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This October the African Union will conclude its negotiation of the Lome Charter which will provide a new foundation for Africa’s blue economy and ocean governance.

In the run-up to the summit, Dr. Christian Bueger, Reader in International Relations, spoke at an event in Addis Ababa, organised by the Institute for Security Studies entitled From awareness to action: Africa's blue economy after Lomé. Dr. Bueger highlighted the importance of recognizing the link between ocean development and health and maritime security, and argued for realising the potential synergies between these agendas. In particular he stressed the importance of knowing what happens at sea and sharing information between agencies.

An internationally-renowned researcher has been appointed as Head of Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics.

Professor René Lindstädt, an expert in political economy, political institutions, formal theory and political methodology, joined the University on 1 September 2016 as Head and Professor of Law and Politics.

In his new role, Professor Lindstädt will take a strategic overview of the multidisciplinary School which is home to Law, the Centre for Professional Legal Studies, and Politics and International Relations. The School is one of the University’s largest recruiters, attracting over 1170 new students this September.

Speaking about his plans for the School, Professor Lindstädt said: "As Head of School, my main goal will be to capitalise and build on the excellent individual reputations of our three departments to make the School a trailblazer in the UK and Europe for interdisciplinary education and research in law and politics."

Originally from Hamburg, Germany, Professor Lindstädt has worked extensively in the UK and USA. Previously he was Head of the Department of Government and Director of the Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis at the University of Essex which followed time at SUNY Stony Brook, New York and Trinity College, Dublin.

With particular interests in social learning and diffusion and political accountability, strategic communication and cooperation, Professor Lindstädt’s work has been widely published in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Analysis, the Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, and NYU Law Review amongst others. He also serves as an Editor of the British Journal of Political Science, one of the top discipline-wide journals in Political Science.

In addition to Professor Lindstädt’s appointment, the School’s leadership team has seen the appointment of two new heads of department. Religious Law and Legal History scholar, Dr Russell Sandberg has been appointed as Head of Law while Dr Branwen Gruffydd Jones, who joined the School at the beginning of 2016 as a Reader in International Relations, will head up the Department of Politics and International Relations.

Professor Lindstädt replaces the School’s previous Head, Professor Daniel Wincott who continues to be the Blackwell Law and Society Chair in the Department of Law.

In May this year Dr Richard Caddell, lecturer in law and a Senior Research Associate at the Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea, Utrecht University participated at the resumed Review Conference of the UN Fish Stocks Agreement.

The Agreement, which was concluded in 1995 and entered into force in 2001, is a key source of rights and obligations over the global regulation of straddling stocks (those that migrate through or are located in more than one area of national jurisdiction) and highly migratory fish stocks. The third instalment of the Review Conference was a week-long summit on fisheries governance convened at the UN Headquarters Building in New York, in which representatives from state parties, regional fisheries management organisations and other global and regional regulatory bodies review progress towards meeting the objectives of the Agreement.

Dr Caddell presented new research on the regulation of new fisheries at the event, outlining the way obligations towards new fishing opportunities have been implemented, an increasingly significant issue in modern fisheries governance given that many stocks are becoming increasingly mobile and displaced as a result of the impacts of climate change.

The outcomes of the event, which were published in August 2016, provide a series of recommendations to states to improve fisheries governance, address the problems of illegal fishing and to further advance the practices of regional fisheries management organisations.

Dr Andrea Calderaro, Lecturer in International Relations and Director of the Centre for Internet and Global Politics, contributed to a round-table discussion this June on Internet Governance capacity building organised by the European Commission.

As a member of the Global Internet Policy Observatory (GIPO) Advisory Group, Dr Calderaro spoke at the round-table held on 8 June at the European Commission DG Connect in Brussels, discussing the latest challenges characterising the global Internet Governance debate, the role of the European Union, and the functioning of GIPO. GIPO is the tool launched by the European Commission to globally monitor Internet-related policy, regulatory and technological developments.

He was joined by other academics, EC officers, delegates from the private sector, and other stakeholders from across the world in the meeting which sought to answer questions relating to the advancement of policy discussions in internet governance, how new and different stakeholders can be engaged with and how the tools that GIPO are developing can be shared and owned by the internet governance community.

After the roundtable, Dr Calderaro said, “The discussion and decision making process regarding how to govern a constantly evolving digital infrastructure needs to be more and more open to newly connected countries and new actors. GIPO offers the opportunity to enhance transparency and therefore inclusiveness in such a debate, offering stakeholders the opportunity to contribute in internet governance processes”.

One of the UK’s most distinguished legal experts on devolution has been announced as an Honorary Distinguished Professor at the University.

Professor Richard (Rick) Rawlings was nominated for the title by Professor Richard Wyn Jones on behalf of the Wales Governance Centre and the School of Law and Politics.

The award, which is honorary and lasts for a period of five years, will see Professor Rawlings further strengthen the Wales Governance Centre – a leading research centre undertaking innovative research into all aspects of the law, politics, government and political economy of Wales, as well the wider UK and European contexts of territorial governance.

Professor Rawlings is currently Professor of Public Law at UCL. He is a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellow, Constitution Unit Associate, Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple, Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales, and Life Fellow of the Institute of Welsh Affairs. He was formerly Legal Adviser to the House of Lords Constitution Committee and currently serves on the Welsh Advisory Committee of the Law Commission.

His areas of expertise range across constitutional and administrative law. They include the UK’s territorial constitution and intergovernmental relations; policy implementation and administrative justice; judicial review and human rights; and EU law and governance. He pioneers the study of law and governance in Wales in the light of rapidly evolving devolutionary arrangements.

Professor Rawlings said: “I have long enjoyed my work and association with the Wales Governance Centre which is an essential centre of expertise and research on politics in Wales.  I was delighted to deliver the annual St David’s Day lecture for the Centre last year and his honour further strengthens my relationship with the Wales Governance Centre as I undertake a major study of Wales and the Union with the support of the Leverhulme Trust.

Professor Daniel Wincott, Head of the School of Law and Politics University said:“Professor Richard Rawlings has a worldwide reputation and is one of the most eminent Chairs of Law in the UK. He is a distinguished legal scholar of devolution and his 2003 book, Delineating Wales remains one of the finest scholarly studies of devolution.

“Professor Rawlings has strong links with Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre having served on its advisory board. He was the author of the highly influential piece of work the Centre published on the Draft Wales Bill in 2015.  As the new Wales Bill accelerates the devolution journey and with the advent of new taxation and financial responsibilities, Prof Rawlings further strengthens the already strong reputation of the Wales Governance Centre.”

Dr Edwin Egede, Senior Lecturer in International Law and International Relations presented a paper at the African Union Headquarters, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to celebrate the African Union Commission (AUC) African Day of the Seas and Oceans this July.

The theme of the event was “Maritime Governance for Sustainable Development” and Dr Egede presented a paper entitled “Africa, the 2050 African Integrated Maritime (AIM) Strategy and Deep Seabed Mining”.

The event was attended by the deputy African Union Commission (AUC) Chair person, the African Union Legal Counsel, Member States of the African Union, Governmental Authorities responsible for maritime sector, RECs/Regional Mechanisms, Non-African States, and African stakeholders in maritime and maritime related matters including: financial institutions and insurance companies; International specialized organizations, NGO’s, Development Partners, African and International private sector, and the African Diaspora.

During this trip Dr Egede also participated in the OAGS (Organisation of African Geological Surveys) Strategy Meeting. The trip was funded by the United Nations Commission for Africa (UNECA).

Professor Gillian Douglas has been appointed as the new Executive Dean of The Dickson Poon School of Law at Kings College, London.

A leading figure in family law, Professor Douglas will take up her new role in Spring 2017. She will drive Dickson Poon’s strategic direction, as well as playing an important role in the management and governance of the university.

Head of Cardiff Law School, Professor Dan Wincott said: “While we will be very sad to see Gillian go, this is a fantastic and much deserved opportunity for her.

“While at Cardiff Law School, Gillian has been an enormously influential colleague. As well as serving as Head of School during an important phase in our development, she made a critical contribution to establishing Cardiff as a leading centre for work on Family Law.

“All at Cardiff Law School wish her well in her new post.”

Professor Douglas is currently Professor of Law at Cardiff Law School, where she served as its Head between 2005 and 2010. She also served as Chair of the Law Sub-Panel for REF 2014.

She has written extensively on family law and has carried out a number of empirical research projects into the workings of the family justice system and the impact of law on family life.

Professor Douglas said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Dean of the Dickson Poon School of Law. I will be leaving Cardiff University with very happy memories and I know that the School of Law and Politics will go from strength to strength in the years to come.”

One of the country’s foremost experts on devolution is taking up a new role at the University’s Wales Governance Centre.

Professor Laura McAllister CBE, currently Professor of Governance at the University of Liverpool, will join the Centre in October 2016.

A prominent academic, Professor McAllister has published extensively on Welsh politics.

She was a member of the Richard Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements for the National Assembly for Wales and a member of the National Assembly Remuneration Board, examining AMs' pay and allowances and other structural support for Assembly members and their staff.

Speaking about her appointment, Professor McAllister said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, the hub of expertise and research on devolution and politics in Wales and beyond. The devolution journey in Wales is far from over with the arrival of new powers and taxation and financial responsibilities, as well as the new Wales Bill.

“The recent elections and the Brexit vote will have a huge impact on the politics of Wales.  I am looking forward to joining the team at the Centre and adding my new research on coalition and minority governments, the internal architecture of the Assembly, political capacity, and gender and politics to its already strong research profile.”

Professor Daniel Wincott, Head of Cardiff Law School said: “Bringing with her a wealth of experience and knowledge, Laura McAllister is held in high regard as a political analyst and commentator in Wales. We are delighted that she will be further enhancing an established and respected team and cementing the Wales Governance Centre’s place at the heart of Welsh political discourse and debate.”

The Wales Governance Centre undertakes innovative research into all aspects of the law, politics, government and political economy of Wales, as well as the wider UK and European contexts of territorial governance.

Improvements to the way that Army Reserve Forces are trained and supported are needed if recruitment and retention targets are to be met, according to the results of a preliminary study by Cardiff and Exeter universities.

Dr Sergio Catignani Senior Lecturer in Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Exeter’s Strategy and Security Institute and Dr Victoria Basham, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Cardiff’s School of Law and Politics say that more needs to be done if reservists are to be used effectively to fulfil the nation’s defence objectives.

Their research examined the factors that shape and influence the commitment of volunteer reservists to serving in the British Army Volunteer Reserves, paying particular attention to the influence of family life and the pressures of civilian employment.

Although progress has been made in implementing the Army’s Future Reserves 2020 reform programme, their study – Sustaining Future Reserves 2020: Assessing Organisational Commitment in the Reserves – finds that if all reservists are to feel valued and valuable further changes are still necessary. The families of reservists should also be better supported as they play an increasingly important supporting role within the Army.

As part of the research, Dr Catignani and Dr Basham interviewed regiment commanding officers and reserve soldiers.

The commanding officers highlighted a number of difficulties including: fulfilling the increasing number of training commitments, defence engagement and community outreach tasks they are expected to carry out without this affecting morale and operational readiness; and an over-emphasis on recruitment efforts which has affected staff retention.

Reserve soldiers who took part in the study said the increased training - altered so it was less repetitive and boring - still does not live up to the expectations of many recruits. One reservist said: “it probably doesn't always live up to the excitement that you see on the Army Reserve television advertisements when there's tanks and all sorts rolling along ... probably the reality of that, a lot of the time, is that you’re in classrooms going through PowerPoint presentations on law of armed conflict or doing chest compressions and first aid type stuff.”

Dr Catignani said: “The missing and key variable in sustaining the reserves to 2020 and beyond is the family. It is becoming increasingly difficult for reservists to separate their role from their other major life commitments, because they are now expected to remain often in contact with the Army at times when they are not serving. Members of their family have told us this ‘constant’ contact has had a significant impact on the family life of those interviewed. We appreciate that much work has been carried out by the Army to keep employers on-side, but greater efforts need to be directed towards supporting reservists’ families, particularly outside of deployment.”

Dr Basham said: “It is clear from our interviews that reservists depend on family members, particularly female partners, to ‘pick up the slack’. Most of these women, and in some cases men, willingly do so because they understand how important reserve service is to their partners. Reserve service can still be hard on couples and families though not least, because it so often infringes on the time they get to spend together.”

The researchers presented their interim results to MPs on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Reserve Forces and Cadetson on 5 July, 2016.

Their interim report, due to be published later this year, will recommend that expectations of reservists and reserve units need to be better grounded in the reality that reservists can only serve during their “spare time”, unless mobilised.

It will also recommend that further attention needs to be paid to the scheduling and quantity of training on offer in order to take into better account the challenges reservists have in balancing their work, family, personal and reserve commitments.

The project is part of the Future Reserves Research Programme and co- funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Ministry of Defence.

Claire Sharp, Law framework tutor has recently been appointed as President of the Adjudication Panel for Wales.

The Adjudication Panel for Wales (APW) is an independent tribunal which exists to determine alleged breaches by elected and co-opted members of Welsh county, county borough and community councils, fire and national park authorities, against their authority’s statutory code of conduct.

Claire was appointed as President following a selection process run by the Judicial Appointments Commission. The commission uses a competency framework to assess applications and after completing an application form Claire was invited to interview. References were taken from other judges and senior lawyers to understand her wider skills and at the end of the process, the Commission recommended her for appointment to the First Minister of the Welsh Government, Carwyn Jones.

Claire’s work for the panel will be very wide ranging. She will be responsible for the judicial side of the APW and its members which involves managing both the hearing process, the conduct of members, dealing with any complaints and grievances, undertaking training, stakeholder liaison and representing the APW both externally and with the Welsh Government and others.

Talking of her appointment Claire said, “Regulatory work is increasingly important to the profession and with my other appointments, something I'm uniquely qualified to talk about. This means that students often ask about my judicial work as they want to consider their long-term plans for their career.”

“I'm delighted and honoured to have this opportunity to further serve the people of Wales. Being President of the APW will no doubt be challenging, but also a role where I can continue to learn new things. I anticipate that I will bring the knowledge gained in other jurisdictions to further aid our work, and vice versa.”

Congratulations to Claire on her great achievement!