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October 2015 – Jan 2016 Internship Opportunity

The JUSTICE Kalisher Trust Internship will take place over four months from October 2015 to January 2016, and will be based at the JUSTICE London office. Interns will be paid £5,000.

Here's the blurb on the role from JUSTICE:

The Kalisher Trust exists to help people qualify as barristers and begin their professional career at the Criminal Bar. Set up in 1996, the Kalisher Trust helps talented students otherwise unable to come to the Criminal Bar due to financial constraints. Kalisher scholarships are intended to encourage and assist those intending to practice at the Criminal Bar who demonstrate “exceptional promise but modest means”.

The Kalisher intern will work with our Director of Criminal Justice: conducting legal research; providing commentary on draft legislation; assisting with third party interventions; and supporting working parties of our membership exploring critical issues of law reform. The internship will provide the opportunity to develop research and drafting skills, to engage with litigation and law-making processes, and to be part of a small, friendly and committed staff.

Deadline is Sunday 12th July at 9pm - find out more.


City Law Students in National Advocacy and Mooting Finals

Thumbs up/down. Concept for agreement, positive, great...

On 25th June Charlotte Bellamy and Raphael Gray will be up against the Open University in the finals of the OUP/BPP National Mooting Competition. Charlotte and Raphael reached the finals after 4 rounds with other competing universities. Prior to the semi finals, City was represented by Charlotte and Raphael, along with John Platts-Mills and Emily Moore.

Then a week later, in early July, fellow GDL students Matt Henderson and Emma Rigarlsford will be competing at the University of Hertfordshire in the finals weekend of the UH/Blackstone's National Criminal Advocacy Competition.

Wish us luck!


Wondering what to do once exams finish?

Hmmm...choices choices...

Hmmm...choices choices...

The Law Reform Committee of the General Council of the Bar have released details of their 2015 Annual Essay Competition. This challenging competition asks law students and pupil barristers to put forward an idea for a law reform that is desirable, practical and useful.

Sponsorship comes courtesy of the Bar Council Scholarship and prizes are as follows:

£4000 for the winner
£2500 for the runner-up
£1500 for the best CPE/GDL student entry
£1000 for the best runner-up CPE/GDL entry
2 x £500 highly commended awards

Closing date for the competition is 17:00 on 6th October 2015. Prizes will be presented at the Annual Law Reform Lecture on 2nd December 2015 at Inner Temple Hall.

Want some insight into what previous winners have come up with? See full details via the Bar Council website.


PhDs in the spotlight: the 4th Postgraduate Research Forum – Anna Labedzka

round conference table

The Postgraduate fora are becoming an integral part of the research calendar of the City Law School. They are showcasing the diversity of the areas of law explored by the young researchers, their passion and eagerness to contribute to academic debates.

The Fourth Annual Postgraduate Forum was held on 15 May 2015 and it is worth noting the proceedings of this lively event. It was a great opportunity for the City Law School’s PhD students to present updates on their research, to share challenging findings and provide fascinating presentations that led to lengthy and vibrant discussions. Dr Riccardo Montana opened this year’s Forum, welcomed all participants and extended best wishes from Dr Mauro Barelli. Dr Montana also chaired the first panel, which gave an opportunity to Hussam Alhmary to talk about the rule against gharar (uncertainty). His presentation was followed by a paper by Neshat Safari on the role of the derivative claim as a legitimate mechanism of protecting shareholders in the English legal system.

The second panel was chaired by Dr Carmen Draghici. Petya Ilieva provided an insightful talk on the sources of law in international commercial arbitration. It was followed by a presentation by Annabel Beales, on free, prior and informed consent and its challenges. Pinar Canga delivered a presentation on the review of the mechanisms and legal frameworks of the detention of minors in the UK and Turkey.

Dr John Stanton chaired the third panel, which brought together three PhD candidates working under the supervision of Professor Jason Chuah. Aniekan Akpan provided a presentation on the Court of Justice of the European Union interpretation of art. 2(1) of Regulation 3577/92. Carlo Corcione contributed with an overview of his research on the third parties protection in carriage of goods by sea. Faizah Abd Rahman talked about the role of fault in establishing shipper liability for cargo under international conventions. A panel composed of Dr Elaine Fahey (Chair), Dr Enrico Bonadio and Dr Mazen Masri reviewed and marked all presentations. The Panel found the presentation by Annabel Beales to be the best and awarded her with the prize of £250. The judges commended the structure and coherence of the presentation as well as Annabel’s engagement with the audience.


City Law School finalists ‘all above board’ at The Senior Moot 2015

Senior Moot Finalists: Mark, Edward, Sam and Guy

Senior Moot Finalists: Mark, Edward, Sam and Guy

The Senior Moot 2015 on 7th May was a resounding success showcasing the mooting skills of the four postgraduate Finalists, Edward Blakeney, Guy Olliff-Cooper, Mark Galtrey and Samuel Parsons.

Former Law Commissioner (and Moot Judge) Prof Jeremy Horder of the LSE, expert on the Bribery Act, had set a robust Problem on the subject for all students in the competition to grapple with. Fellow Finals Judge, Prof Peter Hungerford-Welch of the City Law School, presented the winner’s trophy to the new champion, Mark Galtrey. Samuel Parsons was the second place winner.

The event, the culmination of months of mooting across the City Law School, was generously hosted by Senior Moot sponsors Savills at their flagship London Headquarters.

Moot Director Joanne Moss said:

Moot in progress 2015 at Savills HQ

Moot in progress 2015 at Savills HQ

“We record our thanks to Savills for their great generosity and enthusiastic support for the Senior Moot 2015. This year has seen an unprecedented level of interest in this extraordinarily tough competition. This year the glory goes to Mark Galtrey but worthy opponents and champion mooters from many countries in the world had competed. We are a major international Law School and this is a landmark competition.”

This year’s prize pot was £3,000 with the champion receiving £1650. Moot Director Emily Allbon, Law School Faculty, members of Savills, invited distinguished legal guests and student guests were pleased to celebrate together.
See the City University News page for another review of this event.

Prof Peter Hungerford-Welch presenting the trophy to winner Mark Galtrey

Prof Peter Hungerford-Welch presenting the trophy to winner Mark Galtrey

Moot Directors Emily Allbon & Joanne Moss

Moot Directors Emily Allbon & Joanne Moss


Pupillage warts and all


Don't miss the event tomorrow evening (12th May) with Francesca O'Neill from 1 Chancery Lane Chambers.

Francesca gives a brutally honest and humorous account of Pupillage 'warts and all'.

Audience: those who have obtained or are applying for Pupillage.

Location: City Law School, Room 13, 2-10 Princeton Street

Time: 18:10-20:00

Register to attend.


Stuck for something to do in June?

Credit: eete

Credit: eete

Two fantastic events coming up in June so get booking!

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, examines the current pressures on the rule of law and human rights at the British Library, giving The Equality Lecture on 22nd June.
Tickets are just £7 for students - book now.

Don't forget to pay the British Library's current exhibition a visit - The Future of Liberty: Magna Carta and beyond - entry £5 for students. The exhibition is to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta and includes two of the remaining charter documents. The exhibition runs until the 1st September 2015.

On the same theme the Castle Debates are putting on an official Magna Carta celebration event on the 1st June. 4 speakers will consider the extent to which our current rights to a healthy environment, for example, clean air and clean drinking water, reflect the principles set out in Magna Carta 800 years ago.

Speakers include: Nicholas Vincent, University of East Anglia, Professor Duncan French, University of Lincoln, Richard Wald, Barrister at 39 Essex Chambers and James Thornton CEO ClientEarth.

This 2 hour debate will take place at Radisson Blue Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3QD, with registration at 9am.

Book online for Magna Carta - Our Legal Right to a Healthy Environment, chaired by Jonathan Porritt CBE

Filed under: Events, News No Comments

Commonwealth Moot 2015 report – Joanne Moss

Junior Counsel of winning team Canada, addressing the judges

Junior Counsel of winning team Canada, addressing the judges

The Commonwealth Moot 2015 held in Glasgow in April was won by Canada, after a close and hard-fought battle in the Finals against Australia. Two City Law School students, Matthew Sellwood and Daniele Selmi won this competition in Cape Town, the last time the Commonwealth Moot took place two years ago [read Matthew and Daniele's account of the thrilling final]. We extend our congratulations to this year’s outstanding winners, and commend the high standards and enthusiasm displayed by all participants during the chase for victory.

The semi-finals also featured strong performances from South Africa (beaten by Canada), and from India (beaten by Australia)

For all the competitors, each personal performance was something worked for and practised for many hours and over months of effort.

The excitement on the opening day of the moot was palpable as each team of national champions first encountered their opposition. The participating students from all countries made a great impression on their judges.

We take the opportunity to record our thanks to Patricia McKellar of the University of London International Programmes, whose tireless work and enthusiasm made everything come together for this rewarding competition.

Thanks to Joanne Moss, Lecturer and Moot Director, for this report.


Fantastic new Human Rights resource launches! – Emily Allbon

Screenshot 2015-04-23 22.23.46

City alumni and One Crown Office Row barrister Adam Wagner launched his new venture on Tuesday evening: the RightsInfo website. With the Conservatives keen to kick that pesky Human Rights Act into touch and regular misreporting in the UK media, Adam's mission is to improve public understanding of human rights.

Great mission aside, this is a fantastic site - content is both hard-hitting and wry, accessible but not dumbed down. Bright, colourful infographics bring the site to life.

Screenshot 2015-04-23 22.25.15

Features present at the launch include:

What human rights do for us - cards with key cases and developments - each one linked to the relevant judgment and any commentary featured on Adam's other superb site, the UK Human Rights Blog. You can change the category to focus in on specific categories: Equality, Justice and Privacy amongst others.

The 14 Worst Human Rights Myths - this is brilliant. Featuring the myth (headlines from the UK press) and the actual truth, along with the relevant source. Included are the classics: "Police give fried chicken to burglar because of his human rights" "Human Rights cases being decided by unelected European judges" and of course "A man was allowed to stay in the UK because he had a pet cat".

50 Human Rights Cases Everyone Needs to Know About - based on recommendations from the legal community, RightsInfo have pinpointed 50 cases, summarised them and then linked to the full judgment. These will be released daily.

As an ex-librarian, what is very cool about this site is that every post is tagged with a category (or several) so if you find a particular subject intriguing you can just click on the category tag to find everything on the site related to this. Addictive stuff...

Want to find out more about the man behind it all? There's Adam's 1COR profile, follow him on Twitter or read an interview with him from the heady days of 2011.


Trade is Tribulation? The Public Interest Environmental Law UK Annual Conference, 9 April 2015 – Ali Nihat

Alan Bates (Monckton Chambers) speaking at the PIEL Annual Conference

Alan Bates (Monckton Chambers) speaking at the PIEL Annual Conference

For the third year in a row, City Law School has kindly been an official partner to the Public Interest Environmental Law (PIEL) UK Annual Conference. PIEL UK is a not-for-profit organisation run entirely by University students largely drawn from London institutions. Thanks to City’s support, PIEL UK was able to bring together a group of esteemed speakers from the worlds of law, academia, environmental activism, business and politics to discuss the relationship between trade and the environment.

In semi-secrecy, the European Union and the United States of America – between them accounting for just under 50% of world GDP – are negotiating the most ambitious free trade agreement in history, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The avowed aim has been to cut ‘red tape’ inimical to trade, to create jobs, and to stimulate the two largest economies in the world at a time of recession. Given that trade tariffs between the EU and the US are on average very low, there has been speculation concerning ulterior motives, to say nothing of TTIP’s potentially-calamitous effects, intended or otherwise: conduit for the dominance of energy companies; backdoor to genetically-modified foods; death knell for the NHS. The European Commission has mobilised to assuage these concerns.

TTIP will do more than replace a handful of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) concluded between the US and a number of eastern EU states on the fall of the Iron Curtain. Talks have focused on harmonising European and American regulatory regimes in a range of areas in order to ease market access, with the agreement only kickstarting an ongoing process, complete with its own novel structures coordinating between the two signatories. With negotiations further envisaging investor protection through the right to sue states before special investment tribunals (under so-called Investor-to-State Dispute Settlements, or ISDS), it is clear why the mooted deal is attracting significant interest from the legal world. To name but a few emerging questions: will the European ‘precautionary principle’ in regulatory matters lose out to the profit motive? Will ISDS undermine the rule of law and favour commercial interests? Will much domestic environmental legislation fall foul of the terms of agreement?

Established in 2007, Public Interest Environmental Law (PIEL) UK is a not-for-profit organisation which organises an annual conference on a burning topic in Environmental Law. The event is realised entirely through the sponsorship of Universities, NGOs and law firms. Naturally, the 2015 Conference focused on TTIP and the environmental effects of burgeoning trade. Such a contentious and topical issue warranted close and interdisciplinary analysis. Composed entirely of students from London Universities, including one third from City University, the 2014-2015 PIEL UK Organising Committee laboured for several months to put together a programme of 16 speakers – academics, lawyers, activists and politicians – in one affordable Conference open to the public: Satisfying Consumption: Trade and the Environment. From the very beginning, City University, and the City Law School, assisted in material, advice, and publicity, together with UCL and Queen Mary University London. On April 9 PIEL UK’s 9th Annual Conference was held in Cass Business School’s handsome lecture theatre under City’s kind auspices, and attracted over 100 attendees of all ages and walks of life.


Keynote Professor Nicolas de Sadeleer answers questions on Trade and Environment in the EU in a session chaired by Professor William Howarth of the University of Kent

Keynote Professor Nicolas de Sadeleer answers questions on Trade and Environment in the EU in a session chaired by Professor William Howarth of the University of Kent

Videos of all talks can be found on PIEL's YouTube Channel.

The day began with a closely-argued panel session assessing the overall merits and risks of TTIP for the environment and the public interest. While Sam Lowe (Friends of the Earth) warned of a race to the bottom in the regulation of food and other products, Emanuel Adam (BritishAmerican Business) noted the economic rationale and inclusion of a sustainability chapter in the draft agreement. For his part, Alan Bates (Monckton Chambers) stressed continuities with GATT and the existing WTO regime. Next, Sam Fowles (Queen Mary University of London) took to the stage to detail the more insidious dangers of Investor-State Dispute Settlements: a multiform ‘regulatory chill’ that would militate in favour of big business and governments hoping to push through, or retain, environmentally-suspect measures.

Ruth Bergan (Trade Justice Movement) speaks on impact of TTIP

Ruth Bergan (Trade Justice Movement) speaks on impact of TTIP

Ruth Bergan (Trade Justice Movement) and Tom Burke CBE (E3G) evidenced the wide-ranging impact of TTIP with presentations on ‘Third Countries’ (that is, non-signatories), and Climate Change, respectively. Asking why the mooted agreement made no clear provision to protect developing countries, Ms. Bergan set out how these ‘ghosts at the Feast’ will be detrimentally affected in myriad ways, including use of TTIP as a template in future trade agreements around the world. While dismissing the utility of Carbons Trading in tackling climate change, Tom Burke explained why TTIP would be an unmitigated disaster for emissions targets. He stressed that above all TTIP would throw up obstacles for countries seeking to pass domestic environmental legislation.

The day’s keynote speech was delivered by esteemed academic Professor Nicolas de Sadeleer, Jean Monnet Chairholder at the Academie de Louvain in Belgium, and author of works such as EU Environmental Law and the Internal Market and Environmental Principles: From Political Slogans to Legal Rules.

Professor Nicolas de Sadeleer delivering the keynote

Professor Nicolas de Sadeleer delivering the keynote

Establishing early on how environmental protection came to be placed on equal footing with the internal market as a core EU objective, Professor de Sadeleer went on to reveal the disconnect between apparent parity and practice.

The keynote spoke of the challenges facing Environmental Policy in Europe, observing, inter alia, the uneasy relationship between Competition Law and Environmental Law, the reluctance of the European Commission to bring Members to ECJ for failing to implement Environmental Directives, and the fact that environmental legislation may easily fall within the ambit of the principle of free movement of goods.

The second half of the Conference opened with Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, setting out the political challenge of reconciling an impetus to increase trade with the need to protect the environment. Kindly taking time from the campaign trail, she spoke against conceiving of the environment in economic terms, and reminded those present that ‘there will be no business on a dead planet.’

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party

Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party

There followed a raft of talks and panels on specific markets and trade-related environmental concerns. Revealing the realities of the global illegal trade in wildlife, Shruti Suresh (the Environmental Investigations Agency) detailed the workings of the international CITES regime (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), and the often corrupt and contradictory approach of the international community on this issue.

The evening panel on tackling Deforestation provided a different perspective of the role of business in environmental issues. Clotilde Henriot and Joseph Weyns (ClientEarth) set out the functioning of Voluntary Partnership Agreements, illustrating that different trade model agreements exist, not all of which are bad news for environmental and social standards. Equally constructive and hopeful, Leonie Lawrence (Global Canopy Programme) outlined how the Forest 500 project is working directly with corporations to eliminate deforestation from global supply chains.

A concluding panel on waste management brought into focus the diverse actors working to bring about a circular economy, and the tools at their disposal. Piotr Barczak (European Environmental Bureau) provided an insider’s perspective of the action being taken by the EU to decouple economic growth from resources use, focusing chiefly on excessive packaging. Looking at electronic waste in Africa, which is set to outstrip European volume this year, Professor Margaret Bates (University of Northampton) argued that bans were less effective than helping to build infrastructure for waste disposal. Mariel Vilella tackled consumer behaviour itself, underlining how it is possible to implement a ‘Zero-Waste’ philosophy across Europe with the techniques and laws we currently possess, following the example of a growing number of municipalities across the continent.

‘Satisfying Consumption: Trade and the Environment’ was a great success, sparking lively debate and, we hope, forging new constructive relationships in the area of environmental study and law.


Members of the 2014-5 PIEL UK Committee with Professor Nicolas de Sadeleer and Professor William Howarth

Members of the 2014-5 PIEL UK Committee with Professor Nicolas de Sadeleer and Professor William Howarth

In the new academic year, PIEL UK will be recruiting for a Committee to organise the milestone 10th annual Conference. Please subscribe to our Twitter (@Piel_uk), Facebook and LinkedIn groups to stay informed; you can also register your interest by emailing pieluk@gmail.com. Committee positions are ideal for those interested in environmental, EU and Public law; the opportunity to shape your own academic line-up, liaise with expert speakers, fundraise, and publicise such an event also offers much in the way of professional development.

Ali Nihat is Co-Chair of the PIEL UK 2014-2015 Organising Committee. Ali completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and the Bar Professional Training Course at City Law School. He featured on the City University Mooting team which triumphed in the European Law Students Association (ELSA) ECHR Moot 2014 [see more on this achievement via CityNews and the blog], held in Strasbourg. Many thanks to him for this comprehensive review of the PIEL Annual Conference.

Samuel Lowe (Friends of the Earth)

Samuel Lowe (Friends of the Earth)

Mariel Viella speaking on Zero Waste

Mariel Viella speaking on Zero Waste