27 February 2019
It all started last spring! In May 2018, Preethi (then a first year PhD student in Law) had the idea of organising an international conference, an event where scholars from diverse legal backgrounds from far and wide could come to Lancaster University and interact with each other.

She approached her friends and colleagues Amit and Erman, who whole-heartedly embraced her ideas. Together they approached the Postgraduate Director of Studies, Professor Sigrun Skogly, who confirmed the Law School’s support of, and excitement for, such an event.  

In the months that followed, the three PhD students planned and came up with the theme “Law and Social Transformation” as a fitting subject to be discussed in the first ever Lancaster University Law Conference. The call for abstracts then went out in late September. By mid-November (the deadline for submission) the organizing committee received around 60 abstracts from various countries as far apart as the United States of America in the west to Japan in the east! 

The committee then scrutinized the abstracts and the selected presenters were informed. In the run up to the conference, everything had to be planned. The three students met several times every week to attend to every detail, from arranging unique catering to making every effort to ensure the guests of the Law School were made comfortable on the day of the conference.

Within the blink of an eye it was 9th February, the day of the conference. Amidst strong winds and heavy downpours the organising committee reached the law school at 8 am. The conference assistants (Law School LLM students) started to arrive shortly after. The excitement was in the air! For many of the masters students it was the first conference of their lives and they wanted to give their best. Registration started at 9am. Participants started to arrive! Scholars from various universities in the UK, Nigeria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, India, China, Philippines, Japan, France, Ireland, Cyprus, and Ghana attended the conference.

The event started with  an inspiring inaugural address from Professor Alisdair Gillespie, Head of the Law School, stressing the importance of participating in conferences and networking. The day was filled with meaningful discussions on various issues of law that affect our societies including those related to Social Justice, Brexit, Family law, Sexuality, Democracy, Religion and issues relating to Refugees. The conference concluded spectacularly with Sir Ernest Ryder, Lord Justice of Appeal and Senior President of Tribunals, delivering the closing remarks stressing the importance of how law can be used as a tool for social transformation.

It was fantastic day that was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who attended. For the organising committee it was so exciting to see something they had envisioned come to life before their eyes! The smiles on the faces of people and their wonderful feedback spoke the story of the day. The conference saw 35 papers being presented by 80 participants from 15 countries. It was a glorious day for meeting legal scholars from different parts of the world.