Committee of Heads of UK Law Schools

Committee of Heads of UK Law Schools: Records, 1974-2009 [PDF catalogue] 


Address:  c/- Chair: Professor Carl Stychin, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London


Reference: CHULS
Title: Committee of Heads of UK Law Schools
Dates: 1974-2009
Level: collection (fonds)
Extent and Medium: 11 archive boxes (3 linear metres)
Name of Creator: Committee of Heads of University Law Schools; now Committee of Heads of UK Law Schools
Catalogue last updated: October 2020


Biographical/Administrative History: CHULS began its active life as a Society of Public Teachers of Law (SPTL; now the Society of Legal Scholars) committee concerned with specific issues relating to law schools and law teaching in universities.  Its first meeting was held under SPTL auspices at IALS on 27th September 1974, when the President of SPTL, Professor C F Parker, was appointed to the Chairmanship of CHULS.  At its fourth meeting on 28th November 1975, it was agreed that CHULS should cease to be a committee of SPTL but should be constituted instead as an autonomous body, though close links with SPTL were still to be maintained.  CHULS developed initially as a committee whose members represented all law schools in universities financed by the University Grants Committee, which taught a law degree.  Representatives of polytechnics, the Inns of Court School of Law and the College of Law were thus excluded. 

In September 1984 the Committee agreed on the desirability of holding joint meetings with the Heads of Polytechnic Law Schools, who had formed their own Committee to represent institutions offering CNAA degrees carrying exemption from the academic stage of professional education.  On February 11 1992 a meeting was held to discuss a merger of the two Committees.  The merger finally took place on 30 November 1992, with the creation of a newly constituted CHULS consisting of an Executive Committee with powers to appoint sub-committees as required.  Membership was open to all institutions currently in membership of the two earlier committees, and other institutions of higher education which were in receipt of funding from a higher education funding council and which offered their own law degrees recognised by the professional bodies as giving exemption fom the academic stage of legal education were made eligible to apply.

Officers of the reconstituted Committee consisted of a Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary and Treasurer.  In 1996 the two latter offices were amalgamated.

CHULS' activities have included gathering information on staff recruitment and student admission procedures, monitoring the impact of Law Society and CLE regulations and of new teaching courses, reporting on funding for legal research and law libraries, examination of copyright on legal materials and provision of advice to bodies such as the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committees on Legal Education.  Some of its findings have been published.

Aims: CHULS sees its role as:

  • representing law schools and their management to the funding councils and other established committees in the legal sector;
  • promoting mutual respect and active co-operation between law schools regionally, nationally and internationally;
  • considering and advising relevant bodies on the structure, development and resourcing of legal education;
  • disseminating information and good practice concerning legal education, assisting in the promotion of good management practice in law schools;
  • liaising with the Association of Law Teachers, the Society of Legal Scholars and other bodies on matters of mutual interest.


Scope and Content: the material comprises primarily minutes and correspondence, deposited at various times by officers of CHULS.
Language of Scripts: English 
System of Arrangement: see series list below.


Conditions of Access: open 20 years after last date on file.  Records containing personal data are closed for 75 years after last date on file.
Copyright: vested in CHULS  


Archival history: in 1997 an agreement was made between CHULS and the records of Legal Education Archives (now part of the IALS Archives) to deposit the archive of CHULS as a gift and to transfer further records at regular intervals to the Archives.   For details see the Records of Legal Education Project archive file RLEP 8/3.

Immediate source of acquisition

  • The agenda, minutes and papers of the Committee, 1989-1992, were deposited in 1997 by Professor P Jackson, CHULS Secretary.
  • Those from 1992 to 2002 were deposited by Professor R W Painter, Secretary/Treasurer. 
  • Papers of the CHULS Working Party on Four Year Degrees and the Working Party on Implications for Law as a Discipline of the Leverhulme Report and the Circular Letter from the Chairman of the University Grants Committee (UGC), were deposited in 1996 by Professor W L Twining, Chairman and Convenor. 
  • The majority of the correspondence and papers of Professor G Zellick was deposited in 1999 by Professor Zellick. 
  • Further correspondence and papers, 1988-1990, were deposited in 1999 by Professor Painter.
  • In 2008 Professor Nicholas Wikeley deposited his papers relating to CHULS’ response to HEFCE consultations on the review of Research Assessment Exercises (RAEs) and membership of RAE panels, 1995-2001.  Professor Wikeley was the first point of contact on RAE matters at this time.
  • In 2014 Professor Stephen Bailey deposited a collection of minutes, correspondence and other papers dating from 1990-1998, covering his time as an officer of the CHULS and also as CHULS representative on the Standing Conference on Legal Education (SCLE).  And an officer of the Society of Law Teachers (SLS) Papers of the latter organisation have been removed to the SLS collection in the IALS Archives. of deposit: original deposit transferred by Deed of Gift in 1997.  Later material appears to have been deposited without any conditions.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: the original deposit of records was appraised and listed by the Co-ordinator of the Records of Legal Education project between 1996 and 1998.
Accruals:  further accruals are expected. 


Archivist's note: original catalogue compiled in 1999 by Clare Cowling, Archivist. Further accruals were catalogued in 2002 and in 2020.  

The catalogue has been compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997. 

Page last updated: 27th January 2021

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