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The School of Law and Politics community will be represented in two categories at this year’s Wales Media Awards.

Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales, Laura McAllister has been nominated for the Columnist of the Year and Nest Jenkins, who studies Law and Welsh, has been nominated for The Ed Townsend Student of the Year Award.

Professor McAllister has been recognised in the Columnist of the Year category for her column in The Western Mail/Wales Online. The award celebrates good journalistic writing skills, news related or general opinion pieces which have been produced in Wales, for an audience in Wales.

Speaking of the award Professor McAllister said, “I feel very honoured to be shortlisted for the Columnist of the Year award. With so many great writers in the Welsh media, I’m very proud to be in such august company. Having a regular column in a national newspaper is a wonderful platform and I feel privileged to have a voice to speak out on topics that interest me- mainly sport and politics!”

The Ed Townsend Student of the Year award recognises the three best articles, news stories or single planned series of articles or news stories by a journalist in full time education. The award is in memory of a much loved and respected Journalists’ Charity committee member who played a pivotal role in re-establishing the Wales Media Awards.

Speaking of her shortlisting success Nest said, “Being nominated at the Wales Media Awards, among some of the biggest names in the industry, is a huge honour. It’s a great feeling to be recognised for work that I enjoy so much and it encourages me to continue building a career in journalism. I look forward to the awards ceremony as an opportunity to celebrate journalism in Wales.”

The Wales Media Awards take place annually to celebrate and promote great journalism in Wales. They are open to all journalists, photographers, camera operators, video journalists, freelancers, student journalists, bloggers and vloggers who work in Wales.

Due to the current and evolving situation with Coronavirus infection (COVID-19) the Wales Media Awards have postponed their awards ceremony which was due to take place on 20 March 2020. The ceremony has been rescheduled to take place on 6 November 2020. All details can be found on the Wales Media Award website.

Due to the ongoing and evolving situation around coronavirus (COVID-19), we have decided that it’s in the best interests of our staff, students and attendees to cancel the Alternative Career Routes into Law Fair due to take place on Wednesday 25th March.

This is a precautionary measure that we feel has to be taken under the present circumstances.  We sincerely apologise for any disappointment this might cause.

We would recommend that students visit the Student Intranet to see a list of the employers that were due to attend this event, including a list of the employer websites.  You can also visit the Careers & Employability Jobs Board (search ‘Jobs Board’ on the Intranet) to source and apply for live vacancies, and as always, keep an eye on my emails for details of upcoming opportunities as and when they arise.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience that this decision may cause.

Two second year Law students will be representing the School of Law and Politics at the national final of a Client Interviewing Competition after winning the regional heat this February.

Robert Wells, who studies Law and Politics, and Sasha Poole, who studies Law, competed against eight other university teams to be named as joint winners alongside students from the University of Plymouth at the South West Regional of the Client Interviewing Competition for England and Wales.

The regional round took place at the University of South Wales Cardiff campus on 15 February 2020 and involved teams of student lawyers interviewing new “clients” for the first time. The students needed to develop a rapport with the client, discover as much relevant information about the client's concerns as possible, ensure that they understood the problem, give pertinent and relevant legal advice and provide a practical set of options for the client to choose from as part of a range of hypothetical cases designed to highlight their skills.

The legal subject matter for the competition was Damage to Property: civil law which saw Robert and Sasha dealing with a difficult client who had cut down a neighbour’s tree and was reluctant to hand over a letter threatening to take the client to court. They also faced a client who was an animal rights activist who did not want to divulge his full intentions to cause havoc for people he felt should not be keeping goats in city gardens. These scenarios saw Robert and Sasha navigate aspects of law which included nuisance, negligence and trespass as well as testing their communication and people skills.

Speaking after the competition Professor Julie Price said, “Congratulations and thank you to Robert and Sasha who put a lot of effort into preparing for the competition in addition to keeping up with their degree studies. They are excellent Cardiff ambassadors. Thank you also to Sue Heenan for training a significant number of our students for our internal competition. Good luck to our team for the National Final.”

The Client Interviewing Competition is just one of the opportunities provided by the School of Law and Politics to help our students develop transferable skills which will be of use in their careers after graduation.

The national final of the Client Interviewing Competition has been postponed due to uncertainties about the current Coronavirus situation. The Competition Committee is hoping that it can be rescheduled in due course.

A Cardiff Law professor has been appointed as a member of an advisory body on public records.

Phillip Johnson, who is a Professor of Commercial Law at the School of Law and Politics, has been announced as a new member of the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives (ACNRA).

ACNRA is an independent body that advises the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (currently The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden) on issues relating to access to public records and represents the public interest in deciding what records should be open or closed.

Professor Johnson researches legal history, intellectual property, and public law with particular interest in the history of policy development and the legislative process. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the European Law Institute. He has published numerous books and articles on law and legal political history.

Professor Johnson will join the following list of professionals on the board of ACNRA:

CHAIR: Sir Terence Etherton, Master of the Rolls.

DEPUTY CHAIR: Mr Trevor Woolley CB, non-executive Director, Oil and Pipelines Agency; formerly Director General, Ministry of Defence.

Lady Moira Andrews, Director, Praetor Legal Ltd and ADS Group Ltd; Visiting Research Fellow, King’s College London; former Government Legal Adviser.

Ms Hillary Bauer OBE, adviser on culture and heritage issues; formerly Head of International and Cultural Property Unit, Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Ms Liz Copper, BBC Senior Broadcast Journalist.

Ms Lesley Ferguson, Head of Archives and Engagement, Historic Environment Scotland.

Dr Helen Forde, historian and archivist; formerly board member of the Museums and Libraries Association, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Postal Museum; Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries.

Dr Peter Gooderham CMG, former Ambassador to the UN and WTO in Geneva.

Stephen Hawker, independent national security consultant; independent member of the Audit Committee of Manchester Metropolitan University.

Martin Howard, retired senior security official specialising in cyber and intelligence security policy and operations. Appointed Companion of the Bath (CB).

Leon Litvack, Professor of Victorian Studies at the Queen’s University of Belfast; specialist on Charles Dickens; board member of the Charles Dickens Museum; freelance broadcaster for the BBC.

Helene Pantelli, solicitor specialising in commercial law; ombudsman at the Financial Ombudsman.

David Rossington CB, former civil servant; Vice Chair and Treasurer of Stoll; Treasurer of Earth Trust; Trustee at the Oxfordshire Community Foundation; Trustee of Arts at the Old Fire Station.

Mr Michael Smyth CBE QC (Hon), Chairman, Glastry Advisory Partners; Member and DID Legal Services Board.

Ms Jeannette Strickland, independent archive and records consultant; formerly Head of Art, Archives and Records Management, Unilever.

Martin Uden CB, former Ambassador in Seoul; alma mater at Queen Mary University of London; Trustee of a Christian mission charity; Chairman of the British Korean Society; President of the British Korean War Veterans’ Society; published author.

Mr John Wood, solicitor; Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) Independent Member; former Charity Commission for England and Wales Legal Board Member and Board Consultant; formerly Herbert Smith Freehills, Partner, then Consultant.

A world authority on the archaeology of Northeast Africa has been named as the keynote speaker at an international conference taking place in Cardiff this year.

Dr Sada Mire will deliver a lecture entitled ‘The Archaeological Heritage of the Somali Horn of Africa’ at the international African Studies Association UK (ASAUK) conference which is taking place at the School of Law and Politics this September.

Dr Mire is an award-winning Swedish-Somali archaeologist with a PhD from UCL’s Institute of Archaeology. She was the founding director of Somaliland’s Department of Archaeology until 2012 and has published extensively on the history, culture and archaeology of Northeast Africa. Commissioned features on her work appear regularly in the international media, including Channel Four in the UK. She is founder and executive director of Horn Heritage Organisation, an archaeology and heritage research institution with offices in the Horn of Africa and The Netherlands.

Dr Mire’s lecture will present the rich archaeological heritage of the Somali Horn of Africa, which only now is being revealed and systematically studied. This recent archaeological work has brought to light the vast indigenous, pre-Christian and pre-Islamic empires that at times formed part of the HimyaIrite and Sabaean cultures of Southern Arabia, Greco-Roman world and Aksumite world and early Islamic kingdoms. This region is an ancient cultural crossroads and its heritage testifies to social complexity and cultural diversity. The lecture will discuss the role of this heritage in the current challenges facing the societies of the Horn of Africa.

Dr Mire’s keynote in Cardiff will be followed by an invited lecture at the British Academy in its Global Perspectives Series.

Professor James Hegarty, Head of the School of History, Archaeology, and Religion at Cardiff University said: “We are very pleased that this flagship event will be held in Cardiff during the centenary year of the creation of the Archaeology Department at Cardiff University. We look forward to the involvement of Cardiff archaeologists in a roundtable on Evidence, Memory and Receptions of Africa in Britain: Perspectives from Archaeology and Early History.”

ASAUK’s biennial conference will be hosted by the Law and Global Justice Centre in the School of Law and Politics on 8-10 September 2020. The conference has received support in the form of bursaries from the College of Arts and Humanities at Cardiff University; The British Academy; and The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. Registration for the conference will open at the end of February on the ASAUK website.

An international journal has dedicated a recent edition to the work of a School of Law and Politics academic.

The November 2019 edition of International Affairs celebrates and engages with the ground-breaking feminist scholarship of Professor Marysia Zalewski. Professor Zalewski teaches on both undergraduate and postgraduate International Politics programmes in the School of Law and Politics.

The special section, Well, what is the feminist perspective on international affairs? is guest edited by Helen M. Kinsella and Laura J. Shepherd and discusses fundamental questions about global politics.

The articles in the journal build on and continue Zalewski’s work in attempting to discern how gender operates in certain spaces, how the discipline of International Relations has written certain narratives and constructed exclusions, and how we might rethink global politics to resist repeating the same mistakes. In this manner, this special section questions hegemonic structures and knowledges—as well as those considered creators of such knowledge.

In their introduction, Helen M. Kinsella and Laura J. Shepherd set the scene. They stress the importance of exploring the nature of theorizing and remind the reader that any feminist scholarship by its very nature is always theory in practice.

Penny Griffin explores the gendered everyday practices of global finance. She scrutinizes why they are considered ‘neutral’ and how this affects the treatment of women in the financial sector, particularly after the global financial crisis.

Maria Stern, in light of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, critiques the dominant frame of ‘rape as a weapon of war’ through which sexual violence is often understood and explores how to more comprehensively engage with conflict-related sexual violence.

In her article, Elizabeth Pearson views ‘toxic masculinity’ through the lens of the English Defence League and brings to the fore questions of masculinity, its relation to men and how terms such as ‘toxic’ and ‘extreme’ leave patriarchy unchallenged.

Paula Drumond examines the prevailing assumptions about sexual violence against men in warfare. She questions why certain forms of violence are sexualized and how male victimhood can be properly included in attempts to understand sexual violence.

Sam Cook repositions the idea of failure in reference to the UN Security Council’s policy on Women, Peace and Security, exploring the spaces failure can create in the context of a feminist agenda.

Cristina Masters and Marysia Zalewski reflect on the provocations put forward in the special section and their relation to wider feminist theorizing in International Relations.

Articles from the November edition of the journal are available to read on the International Affairs website.

Law students and academics have been recognised for their work fighting injustices against the most vulnerable in society.

Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics received an award for ‘Best Contribution by a Pro Bono Clinic’ at the LawWorks Annual Pro Bono Awards, which were presented by President of the Supreme Court Lady Hale.

Up to 200 students a year participate in extra-curricular activities such as legal skills programmes, and for the School’s pro bono clinic, which provides legal help and investigations for those who can’t afford the cost of legal fees.

Professor Julie Price, Head of Pro Bono said: “This award recognises the huge efforts of students, past and present, as well as fellow academics and people working in the legal profession and beyond, who have helped us to build up an impressive track record. We are immensely grateful to everyone who has supported us – without those partnerships and wider support, our work would not be possible.

“Students involved in these schemes gain invaluable experience, which in turn has a huge impact on people’s lives. Since we started 15 years ago, we estimate students have contributed about 240,000 hours and supporting practitioners and other experts have given up to 10,000 hours in free legal and other expert work.

“Although it is not, and should not be, a substitute for a properly-funded legal aid system, such work is vital.”

Extensive pro bono portfolio

Starting in 2005 with a blank sheet, the School has fostered the creation of an extensive pro bono portfolio, now comprising five in-house and 13 partnership schemes. They cover national and local community needs in both social justice and commercial advice arenas, as well as one global scheme.

Its most high-profile initiative is the Innocence Project, which investigates possible miscarriages of justice and is the only UK university innocence project to have had a case overturned after a referral by the Criminal Cases Review Commission to the Court of Appeal.

In 2014, they successfully helped to overturn the murder conviction of Dwaine George, who had served 12 years in prison. Last year, they won their second case when the conviction of Gareth Jones, who served three-and-a-half years in prison for serious sexual assault, was quashed.

Sarah Magill, a former Innocence Project team leader who worked on the Dwaine George case, is now a criminal barrister. She said: “The tangible impact of law in practice while studying kept my passion for criminal law alive and augmented skills that have been drawn upon regularly, during what has proven to be an enjoyable and rewarding career at the Criminal Bar thus far.”

One of the School’s successful partnership schemes is the NHS Continuing Healthcare scheme, which works with Hugh James solicitors to help people suffering from dementia, who are wrongly paying care home costs. More than £240,000 has so far been recovered for them and their families.

Legal toolkits created in partnership with Mencap Cymru provide advice to adults with learning disabilities on a range of issues such as housing, while the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) pro bono scheme offers assistance  to amateur rugby clubs looking to become companies as a means of limiting potential legal liability for individuals running the clubs.

Other partnership schemes which students have participated in include:

Global Justice Scheme: With Deighton Pierce Glynn, Amnesty International and RAID (Rights and Accountability in Development).

Environmental Law Foundation (ELF): Giving advice on environmental issues.

Hafal: Students acting as “appropriate adults”, assisting vulnerable people in police station interviews, alongside duty solicitors.

Asylum Justice: Providing legal research assistance to asylum seekers.

Bail Observation Project: Observing asylum bail hearings in Newport Tribunal and producing reports for this national charity.

Speakeasy Employment Advice Clinic: Shadowing pro bono employment law practitioners.

Community Land Advisory Service/Blake Morgan partnership: Helping community groups, typically seeking assistance on draft licences for land use.

Bridgend Children’s Contact Centre: Assisting in family breakdown situations involving child contact with non-resident parents.

Citizens Advice Torfaen: Acting as gateway advisors for this national charity.

Streetlaw in the Employment Tribunal: A partnership with other universities delivering public legal education to litigants in person.

Personal Support Unit: Assisting litigants at the Civil Justice Centre.

Victim Support: Answering calls on the victim helpline.

Wales Arts International; (WAI)/ Latham and Watkins partnership: A new project giving students the opportunity to consider issues facing artists wishing to come to the UK post-Brexit.

The Duncan Lewis law clinic: Shadowing solicitors who gave advice on immigration, family and housing matters.

A new book on Law and Religion, which brings together ideas from History, Philosophy, Sociology, Theology and Comparative Studies, has been edited by two School of Law and Politics academics.

The new Research Handbook on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Law and Religion, has been published by Edward Elgar Publishing and is edited by Law professors Russell Sandberg and Norman Doe.

Professor Sandberg and Professor Doe have teamed up with their Cardiff University colleague, Dr Bronach Kane, Senior Lecturer in History of the School of History, Archology and Religion and Caroline Roberts, a PhD student in Law at Cardiff and Bristol, to edit the first handbook of its type.

As Professor Sandberg argued in his 2014 monograph (Religion, Law and Society, published by Cambridge Press), although recent years has seen a significant increase in Law and Religion scholarship and some of this work has been interdisciplinary, the majority of the work has focused on legal methods.  This new handbook seeks to redress this by providing a guide to a range of approaches from a number of disciplines which could be used to further scholarship and our understanding of how Law and Religion interact.

Professor Sandberg commented, “Talk of the value of interdisciplinary work is ingrained in universities. But it is much easier said than done. This handbook fills a pressing need in the scholarly community. It’s meant as a coffee table read allowing you to pick and choose the chapters that you find useful and interesting. We are hugely grateful to our contributors from around the world for authoring such stimulating and exciting chapters”.

The handbook includes an introductory chapter authored by Professor Sandberg entitled ‘Snakepits & Sandpits’ which explores the advantages and risks of interdisciplinary work in Law and Religion. He commented, “It looks at how Law and Religion has developed as a field of study. However, it’s probably the most personal thing I have ever written. Taking its cue from literature on the development of feminist legal studies, it takes an autobiographical approach. This is my account of the changing way in which I see the field, the mistakes I have made along the way and why an interdisciplinary approach, though risky, is necessary”.

Professor Sandberg also contributes a chapter in the Sociological Approaches section which explores the work of Niklas Luhmann. He commented, “lawyers and theologians both read Luhmann. But how can his social systems theory be used to understand Law and Religion as an interaction and as a field? This chapter brings together my work on the topic to explore the lure of Luhmann”.

The book’s cover image is a photograph taken by Professor Sandberg of a stream on a Welsh hillside. The photograph symbolises the development of Law and Religion as a field, flowing onwards. The Welsh setting is appropriate given that the key role that Cardiff University and its Centre for Law and Religion has played in fostering Law and Religion as a field. The new handbook is set to develop this further, enabling Law and Religion to surge as an interdisciplinary endeavour.

A workshop exploring privacy and how we use data is taking place at Cardiff University this December.

The event will take place on Wednesday 11 December and is co-organised by Cardiff University lecturers Dr Christian Arnold and Dr George Theodorakopoulos and the Office for National Statistics.

Data on individuals are being collected at an unprecedented rate and very often that data is sensitive. Companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, but also governmental agencies like the NHS are amassing data about us all, which means that data protection is a concern for everyone.

This workshop will focus on private synthetic data. Private synthetic data are a copy of original data (aka spreadsheets) that contains artificial individuals but retains the complete statistical information. This means that synthetic data can remain anonymous; a trait that is incredibly useful in scientific and medical fields.

This is the first time that all relevant stakeholders from data industry, government and academia in the UK are coming together to share their experiences and insights. This workshop intends to bring together leading researchers on privacy preserving synthetic data from computer sciences, statistics and applied backgrounds such as social sciences and seeks to highlight recent advances in the respective disciplines and encourage interdisciplinary debate.

The workshop has attracted speakers from a range of organisations that have data at their core. They include Fionntán O'Donnell of the Open Data Institute, Pierre-Andre Maugis of Privitar and Ioannis Kaloskampis of the Office for National Statistics who will all present at the event.

Speaking of his event, Dr Arnold said, “Sharing information data while at the same time protecting the privacy of individuals is one of the key challenges of digitalisation.”

More information can be found at the dedicated workshop homepage. Please contact Dr Christian Arnold if you would like to attend the event.

Cardiff University will be hosting an international African Studies conference in 2020, the first time that this conference is being held in Wales.

The 28th biennial conference of the UK’s African Studies Association will take place on 8 - 10 September 2020 and will bring together scholars of Africa from a broad range of disciplines, including history, archaeology, political science, literature, languages and law. It is expected that academics from more than seventy countries will attend.

ASAUK 2020 has received support in the form of bursaries from the College of Arts and Humanities at Cardiff University; The British Academy; and The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.

The Fage & Oliver book prize and the Audrey Richards dissertation prize are awarded at the conference at which ASAUK also makes its Distinguished Africanist award.

The Fage & Oliver Prize is awarded to the author of an outstanding original scholarly work published on Africa during the preceding two years. John Donnelly Fage (1921-2002) and Roland Oliver (1923-2014) were pioneers of British African Studies. After a decade teaching in the University of the Gold Coast, Fage spent the rest of his career at Birmingham University where he founded the Centre for West African Studies (CWAS). With Oliver he founded The Journal of African History (1960). Oliver taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies (1948 -1986). He was one of the founders of the African Studies Association of the United Kingdom (1963) and played a major role in the establishment of the British Institute in Eastern Africa.

The Audrey Richards Prize is awarded biennially for the best doctoral thesis in African Studies which has been successfully examined in a British institution of higher education during the two calendar years immediately preceding the next ASAUK Conference. Dr Audrey Richards, CBE (1899–1984) was a pioneering British social anthropologist who worked mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, notably Zambia, South Africa and Uganda. She held lectureships and directorships at LSE, Witwatersrand, Makerere, and Cambridge and was the Second President of ASAUK.

The conference will be hosted by the Law and Global Justice Centre in the School of Law and Politics. Founded in 2016, the Centre supports a lively research programme, including a cohort of fully funded international doctoral researchers. With a particular focus on the global south and informed by post- and anti-colonial perspectives, Cardiff Law and Global Justice is committed to engagement with southern scholars across the disciplines. It is home to a pathbreaking Transnational Pro-Bono Law Clinic working with lawyers in the UK, India and East Africa.

ASAUK President, Professor Ambreena Manji of the School of Law and Politics said, “I am delighted that the African Studies Association UK conference will take place in Wales for the first time. This is an important time for African Studies in the UK as we seek to challenge longstanding patterns of unequal knowledge production and dissemination across our disciplines. We would be very pleased if the conference led to new collaborative projects as a result of the presence of colleagues from over seventy countries in Cardiff next year.”

Further information about the conference can be found on the African Studies Association UK website and by following the Association via Twitter @ASAUK_News