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EU Criminal Justice Agencies Symposium in LundMonday, October 21, 2019 - 15:25

On 15 October I made my way to Sweden to take part in this symposium at Lund University, which discussed transnational criminal enforcement by EU criminal justice agencies. The meeting was supported by the Swedish Network for European Legal Studies and organised by Jacob Oberg of Lund University. Naturally enough there was a good deal of contemplation of the value added by the project now going under the name of 'EU Criminal Law', and I was able to float the idea of the enterprise as a 'ship of fools' in Plato's sense of the term (what a great metaphor !) Going to Lund was also the opportunity to meet or catch up with a number of interesting people - Jacob himself Mike Levi, Christian Kaunert, and Ester Herlin-Karnell, among others. In addition I was able to have some stimulating conversations with Maria Green, also of Lund University, who shares an active interest in legal story-telling. A full and engaging few days in a nice Scandinavian setting.

Associates meet with Stuart BatcupTuesday, October 8, 2019 - 14:19

As part of our research into the history of the Aberystwyth Law School, Richard Ireland, John Williams and myself met with Stuart Batcup, who had been a student in the Law Department in the mid 1960s. Stuart had been a high profile undergraduate at the time, before going on to a notable career as a legal professional and then judge. He provided a fund of information regarding activities, personalities and impressions of Aberystwyth some fifty or so years ago, and proved great company for our meeting. Memorably, Stuart was the co-signatory of a letter to the Western Mail in response to the attack on Aberystwyth by MP Leo Abse in 1966 Abse argued that a Welsh Law School should be in Cardiff, not Aberystwyth. Stuart and his fellow students were able to trash Abse's argument and evidence. Stuart had a fund of such stories, an invaluable witness for the project.

New Work by Mick John-Hopkins and Shea EsterlingFriday, September 27, 2019 - 13:51

I have recently joined forces with associates Mick John-Hopkins (in Oxford) and Shea Esterling (in Christchurch NZ) in the writing of an article to be published in a collection, 'On Commemoration', to be published by Peter Lang publishers in 2020. The article is entitled 'Reflections on International Justice as a Commemorative Process', and relates to some of the joint research and publication that Mick and Shea are now carrying out, and some of the work I have done more recently. The volume is part of the Peter Lang 'Post-War' series, and includes transcriptions, reflective pieces and poems. All part of the mission to bring information and argument to a wider readership.

Associates on Tour AgainTuesday, July 23, 2019 - 13:05

Following some touring activity during May, Senior Service research associates Christopher Harding, Richard Ireland and John Williams have been on the road again this month, peddling ideas and research findings in diverse directions. Richard attended the annual British Legal History Conference in St Andrews, and also lectured in deepest Cheshire. Earlier in the month I travelled to Boulder in Colorado to take part in the Applied Legal Storytelling Conference (see below in the News Box). Now John, along with other colleagues from the Dewis/Choice Research Project (Sarah Wydall and Alan Clarke) have gone to Rome to display their wares at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health Conference taking place there. Never a dull moment.

Legal Story-Telling in BoulderFriday, July 19, 2019 - 14:12

I headed for the edge of the Rocky Mountains to take samples of the Harding-Tudberry legal stories for the younger age group to the Applied Legal Story-Telling Conference at Boulder. Boulder was hot and high up, but all was comfortable at the Wolf Law Building (an impressive sandstone structure at the University of Colorado) and the 100 or so participants at the conference (almost entirely American) were sociable and receptive. It was all very interesting, from stories through maps to stories in the courtroom process, and I benefited from an especially interactive session in my case. Lively and useful discussion, and good ideas regarding our development of the stories. Probably the funniest remark addressed to myself was the comment by Todd Stafford of the University of Colorado: 'You would do for English Bob in the Clint Eastwood film Unforgiven'. Well, yes - so long as I don't suffer the same fate.

Meetings in WarsawTuesday, May 28, 2019 - 16:10

The seminar at the Faculty of Law at Warsaw University, 'Changing Cultures in Criminal Law and Penal Policy in Europe', took place on 21 May, and carried out its stock-taking. I spoke about the messy convergence of penal policy and regulatory practice (too much deterrence rhetoric) and Wojciech Zalewski from the University of Gdansk reported on a depressing 'penal populism'. All rather wry, in the end. But it was also a good opportunity to catch up with a number of research associates - co-author Joanna Banach-Gutierrez, Raimo Lahti from Helsinki, and Anna Blachnio-Parzych from Warsaw, all of which proved stimulating. Anna was able to take Raimo and myself to the Supreme Court, where we took in the ambience (very calm) and had some lunch.

Research for the Law School History progressesThursday, May 16, 2019 - 15:55

Work is now well under way in relation to the history of the Aberystwyth Law School (Christopher Harding, Richard Ireland and John Williams) and a contract has been signed with University of Wales Press for a book publication, hopefully in 2021, the 120th anniversary of the Law School's foundation. Some revealing and thought-provoking material has been found in the archives and elsewhere, which should provide instructive argument regarding both continuity and change. In tandem, an exhibition is now planned of 'One hundred Years and More of Legal Scholarship in Aberystwyth', to be located in the Old College building in October 2019, in collaboration with Bill Hines, former Law Librarian. In the meantime if any readers of this site who have any kind of former involvement with the Law School have material or recollections that they think may be of interest, please contact the researchers at either or See the page on this site, 'Aberystwyth Law School History'. 

Associates on TourThursday, May 16, 2019 - 15:23

As well as progressing with their joint research into the history of the Aberystwyth Law School, myself, Richard Ireland and John Williams will be separately on tour around Europe in the week beginning 20 May. I shall be performing at the University of Warsaw Centre for Penological Studies, at a seminar on Changing Cultures in Criminal Law and Penal Policy in Europe, on 21 May. During that week Richard will be active at a conference on Criminal Justice and the Archive, at Oxford Brookes University. Meanwhile John will be in Lund at the University's Faculty of Law, attending the inaugural meeting for ELAN, the European Law and Ageing Network, from which it is hoped to establish a Centre for research and study  in the field of law and ageing. A spread of specialist activity and a strong signal of continuing vitality among the ranks of Senior Service.