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LLB Student Awarded a Travel Bursary to Jersey 💼✈️

Matthew Knights is a year 1 LLB student who was awarded a travel bursary to visit Jersey and explore the different judicial systems

“The picturesque island of Jersey is a self-governing state and British Crown dependency situated off the coast of Normandy in the English Channel. The legal system of Jersey has concepts of both British and French law intertwined together as a result of its political and social history. In addition to this, the island was occupied by Nazi forces from 1940-1945 and has undergone many legal changes throughout its history. It’s system of government and public law system is also distinctly different from the UK albeit with some similarities.

The islands court system is completely  independent from the UK and takes on its own unique format and hierarchy. Its principle officers and high ranking officials however, are appointed indirectly by the Crown. The highest-ranking official is the Lieutenant Governor of Jersey, appointed by the British Monarch. The holder of this office acts as an intermediary between the UK and the independent government of Jersey. They are the de facto head of state but only act in a ceremonial manner such as issuing passports and ruling on deportations. They serve five year terms and are usually ex-military personnel. As of 2010, positions such as Attorney General and Solicitor General are appointed by the Crown on the islands recommendation.

Jersey 3

The highest court in Jersey is the Court of Appeal but second to this is the Royal Court. The Royal Court sits in one of two formations. The first is known as a Superior Royal Court and involves the Bailiff sitting alongside at least seven Jurats. The second is the Inferior Royal Court where the Bailiff sits alongside only two Jurats and the formation used will be determined by the gravity of the offence committed.

Jurats are the nearest thing to what the UK would refer to as Judges. They are elected by an Electoral College which consists of the Royal Court and legal professionals. Unlike in England where judges will have previously worked as either a Solicitor or a Barrister; Jurats are not legal professionals because it is deemed that they should be judges of the facts and not the law.

The island has its own police force but there are two types in operation across the islands 12 parishes. The States police, which mirrors our system in England and Wales, had uniformed officers as early as 1853. In 1954 a professional force was established. The second and more unusual type is the Honorary Police. These are elected to assist the parish’s Connétable who is elected to serve a three-year term.  Despite being the seemingly more recognisable outfit; the States of Jersey Police cannot charge anybody with an offence. Any charges must be authorised by the Connétable of the respective parish.”

Law School Events, Law School Visits, Student Experience

Law Students Enjoy a Leadership and Cultural Course in Mauritius ☀️

Students from Lancashire Law School jumped at the amazing opportunity to undertake a Leadership and Cultural course in Mauritius!

Mauritius - Group
Two of our students have shared their thoughts on the experience with us…

Chantelle Gardner

“My personal goal was to go on at least one trip a year; last year I visited London with the Law Society. Initially when I received the email about the leadership and cultural course in Mauritius I replied straight away without a second thought! Just one of the amazing experiences that Lancashire Law School has to offer. As a mature student with two children opportunities such as this do not happen regularly. I also would like to add that I am also disabled and the lecturers were very understanding on my bad days.

After a jam-packed year 2 this was a perfect way to wrap up my year. I also hate flying so I am trying to conquer my fear of flights! A course, a beautiful destination and meeting new people; not only with my law school but the Mauritian law school as well. I enjoyed getting to know the 2nd year students more and also speaking to 3rd year students about what to expect for the next year. It was so valuable to be able to listen to students and get advice about the year ahead. For some students, this could be their first trip abroad and going on these trips you really do get to know different people from all different backgrounds. I personally enjoy meeting new people especially from different cultures.  These trips are vital, as not only are they educational, they look great on your CV and they can be great discussion in an interview.

The lecturers put an excellent spin on their styles of teaching and it was not death by PowerPoint! We had presentations on the beach, one to one psychometric tests in hotels and a negotiations scenario which we had to do independently.  The lecturers also kindly organised one evening for us to enjoy some Mauritian cuisine and watch Sega dancing which is the native Mauritian dance. The team building days were great and I loved the dodo quest, which I believe is like the escape room. My favourite parts of the course were the psychometric tests and the negotiation competition. The psychometric test really made students think about themselves and become mindful about what employers may want. Although I had never heard of these tests prior to the course, once I was aware, I pretty much knew how mine would show. It has really made me think as the work route I want to go down is very dominant which is not really me! The negotiation task was great as we worked with the Mauritian students. Our group was very varied and therefore there was lots of discussion and people stamping their feet! I really enjoyed the course and would encourage anyone to attend at least one trip whether it be in the UK or abroad.”

Rebecca Rushworth

“When the opportunity arose to go on a once in a lifetime trip to Mauritius to visit the campus, bond with foreign students and make amazing memories, who could possibly turn that down?

I went to Mauritius on the 12th May 2017. We spent one week there and it was hardly a week I would forget. The cost of this trip was £500, including Emirates flights, the stay in a hotel for the week plus transport to and from campus and various activities. It was well worth the £500!

To begin with, we had the first night off. We landed late and we were tired after the long flight. After checking into the hotel, we decided we wanted to have a look around to see where about we were and what was going on! It turned into one of the best nights I have had! I bonded with students I had not met before and turned out we was a little worse for wear the day after…

Following this spontaneous first night, we then visited the campus and met the Mauritian students. We received our itinerary for the week. It was a jammed packed week full of various meetings, visits and activities as well as free time to enjoy as we please. The days we spent during the week at the campus was a good experience, we joined with the Mauritian students and got to know them a little better. However, there were classroom activities inside when it was a beautiful 28 degrees outside! Us English students wanted to make the most of that weather!

Before we flew to Mauritius, we had a questionnaire to fill in online for a personality test, which we received feedback when we were away. I found that really interesting. The feedback fit my personality accurately and I was shocked as to how relevant it was. We had a BBQ on the beach one night, getting to know students, lecturers, and we also visited another hotel for dinner and to watch a Mauritian dance.

We had a trip to the Dodo quest! The whole team really enjoyed this activity and my team won so it was even better! Finally, the highlight of my week has to be the deep-sea fishing trip I undertook with a few fellow students and our lecturer, Martin. On the Friday before flying home, we was picked up at 3am. We got onto a boat, watched the sunrise over the island and went fishing! I loved it and very grateful to Martin for arranging it all.

Finally, the leadership course has taught me many skills that I will carry through and grow with. I have made friends for life and got to know people I would not have known if it was not for this trip. The lecturers; Steph, Susan and Martin did a great job and really got involved with the students, the conversations and banter! I could not have put a better team together.

I am very grateful to the Law school for putting this trip together and I do sincerely hope that it carries on as an annual trip for Law students; it is well worth the money. The experience was amazing and I wish I could do it all over again! Thank you!”

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Sarah ‘Takes Off’ with UCLan’s International Travel Bursary ✈️

Sarah Collinson

Criminology & Criminal Justice (Year 3)

Sarah applied for an International travel bursary to travel across Europe to improve employability skills, particularly confidence as she moves to a career in the Probation Service.

“I am back home after having the amazing opportunity exploring more of Europe. The highlight of my trip was learning about the history of each place I visited and seeing some more of the world.

 

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Auschwitz is a must see for anyone visiting Poland! Being able to stand in the place where such horrible things happened less than 80 years ago is an unforgettable experience, as you can see from my photos. Photo (1) above shows the entrance to Birkenau, another part of the Auschwitz concentration camp that was built because Auschwitz itself was not big enough to fit all 1.3 million people (mostly Jews), between 1940 and 1945. Sufferers of the awful abuse that happened at this camp were brought into the camp in the small cabin that is pictured above (2). This would carry 70 people that would have been traveling from other parts of Europe for numerous days. The ones that survived the journey would be put into lines on their arrival to the camp, these lines decided if they were going to be gassed or would be subject to slave labour. The picture of the shoes (3) is just a fraction of the belongings of those that were sent to be gassed. The last photograph shows the remains of a room where the gassed bodies would be disposed of, this room does not stand today because it was attempted to be destroyed to cover up this horrible war crime.

Parts of Europe offer some of the most beautiful places, I visited Lake Bled in Slovenia which has breath-taking views! Krka Waterfalls in Croatia and the gardens in Austria where the Belvedere palace is situated.

 

Most of the countries I visited had lots of historic buildings that were great to visit. Prague in particular had beautiful historic buildings. Whilst in Prague I went to the museum of medieval torture museum, it was interesting to see the torture instruments that were used on people that would not even be considered criminals now! Often women who were believed to be witches would be subject to unimaginable methods of pain.

 

Another amazing part of my trip was visiting Berlin and learning about the divide that east and west Berlin had from 1961 until 1989. In my photograph (above), I am stood between a part of the Berlin wall that stopped the two sides of the city from communicating during the cold war.

Most of my trip contained a huge amount of walking around every place I visited, so I could enjoy as much of Europe as possible in the month I was there. So, it was nice to spend a day in a Budapest thermal bath.

My trip around Europe has given me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of the countries I visited at present time, from spending time with local people I met at hostels and venturing around the place.  I also visited lots of museums that taught me about historic Europe, as mentioned earlier in my blog. It has been great learning about more of the world, this trip has influenced me to visit Asia, so I can learn even more about different places and cultures.

Since being home, I have realised that one of the things exploring Europe has helped me with is my confidence. I met loads of new people in Europe from all over the world. When at home, I am used to spending my time with the same people. I now feel more confident when meeting new people. This is brilliant at this point in my life as I have just graduated from university and am working towards getting a career within the Probation Service, where I will be meeting new people on an everyday basis.

Also, my trip has definitely helped me to become more organised. From booking international trains, using numerous trains to get to a destination and booking different accommodation for all the countries I visited. I had to document times and places to ensure that I got to each place I needed to be on time.”

 

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16th World Conference of the International Society of Family Law (25-29th July 2017, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)

The conference focused on whether the existing national family laws adequately reflect the rapidly changing realities of family life. Experts in family law, social sciences and empirical research attended and presented papers on a range of topics which can only be described and enlightening and informative. The topics ranged from children’s rights, divorce and cohabitation laws in various jurisdictions.

The presentation I delivered was titled “Time to jump on the bandwagon? The need for cohabitation laws”. The presentation explored the deficiencies with the current legal framework in protecting unmarried couples on separation. Over the past decade, figures from the Office of National Statistics show that unmarried couple families have more than doubled in number, however, the law does not adequately reflect the realities of the relationships of this fast growing non-traditional family. Unlike married couples who have greater financial protection when the marriage ends or upon the death of a spouse, cohabiting couples have to resort to piecemeal legislation and a legal framework which often produces outcomes of inequity and hardship.

In comparison to other jurisdictions, England and Wales appears to be lagging behind when it comes to providing statutory protection for unmarried couples. In contrast to this position, Scotland provides an alternative approach. The Scottish government acknowledged that there have been major changes in the way families are built and every family is important no matter how it was formed. Essentially, it was important to safeguard the best interests of children; promote and support stable families and update the law to reflect the reality of family life in Scotland today.

The presentation also considered cohabitation agreements/contracts and their advantages and disadvantages. Cohabitation agreements can be perceived as unromantic and cohabitants may find it difficult to discuss entering into one, however, such contracts can provide clarity and certainty. As there has so far been a lack of political will in providing cohabitation laws, perhaps better public education rather than legislation may provide couples with awareness, knowledge and understanding of their rights.

After the presentation, I had the fantastic opportunity of discussing with the other presenters the approaches adopted in Brazil, Italy and France. This enhanced my knowledge within this field and was an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and consider collaboration in the future.

 

by Zanele Nyoni – Solicitor and Lecturer in Law

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Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching

 

We are writing this blog as we travel back from the Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching Conference at the University of Warwick. Surrounded by a seething mass of humanity, we reflected that what immediately struck us about today was that so much of our pre-discussions on our outward rail journey were replicated in the presentations on the changing face of legal education as well as the pedagogic techniques on display. Those moments when you look at each other with open mouths, and realise your ‘problems’ are universal.

The conference started briskly, with the first topic concerning the ‘prickly’ issue of feedback. Dr Emily Finch talked about several different techniques she had employed with varying degrees of success. There was a consensus amongst delegates that students appreciated voice feedback due to its subtler nuances and dislike written standard comments. Using screencasts was popular with students, but of course the negative side of more thorough feedback is the time it takes – time, however, being something, the whole room agreed, was in very short supply.

Dr Yvonne Skipper followed, with a fascinating psychological insight into mindsets concerning the mutability of intelligence. She identified a fixed / growth mindset continuum which relates to performance and mastery goals respectively. In other words, are students just aiming to pass an exam or do they also aspire to acquire a deeper understanding of the subject? The counter argument was expressed that any motivation can be valuable. It was clear, though, that some of the universities represented have been actively promoting growth mindsets and engineering brain plasticity during their induction activities, to embed aspirations to improve performance through perseverance.

Dr Finch and Dr Skipper agreed that the student/tutor relationship could be helpfully compared to that between an athlete and coach. It is never enough simply for the tutor to tell the student how to improve performance, the student needs to put the advice into practice. This is a partnership.  The real effect of perseverance and practice was graphically explained using a time-lapse video of a brain neurone; gaining in length and thickness as a skill was practised – physically demonstrating that a brain can, indeed, be hard-wired through practice.

graph image

The E3 student

The next session was charged with considering the ‘E3’student – the E s representing engaged, effective and employable. With highly regarded UCLan alumnus Professor Becky Huxley-Binns, the discussion first focused on employability – the view taken that (obviously) all students are employable (and often employed), and therefore casting doubt on this as an integral aspect of the student experience outcomes. In fact, Becky re-stated this as D3 – is this Doable? Desirable? – well, it is Debatable!

Ensuring students are employable within given sectors when they leave, was what mattered. The conversation then included concepts of student engagement as Professor Lisa Webley explored how we gradually inculcate autonomous learning by equipping students with the tools. Learning, of course, should not be focused on outcome, but on the journey itself. Teaching is not about transmission of facts or skills, or, indeed, ‘teaching to test’ but a far deeper instillation of hunger for knowledge and ensuring that confidence is built; there is a need for language choices to made with caution – mindful always of the implicit message. We must promote the ability not to be afraid of what is not yet known. Employability and exam results should be a bi- product of mastery and not framed as the only performance outcome.

The morning session was wrapped up with a rousing battle cry from Professor Alastair Hudson. Warning about the risks of the insidious corporatisation, bureaucratisation and commodification of higher education, which now sets the context and makes everything more difficult. We all agreed with him, that the decimation of the content of our libraries, the centralisation of administrative services, tutorial group sizes of up to (or more than) 24, everything dictated by its FEC, and architectural resistance (inadequate or non-existent rooms), resulted from a focus on finance from ‘those above’. All these factors were restricting our ability to provide the service to students, which – universally agreed – was necessary. Professor Huxley-Binns expressed her fear that if the sector continues along this track, we are at risk of “denuding education of its emancipatory potential.”

There could not have been a gathering of legal educators without the spectre of the SQE looming over us – lots of discussion about this, but the most interesting observation was that SQE contains a vast syllabus of law skewed towards the interest of the bourgeoisie; a law syllabus for the wealthy. There was exasperation at the changes afoot and the lack of clear guidance for planning, or an understandable rationale, but as always the resilience of staff was palpable. Whatever is required, we will deliver it.

The highlight of the day for the UCLan staff present, was the student panel of two including our own Emma- Jane Darley. Emma, who started as a mature foundation student, and has now successfully completed the second year of her MLaw course, was put on the spot with questions from the floor. She emphasised the importance of a nurturing environment populated with law lecturers who care about the individual, and have time to get to know their students. Emma described many instances when our staff had gone well ‘above and beyond’…. really heartwarming comments. Of course, she also highlighted some shortcomings – these largely corresponded with the elements being eroded through corporatisation – already mentioned above.

conference panel

This was a truly illuminating conference – going beyond mere pedagogy. A general agreement, cemented by the comments of the student panel, illustrated the importance attached to warmth and rapport in the student/tutor relationship. Other key messages were the importance of using experiential learning and flipped learning in small groups to improve engagement (and therefore ‘employability’ – although that term was universally decried).

A good conference means you don’t consider leaving at lunchtime, and a sprint for the train at tea-time underlines our enjoyment. Chatting, reflecting, in rhythm with the tracks, we agreed it was a good chance to share ideas – however humble.

 

In Prof Hudson’s words “We can’t all do great things, but we can do small things with great love”.

♥ Viv Ivins

♥ Fiona Bledge

♥ Susan Fletcher

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LLS Students compete on the UK’s biggest legal “stage”!

4 Lancashire Law School students headed down to London in April for this year’s William Bramwell Mooting Competition, held for the first time ever at the Supreme Court and judged by none other than President of the Supreme Court Lord Neuberger!

The teams comprised of Josiah Raphael and Sophie Piper against Alkesh Pratap Singh and Ben Whittingham and were required to present submissions on a fictional criminal scenario based on the defences of duress and automatism.

Sophie, who was declared the winner alongside teammate Josiah, said that mooting in front of Lord Neuberger was an incredible opportunity. For her, the final is one of the most significant memories of her UCLan experience: “I think we were all nervous when we first arrived, however as soon as we got to work finalising our bundles, my nerves disappeared… until I was on my feet about to address the President of the Supreme Court.

Lord Neuberger, was extremely personable to us and was nice enough to give us all individual and team feedback. This was the most memorable part of the day. It was such an invaluable experience, to have a constructive conversation with the highest judge in the U.K. Whom was commenting on our submissions, strengths and giving one to one advice.”

Josiah adds that as a law student you know that you are about to enter arguably the most competitive profession in the country, aware that you need more than just good grades to stand out. He comments: “It was amazing to be able to go out and prove ourselves on the biggest stage in the UK legal system. It is not every day you are dubbed ‘charming’ by the President of the Supreme Court! I absolutely loved the opportunity … I was privileged to be working with an extremely talented partner and the chemistry lined up perfectly. I feel like we demonstrated the importance of embracing your personal strengths and how you can emphasise them even further by working together in the right team; it’s a learning curve for sure…”

A number of Lancashire Law School students were able to watch this exciting moot and cheer on the competitors following a fascinating guided tour of the Supreme Court. Very many congratulations to all of the students who participated in the competition and were able to benefit from this unique experience.

competitors in the mooting competition

 

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Insolvency Lawyers Association Academic Forum – competition winner 2017 – Dr John Wood

As an academic who specialises in corporate insolvency, I was thrilled to be selected as the winner of the 2017 Insolvency Lawyers Association (ILA) prize. As such, I was invited to present my paper at the Academic Forum, as the early academic competition winner for 2017. This was for the prestigious ILA Academic Forum and Annual Conference in London, which took place at the Royal College of Physicians, on the 31st March 2017. See: http://www.ilauk.org/.

The ILA which was founded in 1989, provides a forum for lawyers and academics practicing in the fields of insolvency law and restructuring practice to co-operate on matters of professional interest, to network, to share know-how, and to represent the ILA’s view to Government and to other professional bodies having an interest in insolvency law and restructuring practice. Through its objectives, it is considered one of the leading professional bodies in insolvency law.

The paper I delivered was titled, ‘Painting over the cracks: is the UK’s regulatory framework efficient in identifying and deterring opportunistic behaviour within administration?’

The paper explored how the UK, in recent years, has sought to significantly revise its approach to how Insolvency Practitioners (“IPs”) are regulated by the Recognised Professional Bodies (“RPBs”). Specifically, it examined whether the recent legislative measures are effective in dealing with the concerns regarding high professional fees and whether the existing regulatory powers are adequate to ensure that IPs act within the remit of the Insolvency Acts, SIPs, and in the spirit of the Code of Ethics. Ultimately, it questioned whether the existing regulatory framework is efficient in its purpose to identify and deter opportunistic behaviour within administration.

The ILA forum was an excellent opportunity to discuss research and to enhance my own knowledge within the field. I have since written an article based on the presentation which I hope to have published soon.