Professor John Flood on The Rule of Law: are lawyers necessary or even the most capable of maintaining it?
Distinguished faculty lecture followed by reception, 29 September 2015, 5pm.
The central argument is that the legal system and the rule of law are now the domain of the legal profession. Professional ethos, which was once based on a compact with the community, has effectively been broken asunder by the entrenchment of neoliberalism. This has entailed justice being subject to economic tests such as cost-benefit analysis and gradually being divorced from any moral force within society. The spirit of Beveridge has been lost. Can we recover this? If so, how? To begin a debate on this I turn to anthropological studies of acephalous societies to show how the law jobs in society could be done with partial help from lawyers and a re-engagement with community.
All welcome, admission free, please register online.
Westminster Law School students encouraged ‘to go for it’ by judges and alumni.
Westminster Law School was thrilled to host an inspirational evening with nine high-profile judges who discussed high-points of their careers and afterwards joined students and staff for a canapé and champagne reception.
After an opening speech by Head of Westminster Law School, Liz Duff, the judges gave an overview of their careers and shared tips for success. This was followed by a Q&A session where the judges and students discussed topics ranging from ethical dilemmas to equal opportunities as well as practical information on gaining work placements. Some of the judges even offered to provide work shadowing opportunities for some of the students.
Caroline Hamilton, Chief Parking and Road Traffic Adjudicator for London, said: “If you follow my example all you have to do is to keep going … I don’t give up.” She continued: “One of the ways to have a stable income is to achieve a judicial appointment and, looking at the different types of people that we have here, it’s something that is an open opportunity for all sorts of people to take up. So don’t ever think that ‘no, I cannot do that!’ Yes, you can do that! We are certainly living examples of that.”
District Judge Philip Gillibrand, who specialises in crime and family and who is also a Diversity and Community Relations Judge, further encouraged the student audience to live up to their potential: “What really matters tonight is you and your careers, and how you go about tackling them. Whatever your background, whatever your problems, this is an inclusive society …We want you all to be involved in the legal profession, involved in the judiciary. Be determined. Seize the day. Give it a good go. Don’t give up. If you are confronted with a failure, try again. And try again after that.”
The judges who attended the evening were:
- The Honourable Mr Justice Richard Arnold
- Her Honour Judge Jane Probyn
- Godfrey Cole, former Dean of the Polytechnic of Central London (the predecessor to Westminster Law School), Tribunal Judge, Judge of Upper Tribunal
- District Judge Philip Gillibard
- Henry Michael Greenslade, Lead Adjudicator Parking on Private Land Appeals
- Caroline Hamilton, Chief Parking and Road Traffic Adjudicator for London
- District Judge (MC) Tan Ikram, Deputy Lead Diversity and Community Relations Judge
- His Honour Judge Philip Sycamore
- Her Majesty’s Coroner Andrew Walker