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Goldsmiths student amongst two University of London students to secure paid internship with the Refugee Law Clinic and McLemore Konschnik LLP

We are delighted to announce that our Year 3 student graduating this summer, Esther Cudjoe Pontara, has been one of only two students at the University of London to secure a summer internship with the Refugee Law Clinic.

The Refugee Law Clinic is very happy to be able to again offer two paid internships for student volunteers over the summer period, supported by McLemore Konschnik LLP.

Our Esther Cudjoe Pontara has secured the placement alongside Sindhu Ratnarajan (UCL), who will each work more intensively with the clinic over the summer period. This will allow the interns to continue to develop their legal and practical skills in asylum and refugee law (through drafting, legal analysis, research and direct client work), and provides important support to existing clinic cases over the summer months.

The Clinic is open to all students studying in Law Schools at the University of London including UCL, LSE, King’s, QMU, City and others. Our Department is very proud to have been a founding partner of the Clinic. Each year, all partnering Law Schools send 5 students to the Clinic. Esther was one of our students representing Goldsmiths at the Clinic this year, and we are thrilled with her success with the summer internship.

Goldsmiths places gaining professional skills and career progression at the heart of its Law programmes, including through an array of Law & Policy Clinic initiatives that it makes available for its students.

Annual Human Rights Symposium, and Lecture with Prof Conor Gearty

 

This hybrid symposium gathered leading academic experts who explored contemporary challenges to social and economic or labour rights and the current state of these rights. It was followed by a keynote lecture by the distinguished scholar, Professor Conor Gearty.

The Symposium started with Goldsmiths Law’s Dr Dimitrios Kivotidis and Dr Aristi Volou reflecting on the socio-political backdrop, domestically and internationally, against which our annual symposium on human rights would be situated, while also providing illustrations of how the LLB Law, LLB Law with Politics and Human rights and LLM in International Human Rights programmes in our department place strong emphasis on developing cutting edge knowledge and understand around socio-economic rights.

The panel on social rights, chaired by Dr Aristi Volou.  The first presentation by Dr Koldo Casla emphasised the central importance of the right to property for social and economic rights and the need to re-conceptualise this right, taking examples from domestic law and foreign legal systems. Dr Meghan Campbell’s powerful presentation followed, which highlighted how courts and the society turn a bling eye to women’s socioeconomic inequalities. The need for courts to take a more active role in bringing governments to account was emphasised in Dr Campbell’s presentation. Dr Luke Graham’s presentation brought to the fore the State’s problematic reliance on charitable assistance, which can be seen as a deflection of its responsibility under international law, while Ms Clare James has shown how the right to food is eroded in the UK, an advanced economy, due to the disproportionate number of people lacking access to basic food.

The second panel, on economic and labour rights, was chaired by Dr Dimitrios Kivotidis. Dr Maria Tzanakopoulou kickstarted the debate. Drawing inspiration from recent cases of litigation concerning the rights of workers in the gig economy, such as Uber and Deliveroo, Dr Tzanakopoulou explored different forms of struggle and resistance to algorithmic exploitation. Dr Ioannis Katsaroumpas took up the theme of resistance in his presentation of UK labour law as a ‘tragic hero’, in the original sense of the term, trying in futility to escape a fate of juridification. Approaching the Minimum Service Levels Act 2023 as a potential neoliberal ‘hybris’, Dr Katsaroumpas explored the possible paths of redemption: political, legal, and social. Last but not least, Dr. Ricardo Buendia further solidified the presentation of the Minimum Service Levels Act 2023 as a neoliberal ‘hybris’ by arguing that the Act does not draw inspiration from ILO standards but from dictatorial and neoliberal Chile.

Our annual human rights (keynote) lecture followed, by the ever inspiring, highly distinguished human rights scholar, Professor Conor Gearty, of the LSE and Matrix Chambers, who took us on a journey and showed us the false divide between civil and political rights and socio-economic rights. Professor Gearty emphasised the anachronism of dividing the two sets of rights and called on the European Court of Human Rights to adopt a holistic and an interactional understanding of ECHR rights that draws on socioeconomic rights (and the European Social Charter in particular).

The day ended with the Head of the Law Department, Professor Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, offering concluding observations that brought the themes explored during the day together, to extrapolate from them to the right-wing political climate that has given rise to attacks to the European Court of Human Rights and the ECHR, distracting our academic human rights community, and human rights activists in the UK, from the optimistic, forward-looking work urgently required when we’re confronted with epoch-defying challenges concerning socio-economic rights, at both the domestic and international level.

 

Access to leading law firms, and commercial awareness

 

Annual visit to Linklaters LLP

Annual visit to Linklaters LLP (February 2024)

Our Law Department receives significant attention for its emphasis on topics that are closely in line with the social justice ethos and politically active atmosphere at Goldsmiths, notably human rights, criminal justice and the interconnection between Law, Politics and Sociology.

However, we apply the same social justice lens to commercial and corporate law, and have developed an outstanding focus on Law and technology and 21st century law. Let us explain further.

We give our students unique access to a range of law firms, including those in the ‘Magic Circle’ (prestigious multinational law firms). We incorporate in our degree an annual workshop and visit to Linklaters’ offices, submit our students to Freshfields’ Stephen Lawrence Scholarship scheme, and are partnering up with Clifford Chance to give our students access to their award-winning Spark programme for exceptional first-year law students. We also organise annual career insights and training contract visits to their offices.

Mishcon de Reya, one of the largest independent law firms in London, with niche areas of practice including AI and machine learning, copyright and design, art law, fintech, business immigration, and politics and law (they led on the Miller 2 case against Boris Johnson in relation to the prorogation of Parliament in 2019), is co-delivering our Art Law module, and supporting our AI and the Law module, from their London office. Our students learn the law in these modern areas from within the offices of a pioneering Law firm.

Mishcon de Reya visit (February 2024)

Law and the art market lecture at Mishcon de Reya (February 2024)

Visits to and workshops in law firms are embedded across all our modules and include a range of disciplines and career development opportunities, from becoming an immigration law adviser (at law firm Kingsley Napley) to working as an in-house lawyer in leading mobile, broadband and entertainment company Liberty Global (offering services in cutting-edge areas such as gaming and cloud computing, and servicing major clients such as Virgin and O2).

And for students who feel they might be interested in future career opportunities in media and journalism, our close collaboration with the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Department at Goldsmiths ensures they get access to distinctive modules covering subjects like podcasting and social media in everyday life. Our students could also become student journalists publishing work for top human rights awareness web platform, EachOther, which we embed in our LLB programme.

Through an ever-present social justice and human rights lens, our students build commercial awareness in sector-leading ways, in contact with these prestigious law firms, in the context of studying a fascinating array of modules including AI and the Law, Corporate Law, Commercial Law and International Trade Agreements, Art Law, EU Law in the UK, Trusts, Land Law, the Solicitors Qualifying Examination module and Intellectual Property.

International study trip: visiting the ECtHR, Council of Europe and European Parliament, and Paris, in just over 48 hours

As part of our commitment to give our students a taste of legal journalism, we invite them to contribute pieces on their experience at Goldsmiths Law. Here is one on our recent visit to Strasbourg:

The Law Department’s Trip to Strasbourg to the European Court of Human Rights, Council of Europe and European Parliament

By Sophie Whitlock (Year 1, LLB)

This March, a group of 21 law students visited the European Court of Human Rights, as part of a trip to Strasbourg and Paris. Here, they had the opportunity to witness a Grand Chamber hearing of the case Ships Waste Oil Collector B.V. and Others v. the Netherlands1, as well as a presentation by ECHR Lawyer, Emily Soteriou.

The case involved the legality of the transmission of data obtained via telephone tapping by the Competition Authority of the Netherlands. Leading to the questioning of whether Articles 8 and 13 of the European Convention of Human Rights had been violated because of such interference.

Law students at the ECtHR

Soteriou’s presentation was equally enlightening, where students learnt more about how the ECHR safeguards rights, freedoms, and security. She spoke to the students about how judges are elected for each state, how an application process works, and how one can become an ECHR lawyer. She also reflected on how the ECHR is a “victim of its own success” due to the increasing workload of applications, as reflected by the 68,500 by the end of last year.

“Seeing a live European Court session was really aspiring and it was surreal to be so close to the ECHR judges”, Amran, a 1st year Law Student, commented after the visit.

The next morning, we toured and had a workshop at the Council of Europe (CoE), led by Ms Angela Garabagiu, a member of the Committee of the Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons. Ms Garabagiu explained to the students the CoE’s fundamental role in protecting human rights, promoting democracy, and applying the Rule of Law, among the 46 member states. We discussed the abolition of the death penalty, tackling the climate crisis, safeguarding democracy and the rule of law, as well as the urgent questions raised around the compatibility of the Rwanda scheme with international law and the urgency of PACE measures for the children of Ukraine.

Last, but not least, we went on a brief visit to the European Parliament and reflected on the ramifications of the UK no longer being a member of the EU.

Before getting to Strasbourg, we were also able to stop for a few hours in Paris, a surprise element added to this year’s trip, and went on a legal walk which took us to the constitutional and supreme administrative courts of France (the Conseil constitutionnel and Conseil d’État) first before visiting the breath-taking salle ovale at the National Library and even spending some free time in the majestic streets of Paris near the Louvre.

On our Eurostar back to London, with all these unique experiences in mind, I was discussing the trip with our Head of Department, Professor Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, who noted:

“To have had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in a Grand Chamber hearing at the European Court of Human Rights, then obtain a holistic view of how the Court operates from within the Council of Europe, and engage with the broader mission of the latter, with a timely focus on migratory policies and human rights, while also quickly immersing in the life of the European Parliament, was nothing short of extraordinary.”

On behalf of the Law students that attended this trip, we are very grateful to have had such an experience and have gotten to know each other and the lecturers better. This is a trip which will stay with us.

The Strasbourg trip is an annual feature at Goldsmiths, where the Department of Law subsidises Eurostar tickets to and from France as well as student accommodation and means, and organises all other details of our many visits and encounters with leading professionals, so that we can be given the opportunity to learn about the ECHR, at the ECHR. Not only is this an excellent opportunity for immersive legal education, it also allows us to interact with each other and our lecturers informally.

‘Beyond the Classroom’ in the School of Culture & Society

In the School of Culture & Society, our Department of Law works closely with the Departments of Politics and International Relations, Sociology, Anthropology, Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, and History. An exciting new cross-School initiative, ‘Beyond the Classroom’, brings together students and academic staff from across these departments, and other parts of Goldsmiths, to immerse them in a range of opportunities, beyond the classroom, beyond the University itself, making the most of what London has to offer, professionally, culturally, institutionally, socially.

“The experience at University should be greater than the sum of its – traditionally conceived, academic – parts, the knowledge communicated through lectures or seminars, and the coursework or examinations that support its delivery. Experiencing the world, connecting with others, developing critical thinking skills, understanding how theory is applied in practice (who facilitates its application, and who is a stumbling block, and how to overcome them), exploring the plethora of interests that will make you a well-rounded individual, and enjoying yourself in the process of doing all that, should matter as much as the more formal aspects of the curriculum. University should be a world where you are continuously meeting inspirational people and going on life-shaping trips, where you are empowered to reflect on the past, engage with the present and be part of the debates that have the capacity to forge the solutions that we need for the future. You should be feeling fulfilled, intellectually and emotionally, by the sheer richness of the opportunity you are exposed to. That’s what ‘Beyond the Classroom’ aims to achieve. We’re setting the bar high, no doubt, but we’re thrilled with the response we’ve had so far” – this is how Professor Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos described the programme. Prof Giannoulopoulos is the Head of the Law Department, who has designed and is leading on Beyond the Classroom (BtC), in his role as Associate Head (Student Experience) in the School of Culture & Society.

So how does BtC work exactly? It is a programme that exposes our students to an array of experiential learning, immersive, student-community-building activities, from visits to legal, political and cultural institutions, to engaging with theatre, cinema, art, architecture, and contributing to Clinic projects or going on study abroad visits, and whose elasticity enables students to switch from attending a formal seminar (at the University of London, with the first female president of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, for instance) to going to a futuristic, dystopian exhibition at 180 Studios or watching the Palme d’Or winner at the Ciné Lumière at the French Institute or Oppenheimer at the BFI IMAX or taking part in debating exercises or exploring Law and social sciences through imagining and performing theatre scenes (things you would not expect to do as a Law student or a student in Sociology or Politics or History or Anthropology for that matter). And to be doing all this alongside a community of students who come from this variety of disciplines, with different backgrounds, often different future career destinations, but who easily merge into one, when we’re out and about in London, opening up and sharing their experiences with each other; studying at University is absolutely the greater than the sum of its parts, when delivered this way.

“One of the things that really drew me to Goldsmiths was its hands-on, immersive learning experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom”, said Sophia, a Year 1 student in Law. “The Beyond the Classroom initiative has far exceeded my expectations and has enabled me to meet people throughout the various year groups of my course, and the university”, she added. “It has already shaped me to become both a stronger academic and a better, more informed, member of society. This ground-breaking initiative is leaving an impact that will remain with me long after the completion of my degree”, she concluded.

Here are some of the Beyond the Classroom highlights since the launch of the programme in April 2023.

April 2023

A visit to the world renowned Cambridge Union, to attend the Cambridge Literary Festival, for Gary Younge’s thought-provoking book talk From Nelson Mandela to Black Lives Matter. We attended with 9 students from Anthropology and Law. Meeting with Gary Younge after his talk, having copies of his book signed by him, then going off to explore picturesque Cambridge, before getting on our train back to London, were some of the highlights. Listening to Law and Anthropology students interrogate each other about their subjects was undoubtedly another.

June 2023

5 students from our Journalism, Media, Politics, Sociology and Anthropology departments joined the Law department’s annual Summer School in Athens in June, on Human Rights, Law, and Policy: Britain, Greece and the EU. All 19 Goldsmiths students were supported by generous student scholarships; widening access and participation for all is a key priority for Beyond the Classroom. Read about the summer school here.

September 2023

We were thrilled to go to the National Theatre, one of the pinnacles of cultural life in the capital and the UK more generally, to attend the explosive play The Effect, with 20 students from our Anthropology, Law, Media, Journalism, and Politics departments. To meet and chat with the lead female actress, Michele Austin, after the play was nothing short of breathtaking. Her understudy, Shereener Browne, a former barrister who has switched to theatre after a successful career at  Garden Court Chambers, and who is a very good friend of Goldsmiths, has made the introductions.

November 2023

Another pinnacle, of the world of art this time, the world-renowned Royal Academy of Arts, was our next destination. With 10 students, from PPE, Law, Anthropology and other departments in our School of Culture & Society, we attended the Architecture Dorfman Awards Prize ceremony, and were fascinated by the breadth of ideas, methodologies and practice, and their pertinence to our study of social sciences.

Ideas discussed included participatory designs (as opposed to the imposition of top down, corporate ideas); exposing patriarchal, colonialist and capitalist ideas; pursuing socio-ecological relationships and emancipatory practice; the democratisation of technical knowledge; searching for equitable ways; synchronising with what surrounds us; adopting Transhistorical approaches where different historical spaces are mixing in the same space and time; utilising the power of communication; understanding the importance of interdisciplinary practice, and doing the less. All ideas and concepts our students in Law,  Media and Social Sciences can take inspiration from and draw upon in their research and work.

Presenting on the novel design of Courts in Mexico

Taller Gabriela Carrillo presenting on innovative designs for Courts of justice in Mexico.

We were invited to attend the drinks reception after the awards ceremony, and were enthused to speak to some of the nominees and the award winner, Taller Gabriela Carrillo. They were impressed that we were attending with non-architecture students.

Next stop, the Royal Society of Arts, where we were privileged to welcome to BtC Dr Susie Alegre, international human rights lawyer and author of the influential Freedom to think book, which identifies huge concerns about the impact of technology on our freedom to think, and advances the latter as the modern extension of the right to privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of belief.

Susie was in conversation with Prof Giannoulopoulos, exploring challenging debates in the area, ranging from behavioural micro targeting and drawing inferences from your thoughts in criminal justice to Cambridge Analytica and Brexit, social media and the future of parliamentary democracy in a technology-dominated world.

From discussing parliamentary democracy to visiting Parliament itself: BtC joined forces with the wonderful History student society in the synonymous department, in co-organising the visit to the House of Commons. Students learnt about the history of Westminster palace, and of the institutions it hosts, and have moved like MPs from the main hall in the House of Commons to the ‘Aye and no’ lobbies (where MPs vote); what can be more invigorating and thought-provoking than observing from so close, for students of Politics, International Relations and Law, or the sociologists and media students who study the political phenomena and processes from their distinctive perspectives.

Our attention switched next to war and international law, with our first ‘lunchtime get together’ session in the programme, led by  Media colleague and Airwars director, Emily Tripp, who spoke to us about the NGO’s work on forensically investigating, digitally, Iranian suicide drones in Ukraine and Israeli bombing in Gaza.

These BtC lunchtime sessions allow students and staff to get together – over coffee and a sandwich or cake – and learn about the work, career pathway and destination of leading faculty and our external partners at Goldsmiths as well as share their thoughts and aspirations for the topics in question or the paths they are wishing to follow beyond University.

December 2023

We continued through to December with our digital world theme, thinking about the sea of data surrounding us, how they are captured, processed and analysed. Algorithms. Synchronous movement. Order, disorder, the rise of AI, the fear of a dystopian and futuristic world that is beginning to emerge, now. We became alert to these mind-boggling issues by attending Synchronicity, at 180 Studios.

We then took another 180 degree turn, going from future debates to looking back, through a historic lens. Watching Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, with 20 students from across our different departments, at the stupefying BFI IMAX screen, one of the largest in Europe, then taking 60 students to the astounding Hamilton musical at the West End (a History society activity that BtC was delighted to sponsor and support), offered food for thought, much food for thought; views may have diverged quite considerably, especially about the reliability of the account offered by the former, but both events were hugely entertaining and educational experiences for all our students and staff who attended.

January 2024

Law and film and society, and immersing in a foreign culture (the French one, on this occasion) was a powerful combination! For our first 2024 event, we went to the Ciné Lumière at the iconic Institut Français, with 15 students and colleagues from across Media Studies, Art, Law and other departments, for a screening of the sublime Anatomy of a Fall socio-legal drama which won the Palme d’Or in Cannes this year.

Clive Stafford-Smith demonstrating to students stress positions (the “strappado”) used frequently in counter-terrorist contexts post 9-11.

January also saw the start of our Law & Policy Clinics, on Immigration Law, with Marta Minetti, and Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights, with world-renowned lawyer, an anti-death penalty hero at the US, who has also done pioneering work to unearth the brutality of the Guantanamo Bay regime, Clive Stafford-Smith. These Clinics were previously accessible for Law students only, and through BtC students in other parts of the School of Culture & Society and College can now take part in them. More than 60 students, from a range of departments, have signed up with these Clinics.

January ended with an unforgettable encounter with the legendary Lady Hale, the first female President of the UK Supreme Court, aka “Spider Woman“. In conversation with Prof Carl Stychin, Lady Hale reflected on life episodes that made her who she became and offered insights on historic Supreme Court judgments. Zac, a Year 2 Law student at Goldsmiths, asked her to critique the continued pertinence of parliamentary sovereignty in the context of populist attacks upon human rights, such as in the context of the Rwanda policy, and she happily did so, expressing her faith in that bedrock principle of our constitutional system (“when it works, it works well”, and “Parliament, most of the time does not do things that are deeply irresponsible at all”, she exclaimed) while also showing some concern, from a human rights perspective, about some legislation that was recently introduced or legislation that is currently debated in Parliament).

Goldsmiths Law students Josh and Sophia with Lady Hale (from right to left)

February 2024

One of the key ambitions of BtC is to energise students from across different disciplinary areas to work together, to open up new opportunities for them, outside disciplinary boundaries, allowing for the activation of new skills and aptitudes, and building a professional ethos that will be transferable to their future careers.

The Knowing Our Rights “Storytellers” initiative that the Law department developed with EachOther, and that BtC supports, in extending its reach to students across the School of Culture & Society, makes it possible to pursue this objective. This new initiative is a ground-breaking and unique opportunity for students and staff, to produce multi-media work that addresses human rights issues in the UK. Under the Knowing Our Rights: Storytellers programme, students can pitch an idea and are given editorial support in order to see their work be published by an award winning human rights charity. This innovative programme supports individuals and groups to produce thoughtful and dynamic work that addresses and raises awareness for human rights issues in the UK, and that is published in a platform with wide reach across the UK public.

In February, we were thrilled to see the publication of several student-authored news stories under this initiative, on why the UK is facing an increase in prosecutions surrounding abortion, on the importance of public engagement in shaping sentencing policy, on whether the government can really stop homelessness by 2025, and on the financial cost of convicting people by association, including ‘innocent bystanders’.

Returning to BFI IMAX, for a glorious IMAX 70 mm screening of Oppenheimer, was another highlight in February. 13 students from Media and Law watched the Oscar nomination-studded masterpiece by Christopher Nolan. The film was as much about politics and law as it was about the science behind the creation of the nuclear bomb, and it was artistically outstanding, so it could not have been more pertinent to watch it from a social sciences and media perspective.

March 2024 and beyond

There are exciting events, trips and activities ahead of us this month and beyond. From attending a seminar on Hannah Arendt’s work, returning to the Institut Français for another screening of ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ (which is back by popular demand, as we had more than 80 students signing up to come along the first time we went) and a visit to Magic Circle law firm, Linklaters, to a cross-departmental Debating evening (supported by the Politics student society) and engagement in theatre and performance activities in order to interpret everyday events, pieces of news and legal facts, as well as identify forms of oppression and suggest modes of resistance, BtC intends to continue to open new horizons for our students and bring them together, in these unique ways.

Using the power of theatre to interpret phenomena and devise creative solutions as part of Beyond the Classroom.

Events tickets, travel expenses (where possible) and all other expenses related to Beyond the Classroom activity are paid for by the University. We want to ensure that students can join without worrying about bearing the cost, in these challenging times, and that no one is left out.

Nearly 300 students from across our various departments have attended BtC events since the launch of the programme, and we look forward to engaging many more in the months ahead, hoping that every single opportunity to join is an invaluable experience for our students.

For information on BtC and to sign up to relevant activities, email Law@gold.ac.uk

Law and Policy Clinics launch for spring term (as part of ‘Beyond the Classroom’)

This week we are launching two Law and Policy Clinics in Counter Terrorism and Human Rights and Immigration. Over 60 students from Law and other departments in the School of Culture and Society have signed up to them.

Our Counter Terrorism and Human Rights Clinic is led by the legendary Clive Stafford Smith and will look at key themes in the setting of real life cases and the opportunity to get practical experience in the issues surrounding human rights and the ‘War on Terror’.

The Immigration Law Clinic is led by our wonderful Marta Minetti and will explore key current immigration themes, seeking to situate them within the government’s overarching “hostile environment” approach.

The clinics take place in the Spring Term via five two hour in-person sessions, and independent small group and individual student, Clinic-supervised, work.

Clinics are part of the ‘Beyond the Classroom’ initiative developed by Prof Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, Associate Head of School, and supported by the Head of School, Prof Adam Dinham.

The initiative brings students from different parts of the School of Culture & Society together, exposing them to unique experiential learning opportunities and study trips, to enhance cross-disciplinary skills, strengthen student community and expand the students’ career horizons.

Immersing students in legal and cultural London (autumn 23 version)

Study trips to legal London are central to the Goldsmiths Law experience. Autumn 2023 saw Law students from all years of study go into legal institutions, museums and archives for important experiential learning.

Immigration Law students in Year 2 visited the Migration Museum in London along with their lecturer Dr. Marta Minetti. This is a particularly special visit for us because of our close ties with the local community in Lewisham, and visiting the museum provided an important opportunity to understand the law in its socio-political and local context.

The Human Rights Law and Clinic visited the Queer Museum with their lecturer Dr. Aristi Volou, where they learnt about the relationship between the Law and Queer Rights. Critical and intersectional analyses of the law are important to us at Goldsmiths Law, and we make sure that our students hear about these themes not only from our lecturers, but also through immersive learning experiences such as this museum visit.

 

Year 3 dissertation students had a chance to visit the LSE Reading Rooms in November 2023, where they learnt about doing deep-dive primary research in archives from one of the library’s curators. They had a chance to examine a selection of original archival material from the Women’s Library and Hall Carpenter Collection, which included documents on women’s suffrage, regulation of sex work/prostitution, trafficking, equal pay, LGBT rights.

The third week of November saw Year 2 Tort Law students visit the Royal Observatory at Greenwich with their lecturer, Dr. Jinal Dadiya. Students had a chance to learn about the history of time and length measurement, as relevant to legal adjudication and consumer protection. The lecture ended with a brief discussion on the relationship between commercial clarity and judicial fairness.

As part of the Beyond the Classroom initiative, which brings Law students in contact with other students and faculty in our Social Sciences and Media departments, and exposes them to a wealth of opportunities in London, we have, since the beginning of term, been to the National Theatre, an architectural awards evening at the Royal Academy of Arts, a book talk on big tech firms’ intrusion upon our freedom to think, a visit to the House of Commons and a lunchtime event with the NGO Airwars where we discussed civilian casualties in Palestine, Israel and Ukraine.

Sophia, a Year 1 student at Goldsmiths, said about the programme: “One of the things that really drew me to Goldsmiths was its hands-on, immersive learning experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom. The Beyond the Classroom initiative has far exceeded my expectations, enabling me to meet fascinating people from throughout the University and scaffolding me with the acute understanding of greater societal issues and the necessary tools to contribute both directly and indirectly to positive change through a Law degree”.

Head of Department visits Berkeley Law

With the comparative criminal justice class, discussing how ECHR jurisprudence can be a driving force for legal reform.

With Prof Charles Weisselberg, on a visit to the Robbins Collection, which hosts over 300 manuscripts, of the civil law and religious traditions, dating back to the 12th century.

Head of Goldsmiths Law, Prof Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, was invited to visit the world-leading Berkeley Law School in October 2023. He taught the comparative law postgraduate class, supported Berkeley’s Human Rights Clinic and delivered a research paper on ‘The assault of the British government on the European Court of Human Rights’.

Prof Giannoulopoulos’ work raises awareness on how the Conservative government has continued to undermine the historically strong relationship that the UK enjoys with the Court, to satisfy the right wing audience in the party. Talking about his experiences with the pedagogy at Berkeley, Dimitrios says that he “found great inspiration in them, about continuing to actively engage students in class, bringing film, literature and popular culture into the lectures and the importance of integrating theory and legal practice; all these are elements that we are already enthusiastically embedding into our teaching at Goldsmiths Law”.

Observing Berkeley’s Prof Andrea Roth, teaching Criminal Evidence.

Year 3 student launches Commercial Awareness Study Group

Study group

copyright: pixabay

Our Year 3 student, Dara Antova, writes about her motivation in launching a Commercial Awareness Study Group (all students watch out for the invites to forthcoming sessions):

The decision to initiate the ‘Commercial Awareness Study Group’ came from recognising the many challenges that exist in navigating the Training Contract route and/or legal work experience applications.

The primary goal was to create an opportunity to work with fellow students and applicants, to enhance our skills for discussion on news topics, case studies, and other interview-based scenarios in the legal industry—a skill crucial yet challenging to refine.

Our first session, conducted in collaboration with the Law librarian, Lauren Cummings, was nothing short of brilliant. Focusing on legal market analysis of news stories, the session proved to be highly interactive. Each attendee actively participated, sharing and discussing their analysis. The relaxed environment allowed for open conversations, providing us with the opportunity to learn more about the attendees’ aspirations while creating a space to share concerns and discover common ground. Beyond the professional development aspect, these study groups will act as a support system, fostering a sense of understanding among participants.

The positive reception of the first session has left fellow students and myself eagerly anticipating the next one, and I will be excited to continue facilitating a space where students can both enhance their commercial awareness skills and find valuable support in their legal journey.

Goldsmiths Law ranked 1st in the UK for student satisfaction

 

We are now officially the number 1 ranked Law School in the UK for learning and teaching and the student experience. This is according to The Complete University Guide Law League Table 2024, which ranked our Law Department as number 1 in the UK for student satisfaction.

Published since 2007, The Complete University Guide rates 130 academic institutions in the UK, on account of a range of quality metrics, and is one of the key league tables published annually in the UK.

Our number 1 ranking in the Complete University Guide follows on our outstanding performance in the National Student Survey 2022, where our Law Department was ranked number 1 in the UK for its intellectually stimulating curriculum and programme, and we were rated the best Law department in London for the quality of our teaching. We were, more specifically, ranked the No. 1 Law department in the UK for the organisation and management of our LLB degree (with a 94 per cent satisfaction rate), and the (joint) top Law School in the UK for our ‘intellectually stimulating’ course (with 100 per cent satisfaction rate); we were also rated (joint) No. 4 in the UK, best Law School in London and best Law School in the South of England, for the quality of teaching in our LLB more broadly.

Such UK-leading ratings are hallmarks of an emerging reputation for national teaching excellence, and demonstrate the positive qualitative impact that the pedagogic approach that we have founded our LLB Law programmes upon are having on our student community.