The W. G. Hart Legal Workshop is a major annual legal research event organised and hosted by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. Over the years this eponymous workshop series, subsidised by funds from the W. G. Hart Bequest, has focused on a wide range of comparative and international legal issues and topical interests.
The 2014 W.G. Hart Legal Workshop: Legal Education and Training and the Professions was held from Monday 23 June 2014 to Tuesday 24 June 2014 . Currently legal education is going through a period of unprecedented change and the Workshop provided an important opportunity for reflection on these changes and specifically on the report and recommendations published last year by the Legal Education and Training Review (LETR). The workshop addressed not only the changes proposed by the LETR but also the broader issues of what is, and what should be, the role of legal education; whether legal education should continue to seek to provide a liberal, humanist education (and whether it will even be able to do so), or whether the emphasis on the market inevitably means that legal education will become tailored to the demands of the profession. The Workshop brought together some 80 academics to discuss these and other issues, both practical and pedagogical, including contributions from America, Australia Canada, Hong Kong and Israel, and from the regulators for England and Wales. The Academic Directors of the Workshop were Professor Avrom Sherr (IALS), Professor Richard Moorhead (UCL), and Professor Hilary Sommerlad (Birmingham). The keynote addresses were given by Professor Richard Abel from UCLA Law School and Professor Harry Arthurs, Osgoode Hall Law School, Canada.
The first day of the Workshop ended with a reception to honour Professor Avrom Sherr and the official unveiling of Professor Sherr's portrait by the notable portrait painter Alastair Adams, member and President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, which now hangs alongside Alastair's earlier works of Professors Daintith and Rider. Over 120 friends and colleagues were present, with the occasion marked by various speeches and we were particularly delighted to welcome back Lord Hope, former chair of IALS Advisory Council during Professor Sherr's Directorship, for the official unveiling of the new portrait, which all agreed was a truly outstanding addition to the Institute's collection.
The 2013 W. G. Hart Legal Workshop: The Constitution of the Public Sphere: the post-Leveson Landscape was held from Monday 24 June 2013 to Tuesday 25 June 2013.
The W.G. Hart Legal Workshops began in 1981, building on the success of previous Legal Workshops organised at the Institute with support from the Ford Foundation in the early years.
Collected papers from several of the annual Legal Workshops have been published and copies are catalogued and held in the IALS Global Law Library. The Institute plans to make selected past papers available to researchers in the IALS section of the SAS-Space institutional E-repository.
Video recordings of selected sessions from the 2010 Legal Workshop on Comparative Aspects on Constitutions: Law Reform and Theory and Practice are available on the web.