases where ordinary people – particularly the elderly and vulnerable – have been subjected to serious failings of care in hospitals in Britain and they have had no criminal redress,” Professor Horder said.
“As the law stands today, if you are maltreated in a hospital there is actually more protection from the criminal law if you die than if you do not. If you die, those responsible can be charged with manslaughter but if you don’t die it is much harder to find a criminal offence to deal with the worst cases of gross negligence.”
Under civil law, patients can sue a Hospital Trust for negligence and healthcare professionals can be taken to a disciplinary tribunal, but there is no redress beyond that.
The recommendations are part of the Government’s response to the inquiry led by Robert Francis QC following advice from the National Advisory Council on the Safety of Patients.
Professor Horder said that in the vast majority of cases, healthcare professionals had nothing to fear from the new law.
“All we are proposing is to extend the existing criminal legislation which applies to psychiatric care patients and children to everyone else. Criminal liability will only arise in the worst kinds of cases where the treatment is totally unacceptable.
“In an area where we put so much trust in people to get the treatment right and to avoid disastrous outcomes, we need the threat of criminal liability,” he said.
Success at Philip C Jessup International Law Moot
Congratulations to Andrea Bowdren, Stephanie David, Juliane Guderian, and Austin Mahler (LLM, 2014) who competed at the national round of the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court competition, held in Gray's Inn on the 28th February-2nd March. The team performed superbly progressing to the semi-finals, after coming up against teams such as Leeds, KCL, Durham, and Cambridge. Congratulations in addition to Andrea Bowdren who received the ‘Best Oralist in the Preliminary Rounds’ award.
Professor Black gives evidence to Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee on Deregulation Bill
Professor Julia Black recently gave evidence to the Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee on the Deregulation Bill (25/02/14). She commented on the 'growth agenda' for regulators - the government proposal to introduce a power which would allow Ministers to give guidance to regulatory bodies that requires them to promote economic growth when designing and implementing regulation.
Professor Emily Jackson made Judicial Appointments Commissioner
Congratulations to Head of Department Professor Emily Jackson, who has been appointed to the Judicial Appointments Commission. The JAC is the independent commission that selects candidates for judicial office in courts and tribunals in England and Wales, and for some tribunals whose jurisdiction extends to Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Dr Murkens talks to BBC about Scottish independence and EU
Dr Jo Murkens recently appeared on BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour (16/02/14) to explain issues around Scottish independence and Scotland’s membership of the EU.
New issue of Law, Society and Economy Working Paper Series
We are delighted to announce the first issue of the LSE Law Department's Law, Society and Economy Working Paper Series for 2014.
In this issue, Jeremy Horder (WP1/2014) argues for the legitimacy of bureaucratic criminal law by defending a number of its controversial characteristics; Sivaramjani Thambisetty (WP2/2014) contends that by not applying the person skilled in the art standard India’s Supreme Court in the case of Novartis v Union of India failed to develop a coherent and TRIPS-compatible measure to deny patents for derivative pharmaceutical inventions; Eva Micheler (WP3/2014) asserts that structural reform in the area of transfers and holdings of securities is needed to enable ultimate investors to hold securities directly; Jacco Bomhoff (WP4/2014) begins a project of re-imagining private international law as a constitutional phenomenon; Carsten Gerner-Beuerle (WP5/2014) suggests a method for the modeling of legal evolution, convergence, and the political economy of corporate governance codes; Carsten Gerner-Beuerle and Edmund Schuster (WP6/2014) explore how increased corporate mobility leads to the disintegration of coherent regulatory responses to problems posed by companies trading in the vicinity of insolvency; Jill Peay (WP7/2014) calls for a fundamental review of the purposes of imprisonment for offenders, in the light of observations about mentally disordered offenders; Michael Wilkinson (WP8/2014) considers the way European integration is destabilising the national frame for resolving questions of justice and asks whether the frame of justice itself must be subject to democratic contestation; Stephen Humphreys and Yoriko Otomo (WP9/2014) sketch some early lines of enquiry towards a theoretical understanding of international environmental law and elaborate on some of its dilemmas; Jan Komárek (WP10/2014) reviews Kühn’s The Judiciary in Central and Eastern Europe and finds it to serve as an interesting exhibit, rather than an accomplished study, of post-communist legal culture; and Jo Braithwaite (WP11/2014) explores the effects of the case law that arose from the collapse of the Lehman Brothers group in 2008.
Visiting Professor Jonathan Fisher QC Advises Treasury Select Committee
Visiting Professor Jonathan Fisher QC has been appointed a specialist adviser to assist the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee in its inquiry into the divestment of 632 branches of Lloyds Banking Group, otherwise known as ‘Project Verde’, and the collapse of The Co-operative Bank’s bid for these branches.
Previously, Jonathan assisted the Treasury Select Committee as a specialist adviser in its inquiry into the LIBOR debacle. The Committee’s report, Fixing Libor: some preliminary findings”, was published in August 2012.
22 January 2014
Dr Beyani reports to UN Human Rights Council on CAR and Syria
Chaloka Beyani, Associate Professor in the Law Department, addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday 20 January 2014 on the situation in the Central African Republic in his capacity as Chair of the Coordination Committee of the United Nations Human Rights Special fProcedures. A copy of the statement is available here.
In the same capacity, on 21 January 2014, Dr Beyani also issued a press release and a letter to the parties to the Geneva II talks on the situation in Syria. Copies of the press release and statement are available here [open letter] and here [press statement]
Dr Beyani was also recently quoted in Time magazine and the Guardian on the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic.
Dr Beyani says international donors acted too slowly over CAR humanitarian crisis
Dr Chaloka Beyani, in his role as UN Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, spoke to the BBC World Service's Newsday (9 January 2014) about IDPs in the Central African Republic.
Professor Gearty on Free Thinking, BBC Radio 3
Professor Conor Gearty recently appeared on BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking programme, in a discussion about what a new British constitution might look like.
NEW BOOK: Balancing Constitutional Rights: The Origins and Meanings of Postwar Legal Discourse
Dr Jacco Bomhoff's new book is Balancing Constitutional Rights: The Origins and Meanings of Postwar Legal Discourse, published by Cambridge University Press:
The language of balancing is pervasive in constitutional rights jurisprudence around the world. In this book, Jacco Bomhoff offers a comparative and historical account of the origins and meanings of this talismanic form of language, and of the legal discourse to which it is central. Contemporary discussion has tended to see the increasing use of balancing as the manifestation of a globalization of constitutional law. This book is the first to argue that 'balancing' has always meant radically different things in different settings. Bomhoff uses detailed case studies of early post-war US and German constitutional jurisprudence to show that the same unique language expresses both biting scepticism and profound faith in law and adjudication, and both deep pessimism and high aspirations for constitutional rights. An understanding of these radically different meanings is essential for any evaluation of the work of constitutional courts today.
Professor Chalmers evidence to European Scrutiny Committee
Professor Damian Chalmers recently gave evidence to the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee on the relationship between EU law and UK law and how the position of the British Parliament could be better protected in EU decision-making. In its report on Reforming the European Scrutiny System in the House of Commons, it cited his work and evidence as the basis for two recommendations: one on how the UK government should negotiate matters which fall within Article 4(2) TEU, the provision that requires respect for domestic democratic identities, and the other on when Parliament should disapply existing EU law.
NEW BOOK: Gatley on Libel and Slander
Gatley on Libel and Slander is the leading expert volume on the English law of defamation. It provides expert commentary on the common law, on practice and procedure, on related causes of action, and on the impact of the Defamation Act 2013 on law and practice. Dr Andrew Scott has authored five chapters in the new edition: the general introduction, three chapters on the defences of truth (justification), honest opinion (honest comment), and publication on a matter of public interest (Reynolds privilege), and the chapter on the claim for misuse of private information.
Dr Chaloka Beyani in Sudan as UN Special Rapporteur
Dr Chaloka Beyani, Senior Lecturer in Law in the Law Department, completed official missions to South Sudan in November and Sri Lanka in December 2013 in his official capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, and will present his reports to the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly next year. See media coverage of his visit in South Sudan and Sri Lanka respectively.
Dr Beyani’s second book this year, Collected Essays on the Use of International Law, was published by Cameron May on 30 November 2013.
Dr Refik Tiryaki prize paper at Competition and Regulation in Network Industries conference
Dr Refik Tiryaki, a senior energy adviser for the Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority and recently a Visiting Fellow in the Law Department, was awarded the best paper prize for his presentation at the 6th Annual Conference of Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Brussels, 22 November 2013. The paper was written during his time here as a Visiting Fellow.
Dr Heyvaert: 'Environment Agency staff cuts risks economy and reputation'
Dr Veerle Heyvaert writes on The Conversation blog on cuts to the Environment Agency, and the potential loss of international credibility if the UK returns to being the 'dirty man of Europe'.
Dr Hovell on role of domestic courts in Security Council decision-making
Devika Hovell’s article on the role of domestic courts in Security Council decision-making is the subject of a blog symposium on Opinio Juris:
Professor Lacey at Prison USA: The Dilemmas of Mass Incarceration
Professor Nicola Lacey recently spoke at the Harvard Mahindra Humanities Center at the Prison USA: The Dilemmas of Mass Incarceration conference. The conference website can be found here. View Professor Lacey's contribution 'Comparative Perspectives on Mass Imprisonment' on Panel 1, at 87:07 minutes. [video footage link at the bottom of the page]
Professor Julia Black appointed Pro-Director for Research
Professor Julia Black, Department of Law, has been appointed as the Pro-Director for Research. She takes over this area of responsibility from Professor Stuart Corbridge, who became Deputy Director and Provost earlier this term. Professor Black will be part of the Director’s Management Team and will provide academic leadership for the School’s strategic research ambitions.
LSE Director, Professor Craig Calhoun, commented "I am delighted to welcome Julia to the senior management team at LSE. She has an impressive research record in her own right, good judgment and a clear vision for further strengthening research at LSE."
Professor Mulcahy on the court-room cage
Professor Linda Mulcahy was recently cited in a New York Times article on the use of cages in court-rooms, and its impact on the presumption of innocence. Profsesor Mulcahy noted, 'As soon as you put somebody in a cage, you begin to make the process part of the punishment.'
New Papers in the Working Paper Series
We are delighted to announce the third issue of the LSE Law Department's Law, Society and Economy Working Paper Series for 2013.
In this issue, Sivaramjani Thambisetty (WP20/2013) looks at the scope in patent law for sector specific innovation analysis to support the methodology and outcome of competition policy; Christos Hadjiemmanuil (WP21/2013) addresses certain claims made about the proper objectives and modes of operation of Special Resolution Regimes for failed banking institutions; Jacco Bomhoff (WP22/2013) introduces a comparative study of the language of balancing in the context of constitutional rights law; Peter Ramsay (WP23/2013) sets out some elements of a historical theory of the contemporary securitization of criminal law and expansion of state surveillance; and Julia Black (WP24/2013) develops a social conception of financial markets, arguing that regulators need to develop alternative cognitive and analytical frameworks for re-seeing and re-knowing financial markets in order to regulate them more responsively.
In a new briefing paper for the Law and Financial Markets Project, Jonathan Fisher QC argues that City fraud, financial markets offences and corruption should be investigated and prosecuted by a single enforcement authority instead of the multiplicity of agencies currently involved. The recent establishment of the Economic Crime Command at the National Crime Agency has muddied the waters further. It is high time for the Government to deliver on its Coalition Agreement commitment by allowing the Serious Fraud Office to mutate into an enlarged new economic crime-busting agency, leaving the Financial Conduct Authority to concentrate on the imposition of civil penalties for regulatory and compliance breaches which do not demand a criminal response.
NEW BOOK: Just Emotions: Rituals of Restorative Justice by Dr Meredith Rossner
Even as restorative justice has captured the attention of justice
practitioners, academics and communities worldwide and most research
suggests that it has the potential to repair the harm of a criminal
offence and reduce offending, there is also evidence that it can
have no effect or even make things worse. Just Emotions: Rituals of
Restorative Justice attempts to address these conflicting findings
by analyzing how conferences work as a unique form of justice
With a pioneering new approach to the micro-level study of the processes and emotions involved in successful conferences, this book offers clues on how to improve the practice and increase successful outcomes. Using an eclectic methodological approach, the author presents a model that adapts Goffman's and Collins' ideas about the interaction ritual chain by focusing on participants' emotions, emotional turning points, and the emergence of rhythm and solidarity between participants. The approach involves a contrasting systematic empirical program, including a combination of qualitative interviews, detailed observations of discourse, face and demeanour, and quantitative analysis of systematically observed conferences, in order to improve the capacity of facilitators and practitioners to produce successful outcomes.
Dr Rossner also recently discussed transparency in UK courtrooms with the LSE Research blog - read the article in full here.
Prof Chalmers on UKIP and EU criminal justice
A letter by Professor Damian Chalmers was published in the Independent on 12 November, commenting on UKIP's call for a debate on EU policing and criminal justice.
'Governing “As if”: The provisional settlement of knowledge controversies in the WTO'
Dr Andrew Lang's Current Legal Problems lecture 'Governing “As if”: The provisional settlement of knowledge controversies in the WTO' will be held at UCL Laws on Thursday 14th November at 6pm (Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, WC1H 0EG). This lecture explores the relationship between practices of knowledge production and legal decision-making in the field of international economic law, examining the 'practices of objectivity' by which certain forms of economic knowledge become the accepted basis for governance of markets through law. It draws on the work of Jasanoff and Riles to identify a mode of 'governing as if': a pragmatic mode of governance through knowledge, which can be read against late twentieth century controversies over the socially constructed nature of scientific knowledge. The analysis is developed through a study of the benchmark problem in the field of global subsidies regulation.
Kai Moller shortlisted for Law Teacher of the Year
Kai Möller, Senior Lecturer in Law, is one of six academics to be shortlisted for the Law Teacher of the Year 2014 award.
The award, which is sponsored by Oxford University Press, provides a national platform to showcase the excellent teaching on show at law schools around the UK and formally recognise the vital role played by law teachers.
Alison Bone, a member of this year’s judging panel, explains: "Students rarely remember the research their lecturer has done - they remember the support they received, the passion and the enthusiasm the lecturer demonstrated for their subject, the way they engaged them in the learning process by doing something a little bit different. All of these fundamental aspects of what makes an outstanding lecturer are acknowledged and rewarded in the Law Teacher of the Year award."
Kai said: "I am honoured to have been shortlisted for this award and I'm extremely grateful to the Department of Law for having been incredibly supportive throughout the entire process."
The winner will be announced in February 2014.
Professor Gearty on BBC R4's Terror Through Time
Professor Conor Gearty appeared on BBC Radio 4's Terror Through Time, discussing the history of terrorism and counter-terrorism in Northern Ireland.
Professor Lacey on extending the vote to the prisoners
Professor Nicola Lacey recently gave evidence to the Joint Committee on the Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill, making the case for extending the vote to the majority of prisoners. She argued that the denial of the franchise is a powerful symbol of the exclusion of prisoners from full membership of society, producing a stigmatising and alienating effect which outlasts the prison sentence, impeding social reintegration after release and hence implying significant costs not only for former offenders but for potential victims of crime – in other words, for all of us.
Profealso blogged about this question on democratic audit UK - read the article here.
Visiting Fellow Simon Wong on pension funds, institutional investment and governance
Visiting Fellow Simon Wong recently sat down with Stephanie Baxter of Global Investor magazine to discuss pension fund reform, conflicts of interest in the asset management industry, and corporate governance/stewardship. The interview drew upon Wong's House of Commons testimony on the Kay Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision Making. The Financial Times also recently published a letter from Simon Wong highlighting frequently overlooked factors that contribute to investment managers' herding tendencies.
Beyani on UN mission to Serbia and Kosovo
Dr Chaloka Beyani, Senior Lecturer in the Law Department, undertook an official mission to Serbia and Kosovo last week (8-13 October 2013) in his capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons to propose durable solutions for internally displaced persons. He met with the Prime Minister of Serbia and other Government officials, and with the Special Representative of the Secretary General as head of the United Nations Mission for Kosovo and authorities of the institutions of Kosovo. In September, Dr Beyani presented his report on Syria to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Anti-corruption and the National Crime Agency
Visiting Professor Jonathan Fisher QC was recently quoted (10 October 2013) in the Financial Times commenting on the policy document published by the new National Crime Agency which addressed, among other things, the new strategy on fighting domestic and foreign corruption. With other agencies such as the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority also taking an interest in disrupting corrupt practices, Jonathan said there is some concern here about the possibility of a turf war. “There’s a risk of a multiplicity of agencies and a serious risk that something will fall through the cracks”.
NEW BOOK: The Law of Personal Property
Prof Michael Bridge, together with Prof Louise Gullifer, Prof Gerard McMeel and Prof Sarah Worthington, has just published The Law of Personal Property (Sweet and Maxwell, 2013). This is a major work on a difficult and elusive subject that is profoundly important in modern commercial law. It deals with legal and equitable interests in personal property. The creation, loss and enforcement of those interests are discussed in great detail. Personal property, essentially everything that is not land, covers tangible items such as ships and books but also paper, such as bills of exchange and also intangible items, such as debts and intellectual property rights. Conflict of laws issues are also considered at length, along with security and insolvency aspects of personal property
NEW BOOK: Choice-of-Court Agreements under the European and International Instruments
A new book by Emeritus Professor Trevor Hartley, Choice-of-Court Agreements under the European and International Instruments is published by Oxford University Press.
This is the first text to address all the instruments that will govern choice-of-court agreements in Europe and to engage in a practical discussion of their mutual relationship. The existing common law, which has dominated discussion of this subject for so long, will become less significant as European and international instruments become more widely applicable. The consequences of this, both for practitioners and business persons engaging in international transactions, are explained by thematic chapters covering all major issues affected.
The work opens with an introduction to the components of a choice-of-court agreement and to the origins, principles, and status of the various instruments, making the text accessible to a broad practitioner audience. The scope of the instruments - territorial application, international application and subject-matter application - as well as conflicts between them, are addressed in Part II, which is devoted to guidance on deciding which instrument applies. Validity (substantive and formal), effects, remedies, and procedure are discussed in Part III, while Part IV tackles a range of more specialist areas, including insurance, consumer contracts, employment contracts, companies, and intellectual property. Comprehensive appendices follow, including the Hague Convention 2005 in its entirety, alongside extracts from Brussels I and Lugano, making this a standalone support for any practitioner facing unfamiliar questions in the area.
Anne Barron discusses 'free-riding' on Radio 4
Anne Barron recently appeared as a panellist on The Philosopher’s Arms, a fun but serious BBC Radio Four series that foregrounds ‘the pub’ in ‘the public sphere’. Invited to discuss the theme of ‘free-riding’ with moral philosopher Roger Crisp, psychologist Stian Reimers, and Medecins Sans Frontieres’ Katy Athersuch, Barron said that the concept of the free-rider is misleading when used to brand everyone from file-sharers to generic drugs manufacturers as lazy intellectual property scroungers or nasty intellectual property pirates. In fact, intellectual commons – repositories of information products available for use without payment – are increasingly necessary to today’s knowledge economies, and wholly consistent with the core values of the new spirit of capitalism: openness, collaboration and sharing. Barron’s published research – notably her ‘Copyright Infringement, Free-Riding and the Lifeworld’ and her just-published ‘Free Software as Critical Social Practice’ - develops these themes in depth. The programme is available as a podcast here.
Dr Paech briefs European Parliament ECON Committee on shadow banking
Dr Paech has recently submitted his opinion on legal issues relating to collateral assets and insolvency law that have arisen in the context of projected EU legislation addressing the shadow banking sector.
His analysis concludes that the special insolvency treatment of repos and securities lending, which makes possible close-out netting, should not be changed in principle. This discussion had been triggered by a recent policy paper published by the Financial Stability Board. Dr Paech advises instead that temporary suspension of these privileges might be a more viable way as they would respect risk management arrangements that are currently used throughout the entire market. Further, Dr Paech advises the European Parliament‘s ECON Committee to strengthen the law underlaying repos and securities lending so that cross-jurisdictional transactions become safer. He advises against the introduction of mandatory regulatory haircuts to collateral assets as they are no appropriate means to address the existing uncertainty.
Professor Redmayne on the 'super recogniser'
Professor Mike Redmayne was recently quoted in a Daily Mail on the metropolitan police's use of 'super recognisers' - a dedicated team of staff viewing CCTV footage, who reportedly identified 1,300 suspects in relation to the 2011 riots. Professor Redmayne questioned the future use of 'recognisers' as expert witnesses: '‘Unless we subject them to rigorous testing, then we are just taking their word on trust. Perhaps they can do what they say, but we don’t have the evidence yet. If it was up to me, I would not allow it in court.’
Jan Kleinheisterkamp appointed to the UK Government Expert Group on Arbitration
Jan Kleinheisterkamp has been appointed as a member to the group of twelve experts advising the UK Government on arbitration policy. The informal pro-bono group has been created in September 2013 to advise the UK Government, and in particular the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), which is responsible for developing UK policy relating to arbitration and its position in international negotiations, covering a broad range of issues from commercial to investment arbitration. Dr. Kleinheisterkamp is one of the few academic members of the expert group. He has in the past also advised the European Parliament on issues of investment arbitration in the EU context and has extensive experience as an arbitrator in the commercial field.
Law and Financial Markets Project publishes new policy briefings
Law and Financial Markets Project publishes new Policy Briefings on criminalising reckless behaviour by bankers, and on the skewed incentives for bank managers created by the UK’s system of corporate law and governance.
Anthea Roberts elected to the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law
Anthea Roberts has been elected to the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law (AJIL). Anthea joins Professor Christine Chinkin on the Board, making the LSE the only non-American university to have two members of its faculty on the Editorial Board. Anthea is also a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the European Journal of International Law and the Board of Editors for the Journal of World Investment and Trade.
Professor Linda Mulcahy - Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences
Congratulations to Professor Linda Mulcahy who has become an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences.
The Academy of Social Sciences is the national Academy of academics, learned societies and practitioners in the social sciences. The award, conferred on 51 social scientists this year, recognises leaders in the field of social sciences, including law, social policy, politics, criminology and education.
Professor Linda Mulcahy and Professor Leslie Moran: 'Judging Images'
Professor Linda Mulcahy (LSE) and Professor Leslie Moran (Birkbeck) have received an AHRC Grant to undertake a new research project, entitled 'Judging images: the making, management and consumption of judicial images.' Further details:
Public confidence in the legal system is more dependent than ever before on the media and is increasingly dominated by screen media and visual images. We are experiencing previously unimaginable levels of tele-visual literacy about justice and the courts in particular. Significant technological changes are also taking place in the mass media such as those that enable mass audiences to view factual and fictional representations of courts 24/7. The media are far from being the only stakeholders able to capitalise on technological developments. New opportunities to make images has also created a new breed of ‘citizen journalists’ who can produce subversive images and circulate them worldwide on portable devices within minutes of an event happening. The aim of this project is to explore how images of the judiciary are produced, managed and consumed. The image of the judge has long performed an important symbolic role in the legitimisation of legal systems and State sanctioned power. Scattered research suggests the production of judicial images in the English legal tradition has a complex history. Typologies range from mediaeval funeral monuments, painted portraits and 19th century ‘temples of justice’ to house the judiciary, to TV series and mobile phone videos uploaded onto YouTube. The audiences for these images include fellow judges, other lawyers, litigants, trial spectators, local elites and the general public. The ongoing significance of judicial images to political legitimacy is powerfully illustrated by debates about the ban on cameras in the courts and criticisms of the judiciary as appearing ‘out of touch’ and ‘out of date’ in their scarlet robes and full bottom wigs. While the production of images of the judiciary has never been the sole domain of the State the applicants argue that the credibility of official image production is increasingly under attack and that reactions to this phenomenon have been slow. This project grant will fund a series of international workshops in which these issues will be explored by judges, journalists, film makers, artists and academics working in the field of law and visual culture. It aims to facilitate the generation of a research network to enhance research capacity and invigorate interaction with image makers, image managers and image users.
Professor Jonathan Fisher QC on criminal prosecution for corporate crime and tax evasion
The Guardian reports today on debate within government on adopting a tough US-style approach to corporate offending, quoting Visiting Professor Jonathan Fisher QC:
'Jonathan Fisher QC, a barrister specialising in financial crime, has been a long-standing proponent of reform, insisting that DPAs are unlikely to prove an effective tool without a credible threat of corporate prosecution. "If you put yourselves in the shoes of a company, the first thing you are going to ask yourselves in cases like these is: 'What are the chances of conviction'? If it is low, there is little point in engaging in discussions about a settlement."
Professor Fisher was also recently quoted in the Labour Party's policy review Tackling Serious Fraud and White Collar Crime, noting that the introduction of deferred prosecution agreements in corporate crime cases will not be successful unless the Government changes the basis on which companies can be held liable in criminal law.
In addition, Professor Fisher was quoted in The
Times on 12 August on the HMRC crackdown on tax evasion, which
has seen criminal prosecutions more than double in the last twelve
months. Professor Fisher, a fraud specialist, noted that the CPS
would have to bear the cost of prosecutions, and so criticism that
the HMRC was targeting 'low-lying fruit' - middle-class professional
and tradespeople rather than serious criminals - was perhaps
justified. Such cases were easier to resolve than complex corporate
or offshore tax evasion.
Professor Jackson on Dignitas arrest
Professor Emily Jackson, asked by the Guardian newspaper about the recent arrest of two individuals, planning to take a family member to the Dignitas assisted-suicide clinic in Switzerland, described the UK position as "a bit of a mess", noting "It's rather peculiar to have a criminal offence on our statute books but where it's actually quite straightforward to access assisted suicide provided you travel to Switzerland to do so. It's as though we're exporting assisted suicide. This also means it's not available to everybody – an assisted suicide at Dignitas is not cheap, and a dying person will also generally need to have friends or family who are willing to help."
Professor Murray on Twitter trolls
Professor Andrew Murray was recently quoted on the Channel 4 News website, contributing to an article on policing misogynistic abuse on social networking sites.
Professor Bridge elected Fellow of the British Academy
Congratulations to Professor Michael Bridge, who has been elected a Fellow of the British Academy. The British Academy is the UK’s national body which champions and supports the humanities and social sciences. The award of a Fellowship recognises outstanding academic achievement and research.
Law Department supports Pathways to Law Programme
Seventy year 12 state school students from non-privileged backgrounds will attend a specialised law programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) next year under phase III of the Pathways to Law programme.
LSE is one of 12 universities across the country selected to deliver the Sutton Trust’s flagship legal access programme for the next four years and only one of two based in London.
Pathways to Law aims to inspire and support bright state school students aged 17 and 18 who come from non- privileged backgrounds, who are interested in pursuing a career in law. LSE’s tailored programme will not only give students a taste of the academic teaching they would receive as undergraduate law students at the School, but will provide practical support for those wanting a career in law as well as visits to key legal institutions.
Law department staff receive teaching awards
Congratulations to Jacco Bomhoff, Jo Braithwaite, Pablo Ibáñez Colomo and Kai Moller, who have each received a Major Review Award, recognising an outstanding contribution to teaching within London School of Economics.
Dr Beyani elected Chair of Coordinating Committee of the UN Special Procedures and Mandate Holders
Dr Chaloka Beyani, Senior Lecturer in Law, has been elected Chairperson of the Coordinating Committee of the UN Special Procedures and Mandate Holders and chaired the annual meeting of the UN Special Procedures and Mandate holders held in Vienna 24-28 June 2013. He presented the joint statement of the Special Procedures the High Level Expert Vienna +20 conference which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action on Human Rights, which will feed into the post 2015 Development Agenda.
Professor Murray and Dr Kleinheisterkamp join ICC Centre of Expertise panels
Professor Andrew Murray and Dr Jan Kleinheisterkamp have been appointed to expert panels of the ICC International Centre of Expertise to decide Limited Public Interest objections raised under the ICANN New gTLD Dispute Resolution Procedure. The Dispute Resolution Procedure is part of a comprehensive programme designed to protect the rights and interests of individuals or entities who oppose the registration of any domain name “strings” submitted for registration, as alternatives to the commonly known .com and .org extensions. Under the programme four categories of objection are permitted. 1. “String Confusion Objection” – whereby the character string comprising the potential gTLD is confusingly similar to an existing top-level domain or another string applied for in the same round of applications. 2. “Existing Legal Rights Objection” – an objection that the string comprising the potential new gTLD infringes the existing legal rights of others that are recognized or enforceable under generally accepted and internationally recognized principles of law. 3. “Limited Public Interest objections” – whereby proposed names are considered to be contrary to generally accepted legal norms relating to morality and public order, recognized under principles of international law, and 4. “Community objections”, a substantial opposition to the gTLD application from a significant portion of the community to which the string may be explicitly or implicitly tageted.
Professor Murray and Dr Kleinheisterkamp will, respectively, be hearing Limited Public Interest objections having been determined by ICANN and the ICC International Centre for Expertise as having met the required qualification of being an eminent jurists of international reputation. Full details of the new gTLD dispute resolution process may be found at:
International Bar Appoints Stephen Humphreys to Climate Change Task Force
Stephen Humphreys has been appointed to the International Bar Association (IBA) Task Force on Climate Change Justice and Human Rights. The IBA is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. It influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world. It has a membership of more than 35,000 individual lawyers and 198 bar associations and law societies spanning all continents.
This new task force is designed to ensure
that the voice of the global legal
profession is heard in debates on justice
and human rights in the context of climate
change, and to add to the urgency of the
need for steps by governments to deal with
this problem and the protection of the less
privileged members of the community who are
adversely affected. The task force will be
co-chaired by David Estrin, Chair of the IBA
Environment, Health and Safety Law Committee
and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Chair of the
IBA Human Rights Institute, and is due to
deliver a report to the annual meeting of
the IBA to be held in Tokyo in November
26 June 2013
Professor Murray quoted on 'Snapchat'
Professor Andrew was quoted in a recent Metro feature about the popular Snapchat app, and the danger of its misuse for bullying or harassment.
Helen Reece on 'positive parenting'
Helen Reece's article 'The pitfalls of positive parenting’ (2013 8 (1) Ethics and Education 42) has been extensively discussed in the national press. In the article Reece argues that contemporary official parenting advice about disciplining children can be boiled down to ‘Be nice’. She shows that ‘Be nice’ breaks down into the absence of punishment and the expansion of both positive reinforcement and leading by example. Reece then examines the ways in which such apparently innocuous advice could be damaging: "positive parenting is arduous if not impossible, thereby setting parents up to fail, and partly because of this onerousness, it is arguably destructive of the spontaneity of the parent–child relationship."
Professors Black and Kershaw referred to extensively in the Final Report of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards
Professors Black and Kershaw testimony was referred to extensively in the final report of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, ‘Changing Banking for Good’, which has been described by the British Bankers Association as “the most significant report into banking in a generation”.
New Papers in the Working Paper Series
We are delighted to announce the second issue of the LSE Law Department's Law, Society and Economy Working Paper Series for 2013.
In this issue, Dev Gangee (WP8/2013) traces the emergence of the brand as a new object of protection in European trade mark law; Robert Baldwin, Julia Black and Gerard O’Leary (WP9/2013) outline the challenges of regulating low risks and describe a framework for regulating low risks in environmental regulation in the UK and Ireland; Damian Chalmers (WP10/2013) explores the concept of sovereignty in the context of EU law and the Euro area crisis; Nicola Lacey and David Soskice (WP11/2013) analyse the relatively poor performance of the United States in criminal justice and related indices and forward an explanatory theory based on local governmental autonomy; Chris Thomas (WP12/2013) looks into the uses and abuses of the concept of legitimacy in the international legal sphere; Pablo Ibanez Colomo (WP13/2013) examines the relationship between the EU system of judicial remedies and the evolution of the EU law on abuses of dominance; Tatiana Flessas (WP14/2013) proposes a new theory regarding the increasing numbers of claims for repatriation of antiquities in museums; Jan Kleinheisterkamp (WP15/2013) takes the recent European Commission’s draft regulation on managing financial responsibility as the starting point to analyse the implications of future EU investment agreements for balancing public and private interests in EU law; Grégoire Webber (WP16/2013) challenges the weak conception of defeasible rights promoted by balancing and proportionality and argues that rights are conceptually interrelated to justice; Kai Möller (WP17/2013) contends that proportionality is not only compatible with but moreover necessitates the phenomenon that increasingly relatively trivial interests are protected as rights; Sivaramjani Thambisetty (WP18/2013) examines the implications of the institutional environment of the patent system on emerging technologies such as synthetic biology; and Antoine Vauchez (WP19/2013) explores the early history of the entanglement between law and European polity-building.
LSE Department of Law ranked in top three of UK’s leading Law Schools
LSE Law Department was recently ranked third in the Times 2013 Good University Guide for Law, after Oxford and Cambridge. The full results can be obtained here: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/gug/ (The Times subscription required).
This confirms the Department's continuing position amongst the UK's elite law schools, listed in University Guides, published by The Complete University Guide, The Times, and The Guardian. In the Complete University Guide and the Times University Guide, which both take account of the quality of University research, the LSE Law Department was ranked top for research quality.
Dr Braithwaite wins Wedderburn Prize
Dr Jo Braithwaite has been awarded the Wedderburn
Prize (jointly with Dr Kirsty Hughes, Cambridge ), awarded by the
Modern Law Review.
Dr Braithwaite's article 'Standard Form Contracts as Transnational Law: Evidence from the Derivatives Markets' uses new research into the derivatives markets to develop our understanding of standard form contracts as transnational law and to show how transnational law theory may be usefully informed by empirical work.
The Wedderburn Prize is named in honour of Lord Wedderburn of Charlton, who served as General Editor of the Review from 1971 to 1988. It is awarded annually for a contribution to that year's volume which in the opinion of the Editorial Committee is exemplary of the type of scholarship that The Modern Law Review aims to promote. In awarding this Prize, the Committee pays particular attention to the work of authors who are at a relatively early stage of their careers.
The Modern Law Review was established in 1937 as a charity devoted to the promotion of legal education, the study of law and all other arts and sciences which may be of interest to those involved in the study or practice of law. MLR promotes these objectives by the publication of the law review and also by the organisation of lectures, seminars, scholarships and prizes that support legal education and scholarship.
Dr Beyani on Internally Displaced Persons in Syria
Dr Chaloka Beyani, Senior Lecturer in the Law Department, was invited last week Wednesday 29th May 2013 in his capacity as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons to address an emergency session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the situation in Syria, on behalf of the Coordinating Committee of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council representing UN Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts, and Working Groups. On Thursday 30th May 2013, Dr Beyani presented to the Human Rights Council a well-received report on the situation of internally displaced women. The statements and the reports can be found here:
Dr Kleinheisterkamp gives new steer to EU investment policy
On 22 and 23 May, the Plenary of the European Parliament debated the impact of investment treaty arbitration on the EU’s regulatory powers and agreed that investor-state arbitration should not be used in trade agreements with partners who have sound judicial systems equivalent to European standards and that foreign investors should not be granted more rights than EU law offers also to European investors. This debate and the amendments(3, 4 and 5) to the Commission’s proposal COM(2012) 335 for a regulation on financial responsibility linked to investor-state arbitration were sparked by a report to the EP Committee on International Trade (INTA) authored by Dr Jan Kleinheisterkamp, which, building on his previous work, highlights the need to define the outer limits of the liability of the EU in future investment agreements and discussed the available policy options. This matter becomes all the more important in the light of the free trade negotiations with Canada, the U.S., and China.
Dr Beyani to author UN report on internally displaced persons in Syria
In its Resolution A/67/L.63 adopted on 8th May 2013 on the situation in Syria, the United Nations General Assembly has requested the United Nations Special Rapporteur Dr Chaloka Beyani, Senior Lecturer in the Law Department, to , to submit a written report to the General Assembly, within 90 days on the very dire situation of internally displaced persons in the Syrian Arab Republic in terms of safety and their basic rights and livelihoods, and to provide recommendations with a view to meeting assistance and protection needs and' strengthening the effectiveness of the international response to displacement (para 21).
Prof Chalmers on 'Democratic Self Government in Europe'
Professor Damian Chalmers considers alternatives that may emerge out of the current British crisis of confidence in the European Union in his new publication ‘Democratic Self-Government in Europe’ (Policy Network, 2013). In this, he argues that EU law will have significant legal effects within the United Kingdom whether it remains in the EU or not. Rather than thinking in in/out terms, it is preferable to think in terms of how to mediate its effects so that it will only enjoy authority where it augments the quality of democracy enjoyed within the United Kingdom. Securing its democratic authority would require the development of three new tests. An EU measure must enjoy relative democratic authority over other forms of law. It must be democratically responsive to both domestic and pan Union concerns. It must not violate central domestic democratic values. In this paper, he goes through the implications of these and how these could be institutionalised within the current Treaty framework.
Prof Jackson on the rise of DIY-assisted conception
Professor Emily Jackson writes in the Guardian: 'We cannot know what the consequences will be of an increasingly DIY approach to healthcare. The opportunity for good, informed advice may be lost, as is the possibility of evidence-based regulation. Perhaps we need to persuade people of the advantages of talking through their options with a trained professional. If someone thinks that the internet is the best place to find a sperm donor, sex and relationships, education in the UK has not done a very good job. Regulated fertility provision in the UK may not be perfect, but it is undoubtedly better able to protect the interests of women and children than the wild west of DIY-assisted conception.'
Dr McDonagh on 'Patent Trolls'
Dr Luke McDonagh and his co-author, Dr Christian Helmers, have been cited in a submission made by Google, Blackberry, Earthlink and Red Hat to the US Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice concerning the damaging effect that litigation undertaken by 'Patent Assertion Entities' (sometimes referred to as 'patent trolls') has on innovation. The submission made by the companies to the FTC/DOJ is publicly available here:
Shareholder Empowerment and Bank Bailouts
Research on ‘Shareholder Empowerment and Bank Bailouts' by David Kershaw and Edmund Schuster, together with FMG colleagues, Daniel Ferreira and Tom Kirchmaier, was recently discussed in the German Newspaper Wirtschafts Woche.
Giuliano Castellano on Banking Union and Cyprus
Dr Giuliano Castellano was recently interviewed by a Chilean national newspaper on EU financial markets regulation, with particular emphasis on banking union and the Cyprus crisis.
Rape myths not behind low conviction rate
Helen Reece's latest research - recently featured in The Guardian - questions the widespread belief that 'rape myths' account for low conviction rates. Reece argues that judges, prosecutors, police and jurors are generally capable of putting prejudices aside when considering individual cases: "The claim that rape myths are widespread may be challenged on three grounds: first, some of the attitudes are not myths; secondly, not all the myths are about rape; thirdly, there is little evidence that the rape myths are widespread. To a troubling extent, we are in the process of creating myths about myths. This process functions to close down, not open up, the possibilities of a productive public conversation about important and at times vexed questions."
NEW BOOK: Public Law – Text, Cases and Materials
A new book by Jo Murkens, together with Andrew Le Sueur and Maurice Sunkin, provides students with a thought-provoking and detailed analysis of the core issues relevant to students studying public law setting them in their political context. Each chapter provides a clear textual account of the topics covered. The text is supported by an excellent range of extracts from a wide range of sources, such as academic writing and reports of parliamentary committees, as well as extracts from leading judgments.
Baroness Hale in conversation with Prof Gearty
Baroness Hale, the most senior female judge in the UK, appeared at the LSE on Wednesday 13 March, in conversation with Professor Conor Gearty. On the repeal of the Human Rights Act, she said, 'I am quite sure that most of us – probably all of us – would regret it, because the opportunity for us, ourselves, to work out what is, and what is not, compatible with the European convention has brought great benefits to the law and to a great many people.' She also suggested that appointments to the Supreme Court should include some consideration of 'racial or gender balance'.
LSE Team Prepares for Vis Moot
The Law Department of the LSE hosted the London Vis
pre-Moot on 4-5 March. The two-day event gathered 9 universities in
preparation for the 20th Vis Arbitration Moot, which will take place
in Vienna (Austria) on 21-29 March. Participants included the teams
of King’s College London, University College of London, Oxford
University, Queen Mary University of London, Nottingham University,
Science Po University, University of São Paulo, Bocconi University
of Milan and LSE. This was the third edition of the LSE pre-Moot and
was extended this year to a two-day event that allowed increasing
the number of UK and non-UK universities invited.
Each team conducted 7 mock hearings against other universities. Each pleading was arbitrated by a panel of three arbitrators, including practitioners, academics or team coaches. Arbitrators included professionals from leading arbitration firms and chambers such as Allen & Overy, Baker Botts, CMS Cameron McKenna, Essex Court, Freshfields, Herbert Smith Freehills, K&L Gates, Wilmer Hale, and 12 Gray’s Inn. The pre-Moot was organised by Manuel Penades, the coach of the LSE Team and class teacher on the arbitration course in the LLM, with the help of the two student coaches Corina Lefter and Monika Pacocha and the support of Dr. Jan Kleinheisterkamp as the academic supervisor of the Team. The members of the LSE Team for this year’s Vis Moot are Viviana Berkman, David Girard, Edward Machin, Omavuaye Mudiaga-Erhueh, Predee Pravichpaibul, and Natalie Wong. We wish them all the best for the upcoming competition in Vienna.
Dr Paech named UNIDROIT Rapporteur
Dr Philipp Paech of the LSE Law Department was
named Rapporteur to the intergovernmental conference on Principles
for Close-out Netting held under the auspices of UNIDROIT in Rome in
March 2013. In that function he will oversee the finalisation of a
set of legislative principles that are designed to guide legislators
planning to improve the legal framework for close-out netting, a
commercial law technique important for the risk management of
financial institutions. The volume of cross-border transactions in
the financial markets makes these international principles
necessary. Dr Paech has been a member of the UK Treasury’s
delegation to UNIDROIT since the previous intergovernmental UNIDROIT
conference in October.
NEW BOOK: Liberty and Security
Professor Conor Gearty's new book Liberty and Security is published by Polity.
All aspire to liberty and security in their lives but few people truly enjoy them. This book explains why this is so. In what Conor Gearty calls our 'neo-democratic' world, the proclamation of universal liberty and security is mocked by facts on the ground: the vast inequalities in supposedly free societies, the authoritarian regimes with regular elections, and the terrible socio-economic deprivation camouflaged by cynically proclaimed commitments to human rights. Gearty's book offers an explanation of how this has come about, providing also a criticism of the present age which tolerates it. He then goes on to set out a manifesto for a better future, a place where liberty and security can be rich platforms for everyone's life. The book identifies neo-democracies as those places which play at democracy so as to disguise the injustice at their core. But it is not just the new 'democracies' that have turned 'neo', the so-called established democracies are also hurtling in the same direction, as is the United Nations. A new vision of universal freedom is urgently required. Drawing on scholarship in law, human rights and political science this book argues for just such a vision, one in which the great achievements of our democratic past are not jettisoned as easily as were the socialist ideals of the original democracy-makers.
NEW BOOK: Protection of the Right to Seek and Obtain Asylum Under the African Human Rights System
Dr Chaloka Beyani's new book Protection of the Right to Seek and Obtain Asylum Under the African Human Rights System is published by Martinus Nijhoff. The use of international human rights machinery to protect refugees has acquired an important dimension in recent years. This is true of both the United Nations treaty body system and the African, European and Inter-American regional systems of human rights. The result is a dynamic international invigoration of traditional refugee law that, in contradistinction, tends to be applied at the level of national courts and tribunals. Yet the precise role of human rights in the protection of refugees is sometimes viewed with suspicion and uncertainty. This Commentary provides a valuable insight into the use of human rights in the protection of refugees through the prism of the African Human Rights System.
Dr Beyani, in his role as Special Rapporteur on the rights of internally displaced persons, was also recently interviewed on UN radio about displacement related to elections in Kenya.
NEW BOOK: Constitutional Nationalism and Legal Exclusion - Equality, Identity Politics and Democracy in Nepal (1990-2007)
Mara Malagodi's new book, Constitutional
Nationalism and Legal Exclusion - Equality,
Identity Politics and Democracy in Nepal
(1990-2007) is published by Oxford
University. The book is a detailed case study of Nepal's
post-1990 constitutional experience. It examines the complex
relationship between law and politics, and emphasizes the role of
cultural identity in making institutional choices relating to the
framing and implementation of the Nepali Constitution. The volume
also analyses the patterns of legal exclusion that resulted in the
growing politicization of identity, the de-legitimization of the
1990 Constitution, and the current demand for state-restructuring
based on ethnic federalism and group rights.
The author, tracing the evolution of Nepal from a constitutional monarchy to a republic, analyses the drafting of the 1990 Constitution, the impact of the Maoist insurgency (1996-2006) on demands for constitutional change, the relationship between conflict and demands for recognition, and the role of Nepal's Supreme Court in the articulation of identity politics.
New Papers in the Working Paper Series
We are delighted to announce the first issue of the LSE Law Department's Law, Society and Economy Working Paper Series for 2013.
In this issue, Thomas Poole (WP1/2013) critically explores the concept of ‘reason of state’, asking specifically whose reason and which reason is referred to; Arthur Dyevre (WP2/2013) uses insights from game theory and international relations to examine the role of domestic judicial non-compliance in the European Union; Jo Murkens (WP3/2013) discusses whether the European Union Act of 2011 is a compromised and failed statute; Kai Möller (WP4/2013) in the introductory chapter of his recently published book identifies the existence of a global model of constitutional rights and sets out the terminology and methodology on which the book is based; David Kershaw (WP5/2013) explores whether wrongdoer control remains an absolute condition to the bringing of derivative litigation in the UK; Sivaramjani Thambisetty (WP6/2013) investigates whether the requirement of disclosure in patent specifications continues to be reflected in common law jurisdictions; and Peter Ramsay (WP7/2013) argues that the European Court of Human Rights is wrong in holding that the UK ban on prisoners’ voting is not necessary in a democratic society and offers a democratic argument in favour of the ban.
Simon Wong appears before House of Common Equity Markets Review
Visiting Fellow Simon Wong appeared before the House of Commons today to share this thoughts on the Kay Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision Making. Simon, who has written extensively on institutional investors and the "investment chain", emphasized the need to reform pension fund structure and governance, revamp the performance metrics and incentives for investment managers to combat short-termism, and alleviate conflicts of interest in the investment industry.
Dr Chaloka Beyani warns that Kenya must avoid a new internal displacement crisis
One week before the elections in Kenya, Dr Chaloka
Beyani, LSE - also United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human
rights of internally displaced persons - has called on the Kenyan
Government and the international community to significantly scale up
efforts to prevent internal displacement in preparation for the
elections due on Monday 4 March.
“Instances of localized violence likely to result in the arbitrary displacement of persons in Kenya have steadily increased in the run up to the elections, although intervention by Government has helped to improve the situation,” Mr. Beyani said, recalling that internal displacement in the country has historically followed each election cycle since 1991/1992.
This year’s elections are the first under the new 2010 Constitution, which introduced major political reforms after the 2007/2008 post-election violence. At the time, lack of preparedness during the post-election violence contributed to the country’s largest internal displacement crisis, with 600,000 Kenyans displaced in precarious and adverse living conditions.
"I urge the Kenyan authorities this time around to strengthen the measures being led by national disaster and crisis management to prevent displacement, together with its national and international partners, and to intensify emergency preparedness and coordination efforts to that end,” the human rights expert stressed. “I particularly call upon donors to support such preparedness efforts, which are essential to save lives and ensure the safety and dignity of internally displaced persons in the possible event of displacement in the country.”
'Rape trials must be completely open'
Helen Reece, Reader in Law, writes on Spiked on the dangers of granting anonymity to defendants accused of rape, concluding: 'If anonymity were extended to rape defendants there would be no logical reason for refusing anonymity to other defendants ... If we set off down this path, the criminal justice system could end up shrouded in mystery. There is one certain way to combine these twin principles of open justice and equality - remove anonymity from rape complainants as well as defendants.' She was also quoted by the Independent (19/02/13).
Welcome to Shimizu Visiting Professor William Bratton
A warm welcome to Shimizu Visiting Professor William Bratton, who is with the Department from 25 February to 8 March 2013. Professor Bratton is one of the leading US scholars of corporate law. He is of considerable international repute. His primary fields of research and teaching are Corporate Law, Securities Law and Accounting Regulation. Over a period of 20 years in the academy his work has brought together multiple interdisciplinary influences including critical legal studies and various branches of economic theory. Professor Bratton is currently Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he is also Director of their Law and Economics Center. Previously he was the Weidenbruch Professor of Business Law at Georgetown University. His web page is available at: http://www.law.upenn.edu/cf/faculty/wbratton/
NEW BOOK: The International Sale of Goods
This new edition of the leading authority on international aspects of sale of goods by Professor Michael Bridge provides clear, comprehensive and detailed analysis of the subject. The unique dual coverage of contracts under English law and the CISG is a valuable benefit for those interested in all types of sale of goods contracts, including the sale of commodities such as grain and oil. The detailed commentary provides analysis on decided cases as well as on standard form contracts which represent evolving trade practice. In addition to matters of contract law, the book considers relevant property law, most notably addressing those issues arising out of the use of documents of title, such as marine bills of lading. The rights and duties of buyer and seller are explained in depth, and the relationship of sale contracts to other contracts, such as charter parties and letter of credit contracts, is rigorously examined. The book deals with issues of frustration and force majeure, the passing of property and risk, and remedies. New to this edition are three separate chapters on the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG) covering formation, performance and remedies for non-performance of the contract.
NEW BOOK: From Empire to Union: Conceptions of German Constitutional Law since 1871
Dr Jo rkens' new book From Empire to Union: Conceptions of German Constitutional Law since 1871 (Oxford University Press, 2013) examines the modern development of German constitutional thought by tracing the key public law concepts of state, constitution, sovereignty, and democracy from their modern emergence in the 19th century through to the present day. It analyses the constitutional relationship between Germany and the EU from a sociological and historical perspective, looking at how German constitutional law has conflicted and compromised with EU law, and the difficulties this has raised.
Professor Jackson on Liverpool Care Pathway review
Professor Emily Jackson will sit on the panel of an independent review of the Liverpool Care Pathway. The end of life care strategy was designed to ease the suffering of terminally ill patients, but became controversial when it was suggested that clinical decisions could be linked to financial incentives. Members of the public are invited to share their experiences of LCP, both good and bad, as part of this independent review, chaired by Baroness Julia Neuberger.
Panel discussion on Dr Moller’s The Global Model of Constitutional Rights at Oxford University
Dr Kai Möller (LSE), Professor Mattias Kumm (NYU and Humboldt University), and Dr George Letsas (UCL) participated in a panel discussion on Dr Moller’s new book The Global Model of Constitutional Rights (OUP 2012) at Oxford University on 15 February. The lively discussion touched upon a range of issues including the question of whether personal autonomy or human dignity ought to be regarded as the foundation of rights, the place of institutions as well as procedural and participation rights in a comprehensive theory of constitutional legitimacy, the relevance of the idea of justification, and the relationship between legal/doctrinal and philosophical theories of rights. The event was hosted by the Public Law Discussion Group at Oxford and chaired by Paolo Ronchi.
Hugh Collins elected to the Francqui Chair 2012-2013
Hugh Collins has been elected to the Francqui Chair 2012-2013. This prestigious chair is funded by the Francqui Foundation, which is named after Emile Francqui, a distinguished public servant in Belgium in the early twentieth century. During the first world war, Emile Francqui worked with the American government led by Herbert Hoover to bring food relief and other support to Belgium. After the war, Francqui led the task of reconstruction, during which he founded the National Science Foundation to revive universities and research. In 1932, Emile Francqui and Herbert Hoover together decided to set up a different foundation, which they entrusted with a large amount of money. The purpose of this foundation is "to further the development of higher education and scientific research in Belgium". It was Herbert Hoover who insisted that this foundation should bear the name of Emile Francqui in order to perpetuate the memory of someone who had done so much for his country and for science. The picture is of Hugh Collins giving his inaugural lecture in a series at the University of Leuven, dressed in the robes of the faculty. The title of the lecture was 'Why Europe Needs a Civil Code'.
Professor Kershaw and Professor Moorhead (UCL) write in the Times about “Where were the lawyers when Lehman crashed?”
Professor Kershaw and Professor Moorhead (UCL) write in the Times about “Where were the lawyers when Lehman crashed?”. The article is available on the Time website here and also available in PDF here.
David Kershaw and Edmund Schuster’s work on Shareholder Empowerment and Bank Bail outs reported in the Wall Street Journal
Work on Shareholder Empowerment and Bank Bailouts by the LSE’s Daniel Ferriera, David Kershaw, Tom Kirchmaier and Edmund Schuster was covered in the Wall Street Journal’s Heard on the Street on 22 December 2012. Having considered this paper the Wall Street Journal article concludes: “Since shareholders are the owners, one might conclude that it is their own business if they want to push a firm to take on risks that it is unable to tolerate. The problem with this view, especially when it comes to banks, is that when a firm gets into trouble a lot of people who aren't shareholders can get hurt. So the government steps in with a bailout, and taxpayers foot the bill. And of course if they believe there is a government backstop, investors may only encourage a bank to take on more risk. One can come up with many good reasons for shareholders exerting more influence on company boards. Hoping it would curb dangerous risk-taking may not be one of them.” The full article is available here and the paper Shareholder Empowerment and Bank Bailouts is available here.
Professor Black and Professor Kershaw appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Banking Standards on 17 January 2013
Professor Black and Professor Kershaw appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Banking Standards on 17 January 2013. Professor Black and Professor Kershaw’s written submission to the commission is available here and a webcast of the session can be viewed here.
Major conference on financial market regulation co-hosted by Professor Niamh Moloney of the Law and Financial Markets Project
On 29-30 November 2012, a two-day conference on New Legal Thinking in Financial Regulation, co-organized by Professor Niamh Moloney of the Law Department's Law and Financial Markets Project and Professor Eilís Ferran of the Centre for Corporate and Commercial Law Cambridge, was held at Cambridge University. The conference was financially supported by the Cambridge University JM Keynes Fellowship Fund, the Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance, the LSE Law Department’s Law and Financial Markets Project and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. The conference, which also celebrated the publication of The Regulatory Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (CUP, 2012) by Eilís Ferran, Niamh Moloney, Jennifer Hill and John Coffee, Jr., considered new and emerging issues in financial regulation.
A report on the conference can be found here.