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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Kent first with PhD exchange agreement with the University of Melbourne

The University of Kent has established an exciting new doctoral student exchange agreement with the Law School at the University of Melbourne (MLS), which will enable research students at Kent Law School to spend a period of their research studies at MLS, and vice-versa.

The agreement is the first of its kind for the University of Kent. It is designed to provide the opportunity for doctoral research students to engage in and experience the academic culture at another leading law school, to promote cultural exchange, and to facilitate the growth of professional and research links between the institutions.

Melbourne Law School is known for its vibrant student community, strong global outlook, excellent academic reputation, and world-ranking research impact. In complement, Kent Law School is widely regarded as a centre of excellence in legal research and teaching, as evidenced by its rating as the 8th best Law School in the UK for Research Intensity in the Research Excellence Framework (2014), and its inclusion as one of the top 100 law schools in the world in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017.

The exchange programme was set up by Kent Law School’s Rose Parfitt, who is currently based at Melbourne Law School, where she is undertaking an Australian Research Council (ARC)-funded research project. Dr Parfitt said: ‘I’m so happy that the arrangements for this exchange programme have now been finalised, and that both institutions have supported the idea so warmly. It’s a fantastic opportunity for doctoral students at both law schools to build new relationships with peers, mentors and research centres, and to become part of new collaborative projects that might well alter the course of their careers forever’.

The University of Kent is committed to driving forward the development of a range of global partnership activity. We are proud of our excellent international reputation and of our interaction with partners overseas. Kent currently has over 388 links with institutions around the world. For further information about Kent’s international links, please visit our International Partnerships webpage.

This is an edited version of the news item which was originally published on the University of Kent International Partnerships website.

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Kent hosts Brown-Mosten International Client Competition 2017

Kent Law School hosted competitors from around the world for the Brown-Mosten International Client Competition 2017, held at the Canterbury campus of the University of Kent from 19-22 April.

20 countries were represented in the international competition, with teams (all of whom were winners of national client consultation competitions) involved in consultations on a range problematic scenarios based on residential neighbours.

The final round saw teams from Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland interviewing a client in dispute with their downstairs neighbour. A final judging panel (including Forrest S. Mosten, and Joe Egan, Vice President of the Law Society of England and Wales) adjudged Neil Nolan and Conor Cawley from the Law Society of Ireland as the winners (along with their coach and National Representative Jane Moffat). The team from Ireland (pictured) finished ahead of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Belfast (represented by Hannah McGrath and Roisin Higgins) and Aberdeen University, Scotland (represented by Jennifer Baird and Euan Thompson).

The Brown-Mosten International Client Competition provides an opportunity for law students to learn and practice interviewing and counselling skills, and to meet young lawyers from a range of nations and cultures. It is is an annual event which encourages the promotion and development of skills involved with client interviewing and counselling in the legal sphere within an educational context. These soft skills entail an interview of a ‘client’ conducted by a pair of law students in a simulated law office. They interview and advise a ‘client’ and are assessed according to a set of criteria, including interpersonal skills as well as their ability to handle a legal problem.

The 2017 competition welcomed teams from Australia, Russia, Ukraine, USA, Canada, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Germany, Turkey, New Zealand, Finland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, Netherlands, India, Switzerland and Poland. Local legal practitioners, university academics and counsellors attended the first two days and helped judge 40 heats to whittle it down to nine teams in the semi and three teams for the final. The event finished with an Awards Dinner at the Cathedral Lodge in Canterbury.

Joe Thompson, module convenor of the Client Interviewing module in Kent Law School and organiser of this international competition, was thrilled that so many countries were able to attend this year’s event: “I am astounded every year at the quality of the interviewing by the law students but this year has been exceptional. The highlight of these types of event is that the students all come together and forge links that will hopefully last a lifetime.”

Read and see more pictures from the event on the Brown-Mosten International Client Competition website and the Facebook page for the event.

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Kent Law School ranked in top 10 for Graduate Prospects in The Complete University Guide 2018

Kent has been ranked 19th overall and 7th for Graduate Prospects in The Complete University Guide 2018 subject table for law, published yesterday.

In retaining its ranking of 19th, Kent placed above 81 other UK law schools, and continues to be one of only 14 law schools ranked in the top 20 in each of the three major UK league tables, and one of only 10 law schools also ranked in the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings.

The Law School is now ranked in the top 10 for graduate career prospects in both The Complete University Guide 2018, and The Guardian University League Tables for Law 2017 (in which it ranks 5th for the percentage of graduates who find graduate-level jobs, or are studying further, within six months of graduation).

The Complete University Guide is a trusted and influential resource long used by students looking to study at university. The subject rankings are based on a total of five measures: Student Satisfaction, Research Quality, Research Intensity, Entry Standards and Graduate Prospects.

Kent continues to rank as one of the best law schools in the UK. In the QS World University Rankings for law, published last month, 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 2017 and 19th in The Complete University Guide 2018.

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Kent law students win two awards at international mediation tournament

A team of six Kent Law School student mediators won two awards at the 16th International Law School Mediation Tournament held in Glasgow after reaching the final of the competition sponsored by the InterNational Academy of Dispute Resolution (INADR).

The team won a Top Ten Mediator Team Award for finishing fourth out of 42 teams and were voted winners of the H Case Ellis Spirit of Mediation Award by competitors. It’s the second consecutive year a team from Kent has scooped the prestigious Spirit of Mediation award.

Law students Sonia Soares, Mazizy Bence, Mojeedat Aderinto and Charlotte Simpson (who previously competed in the national final of the UK Mediation Competition held in Jersey in January) were joined by Gabriela Kratchanov and Kristeen Deosamy for the international final hosted this year by Strathclyde Law School. More than 125 students from 15 countries competed.

Mediation Module Convenor Janie Clement-Walker, who accompanied the team to Glasgow from 5 to 8 April, was thrilled: ‘I’m so proud of the girls. The Spirit of Mediation Award is such a heartfelt award and means such a lot as all the students participating from round the world voted us the best mediation team internationally!’

The competition gives law students an opportunity to learn about approaches and techniques used in mediation and to test their skills in the peaceful resolution of disputes. Teams of three go through three preliminary rounds serving as mediators, as well as advocates and clients. Mediators work in pairs, with the co-mediators being from different schools. This encourages students to recognize that mediation is about working together to reach a solution, rather than competing at every turn. Mediators are judged on their ability to work together with their co-mediator in addition to their listening skills, their ability to help advocates and clients see the strengths and weaknesses of their cases, their ability to stay positive and professional, and their ability to help guide the parties to a resolution of the dispute that brought them to mediation.

The chance to compete at national and international level is open to all Kent students studying a module in Mediation, one of two non-credited Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) modules offered at the Law School. The second non-credited ADR module is Negotiation. Both extracurricular modules provide an introduction to the skills required to resolve legal disputes without recourse to litigation. Other options include client interviewing and Kent is currently preparing to host this year’s International Client Consultation Competition from 19 – 22 April. Last year, Kent hosted the UK final of the 2016 National Student Negotiation Competition.

Law students at Kent can also develop their practical legal skills by getting involved with the work of Kent Law Clinic, recently relocated to the £5 million purpose-built Wigoder Law Building. The new building also includes a replica court room on the upper floor, home for Kent’s busy mooting programme.

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Two SLSA prizes for outstanding socio-legal scholarship

Outstanding socio-legal scholarship at Kent Law School has been recognised by the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) with the award of two prizes – the Socio-Legal Article Prize to Professor Helen Carr and the Socio-Legal History and Theory Prize to Dr Emily Grabham.

The prize winners were announced last night at the SLSA’s Annual Conference dinner (held this year at Newcastle University). To add to the Law School’s success, Reader in Law Dr Donatella Alessandrini was runner-up for the Hart-Socio-Legal Book Prize. Earlier this year when announcing the shortlist, the SLSA confirmed it was unprecedented for the work of three academics from one institution to be recognised in this way.

Professor Carr was awarded the Socio-Legal Article Prize for her book chapter ‘Legal technology in an age of austerity: Documentation, “functional” incontinence and the problem of dignity’ (published in ‘Exploring the “Legal” in Socio-Legal Studies’ (Palgrave Macmillan), edited by Dave Cowan and Daniel Wincott.)

Professor Carr has research interests in housing, social welfare and public law and is interested in the regulation of the poor especially the homeless, the asylum seeker, the anti-social and those in need of care. She is currently completing a book on homelessness with Professor Caroline Hunter. Professor Carr teaches property law to undergraduate students at Kent Law School and is a Judge with the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) where lessees can appeal against service charges, tenants can challenge rents and landlords can appeal against regulatory action taken against them by local authorities. Earlier this year, Professor Carr published a book chapter arguing that by understanding the caring relationships between homeless people and their pets we could reframe how we think about them. Published as ‘Caring at the Borders of the Human: Companion animals and the homeless’, the chapter was included in the book ReValuing Care: Cycles and Connections (Routledge).

Dr Grabham was awarded the Socio-Legal History and Theory Prize for her book ‘Brewing Legal Times: Things, Form and the Enactment of Law’ (University of Toronto Press). The book offers a fresh and lively examination of the relationship between law and time. It draws on perspectives from actor-network theory, feminist theory, and legal anthropology to consider how legal temporalities are ‘brewed’ in UK and Canadian Law. Case studies include debates about ‘progression’ and ‘likelihood’ in the context of HIV law, ‘work-life balance’ in labour law, and ‘transition’ in the context of transgender legal rights.

In addition to law and time, Dr Grabham‘s research areas include labour law, interdisciplinary perspectives on labour and value, and feminist legal theory. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to legal analysis, drawing on methods and perspectives from legal anthropology, feminist theory, science and technology studies, and critical legal theory. Together with Dr Sian Beynon Jones from the University of York, Dr Grabham co-ordinates the interdisciplinary network Regulating Time: New Perspectives on Regulation, Law and Temporalities. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), this network investigates how law and regulation are shaped by dominant concepts of time. Dr Grabham is also Deputy Head of Kent Law School and Co-Director of Research. (See Dr Grabham receiving her prize at the SLSA dinner.)

Dr Alessandrini was shortlisted for the Hart-Socio-Legal Book Prize for her book examining the contemporary production of economic value in today’s financial economies: Value-Making in International Economic Law and Regulation: Alternative Possibilities (Routledge). Dr Alessandrini has research interests in the areas of critical development studies, trade theory and practice, and feminist political economy. Her previous book Developing Countries and the Multilateral Trade Regime: The Failure and Promise of the WTO’s Development Mission (Hart, 2010) explores the way in which ‘development’ has functioned within the multilateral trade regime since de-colonisation.

Head of Kent Law School Professor Toni Williams said: ‘It is wonderful to see that a prestigious scholarly association such as the SLSA recognizes the original, rigorous and highly significant critical and socio-legal research that Kent Law School fosters and values. We are passionate about our research and are proud to be ranked 8th in the UK for research intensity according to the most recent Research Excellence Framework 2014. Our aim has always been, and continues to be, to produce theoretically informed work that makes a difference to society and to our students.’

Last year the SLSA awarded Kent Law School lecturer Dr Luis Eslava the Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize (and the Prize for Early Career Academics) for his book Local Space, Global Life: The Everyday Operation of International Law and Development. It was the fourth time that the Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize had been won by an academic from the School. Previous recipients of this prize have included: Senior Lecturer Dr Emilie Cloatre for her book Pills for the Poorest: An Exploration of TRIPS and Access to Medication in Sub-Saharan Africa (Palgrave Macmillan) in 2014; Senior Lecturer Dr Nicola Barker, for her book Not the Marrying Kind: A Feminist Critique of Same-Sex Marriage (Palgrave Macmillan) in 2013; and Professor Didi Herman for her book An Unfortunate Coincidence: Jews, Jewishness, and English Law  (Oxford University Press) in 2012.

The SLSA, formed in 1990, aims ‘to advance education and learning and in particular to advance research, teaching and the dissemination of knowledge in the field of socio-legal studies.’ It achieves these aims primarily through meetings, conferences, and seminars; through research grants and prizes; through publications; through liaison with policy-makers and research funders; and through supporting students.

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Professor Dermot Walsh’s research expertise in policing called upon by Irish media

Professor Dermot Walsh’s research expertise in policing is being called upon by the Irish media following the announcement of a major review of policing in Ireland.

Professor Walsh, Co-Director of Research at Kent Law School, has published widely on policing and criminal justice and is regarded as a leading expert in Ireland on the An Garda Síochána or ‘Garda’, the Irish police force. This week, he was interviewed by the Irish Examiner in the wake of news that the Irish Government is to establish a new Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.

In his interview for the newspaper, available to read online, Professor Walsh said the new commission should be “wholly independent of government” with an overall objective to establish “why the Garda seems so prone to corruption, neglect, and inefficiency.”

Professor Walsh’s research expertise is often called upon by the Irish print and broadcast media; in February he published an opinion piece in The Irish Times on “the fundamental flaws in Garda governance”. He was previously interviewed by the Irish Examiner following the sudden departure of the head of the Irish police force and again when the Irish Government decided to establish a new Policing Authority.

The second edition of Professor Walsh’s book Walsh on Criminal Procedure, was published by Round Hall at the end of last year. The book offers a comprehensive treatment of all aspects of criminal procedure in Ireland from police powers of investigation right through to post-sentencing processes. The second edition responds to recent developments by offering a wide-ranging, expert and accessible analysis of all aspects of Irish criminal procedure.

He is also the author of Juvenile Justice (Round Hall, 2005)

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Kent Law School co-sponsoring Intensive Doctoral Week in Paris

Kent Law School is co-sponsoring an intensive week of workshops and teaching to be held in Paris this summer for doctoral law students from around the world.

Initiated in 2011, Intensive Doctoral Week (IDW) is co-organised annually by Sciences Po Law School and the Law and Political Science Doctoral School of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense University.

Amongst those attending IDW this year, from 19-23 June, will be Kent PhD students Steve Crawford and Mia Tamarin. Both will be supported by Connal Parsley and Professor Maria Drakopoulou from Kent’s Centre for Critical Thought. Conceived as a teaching Lab, the aim of IDW is to enable candidates to present their research topics, discuss their work and benefit from the feedback and expertise of legal academics from across all of the participating institutions. The week comprises presentations, workshops, reading groups, panels, informal discussions in small groups and one-to-one meetings.

Kent Law School Lecturer Connal Parsley said: ‘This promises to be a highly engaging event, with sessions proposed on a “grassroots” basis in either French or English, including by Steve and Mia.’

The event will be hosted at Sciences Po Law School and is limited to a small number of PhD students from each of the sponsoring institutions (which also include the University of Turin, the Faculty of Law of Perugia, LSE Law, the School of Law at SOAS and Los Andes Law.)

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Law Professor made a Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences

Professor Sally Sheldon has been made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the representative body of the social sciences in the United Kingdom.

Fellows are drawn from academics, practitioners and policymakers across the social sciences who are recognised after an extensive peer review process for the excellence and impact of their work addressing some of society’s most pressing issues.

The Academy describes Professor Sheldon as a ‘pioneer in socio-legal research, particularly in the area of the sociological understanding of the dilemmas and effects of abortion law’.

Professor Sheldon of Kent Law School is widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading researchers in health care law and ethics. She has an outstanding record for producing independent, peer-reviewed research, and regularly contributes to public debate in these areas.

Head of Kent Law School Professor Toni Williams said: ‘We’re delighted that Sally has been appointed to the Academy of Social Sciences – it’s fantastic to see her feminist socio-legal scholarship and citizenship recognised in this way.’

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