Dr Paul James Cardwell participates in a workshop at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights in Vienna

November 26th, 2014

On 30 October 2014, Dr Cardwell was invited as an external expert to participate in a workshop organised in the context of the FP 7 project ‘Fostering Human Rights among European Policies’ (FRAME) by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights in Vienna. Dr Cardwell gave his views on the place of human rights in the EU’s current external relations, alongside (below, left to right) IMG_3303Ms Barbara Lochbihler MEP, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights, Mr Christian Strohal, Ambassador and Austrian Permanent Representative to the OSCE and Prof Manfred Novak, Professor of Public International Law at the University of Vienna.

The Rt Hon Lady Justice Rafferty – our new Chancellor

November 25th, 2014

Following the retirement of our current Chancellor Sir Peter Middleton in summer 2015, the University of Sheffield’s new Chancellor will be The Right Honourable Lady Justice Rafferty, DBE – a law graduate of the University and a Lord Justice of Appeal since 2011.

The Chancellor is the senior lay Officer of the University and empowered to confer degrees and other academic awards.

The appointment was approved by the University Council and follows a period in which University students, staff, alumni and friends were invited to nominate individuals who united a strong belief in universities and their transformational importance to society with the professional and personal qualities to serve in this unique ambassadorial role.

Lady Justice Rafferty read Law at the University of Sheffield, graduating with an LLB in 1971. She began her pupillage in 1974, was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1990 and a Recorder of the Crown Court in 1991.

In an outstanding career, Dame Anne has served in a number of senior positions including Chairmanship of the Criminal Bar Association and of the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee – in each case the first woman in these roles. In August this year she became Chairman of the Judicial College. She suggested and wrote the 1989 Pigot Committee recommendation (how the young or vulnerable give evidence in court), acknowledged as a major contribution to the administration of justice and replicated internationally.

Dame Anne said: “The University gave me so much that I have always felt in its debt. This privilege – which means the world to me – begins my opportunity to repay.

“Sheffield is a world-class player for good reason: its research contribution is outstanding, but it never forgets that university life begins with undergraduates and depends on inspiring teaching and leadership.”

School of Law Malaysian Alumni Reception – 8th November 2014

November 18th, 2014

IMG_0527Professor Claire McGourlay and Dr Paul James Cardwell hosted the First Alumni Reception and Dinner for our Malaysian alumni in Kuala Lumpur on 8th November 2014.

Over 50 graduates of the School of Law attended, as well as Judge Dato’ Mary Lim Thiam Suan and Judge Datuk Dr Hj Hamid Sultan Bin Abu Backer, who represented the Chief Justice of Malaysia, Dato’ Lela Negara Tun Arifin bin Zakaria, who graduated from the University in 1974.

Dr Cardwell gave a welcome address, highlighting some of the recent achievements of the School of Law and our plans for the future, and thanking the guests for their continued support of the University and the School of Law.


Professor Andrew Johnston visits China

November 17th, 2014

ajohnstone-chinaProfessor Andrew Johnston returned recently from a trip to China where he met with recruitment agents in Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai and in a busy schedule also attended research networking and alumni events. He gave a guest lecture in Shandong University Weihai Campus on corporate governance. He engaged in detailed discussions about future collaboration with the Dean of the Law School and the Vice President of the University. A notice board outside Shandong law faculty advertised the lecture and our LLM in Corporate and Commercial Law. We look forward to working more closely in future. Professor Johnston was enthusiastic about the welcome and reception throughout his trip.

Professor Hervey gives keynote speach: Patient Rights, Human Rights or Consumer Rights?…

November 12th, 2014

Professor HerveyProfessor Tamara Hervey, a leading expert on EU law and healthcare gave the keynote speach “Patient Rights, Human Rights or Consumer Rights?: EU law on mobile patients at the Cross-Border Healthcare Law in the European Union conference, Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, 30 October 2014.

More about the conference

In the European Union healthcare used to be the responsibility of its member states. Directive 2011/24/EU on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border health care is a significant example how EU regulation has also moved onto the field of health care recently. The directive was adopted by the Member States and the European Parliament after lengthy and fierce negotiations. The Copenhagen conference discussed the contents and the troublesome implementation of the directive. Visit the conference facebook page for more details, https://www.facebook.com/IFSKU


The future of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)

November 11th, 2014

Michael Jefferson recently attended the Lincoln’s Inn Law Tutors’ Forum. Discussion centred on proposed reforms to the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) after the Report of the Legal Education & Training Review. The BPTC is criticised in the Report as being expensive and antithetic to widening participation and widening the pool of talent. Currently the fees for the BPTC in London average £18,000 for the nine months’ course plus living expenses.

One proposed reform is that the BPTC would be divided into two Parts.

  • Part 1 would cover ethics, civil litigation, and criminal litigation. The assessments would continue to be centrally set and marked. However, Part 1 could be taken anywhere in any format anywhere e.g. video, distance learning (DL), face to face at providers. For example, Malaysian students could take the course in Malaysia using local providers or by DL. Taking Part 1 in this way would save a good deal of money and shorten the course as a whole.
  • Part 2 would be an immersive course covering mainly skills taken, as now, at the providers in England & Wales.

One possibility would be that students could take Part 1 over the summer after their finals and be ready to start Part 2 in the autumn, thereby shortening the qualification time; similarly, some providers may be able to teach Part 1 during the running of the undergraduate degree or the Graduate Diploma in Law.

Much work remains to be done by the suggested year of implementation, 2017.

Michael Jefferson is a member of the Centralised Exams Appeal Panel acting on behalf of the Bar Standards Board.