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A former PhD student has recently returned to Cardiff as a visiting academic in maritime law.

Dr Ho-Sam Bang carried out his PhD at the School between 2004-2009 under Professor Robin Churchill and Professor Urfan Khaliq and has since forged a career as a consultant in the law of the sea, maritime law and coastguard studies. Dr Bang is an Associate Professor of Chonnam National University, South Korea but was keen to return to Cardiff, to a city and School that he is very fond of, during his year’s research leave.

In addition to his role as Associate Professor, Dr Bang also works as a consultant to the Korea Coast Guard, acts as one of the directors of the Korean Society of Maritime Law and is a member of the editorial board of Korean Maritime Law Review. He is a member of the Executive and Research Committee of the Sea Lanes of Communication (SLOC) Study Group of Korea.

Dr Bang said, “I am delighted to return to Cardiff as a visiting academic as it brings back old memories of my PhD studies here. I understand that there many researchers at the School whose research interests are similar to mine which I believe will be very helpful when working on my research project which is concerned with maritime safety regime building in the Northeast Asian region. I am looking forward to a delightful and fruitful time here once again.”

Dr Edwin Egede, Senior Lecturer in International Law & International Relations was invited to participate as an international law of the sea expert at a NATO workshop in March.

The NATO Centre of Excellence expert workshop on the intersection of Naval operations, Maritime Law Enforcement and Human Rights took place at the Marines' Memorial Club San Francisco on 1 - 3 March.

The workshop had 25 participants, including NATO legal advisers, a military judge, officials of the USA Department of Justice (DOJ) and naval operators from nine NATO member nations.

Key topics discussed included operational considerations for Navies and coast guards in maritime law enforcement and other operations; human rights instruments & key human rights terms and concepts; U.S. practice regarding human rights in the context of maritime law enforcement; judicial rulings, authorities, and considerations in counter piracy and drug trafficking in the context of human rights; human rights law and its effect on naval operations and anticipating human rights law development in the law of the sea and maritime migration and human rights issues.

Dr Edwin Egede, Senior Lecturer in International Law and International Relations was invited to participate as an international law of the sea expert at a NATO workshop in March.

The NATO Centre of Excellence expert workshop on the intersection of Naval operations, Maritime Law Enforcement and Human Rights took place at the Marines’ Memorial Club San Francisco on 1 – 3 March.

The workshop had 25 participants, including NATO legal advisers, a military judge, officials of the USA Department of Justice (DOJ) and naval operators from nine NATO member nations.

Key topics discussed included operational considerations for Navies and coast guards in maritime law enforcement and other operations; human rights instruments & key human rights terms and concepts; U.S. practice regarding human rights in the context of maritime law enforcement; judicial rulings, authorities, and considerations in counter piracy and drug trafficking in the context of human rights; human rights law and its effect on naval operations and anticipating human rights law development in the law of the sea and maritime migration and human rights issues.

Two students from the department of Politics and International Relations have been shortlisted in this year’s prestigious Undergraduate of the Year awards.

Nicolo Bertoncello and Laura Waddilove are finalists in the ‘Male Undergraduate of the Year’ Award and the ‘Future Civil Service Leader of the Year’ Award respectively.

Each category has just ten finalists who have been chosen from hundreds of applicants to the awards which are hosted each year by Target Jobs. The awards recognise business skill, knowledge and strategy and champion students who excel at leading, motivating and inspiring others.

There are 12 categories in this year’s awards and the winners will be announced at a ceremony held on 22 April 2016 in London’s Canary Wharf.

Both students participated in rigorous assessments for each category before the final shortlist was announced.

Nicolo who is in his second year studying International Relations and Politics and Laura who is a final year Politics student both took part in initial applications followed by a number of online tests which included an occupational personality questionnaire, a situational judgement test, an inductive reasoning test and a numeracy test. After passing these tests both students were required to attend assessment centres with the sponsors of their awards.

Should Nicolo be successful in his category he will win a ten week internship at sponsors L’Oréal which will include one week at their Paris HQ. Likewise, if Laura is named as the winner in her category, she will win a fully paid place on the Civil Service Fast Stream internship programme plus an opportunity to interview and shadow a permanent secretary.

Speaking of his achievement Nicolo said, “The assessment centre required large amounts of research in a period when essays were due but I love challenges, and I felt that the efforts I made led me to do well. Winning would be fantastic! It would offer me the opportunity to work for L’Oreal, a company that has been undertaking some important changes which makes it in line with my personal values.”

Laura is equally as excited about the prospect of winning adding, “Being shortlisted for the award is such an honour but I’m trying not to get ahead of myself and think about winning as there are so many fantastic candidates. I can’t help but daydream sometimes as winning would be a great end to a fantastic application process and three years at Cardiff!”

We wish both students well and will share news of their achievements should they be successful in their respective categories. Well done both!

In a move designed to establish the University’s Department of Politics and International Relations as a leading authority in the field, Cardiff has made a significant investment in new International Relations staff.

19 academics have joined the School of Law and Politics, making the Department of Politics and International Relations one of the largest in the UK.

The new appointments strengthen an already well regarded and internationally renowned team, bringing a wide range of new expertise to the department.

This major expansion will expose students to world-leading research-led teaching in areas across the discipline including nuclear politics and cold war history; cyber security; intelligence, terrorism and war crimes; gender and military affairs; feminism and critical global politics; colonialism, imperialism and resistance; the environment and global climate change.

“This is a highly unusual development – certainly at Cardiff and to my knowledge across the UK higher education sector – to see such an investment in Humanities and Social Sciences,” said Professor Dan Wincott, Head of the School of Law and Politics.

“I am delighted to be joined by a contingent of new staff of outstanding quality which will create the opportunity to develop new and stimulating degree programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels within the School.”

The expansion has attracted scholars from around the world. The staff who have joined at all levels, from Chair to Early Career Researcher, are:

  • Victoria Basham
  • Huw Bennett
  • Andrea Calderaro
  • Madeline Carr
  • Campbell Craig
  • Sara Dezalay
  • Alena Drieschova
  • Branwen Gruffydd Jones
  • Hannes Hansen-Magnusson
  • Anne Harrington
  • Claudia Hillebrand
  • Hannah Hughes
  • Gabriela Kuetting
  • Sergey Radchenko
  • Simone Tholens
  • Brandon Valeriano
  • Elisa Wynne Hughes
  • Marysia Zalewski

Audrey Reeves, lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations, presented a report on the role of parliaments in advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda (WPS) at an international conference in Tallinn, Estonia, on 11 March 2016.

The conference, organised by the Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association (EATA), gathered government representatives, parliamentarians, diplomats, military and police personnel, and civil society representatives to discuss the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on WPS. The resolution, adopted in 2000, encourages states to integrate women and a gender perspective in national and multilateral security initiatives. According to Ms Krista Mulenok, the Secretary General of the EATA, Ms Reeves’ report helpfully draws attention to Estonia’s role toward the advancement of the WPS agenda, thus encouraging government officials and parliamentarians to increase their contribution in this field.

Presentations and discussions, which took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, involved Marina Kaljurand, Estonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs; Marriët Schuurman, the NATO Special Representative for WPS; Maria Appelblom, Chief of the UN Standing Police Capacity; H.E, Alain Hausser, Ambassador of Canada to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and Maj. Gen. Tiiu Kera, US Air Force (Ret.), amongst others.

Ms Reeves’ report was based on an analysis of questionnaires completed by representatives of 21 NATO member countries on the role of parliaments in advancing the WPS agenda. It concludes that parliaments’ contributions are increasing and diversifying, but still concentrated in the 17 NATO member countries that adopted a National Action Plan on WPS. Parliaments contribute towards the objectives of the UNSCRs in four ways:

  • ensuring a gender-balanced parliamentary leadership in the field of peace and security;
  • adopting supportive legislation;
  • monitoring governments’ implementation; and
  • engaging civil society organisations.

Concrete examples include the Riigikogu, the Estonian parliament, which, in 2012, adopted legislation enabling women to pursue careers as military officers on equal terms with men. Such legislation increases the chances that women will meet the necessary qualifications to partake in peacekeeping missions where their presence facilitates the provision of services to conflict-affected women. Estonian parliamentarians also participated in public events on the inclusion of women in security initiatives, thus raising the profile of WPS and facilitating oversight of what governments have achieved in this field. Marianne Mikko, member of Riigikogu, pursued this tradition by giving the concluding remarks at Friday’s EATA conference.

Ms Reeves’ report was commissioned by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and written in collaboration with the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces in 2015. Ms Reeves also presented the findings at the NATO PA Annual Session in Stavanger, Norway, in October 2015.

A team of academics that includes staff from Cardiff has launched a new journal on International Security.

The group, which consists of staff from the Great Western Four University Alliance (GW4), launched the European Journal of International Security (EJIS) in March 2016 and School of Law and Politics Reader, Dr Christian Bueger, is an Associate Editor.

EJIS is the flagship journal of the British International Studies Association and covers all areas of international security. The journal aims to make connections and build bridges, both between different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, but also across regional boundaries. It publishes academically rigorous, peer-reviewed papers that significantly enhance scholarship through the exploitation of new data, the development and application of theory, and/or through original and scholarly analysis of a salient policy issue.

Dr Bueger said, “Our first issue clearly showcases what we want to achieve with the journal. We have welcomed high quality research from around the world, publishing innovative scholarship on international security of the highest quality. With topics reaching from diplomacy to private security companies, humanitarian law, surveillance and drone war fare, the different articles demonstrate the salience of the security studies agenda. They also show how beneficial it is to integrate different perspectives and why security studies will continue to be the theoretical engine room of the discipline of International Relations, but also social science more broadly.

Two new free projects being launched today by Cardiff University aim to provide the public with a better understanding of devolution in Wales ahead of the National Assembly elections in May.

The two projects, an online booklet Guide to covering the National Assembly for Wales Election for Community Journalists and a new online course Scotland and Wales Vote 2016: Understanding the Devolved Elections, will provide people in Wales with the knowledge to better understand the forthcoming Welsh General Election in May.

The guide for hyperlocal journalists was created by Cardiff University’s Centre for Community Journalism in partnership with Wales Governance Centre.

The University’s Centre for Community Journalism, based in the prestigious School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, is part of the Transforming Communities engagement projects that demonstrate the University’s commitment to the communities of Cardiff, Wales and beyond.

The Guide will examine how journalists can cover the National Assembly for Wales Election safely and effectively, and build engagement with their local community.

The guide itself will provide information for hyperlocal journalists on:

  • Election engagement tools and ideas from community journalists
  • Media law advice on covering elections
  • Political polling data dissemination
  • Tools for selling their articles and sites to their communities

The online course, which has been jointly created by the Wales Governance Centre in partnership with the University of Edinburgh, will run for four weeks during the election campaign focusing on how the Assembly works.

The course will provide information for the general public on:

  • How the National Assembly works and how the different voting systems work
  • Who and what are the main players in the election
  • What the main issues are in the election
  • A full breakdown and analysis of the results after the election takes place on May 5

Commenting on the new guide, Emma Meese, Manager of the Centre for Community Journalism at Cardiff University, said: “Hyperlocal coverage of the General Election last year was amongst some of the most innovative and engaging in the UK.

“We are delighted to showcase the fantastic work of community journalists and encourage more news providers here in Wales to cover the National Assembly for Wales Election. Community journalists play a vital role in promoting democratic participation and holding power to account.

“We hope this new guide will help even more community journalists in Wales to produce comprehensive news coverage of the upcoming election.”

Lleu Williams, Manager of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, added: “With the election for the Fifth Assembly on the horizon, it is essential that electors feel they are able to engage with the issues of the day.

“Cardiff University has an important role to play in helping people better understand devolution in Wales and it is a role that we take very seriously.

“The guide for hyperlocal journalists and the online course are examples of how we can support democracy in Wales by ensuring that high-quality resources are available.”

A full copy of the guide can be found here 

You can register for the online course here

Professor Norman Doe of the Centre for Law and Religion has accepted an invitation to serve as the Editor-in-Chief for a new series of monographs which investigate and discuss the legal issues concerning religion.

Perspectives in Law and Religion, which is published by Brill, based in the Netherlands and established in 1683, seeks to understand how the phenomena of law and religion interact and aims to stimulate practical debate on the diverse range of issues involved.

Legal issues concerning religion increasingly make the news headlines. The place of religion in society, religious pluralism, the fear of religious extremism, and the terms and limits of religious freedom generate a host of important questions about law and religion.

Each issue of Perspectives in Law and Religion will contain one uniquely focused article of up to 40,0000 words in length, and is aimed at academics, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, educators, and graduate and undergraduate students.

The first issue of Perspectives in Law and Religion will be published in 2017. Authors are requested to submit material for consideration in English. All contributions will be subject to a rigorous double-blind peer review process. Each study may also be published by Brill in book form. A representative from Brill will attend the Cardiff Festival of Law and Religion 5-6 May 2016.

We were thrilled to recently hear that Philip Evans, long time School supporter, has taken Silk; becoming a QC (Queen’s Counsel) this February.

Philip is an alumnus of the School and is based at QEB Hollis Whiteman chambers in London. He has expertise in serious and complex crime and regulation cases and recently appeared for the prosecution on the high profile Hatton Garden heist case which saw several men found guilty for their involvement in the "largest burglary in English legal history".

For the last 15 years, Philip has been a loyal supporter of the law school, regularly attending our careers, employability and advocacy events and often visiting the School to speak to and support our students.

During the last three years Philip has worked with the School’s staff and students for free, on the Cardiff Innocence Project. He, together with fellow Cardiff Bar Vocational Course alumnus Tim Naylor, has advised us and drafted the appeal paperwork for a major innocence project case, which we are about to submit directly to the Court of Appeal.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Philip on this fantastic achievement and to thank him for all his help and support throughout the years.