2020 Graduate Student Law Conference: The deafening silence of the law

This year’s Graduate Student Law Conference at Kent Law School, will be held virtually via Zoom on Thursday 2 July and is themed on ‘the deafening silence of the law’.

The conference will explore areas where the law either overlooks or turns its back on those who need it the most. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr Jason Beckett from the American University of Cairo.

The organising committee, comprising postgraduate Kent Law School students Daria Istayeva, Jake Griffiths-Ellis, Nicoletta Komiati, Mohammad Nasir and Stela Nikova, say: ‘Our objective for this conference is to analyse the parallel between protection afforded and protection realised by those most vulnerable and the correlation to a position they hold within both international and domestic legal systems. As a critical law school, we aim to explore the question of why is it that those who seek protection the most, under the law ultimately receive the least? Should the law be subject to change?’

Dr Beckett will discuss his paper entitled ‘Harry Potter and the Gluttonous Machine: Reflections on International Law, Poverty, and the Secret Success of Failure.’ This will be followed by a discussion and Q&A session with Dr Luis Eslava. Dr Beckett teaches and researches in the areas of Public International Law, International Human Rights, Jurisprudence to name a few. His work encompasses the defence of a mainstream legal analysis from the critical approach, examination of the biases of international law, analysis of the pursuit of universal truths and justices and much more.

For the purposes of this conference, Dr Beckett will discuss the failure of international law to fulfil its aspirations. Despite all its claims, the reality of international law overwhelms its aspiration for a just world order.

Dr Eslava is a Reader in International Law at the University of Kent and co-director of the University of Kent Centre for Critical International Law. His research focuses on how international norms, aspirations and institutional practices come to shape and become part of our everyday life by combining insights from the fields of anthropology, history and legal and social theory.

The discussion will be preceded by four separate panels: Global Security; Human Rights Law; Environmental Law; and International Law. Speakers will address the concept of ‘the deafening silence of the law’ and assess the extent to which legal protection offered to vulnerable groups is realised by looking at different areas of law both on the domestic and international level.

  • The Global Security panel will be chaired by Dr Sara Kendall and consists of speakers Jake Griffiths-Ellis, Dr Gavin Sullivan and Sophie Marie Annen
  • The Human Rights panel will be chaired by Professor Nick Grief and will consist of speakers Caitlin McCavitt, Andrew Clarke, Stela Nikova and Stuti Lal
  • Dr Martin Hedemann-Robinson will host the Environmental Law Panel which will consist of speakers Warona Jolomba, Daria Istayeva, Joséphine de Mévius and Elizabeth Hiester.<
  • And finally, the International Law panel, chaired by Dr Eric Loefllad, will host speakers Alex Jenner, Aaron Boujenah, Jennifer Baker and Mohammad Nasar Nasir.