Over the Easter break, a number of academics from Lincoln Law School presented their research at high-profile conferences, at home and overseas covering such contemporary challenges as corporate failure, Brexit, regulating the use of force, and environmental issues.
Five colleagues presented at the annual conference of the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA), held this year in Bristol. Dr Ngozi Okoye presented a paper on ‘Beyond Box-Ticking: Company Directors’ Skill Profiles and Creating Effective Corporate Governance’. The paper highlighted limitations in the functioning of nomination committees and argued for enhanced evaluation of directors’ soft skills. Dr Amal Ali presented on ‘The Challenge of Brexit: Highlighting Intersectional Invisibilities’ which critiqued the EU’s and the UK’s anti-discrimination laws. It found that while the EU’s anti-discrimination legislation has generally improved the UK’s equality infrastructure, it is important to acknowledge that both legal systems do little to protect the rights of those in the margins and Dr Ali gave a number of recommendations in order for the UK to improve on this post Brexit.
Max Brookman-Byrne presented his research into the language used by the Ministry of Defence in its public reports of air strikes carried out against ISIS. The paper considered the way that the person targeted is presented within each report and the implicit claims made as to their status under international law. Utilizing a law and literature lens, he explored the narratives that are built up in official documentary support of such strikes. Dr Ali Bohm spoke on ‘Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Colonialism – asking the right questions or responding to the wrong ones?’ It described the non-communication between mainstream and critical scholars, focusing on R2P as an example. Work critiquing R2P is often ignored in the pro-R2P literature, especially as scholarship is increasingly defined by the need to show impact and policy change. The paper considered what role there was for critical approaches to R2P, and the extent to which meaningful debate with R2P advocates was possible.
Ben Hudson (photo attached) showcased his recent policy work on access to higher education for forced migrants in the UK. Ben spoke on the legal and practical challenges that higher education institutions face when seeking to develop and implement Sanctuary initiatives, drawing specifically on the recently published Guiding Principles on Sanctuary Scholars in UK Higher Education that he co-authored with the Helena Kennedy Foundation’s Article 26 project: http://article26.hkf.org.uk/_/uploads/Article_26_-_Guiding_Principles.pdf.
Professor Duncan French, Head of School, spoke at the annual colloquium of the Wisconsin International Law Journal, in Madison, Wisconsin. His paper explored the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals and the systemic obstacles in their implementation, noting especially the limited ecocentric underpinnings of the Goals. In discussing the need for the international community to transition to a normative and governance framework better adapted to the environmental challenges of the Anthropocene – recognising the myriad of planetary concerns, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, ocean pollution – the paper proposed a clearer, and more overt, turning to an ecological Rule of Law.
Professor Matthew Hall, the School’s Director of Research remarked that the level of activity over Easter showed a “strong, and increasingly diverse, research profile in the School, reflecting both a broad array of research topics, and engagement across a range of different academic and policy-connected areas.”