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Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Fellowships: 2018-2019

Tue, 12/12/2017 - 11:43

Applications are now being invited for Visiting Fellowships at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies for the period 1 October 2018 – 31 August 2019 or for any period (being at least three months) between those dates. 

These non-stipendiary Fellowships are designed for people already established in their own field of activity who are undertaking work within fields covered by or adjacent to the Institute’s own research programmes or interests, which are currently in the following areas of research: Law Librarianship, Public Law and Regulation; (eg: Information/Data Law and Policy, Human Rights, Labour and Equality Law, Law and Development, Law and Language); Legislative Studies and Legislative Drafting; Legal History and Legal Theory; European and Comparative Law; Interdisciplinary Research on Law, Society and the Humanities Law; Legal Profession and Access to Justice (eg: Legal Education, Legal Profession, Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, International Law, International Economic Law, Private and Commercial Law).

NB: While these topics are preferred, the Institute is ready to consider other proposals.

The Fellowships are not confined to academic lawyers but are also open to scholars of other disciplines working in the relevant fields, and to practising lawyers or judges with scholarly projects to pursue.

They are not available to support postgraduate students’ research.

Further details can be found at: http://ials.sas.ac.uk/fellowships/institute-advanced-legal-studies-visiting-research-fellowship-programme


Call for Papers: Building a 21st Century Bill of Rights

Wed, 06/12/2017 - 11:53


We are pleased to invite submissions for papers to be presented at the WG Hart Legal Workshop 2018 –‘Building a 21st Century Bill of Rights’ – to be held at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, 11th and 12th June 2018.

Almost all States have some form of a bill of rights in their national legal system. Whilst their specific content will vary, most cover many of the same issues such as the procedure for amendment, links with international law and institutions, and the status of the bill of rights in relation to other laws. The purpose of this workshop is to fill a significant gap in practice and scholarship and make an original contribution to current debates by bringing together scholars to discuss the construction of an effective 21st century bill of rights.

Whilst there has been discussion in the UK concerning the adoption of a “British” Bill of Rights, debate has focused on – and been largely limited to – addressing perceived negative characteristics of the Human Rights Act 1998. Creative thinking about topics such as the process of drafting a bill of rights, the role of human rights-promoting institutions, the extension of human rights law to the private sector and the experience of other jurisdictions is largely either absent or compartmentalised.

Confirmed speakers to date include:

  • Harriet Harman M.P., Chair, Joint Committee on Human Rights
  • Professor Conor Gearty, LSE
  • Judge Tim Eicke, European Court of Human Rights
  • Martha Spurrier, Director, Liberty
  • Professor Colm O’Cinneide, UCL

Alongside keynote addresses, the following nine sessions will address a number of the most important questions any State concluding, or revising, a bill of rights should address. These questions encompass issues relating to the process of adoption, content and institutional position of a bill of rights, as well as the relationships between the various governmental, non-governmental and international actors conditioned by the bill of rights.

  1. Establishing the bases of a bill of rights. What are the purposes of a bill of rights? Can a bill of rights embed in the absence of a human rights ‘culture’?
  2. Design and implementation. How can popular ‘ownership’ be secured? What role can be played by social media and other methods of public engagement? Is it possible to ‘crowdsource’ a bill of rights?
  3. Linkages with international and comparative laws and institutions. Do bills of rights have a common, universal, core? To what extent might (or should) constitutional ‘borrowing’ influence the development of a bill of rights? Can international coordination enhance the effectiveness of a bill of rights?
  4. The protected rights. What challenges are presented by the inclusion in the bill of rights of economic, social and cultural rights? Should bills of rights protect third generation or group rights? Is the list of civil and political rights most commonly protected by national bills of rights unsuited to combatting new threats to human interests in the 21st Century?
  5. The bill of rights in the national constitutional order. Should the bill of rights be considered as apart from ordinary law? How might questions of interpretation and (dis)application be resolved? How could a bill of rights allocate complementary roles to the branches of government?
  6. Claimants and respondents. What are the benefits and drawbacks of an actio popularis? Should national human rights commissions have special status to bring claims under the bill of rights? What is the role of interveners? Should the bill of rights reach into the private sector or beyond the territorial jurisdiction?
  7. Remedies. Does a bill of rights offering less than a strike down power for courts really provide effective protection? Are damages an effective and appropriate remedy? What alternatives to damages are possible? Should judges be able to direct respondents to make changes to law, policy or practice in response to a finding of violation?
  8. Rights and civil society. How important is access to justice when seeking to put in place an effective bill of rights? How can the abilities of legislatures to prevent violations, and secure broader rights-compliance, be enhanced? How important is it for the executive to have a strong human rights policy and procedures in place to check for violations of the bill of rights?
  9. Addressing the populist backlash. Is there a backlash against courts and national human rights law or is this only the experience in a handful of states? Are current criticisms of national human rights law justified? Is it possible to successfully combat a backlash? Can human rights only gain acceptance in tandem with societal responsibilities?

Papers are welcome on any of these themes. Abstracts of approximately 300 words and a short speaker biography should be submitted to the Academic Directors (Merris Amos (m.e.amos@qmul.ac.uk); Roger Masterman (r.m.w.masterman@durham.ac.uk); Hélène Tyrrell (helene.tyrrell@ncl.ac.uk)) by 31st December 2017, with full versions of the accepted papers due for submission by 30th April 2018. Contributions from early career researchers will be particularly welcomed and will be integrated into the workshop sessions. It is our intention that a selection of the presented papers will be published as an edited collection following the workshop.

NB a conference registration fee will apply.

Merris Amos, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London,

Roger Masterman, Durham Law School, Durham University,

Hélène Tyrrell, Newcastle Law School, Newcastle University.

For a copy of the Call for Papers, please click here

Job opportunity – Senior Library Assistant (Cataloguing and Acquisitions)

Tue, 17/10/2017 - 13:05

Senior Library Assistant (Cataloguing and Acquisitions)

Job Reference : 00928
Closing Date : 17/11/2017
Salary : £24,812 per annum
Employment Type : Open ended
Department : School of Advanced Study
Division : Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) – non academic
Hours Per week : 35

The Senior Library Assistant is required to work as part of the Information Resources team which is responsible for the management of serials and e resources and the acquisition and cataloguing of books. The post is one of two that are responsible for cataloguing print and eresources in both English and foreign languages; the post holder will also be working on the busy issue/enquiry desk. The post offers an excellent opportunity for a graduate with a library qualification or substantial background in libraries and some experience with cataloguing and classification to develop these skills.

To succeed in this role you will need to have strong interpersonal skills and ability to work well independently as well as part of a team. You will also be able to adapt in a rapidly changing environment and demonstrate high attention to detail. Previous experience of providing customer service would be desirable, along with a competent level of IT skills in Microsoft word and excel.

More information: https://www.jobs.london.ac.uk/displayjob.aspx?jobid=945



Call for Papers: IALS Student Law Review

Tue, 26/09/2017 - 12:36



The IALS Student Law Review (“the Review”) is an electronic open access peer-reviewed law journal established by the Institute, run by IALS research students and made freely available on the School of Advanced Study’s Open Journals System. The journal is well-placed to build on the Institute’s national role in facilitating legal research – developing its own role in publishing articles from legal researchers across the UK and beyond.

The Review (ISLRev ISSN 2053-7646 Online) publishes articles, developing work or case notes that meet scholarly standards, on all areas of law with a particular focus on the main expertise of IALS.

The unique offering of the Review is that it allows for publication on multi-dimensional legal studies. The Review proactively encourages analytical and comparative papers, interdisciplinary work, as well as examination of legal issues from the historical to the highly topical and divisive.

Contributions must adhere to the Review’s published Submission Guidelines and are welcome from post-graduate students and early career scholars to well-established academics and practitioners.

Submissions can be made through the Review’s online Submission Form or by email to: ials.islr@sas.ac.uk

Deadline: Tuesday 31 October 2017

The Review also accepts proposals for Special Edition Issues. Please contact the Editorial Board to discuss this further.

More information about the Journal can be found here.

IALS Library: New Ebook Collections

Wed, 13/09/2017 - 11:56

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library has recently added some great new ebook collections to its offering of eresources:

Oxford Scholarship Online – this collection contains scholarly legal works and is regularly update. You can find it accessible onsite and off. We have also added individual titles, so look out for the ebook symbol.

Cambridge law ebooks – for one year only, we have access to the full range of nearly 2000 Cambridge law ebooks. We will be keeping the most heavily used titles.

Edward Elgar ebook collections for law –we have added three mini collections to our ebook offering, including Public International Law, Corporate & Financial Law and International Economic Law. We have also added individual book records and they should all be fully available off site, so please try them out.

Find out more about our other recent additions.

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library is in its entirety a research collection in law. It is one of the world’s leading comparative research libraries, holding significant material not otherwise available in the United Kingdom. We welcome applications from scholars, legal professionals and researchers worldwide.

Postgraduate researchers (PhD and MPhil students) and academic staff from any university in the UK or around the world are welcome to join the Library and admission is completely free.

Have your say – IALS Library Reader Satisfaction Survey – March 2017

Mon, 13/03/2017 - 11:36

Please help us improve our library and information services by answering a few questions.

IALS Library serves the national academic research community and other significant and diverse communities including IALS researchers, the University of London Colleges’ LLM programmes, visiting scholars from overseas, and subscribing practising lawyers.

You can reply online via the form below or if you prefer to fill in the form by hand or wish to remain anonymous, please, please pick up a form from the Library Issue & Enquiry desk or download Reader Satisfaction Survey and drop completed form into the survey box at the library exit. Forms can also be emailed to Laura.Griffiths@sas.ac.uk.

Online Reader Satisfaction Survey form

If you would like your name to be included in the prize draw (the prize is £50 worth of cinema or theatre vouchers) please include your name, college and contact details.

Many thanks for your help with this survey.

OBserving Law – the IALS Open Book Service for Law

Thu, 09/02/2017 - 14:06

OBserving Law

OBserving Law – the IALS Open Book Service for Law (http://ials.sas.ac.uk/digital/humanities-digital-library/observing-law-ials-open-book-service-law) is being developed as part of the School of Advanced Study’s Humanities Digital Library (http://humanities-digital-library.org/) open access book publishing initiative.

The School launched the Humanities Digital Library in January 2017 with monographs in history, law and classics. Over the coming months it will grow to include books from other disciplines researched in institutes across the School, implementing plans to take a flexible approach to scholarly writing, publishing monographs and edited collections as well as innovative research in longer and shorter formats. Each title is published as an open access PDF, with copies also available to purchase in print and EPUB formats.

We were delighted to launch the new service with the fourth edition of Electronic Signatures in Law. It is written by IALS Associate Research Fellow Stephen Mason, who is a barrister and leading authority on electronic signatures and electronic evidence.

Stephen Mason’s enthusiasm and commitment to open access in the current project builds on a successful earlier collaboration with the Institute to provide an open access online version of the innovative Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review published by the IALS on the School of Advanced Study’s Open Journals System http://journals.sas.ac.uk/deeslr/. His manifesto for future updates (http://ials.sas.ac.uk/digital/humanities-digital-library/observing-law-ials-open-book-service-law/electronic-signatures-0) illustrates the ambitions and opportunities for engagement and collaboration provided by the new service.

To further develop the IALS Open Book Service for Law and provide editorial oversight the Institute is establishing an Editorial Board and Advisory Board with representatives drawn from the UK legal research communities and scholarly professional associations for law such as the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS). The aim is to develop a broad team of consultant editors with particular subject expertise in law to help provide a new UK service with international reach.

Launch of the Humanities Digital Library album on IALS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Institute-of-Advanced-Legal-Studies-University-of-London-163748273259/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10154820869113260


A Reflection on What We’ve Achieved, and a Preview of What Lies Ahead for 2016/17

Mon, 05/09/2016 - 16:34

It is now 18 months since the official launch of the Information Law and Policy Centre at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

As the Centre’s first director, Dr Judith Townend, moves onto a new post at the University of Sussex, we thought it would be an opportune moment to offer you a brief summary of some of the Centre’s activities so far.

The Centre was launched in February 2015 with a remit to provide opportunities for academics, lawyers, policymakers, journalists, NGOs, charities and other parties to explore the way information and data is controlled, shared and disseminated.

As well as a small academic staff, its members include a number of associate research fellows based at various UK universities, and visiting fellows from around the world. An expert Advisory Board has helped us develop our programme of research.

At the launch event, presentations were given on topics as diverse as institutional data sharing, privacy vigilantism and cybersecurity. In the evening, Timothy Pitt-Payne QC, barrister at 11KBW and specialist in information rights, gave an informative and entertaining talk entitled ‘Does Privacy Matter?’

After an encouraging start, the Centre pursued a variety of inter-related research avenues.

One of the Centre’s main areas of interest during this period has been the progress of the Investigatory Powers Bill. During 2015, a team led by Professor Lorna Woods sought to establish the legal provenance of as many clauses in the draft Investigatory Powers Bill as possible. The Centre also collated commentary and other materials related to the Bill. These online resources support research into issues raised by the Bill around privacy, security and data sharing.

The Centre has also taken an active interest in the government’s Prevent strategy and the potential impact on freedom of expression and academic freedom brought about by the enforcement of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. In October 2015, in collaboration with the Human Rights Consortium at the School of Advanced Study, the Information Law and Policy Centre held a one day event considering how the Act might affect universities, their staff and students. The keynote was delivered by the Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable.

The Centre’s work on intellectual property law, led by Dr Christina Angelopoulos (who will be taking up a post at the University of Cambridge in October), has focused primarily on the law of copyright. The Centre has been particularly interested in the relationship between human rights and copyright, the issue of intermediary liability for copyright infringement and the need to re-evaluate the position of copyright in the modern economic and technological landscape. Most recently the centre hosted the launch of Angela Daly’s new book on the legal implications of 3D printing for copyright law.

More broadly, the Information Law and Policy Centre has also contributed to events coordinated by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. In particular, the Centre has assisted with a number of events exploring the humanity of law including ‘The Humanity of Judging‘, ‘Judgecraft and Emotions’ and ‘The Humanity of Barristers: Stories from the Bar’. In June 2016, the Centre helped organised an exhibition of drawings from the UK Supreme Court and other courts which provide artist Isobel Williams’ perspective on the human participants involved in legal proceedings.

In between times, the Centre has considered a range of other issues including access to courts data and the principle of open justice, freedom of information and expression, the right to be forgotten, whistleblowing in the digital age, and the interaction of UK law with the EU in relation to the EU referendum.

Speakers have included the Scottish Information Commissioner Rosemary Agnew, Heather Rogers QC, former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression Frank La Rue, Dominic Grieve QC MP,  Jessica Simor QC, and investigative journalists Heather Brooke and Ewen Macaskill. Numerous academics have joined discussion panels or led seminars; among these were Dr Judith Bannister, Professor Eric Barendt, Professor Ian Cram, and Professor Lilian Edwards.

We have offered training in law and ethics for research, and on public policy engagement for PhD students and early career researchers. A list of resources from our events and training can be found here.

We believe the Centre has had a strong start over the last 18 months and we would like to thank you for all your support of the Information Law and Policy Centre during this time. The Centre is only successful because of those of you who have attended events, given presentations, written guest blog posts, contributed to our research activities and encouraged us in the Centre’s work. We are especially grateful to our excellent advisors – both official and unofficial – and to all the external organisations and institutions with which we have partnered.

And more events are to come! Activities for autumn 2016 include ongoing research on protection for whistleblowers and journalists, an annual workshop themed on information control and human rights sponsored by Bloomsbury’s Communications Law journal (9th November), and a seminar and panel discussion at London’s Free Word Centre to celebrate 250 years since Freedom of Information took root in Sweden in 1766 (8th December).

Looking ahead, we hope the Information Law and Policy Centre has an important contribution to make in the future bringing together academics, policymakers and practitioners in this field to discuss and research these issues.

As such, we are looking forward to seeing how the Information Law and Policy Centre develops under a new Director who will be appointed in the near future: the post will be advertised shortly via the University of London website.

For inquiries about the Centre’s activities, please contact our part-time research assistant Dr Daniel Bennett (daniel.bennett@sas.ac.uk).

Library Survey and Statement of Standards

Wed, 30/03/2016 - 16:09

The most recent report on the annual SLS / BIALL academic law library survey has just been published in Legal Information Management and is also available on the IALS website at: http://ials.sas.ac.uk/library/SLS_BIALL_survey.htm.

The comprehensive report, which I wrote on behalf of the UK’s Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) and British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL), provides a useful snapshot of the staffing, funding, collections and range of services provided in 2013/2014 by university and college law libraries in the UK and Ireland.

Comparative year-on-year data and analysis is provided on student numbers, provision of seating and workstations, law library usage, opening times, support services for distance learning courses, acquisitions expenditure, sources of income, contributions from law schools, staffing levels, qualifications of library staff, the location of the law library within the university library and subscriptions to legal databases, e-journals and e-books. In addition the most popular law databases, e-book publishers, suppliers of library management systems and free websites with legal content and are also identified.

The SLS / BIALL academic law library survey has been running since 1996 and has established itself as the leading survey of its kind for the UK and Irish academic legal communities. It provides authoritative and trusted data which academic law library managers use to benchmark their own services, collections and funding requirements, and law course validation bodies note when appraising the provision of institutions seeking to run law courses. The report also greatly assists the UK’s Society of Legal Scholars in monitoring the continuing influence of its 2009 Statement of standards for university law library provision in the United Kingdom: http://www.legalscholars.ac.uk/documents/SLS-Library-for-a-Modern-Law-School-Statement-2009.pdf.


David Gee
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies


The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) makes Case Papers from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council freely available on BAILII

Wed, 23/09/2015 - 13:04

In a letter of July 19 1950 now in the IALS Archives, George Curtis (Founding Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada) sought help from Professor David Hughes Parry (Director, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies) in obtaining case papers from two notable Canadian Appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London.

Judgment 11, 1916 Bonanza Creek Gold Mining Co. v The King (Appeal 61 of 1915) http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKPC/1916/1916_11.html


Judgment 2, 1925 Toronto Electric Commissioners v Colin G. Snider (Appeal 99 of 1924) http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKPC/1925/1925_2.html

George Curtis, a friend and host for Professor David Hughes Parry’s lecture tour of North America in the autumn of 1949, drew special attention to the current and future research value of the case papers generally: “Their value to us would be so very great that I would like to make an effort to collect as many as possible” … “I think that as the years go by this sort of material for research and teaching purposes would be very valuable indeed”.

The Judicial Committee of The Privy Council is the court of final appeal for the UK overseas territories and Crown dependencies and for those Commonwealth countries that have retained the appeal to Her Majesty in Council or, in the case of Republics, to the Judicial Committee. Historically it was the supreme appellate court of the British Empire, whose decisions also provided valid precedents for British courts. It has decided cases across a wide range of legal topics such as: admiralty, constitutional and ecclesiastical matters, contract, murder, status of persons; and had a key role in the export and assimilation of common law around the world.

In drafting its Statement of Development Policy for the Quinquennium (1952-1957) the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies made provision to acquire the Canadian Law Library – a large library which included many papers from the Canadian Appeals to the Privy Council and was owned by the Canadian Government and had been maintained in London for many years for the use of Counsel appearing before the Privy Council. Once Canadian Appeals to the Privy Council ceased, a purchase was made and the library was added to the Institute’s collections in 1953. The purchase drew on a £3,000 reserve of funding from a £10,000 Nuffield Foundation grant made to the IALS to help in developing a unique national collection of Commonwealth law.

Subsequent arrangements over the years with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council itself built a comprehensive collection at the Institute of JCPC Appeal case papers for many former colonies and Commonwealth jurisdictions including: Aden, Antigua, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Basutoland, Bermuda, Canada, Ceylon, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, Ghana, Gibraltar, Gold Coast, Great Britain, Guernsey, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Jersey, Kenya, Lesotho, Malaya, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palestine, Rhodesia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somaliland, Tanganyika, Trinidad and Tobago and Uganda.

Now, in 2015, case papers held in the collection at IALS from both the key Canadian Privy Council Appeals highlighted by Dean Curtis are being made freely available online – included in an important project at the IALS which is making case papers from more than 1,400 Privy Council Appeals from many Commonwealth countries available on the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) service alongside the judgment texts http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKPC/

Thanks to an award from the School of Advanced Study’s Strategic Development Fund, IALS has been able to digitise many of the additional case papers it holds relating to historic Judicial Committee of the Privy Council decisions. Over 5,000 searchable PDFs have been created involving more than 317,000 page scans.

Case papers from the IALS collection from 1935 -1985 (effectively a full paper set from 1950 to 1985) and some selected papers from earlier judgments of special interest to researchers have been included in the project. http://ials.sas.ac.uk/library/pcdocs/pcddd_project.htm

These substantial papers (case for the appellant, case for the respondent, record of proceedings, factums and appendices) are often extensive documents giving far more detail than the judgment text itself. They are records of the law in action, providing an insight into a wide range of public, personal, social, and human issues. They also reveal the foresight of the JCPC in a practical commitment to the recognition of diversity in culture and religious belief; in seeking to ensure environmental protection; to safeguard individual dignity and support the wider international legal order.

We plan to add brief notes highlighting, as examples, the significance of some case papers to particular research and legal development and share those examples through linked public events at IALS – highlighting thematic interests and ways in which the more readily available case papers will form a basis on which further work can be built. Professor Catharine MacMillan and Dr Charlotte Smith of the University of Reading and Dr Nandini Chatterjee of the University of Exeter are kindly helping us as research advisors to the project.

We believe that this project will benefit the research community and public knowledge on several levels and make a valuable contribution to facilitating further initiatives in the UK and overseas in the areas of Commonwealth legal and cultural development, and additionally extend the scope of wider open access information delivery.

The IALS project and development on BAILII also serves as a pilot project for a potentially larger collaborative initiative that LLMC and partners are planning if necessary funding can be secured in the USA. That will build on the collection of images created here and aim to create a comprehensive online collection of JCPC case papers.

For further information please contact Steven Whittle, Information Systems Manager, IALS steven.whittle@sas.ac.uk



LawPORT online resources survey

Fri, 07/08/2015 - 14:55

The Academic Services team at IALS are developing some free online courses with the School of Advanced Study. The first phase will cover the following topics:

1. Citing references with OSCOLA

2. Public International Law

3. Database Searching

If you are a PhD or MPhil student, we would like to hear from you to find out what online resources are available, what kind of courses you feel you would benefit from, your level of experience of each of these topics and how you keep up-to-date with changes in the law. You will also have the opportunity to put forward your own suggestions. Please follow the link below to access the survey:


LawPORT is for you! The more information you give us, the more valuable the resources will be. We want it to offer short courses for essential skills and support for your PhD research. The content will be engaging and varied, by offering different methods of delivery (e.g. video, interactive content) and support (e.g. discussion forums, social media). The hope is that LawPORT becomes your first port of call to pick up new skills or refresh your existing knowledge.

Please contact me at james.parker@sas.ac.uk if you have any problems with the survey or any questions about this project. Follow us on Twitter @LawPortTeam and keep up-to-date with the development process. Get involved in Twitter discussions about LawPORT by using the hashtags #LawPORT and #PhDStudents. Thank you for your help in creating what will be a very useful resource both for IALS PhD students and PhD students in other institutions.

Paid student placements over the summer – come and find out more!

Thu, 02/07/2015 - 14:01

The National Archives (who are responsible for legislation.gov.uk) are offering paid student placements over the summer. The hours are flexible, and the pay will be the equivalent of £18,000 per annum, pro rata.

You will help The National Archives to update primary legislation. Full training and support will be provided, and once you’ve been trained you can either work from Kew or from home. The editorial tools you’ll be using are online and they’re easy to use. And don’t worry – all of your work will be checked before it goes live! It’s a great opportunity for you to get some paid work experience.

What you need is excellent attention to detail, a passion for getting things right, and a real interest in helping citizens to access up-to-date law. You’ll be able to point to the legislation on legislation.gov.uk you’ve helped to update and you’ll receive a certificate after you’ve completed your training.

If you’d like to find out more, come to the drop in session at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies next week, on Thursday 9 July. The session will be held in room L102 between 11.30am and 12.30pm.

To help manage numbers it would be great if you could let us know if you’re planning to attend. Just email judith.riley@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk to let her know.

Getting to the IALS

A Berlin Diary

Fri, 08/05/2015 - 17:44

In early February I was lucky enough to visit the exciting and vibrant city of Berlin in my role as the IALL Board Liaison Officer for the forthcoming Berlin Conference from Sunday 20th September to Thursday 24th September 2015. I have only visited Berlin briefly once before on a wonderful day trip from Hamburg. However my appetite was whetted by this whirlwind trip and I was very much looking forward to a chance to see more of the city as part of the process of finding out more from the local organisers about their detailed plans for the conference.

I arrived on a direct flight from London to the modern medium-sized Berlin Tegel Airport and very quickly passed through the efficient passport control and baggage claim. I had various cheap options to travel into central Berlin including using either the TXL Express Bus  (for the Zoo station in the west of the city) or the Express Bus X9 (for Alexanderplatz in the east of the city), but instead decided to treat myself and pay for one of the many taxis waiting at the airport to take me directly to my hotel. Door to door the cost was 23 Euros, an option to think about if you arrive with heavy suitcases.

For the purposes of the IALL BLO visit, I had booked myself into the modern and comfortable Maritim Hotel Berlin. This will be the official IALL Conference hotel and has the distinct advantage (particularly if you are running late over breakfast) of being just a ten minute walk from the Berlin State Library which will be our main venue throughout the conference. As usual, hotel rooms have been reserved for IALL Conference attendees at a special lower rate including breakfast.

On the main day of my review it was my great pleasure to meet with Jeroen Vervliet (IALL President) and Ivo Vogel (IALL Local Conference Organiser) and his enthusiastic local team at the Berlin State Library. This enormous and rather beautiful 1970’s building is the largest academic library in Germany and has a spectacular reading room which I liked very much. Jeroen, Ivo and I then spent a busy day from 9.00am to 8.30pm running through the preliminary conference academic programme, visiting the proposed venues around central Berlin and clarifying the interim conference budget. Here’s a few highlights which have been arranged by the Local Organising Committee so far:

  • The thought-provoking extensive academic programme will be focused primarily on the German legal tradition in a challenging international context. The transnationalisation of law, the role of Germany in EU decision-making, reassessing the Nuremberg trials, human rights, constitutional law, real property law, legal blogs and access to libraries for researchers with special needs will all be themes.

  • The venue for the Opening Session on Sunday 20th September is already booked and will be held at the stylish Microsoft Atrium in central Berlin.

  • The Otto-Braun Hall will be the main lecture venue and is also booked. This impressive conference facility is conveniently attached to the Berlin State Library and has a capacity of 400. There is deliberately plenty of space outside of the hall entrance for our usual interesting trade exhibition and for refreshment and lunch breaks.

  • Afternoon cultural visits are also being planned to the German Bundesrat and the Sanssouci Palace and Gardens, as well as an evening Berlin City Tour.

  • The IALL Annual Dinner will be held at The Auster in central Berlin on the evening of Wednesday 23rd

  • The Berlin-(+)-Tour is the name for the Optional Day in Berlin on Thursday 24th The educational focus of the day will be on the Research Services of the German Parliament and the Library of the German Bundestag. After the lectures you will receive a special guided tour of the Library which is situated within the magnificent modern architecture of the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus. The German Parliament and library are not normally open to the public, so this is a rare chance to see inside and learn about their activities first hand. Additionally, the day will provide a scenic boating tour on the River Spree to discover the City of Berlin by river and to enjoy a buffet lunch and coffee break in beautiful surroundings.

Both Jeroen and I were very impressed with the progress of the Local Organising Committee so far and assured that everything is being done to deliver a wonderful conference in September.

Please do join us! Full details available on the conference website.

David Gee, IALS Deputy Librarian and Academic Services Librarian

IALS website and databases Redevelopment Survey 2015

Thu, 07/05/2015 - 16:10

Since the advent of the web, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London has been actively involved in innovative legal information delivery – developing and promoting public access to materials capable of supporting legal research on the Internet. IALS is committed to extending the reach of digital provision of legal information by delivering specialist legal research tools and niche web services – maximising access to key or hard to find information to facilitate legal research, public understanding, and promote justice and the rule of law. The IALS website includes a portfolio of award-winning national online services for law and research tools that have resulted from IALS projects and are made freely available to all.

 The Institute is now working on a redevelopment of the IALS website and web databases http://ials.sas.ac.uk/

We would like to understand what you think about the current design, content, and functionality of our website and databases. This will help us to ensure that we deliver the best possible experience for visitors in the future.

The survey includes 11 questions and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Please do share your feedback and help us improve our website and databases.


Narayana Harave
Computing Services Librarian

Stolen vehicles

Tue, 20/01/2015 - 16:35

If you’ve read recent stories highlighting the role of handheld electronic devices and EU laws in vulnerability to car theft:

The Times http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/motoring/article4324743.ece and The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11348791/Pull-over-expensive-cars-after-midnight-police-told.html and would like more background, see Stephen Mason’s article predicting the issue:

‘Vehicle remote keyless entry systems and engine immobilisers: do not believe the insurer that they are perfect’, Computer Law and Security Review, Volume 28 Issue 2 (April 2012), 195 – 200

Sas-space: http://sas-space.sas.ac.uk/5701/

Elsevier: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/computer-law-and-security-review/

Stephen Mason (Barrister, author and IALS Associate Research Fellow) http://www.stephenmason.eu/


Wed, 03/12/2014 - 10:35

Welcome to the official blog of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, to be launched in 2015. In the meantime please visit our website for information about the Institute, the library, events and training.