Law School alumnus delivers talk at British Embassy in Kosovo

Kent Law School alumnus Alban Brahimi, who came to Medway from Kosovo with his family in the late 1990s, was selected to deliver a talk on the rule of law by the British Embassy in Prishtina.

The talk was one of three that comprised the ‘Brit Talks’, a series of lively discussions designed to inspire students about the work of Kosovars abroad and hosted by the British Ambassador in Kosovo Mr Ruairi O’Connell.

Alban, who graduated from the Law School’s Medway campus in 2012 with a 2:1 in Law, was selected from amongst a number of Kosovars living in the UK and working in the legal profession, who submitted an application to the Embassy.

The talks were delivered before an audience of students, academics and journalists at the University of Prishtina’s Modelarium and were broadcast live on the Republic’s national television station. They were also streamed live to other universities across Kosovo via the Periscope App.

Alban said: ‘I was taught International Law by Professor Nick Grief and Human Rights Law by David Radlett in my undergraduate degree and remembering some of the lectures and seminars was very helpful as I researched for my presentation. I was particularly impressed by the Embassy’s topic of choice as the Rule of Law, a fundamental concept of the UK legal system which consistently maintains that nobody is above the law. I referred to the Magna Carta and some of my own legal experience to put into perspective and to demonstrate how the Rule of Law applies to everyday life.

‘It was an absolutely amazing experience. To be back in Kosovo, where I was born, and to present on live TV was really a once in a lifetime opportunity I could not miss! The most important lesson which I hope to have delivered to the audience was that it is individuals such as you and I who can make a difference to the law. I implored them to speak up where they see wrongdoing or a need to correct the legal system; nothing in the UK has come about by itself – it has been individuals who have stood up for what they believed in and persevered until they have achieved justice.’

Following the Brit Talks, Alban was invited to join celebrations of the Queen’s 90th birthday at a gathering attended by celebrities and politicians. Alban said: ‘I had the pleasure of meeting several people I grew up watching on TV as a child. I spoke to people about the University of Kent and I even bumped into barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice QC who I regularly see at Temple, London.’

Earlier this year, Alban and a group of six colleagues from Kosovo and Albania, launched the British-Albanian Lawyers Association (BALA) at the Kosovo Embassy in London. BALA hosts lectures and events for students, graduates and legal practitioners and aims to strengthen communication within the British-Albanian legal community.

Since being called to the Bar, Alban has been working as a County Court Advocate where he represents claimants and defendants in civil matters. He said: ‘Being in Court almost every day has really enhanced my advocacy skills and I highly recommended it as experience for future solicitors and barristers. As an advocate it is the closest that I have come to working as a barrister – most recently winning a small claims case against a defendant who was represented by counsel.’

Looking ahead, Alban hopes to secure a pupillage. Offering some words of advice to current law students at Kent, Alban said: ‘Enjoy what you are doing and to not be afraid to try work outside of your comfort zone. I have worked in a bank, as an advocate and have assisted with private legal work – some of these pushing me to realise that I am capable of more than I think. Do all that you can and believe in yourself – just as I am with the intention of securing pupillage.’

Senior Law Lecturer at Kent Dr Karen Devine extended warm congratulations to Alban on his work with the British Embassy in Kosovo from all staff and students at Kent Law School’s Medway campus. Dr Devine said: ‘Alban began his legal studies in 2009 and from the outset was a keen advocate of the law programmes at Kent and an extremely enthusiastic student ambassador for the Medway campus. He played a very active role in the Medway branch of the Kent Law Clinic and undertook extra-curricular modules in Negotiation, Mediation and Client Interviewing; and participated in the Mooting programme. In 2010, he won the Law School’s internal Negotiation competition and together with his teammate, Claire Stevenson, represented the University in the regional finals at the College of Law in Guildford. At his graduation in 2012, Alban was awarded the Lesley Phippen Prize for his outstanding contribution to the Law School’s Medway community.

‘We wish Alban all the very best for his future endeavours and hope that he keeps the Kent Law School flag flying!’