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Strong Cardiff contingent at Society of Legal Scholars conference

1 October 2022

Lee Price, Julie Doughty, Bernie Rainey and Sara Drake attend the SLS conference.
Lee Price, Julie Doughty, Bernie Rainey and Sara Drake attend the SLS conference.

The annual conference for the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) welcomed a team of speakers and attendees from the School of Law and Politics this September.

The SLS is the largest learned society for legal scholars in the UK and their conference this year, their 113th, was hosted by King’s College London (KCL) on 6 - 9 September 2022. The theme of this year’s conference was The Links and Connections to Legal Development. The conference was held at the impressive Bush House, the former home of the BBC World Service on The Strand, London.

At the heart of the SLS conference is the opportunity to deliver and attend papers at over 28 different subject sections across 4 days. This year, the conference returned to its face-to-face format with the possibility of online attendance allowing participants from around the globe to attend virtually. Six Cardiff Law scholars delivered innovative research papers: Caleb Wheeler presented his research on international criminal trials and the rule of law; PhD student, Stephanie Theophanidou delivered a comparative paper on in-house lawyers in the UK and EU; Sara Drake shared the research findings from a project run with Carmela Bosangit, Cardiff Business School, on the levels of consumer awareness of their legal rights for flight cancellations during the Covid-19 pandemic. John Harrington and Matthew Watkins presented at the Medical Law panel and Rachel Cahill O-Callaghan gave a joint paper looking at the changes underpinning the disappearance of individual dissenting judgments in the UK Supreme Court. Eleanor Rowan was organiser of the Practice, Profession and Ethics panel.

Dr. Julie Doughty, who attended sessions on media and communications law, children’s rights, and family law, said that, “By the end of each of the 4 days, I was buzzing with new ideas for teaching and research.” Louise Austin, Nicola Harris, Phillip Johnson, Lee Price, Bernie Rainey and Ian Slack also attended. Intellectual stimulation was also provided by keynote speakers including Professor Mindy Chen-Wishart, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, who delivered a fascinating account of her comparative research project on Western and Asian contract law.

The SLS conference also organises a full programme of social events to provide an opportunity for attendees to catch up with old friends and make new acquaintances. The Annual Dinner was held in the Great Hall, Lincoln’s Inn, where Dr. Rachel Cahill O’Callaghan, was announced as one of a quarter of a cross-institutional editorial team which will take the reins of the Society’s flagship journal, Legal Studies, published by Cambridge University Press. At the AGM, Dr. Sara Drake was appointed to the Society’s Legal Education Committee.

The 114th Annual Conference will be organised by Oxford Brookes University from 27 – 30 June 2023 and the theme is Law and the Public Good. This will be the first time the conference will be held in the summer to avoid clashing with the start of the school year and will hopefully allow more legal scholars to attend. Abstract submissions opened on 25 November 2022 and close on the 6 February 2023. Anyone interested in joining the Society or considering offering a paper at the next conference, please contact Dr. Rachel Cahill-O’Callaghan or Dr. Sara Drake.

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