Annual graduation and prize giving reception

The annual Congregations ceremony for graduating law students was held in the historic, vaulted nave of Canterbury Cathedral last week.

Families, friends and staff took their seats on Wednesday morning to watch more than 330 undergraduate law students being conferred their degrees (27 joint honours students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree and 309 students graduating with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours degree). Later in the day, 83 postgraduate students graduated with qualifications that included postgraduate Certificates, postgraduate Diplomas, Master of Laws degrees and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

A further Congregations ceremony was held on Tuesday this week at Rochester Cathedral where six law students graduated from their part-time studies at Medway. (Next year will be the final year for Kent Law School students graduating from Medway).

This year the University has awarded two Honorary Doctor of Civil Laws degrees to Attorney General Lisa Madigan and diplomat Baroness Ashton of Upholland. Lisa Madigan was elected to a fourth term as Illinois Attorney General in the United States and the longest serving Attorney General in Illinois history. She regularly testifies before Congress on consumer and critical issues. In 1986-87 she studied at Kent as part of an exchange with Georgetown. Baroness Ashton is a Life Peer who served as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and First Vice President of the European Commission from 2009 to 2014.

The University has also awarded two Honorary Doctor of Laws degree to criminal barrister Courtenay Griffiths QC and human rights lawyer Jocelyn Cockburn. Courtney Griffiths is a barrister notable for his defence within a number of high-profile cases. He is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding jury advocates of his generation. Jocelyn Cockburn is a leading Civil Liberties lawyer who has been at the centre of some of the most politically sensitive cases in the last decade. She brought a judicial review challenge against the Director of Public Prosecutions for his decision not to prosecute anyone for the murder of Stephen Lawrence

The full list of recipients of Honorary Degrees from the University of Kent is available to view online.

The Law School’s annual prize-giving reception followed the first Congregations ceremony on Wednesday last week, with afternoon celebrations held in a marquee on the lawn in front of the library. Visitors were welcomed by Head of School, Professor Toni Williams, before Professor John Fitzpatrick, Director of Kent Law Clinic, announced the winners of prizes awarded to law students in recognition of their academic successes.

Images of the day captured by the University’s photographer at the Cathedral are available to view on the University of Kent’s Flickr account.

All the prize winners from 2017 are listed below:

Postgraduate prizes

  • Oxford University Press Prize for academic excellence in LLM (Master of Laws):  Michael John Patrick
  • Head of School’s Prize for outstanding student work: Judith Onwubiko and Sanam Amin

Undergraduate prizes

School Prizes

  • Faculty of Social Sciences Rotary Prize – most distinguished overall degree performance: Amber Dullaway
  • Faculty of Social Sciences Prize – best overall degree performance: Francesca Charlton, Eleni Dionysiou, Natasha Oke, Irena Madella and Adrienne Zay
  • Antony London Prize – best student contribution to Kent Law School (sponsored by Antony London’s family): Alex Acaster and Rachel Bale
  • Hallett Prize – best dissertation in any year (sponsored by Hallett Solicitors, Ashford): Suleen Latif and Samuel Spencer
  • Head of School’s Prize – outstanding student work on Critical Legal Thought: Amber Dullaway, Hendrik Johnson, Oluwatobi Obaremo, Matt Speed and Olubukola Williams
  • Scott-Moncrieff Essay Prize – best essay on Social Justice (sponsored by Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, Scott Moncrieff Harbour & Sinclair): Roxana Cioara
  • Special Award for KLS Student Community Building – best contribution to Community Building: Ravneet Kondel

Stage Prizes

Stage 1/Certificate

  • Hart Publishing Prize – best performance by a Stage 1 student – winner (sponsored by Hart Publishing, Oxford):Georgia Millington
  • Hallett Prize – best performance by a Stage 1 student – runner up (sponsored by Hallett Solicitors, Ashford):Amanda Duckworth
  • Stantons Prize – best performance by a Certificate in Law student – winner (sponsored by Stantons Solicitors, Gravesend): Holly Delahunty
  • Director of Certificate in Law Prize – best performance by a Certificate in Law student – runner up (sponsored by Karen Devine, Senior Lecturer): Connor Underwood

Stage 2

  • Whitehead Monckton Prize – best performance by a Stage 2 student – winner (sponsored by Whitehead Monckton Ltd Solicitors, Maidstone):Rihanna Melvin
  • Hallett Prize – best performance by a Stage 2 student – runner up (sponsored by Hallett Solicitors, Ashford): Adeola Obisesan
  • Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Prize – best performance by an ex Certificate in Law Stage 2 student (sponsored by Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Solicitors, Gillingham): Winner – Hannah Carr. Runner up – Beriwan Berkpinar

Stage 3/Finalists

  • Thomson Reuters Prize – best performance by a finalist at Canterbury (sponsored by Thomson Reuters, London): Winner – Amber Dullaway. Runner up – Irena Madella
  • Jarmans Prize – best performance by an ex Certificate in Law finalist (sponsored by Jarmans Solicitors, Sittingbourne): Winner – Paige Banks.  Runner up – Voke Oniovo-Kukor
  • Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Prize – best performance by a finalist at Medway (sponsored by Davis, Simmonds & Donaghey Solicitors, Canterbury): Hayley Goucher

Subject Prizes

  • Kent Law School Negotiation Prize – most outstanding negotiating team: Samuel Ashley-Williams and Alex Jones
  • Canadian Negotiation Prize – best team in the Canadian Negotiation (sponsored by Nick Jackson, Senior Lecturer): Maariyah Baig and Samantha Paulin
  • Clement-Walker Prize for Mediation – most outstanding mediation teams (sponsored by Janie Clement-Walker, Lecturer): Team 1) Maariyah Baig and India Hughes. Team 2 – Kyle Hefford and Andreas Malekos
  • Athena Prize – best mediation role play (sponsored by Janie Clement-Walker, Lecturer): Olubukola Williams
  • The Spirit of Mediation Award (received at the INADR International Mediation Competition, Glasgow): Charlotte Simpson, Gabriela Kratchanov and Vadanjali Deosamy
  • 4th Place Crystal Award for Mediation (received at the INADR International Mediation Competition, Glasgow): Sonia Soares, Mojeedat Aderinto and Maizy Bence
  • Colley Prize – best performance in the European Law module (sponsored by Colley Solicitors, Rochester): Kaloyan Dinev and Jessican Kilkelly
  • European Degree Prize – best performance by a finalist completing a four year programme including an Erasmus year (sponsored by Professor Geoffrey Samuel, Professor of Law): Francesca Charlton
  • Gardner Croft Prize  – best performance in the Property Law module (sponsored by Gardner Croft Solicitors, Canterbury): Sara Jacob
  • Hallett Prize – best performance in the Public Law module (sponsored by Hallett Solicitors, Ashford): Ingrid Malo and Aaryan Tokhi
  • Herbert Smith Freehills Prize – Best Law of Obligations Stage 2 final result (sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills, London): Eman Salem
  • Hillier Prize – best Introduction to Obligations Stage 1 final result (sponsored by the Peter & Michael Hillier Trust): Ra’chel Thorpe-Blair and Nicholas Barrett
  • Norman Cooper Advocacy Prize – best Certificate in Law student in Criminal Law presentation (sponsored by Jeremy Cooper and Kent Law Society): Kate Sowa
  • Sir Terence Etherton Master of the Rolls Prize – best essay on a topic in Equity and Trusts (sponsored by Sir Terence Etherton, on recommendation by Nick Piska): Winner – Tendo Lubwama. Runner up – Daisy McLean

Law Clinic Prizes

  • Brachers Access to Justice Prize – outstanding contribution to Access to Justice by a Kent Law Clinic student (sponsored by Brachers Law, Maidstone): Kevi Velcani
  • Criminal Justice Project Prize – best contribution to the Kent Law Clinic Criminal Justice Project: Chantal Davison and Kinga Stabryla
  • Fairweather Prize – outstanding contribution to the Kent Law Clinic (sponsored by Fairweather Solicitors, Canterbury): Chantal Davison
  • Oxford University Press Prize – best contribution to Kent Law Clinic by a non-finalist (sponsored by Oxford University Press, Oxford): Alexandra Nadasan

Mooting Prizes

  • Internal Mooting Prizes – Canterbury: Alex Acaster, Ebunoluwa Adeniran, Shaiya Beechook, Alaana Durocher, Cara Hall, Gabriella Kratchanov, Liam Meanwell, Nicole Sicilia, Hannah Taranto
  • Justin W Yuen Canadian Law Moot Prize – best performance in the Canadian Moot Competition (sponsored by Justin W Yuen, Criminal Lawyer): Maariyah Baig and Samantha Paulin
  • Kent Law Society Prize – best overall mooter (sponsored by Kent Law Society, Sevenoaks): Alex Acaster and Tom Bishop
  • Weekly Law Reports Prize – best overall Stage 2 & Stage 3 mooters (sponsored by The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting, London): Stage 2 – Cara Hall. Stage 3 – Nicol Sicilia
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Kent Law School is partner in €2.2M grant for investigating patents and their role in scientific infrastructure

Senior Law Lecturers Dr Hyo Yoon Kang and Dr Jose Bellido will lead Kent Law School as a research partner institution in a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant of Eur 2.2 million for investigating patents and their role in scientific infrastructure.

The five-year project ‘Patents as Scientific Information, 1895-2020’ begins in September 2017 and will be led overall by Professor Eva Hemmungs Wirten of Linkoeping University. It will encompass a collaborative and cross-disciplinary consortium including Katarina Nordqvist and Gustav Kaellstrrand (Nobel Museum) and Bjoern Hammarfelt (Boras University), with expertise in history, media and cultural studies, library sciences and law.

The project will explore the scientific use of patents, often given as a justification for the existence of patent law. It will also reveal the new and untold story of the networks of people, artefacts and money that have shaped the current knowledge infrastructure into its present form.

Dr Kang said: ‘We are tremendously excited to be part of a European team spanning multi-disciplinary expertise in order to explore patents in a different way than conventional law and economics scholarship. The five-year collaboration will allow us a more nuanced and in-depth understanding of how patents work or do not work in practice and find out more about their informational use and value by scientists themselves. To broaden the patent scholarship with such an accomplished group of researchers and range of institutions will contribute to a better evaluation of the patent system as a whole.’

Dr Bellido’s individual project will explore the historical question of copyright of patent document, which raise questions of authorship, ownership and transfer of patents as paper documents.  Dr Kang’s project will assess whether patent documents are regarded and used as scientific information by scientists themselves and reveal scientists’ changing attitudes about the separation between pure and applied sciences. Both projects will be presented and discussed in three different workshops to be held in Europe and the US.

Dr Bellido and Dr Kang have previously collaborated with project members in two workshops; one held at the Mundaneum in Mons, Belgium, in 2015 and the other held at Linköping University, Sweden, in 2016. They are also Co-Pathway Directors of the Kent LLM Intellectual Property Law  Pathway (a one-year Master’s in Law). This pathway provides a detailed insight into the dynamic and growing area of intellectual property law by taking a distinctively contextual approach. It also equips postgraduate students with the necessary in-depth knowledge to practise intellectual property law or work in creative industries. Watch Dr Bellido in the video below reflect on the multi-disciplinary nature of this pathway with one of his current students:

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Book by Dr Asta Zokaityte offers innovative thinking on financial literacy education

A new book by Kent Law School lecturer Dr Asta Zokaityte presents an original contribution to the understanding of an under-researched area of financial education.

Financial Literacy Education: Edu-Regulating our Saving and Spending Habits (Palgrave Macmillan) introduces new conceptual frameworks offering academic audiences an innovative way of thinking about the project on financial literacy education.

Using the concepts of ‘edu-regulation’ and ‘financial knowledge democratisation’ to analyse the financial education project in the UK, the book exposes serious, and often ignored, limitations to using information and education as tools for consumer protection. It challenges the mainstream representation of financial literacy education as a viable solution to consumer financial exclusion and poverty. Instead, it argues that the project on financial literacy education fails to acknowledge important dependences between consumer financial behaviour and the socio-economic, political, and cultural context within which consumers live.

Dr Zokaityte teaches commercial law at Kent. Her research interests lie in the areas of financial services regulation, consumer protection, law and development, gender, and socio-legal studies. She has years of professional legal experience having worked as a lawyer in Lithuania, where she advised corporate clients across different fields of practice, including but not limited to: consumer credit, capital markets and securities law, corporate restructuring and insolvency. Dr Zokaityte has published her work in international journals.

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£724,000 grant explores gender status in English law

Kent Law School Professor Davina Cooper, working with a team of colleagues, has secured a grant of £724,000 for a three-year study investigating and evaluating the regulation of gender status in the law of England and Wales.

Reforming Legal Gender Identity: A Socio-Legal Evaluation ​will use cutting edge social science research methods to investigate how gender status is defined and regulated for legal purposes. The project will also assess options for possible reform.

The grant was awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council; research will start in May 2018. Professor Cooper will lead a multi-disciplinary team of academics with expertise in law, social psychology, gender and political theory, including Flora Renz (City, University of London), Dr Emily Grabham (Kent Law School) and Professor Elizabeth Peel (Loughborough University).

Professor Cooper said: ‘We are particularly interested in the implications that follow from assigning gender as a legal status at birth. Should this be reformed? What are the benefits and challenges in doing so; and what kinds of reforms might best address different people’s needs and concerns? It is very exciting to have the opportunity to conduct this innovative research which has the potential to change how gender is understood and regulated.’

The research will take place over three years and will include legal analysis, surveys, and interviews with policy-makers, NGOs, lawyers, activists and a wider public. The project will benefit from an expert advisory board comprising key academics in the field, as well as other stakeholders. Findings from the ongoing research will be shared through an interactive website and presented at public events as the project unfolds. One project aim is to develop a draft bill to provide a focal point for discussion of legal reform. An academic book and several articles will also be published.

Professor Cooper is internationally acknowledged as a leading scholar of law and political theory. Her award-winning research has explored the law and politics of equality and governance and is recognised worldwide for its visionary approach. Professor Cooper was previously director of the Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council), a multi-institutional research centre focusing on law’s relationship with questions of gender and sexuality.

For more information on the project, please email Davina Cooper at d.s.cooper@kent.ac.uk

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Tracking faulty towers: Strategies and techniques for tracing property purchased from proceeds of bribery and corruption in the UK

Saturday 29 July, 9am to 5pm

Wigoder Law Building, University of Kent, Canterbury

Orgainser: Dr Gbenga Oduntan: Reader in International Commercial Law, Kent Law School

A one-day training conference, hosted by Kent Law School at the University of Kent, is aimed at the diaspora communities of West Africa and offers an introduction into strategies and techniques for tracing ownership of companies and properties bought from the proceeds of bribery and corruption in the UK.

The course is likely to be of interest to anti-corruption activists, compliance officers, anti-corruption agencies, registrars, senior state counsel, senior civil servants and legal advisers.

Offering both a doctrinal and procedural introduction into tracing ownership using public sources of information, the conference will also include practical research sessions for attendees under the supervision of expert facilitators.

Conference organiser Dr Gbenga Oduntan said: ‘It has become clear in the last few decades that the phenomenon of stolen capital flight is one of the principal causes of underdevelopment. The stolen wealth of developing states and the proceeds of bribery and corruption in their participation in international business has found safe haven in the Western hemisphere.’

According to a report by Transparency International, the global anti-corruption coalition, billions of pounds of corrupt money enters the UK every year. The organisation says this is money stolen from some of the most impoverished and repressed countries in the world by corrupt politicians, public officials and businesspeople.

Over £4.2 billion worth of properties in and around London have been identified as bought and owned by politicians and public officials with suspicious wealth from around the world. Experts are of the view that this could be the tip of iceberg. With the aid of Land Registry data a recent study analysed those who have been buying apartments in 14 landmark London developments. The results show that across the 14 developments around 80 per cent of apartments were being sold to overseas investors. 40 per cent of the investors are often Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) that have come from countries with a high corruption risk such as Nigeria. Often the purchase will be obscured though purchase by sham/shell companies registered in ‘secrecy havens’ and tax islands.

Dr Oduntan said: ‘Nigeria alone expects £6.1 million to be repatriated from the sales of homes owned by the former delta state governor James Ibori and another £80 million laundered through the UK by other Nigerian officials.’

Why should you attend?

Discover the jurisdictional issues as well as contemporary rules of national and international law and procedure that are used to:

  • influence outcomes in safeguarding your country’s fortune through tracing where national loot is stored
  • research tax fiddles, scams and shell companies
  • Research and trace the assets of dictators and statesmen
  • Assess the means of politically exposed persons and their use of satellite jurisdictions and far financial orbits for storing stolen wealth
  • Understand the issues surrounding the use of UK Companies House in conducting searches
  • Learn how to work with Company Registrars in other Countries
  • Examine the legal and political issues surrounding the never ending disputes among states as to the demarcation between airspace and outer space.

Confirmed plenary speakers include:

  • Ibrahim Magu: Executive Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
  • Professor Bolaji Owasanoye: Executive Secretary Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Nigeria, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
  • Nicholas Hildyard: Director, The Corner House
  • George Turner: Director, Finance Uncovered (and also works at Tax Justice Network)
  • Dr Gbenga Oduntan: Reader in International Commercial Law, Kent Law School
  • Simon Taylor: Director and Co-founder, Global Witness
  • Olarenwaju Suraju: Representative of Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)

The conference is sponsored by The Corner House, Global Witness and HEDA (the Human and Environmental Development Agenda).

To register:

Registration for the conference is open and available online.

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Dr Alan McKenna organises first Kent based event for Action Mesothelioma Day

Dr Alan McKenna is organising the first Kent based event for Action Mesothelioma Day, on Friday 7 July.

Mesothelioma is an incurable form of cancer affecting the lungs, which is derived from exposure to asbestos. The Kent Action Mesothelioma Day event will take place in Medway, which is a UK mesothelioma hotspot. More than 2,600 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in the UK, and of the 78 people in Kent who died from the disease in 2015, 15 were in the Medway area.

Dr McKenna has long campaigned to raise awareness of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases, seeking justice for victims of asbestos exposure through changes in the law; ensuring appropriate levels of compensation are paid; and that adequate research funding is made available to find new medical treatments for asbestos victims.

Action Mesothelioma Day is a national day of awareness, which takes place on the first Friday in July every year. Events are held across the country to commemorate victims of mesothelioma and to seek to bring greater awareness of the continuing issues surrounding asbestos.

The Kent Action Mesothelioma Day event is taking place in the Royal Dockyard Church in Chatham Dockyard on Friday 7 July, from 11.30-16.15. There will be a number of presentations throughout the event, covering care and treatment of asbestos victims; asbestos in schools; and a presentation by Professor Anne Bowcock of Imperial College, who will discuss the new National Mesothelioma Research Centre based at Imperial. The event will begin with a release of doves to commemorate victims, presided over by the Deputy Mayor of Medway Cllr Gloria Opara.

The event is sponsored by solicitors Brachers LLP of Maidstone, and is open to everyone to attend. Those travelling by car are recommended to use the nearby Medway Council Gun Wharf Car Park.

In addition to the Kent event, events are also taking place are Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Sheffield, Reading, Leicester, Leeds, Plymouth.

Download a poster with further details of the Kent event from the Mesothelioma UK website, or view the programme on the Brachers LLP website.

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New book explores personal insolvency and over-indebtedness

Professor of Law Iain Ramsay has authored a book which provides a comparative analysis of the development of personal insolvency law since the late 1970s, and questions its contemporary impact at a time where a significant number of people live close to the precipice of over-indebtedness.

Published by Hart Publishing, Personal Insolvency in the 21st Century: A Comparative Analysis of the US and Europe, presents case studies of personal insolvency law in the US, France, Sweden, and England and Wales. The book examines the role of interest groups and distinct narratives in shaping reform in different countries while drawing attention to the role of timing, path dependency and unintended consequences in the development of personal insolvency law. It provides an analysis of the development of EU harmonisation of personal insolvency law in response to the Great Recession of 2008, and asks whether the international emergence of individual personal insolvency law represents a progressive step or a band-aid for the costs of neo-liberal policies.

The publication is a comprehensive and substantial analysis, which reflects Professor Ramsay’s standing as a world-leading expect on personal insolvency law and the regulation of consumer credit. Professor Ramsay has written extensively on comparative consumer insolvency, has conducted ground breaking empirical research on personal insolvency in Canada, and in 2013 co-authored a World Bank report on personal insolvency that has been influential in reform discussions in countries including Brazil, Colombia, South Africa and India.

Personal Insolvency in the 21st Century: A Comparative Analysis of the US and Europe is the culmination of research supported by a Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust.

Professor Ramsay writes regularly about international developments in credit, debt and insolvency on his blog CreditDebtandInsolvency. A summary lecture by Professor Ramsay entitled Should Households Repay Their Debts?, part of the University of Kent’s Think Kent video series, is available on YouTube. Read more about his research interests and publications on his staff profile.

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Free CeCIL public talk on Turkey’s state of emergency and human rights

The Kent Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) will hold a free public talk in Canterbury later this month, to address questions raised by the state of emergency currently in place in Turkey.

Entitled State of Emergency: On Turkey’s Gulenist Purge and the Defence of Human Rights, the talk will take place in the Friends Meeting House, Canterbury on Wednesday 31 May at 19.00.

The talk will be given by Dr Darren Dinsmore, expert in human rights law and armed conflict at Kent Law School, who will address the questions:

  • What limits can States place on human rights in times of emergency?
  • What is the likely response of the European Court of Human Rights to Turkey’s use of emergency powers?
  • What is the role of human rights courts regarding systematic violations of human rights?

The 15 July attempted coup d’etat in Turkey hit the world’s headlines, with widely shared images of soldiers surrendering to groups of ‘protesters’ and of discarded tanks on Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge. By the time the coup was put down, the Parliament building in Ankara had been bombed, 246 people killed and more than 2,500 wounded.

On 21 July the government declared a state of emergency and claimed the need to ‘derogate’ from its human rights obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights in the face of a ‘threat to the life of the nation’. A host of UN and Council of Europe experts have expressed concern at the scale and scope of Turkey’s response: mass suspensions, detentions and immediate closures affecting the judiciary, the army and police, education, trade unions and the media.

The talk is open to all and will be preceded by a reception (from 18.30), providing a further opportunity to discuss the topic. The event is the final one in a series of Canterbury public talks organised by the Centre for Critical International Law (CeCIL) during the 2016-17 academic year.

This is an edited version of a news item first published on the University of Kent News Centre

Image credit: Istanbul by Pedro Szekely CC BY 2.0

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Kent ranked as top 15 UK law school in Guardian University Guide once again

Kent continues to rank as one of the best law schools in the UK, retaining its ranking of 15th in The Guardian University Guide 2018 league table for law, published on Tuesday.

Within this year’s Guardian league table, the Law School is ranked 7th for Student to Staff ratio, and 15th nationally for the percentage of graduates (85%) who find graduate-level jobs, or are studying further, within six months of graduation. The School’s excellent record for graduate destinations was also recognised recently by The Complete University Guide, which last month placed Kent 7th for Graduate Prospects in their 2018 Subject Table for Law.

In retaining its top 20 position in The Guardian University Guide, Kent remains one of only 14 law schools ranked in the top 20 in each of the three major UK league tables, and is now one of only 9 law schools also ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings.

The Guardian University Guide league table for law is calculated using eight measures, and ranks 98 university law schools across the UK. It’s the fourth year that Kent Law School has been listed in the top 20, having been ranked 14 in 2017, 17th in 2015 and 14th in 2014.

In the QS World University Rankings for law, published in March, Kent was one of only 14 UK law schools ranked within the global top 100. Kent Law School is now ranked 93rd globally in the QS World University Rankings by Subject for Law, as well as 14th in The Times Good University Guide 2017, 15th in The Guardian University Guide 2018 and 19th in The Complete University Guide 2018.

In addition to its reputation as a leading UK law school with a distinctive ‘critical approach’ to teaching law, the School has an international reputation for producing world-leading research. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Kent Law School is ranked eighth in the UK for research intensity. Almost all (99%) of the School’s research was judged to be of international quality with 79% judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

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Kent students win MacKay Cup Canadian Law Moot

A team of two Canadian students from Kent Law School emerged victorious in the final of the third annual MacKay Cup, a prestigious national mooting competition held at Canada House in London last week.

Senior Status students Maariyah Baig and Keegan Adsett-Bowrin were named as the winners of the competition, beating a team from the University of Sussex in a rematch of the 2015 final. Maariyah and Keegan advanced to the final from preliminary rounds of the competition held at Gray’s Inn in April, which saw teams from law schools across the UK engage in competitive moots based upon Canadian Law.

The MacKay Cup was launched in 2014 by the University of Leicester, with the support of Canada’s then Minister of Justice and Attorney General, the Honourable Peter MacKay. It enables Canadian students who are studying in the UK to moot in Canadian law, with the final of the competition held at Canada House in London. The Honourable Peter MacKay remains an active supporter, and presented the trophy to Maariyah and Keegan after their victory last Friday.

Per Laleng, Senior Lecturer and Director of Mooting at Kent Law School, praised the commitment and performance of Maariyah and Keegan: “I am immensely proud and impressed by Maariyah and Keegan’s achievement. Over the Easter break they worked very hard in preparation for the competition and successfully juggled this with revision for their upcoming exams. This success is especially awesome given that both students are only in the first year of their senior status programme. I am looking forward to seeing them both moot again next year.”

Kent’s Deputy Director of Mooting, Lecturer Johanne Thompson, accompanied the team to Canada House: “The advocacy and ability to think on their feet from both Keegan and Maariyah was outstanding. Judicial intervention was fierce from all judges but both students remained cool, calm and gave full measured answers.”

The win was the second mooting success of the year for Maariyah: in March, she was named best mooter of the annual Justin Yuen Canadian Law Moot, in which she competed alongside senior status student Sam Paulin. Keegan also participated in the Yuen moot, alongside fellow first year senior status student Shinpé Saito.

Organised by the Canadian Law Society at Kent (with support from the Law School), the Yuen moot saw Justin Yuen, Kent alumnus and Toronto-based criminal lawyer, return to the University to co-judge the moot he now sponsors. During his visit, Justin also gave a talk to current students, sharing his experiences of returning to Canada to qualify and practice.

The Yuen moot was preceded by the third annual Kent Canadian Law Negotiation competition, which saw Maariyah and Sam successfully navigate their way to finish ahead of the team of Samantha Gravelle and Sarah Wege.

Kent Law School has a thriving Canadian student community and a growing network of alumni who have returned to Canada after graduation to qualify and practice. With around 70 Canadian students, the School has one of the largest Canadian law student communities in the UK.

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