A collection of public lectures either given at, or by members of, the Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge.
It's the Law: Civil Law
28:46A BBC World Service programme broadcast on 29 August 1991. What is Civil Law, and why does the legal system of ancient Rome still matter? This second of five programmes looks at how many countries' legal systems can trace part of their legal history back to Rome. Programme information is available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p03m0hxr Provided courtesy of the BBC.
It's the Law: Common Law
29:11A BBC World Service programme broadcast on 19 August 1991. The history of common law in England and how it spread across the English-speaking world, adapting to local cultures. Plus, the development of the legal system, and questions arising from recent miscarriages of justice. In this first of five parts, speakers include Lord Denning, legal historian Professor John Baker and Sir Frederick Lawton. Programme information is available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p03m0hx6 Provided courtesy of the BBC.
''Gone with the wind' - Organised crime and the geography of wind farms in Italy': Cambridge Socio-Legal Group webinar (audio)
31:55Cambridge Socio-Legal Group webinar. Speaker: Davide Luca, Department of Land Economy, Cambridge University The adoption of low-carbon energy sources is considered as one of the key policies to tackle climate change and, to this aim, many European governments have been supporting the transition to renewable energy through subsidies. Growing anecdotal evidence suggests that the generosity of incentives has attracted the interests of corrupt politicians and criminal organisations, as the sector offer attractive opportunities for mafias to benefit from generous public grants and tax subsidies and to launder illegal money via legal business structures. Yet, no academic research has systematically explored the link between organised crime and the renewable energy sector at the local level. In ‘Gone with the wind’, Dr Davide Luca and Alessio Romarri aim to fill this gap. The analysis features innovative GIS data on the geo-location of wind farms across Italy and on the local presence of mafia groups. Preliminary findings confirm how, in mafia-ridden regions, local criminal presence is strongly associated with a higher likelihood of hosting at least a plant. The Cambridge Socio-Legal Group is an interdisciplinary discussion forum promoting debate on topical socio-legal issues and empirical research methodology. It is affiliated with several departments across the University, including the Faculty of Law, the Institute of Criminology, the Centre for Family Research and Physiology, Development & Neuroscience (PDN). The Group serves to bring together people from within Cambridge and farther afield from different disciplines, including Law, Criminology, POLIS, Sociology, Psychology, Psychiatry, PDN, Biology, Economics, History and Social Anthropology. For more information see: https://www.law.cam.ac.uk/researchfaculty-centres-networks-and-groups/cambridge-socio-legal-group This entry provides an audio source for iTunes.
Cambridge Pro Bono Project Speaker Series: COVID-19 and Human Rights: The Stress Test (audio)
1:08:00Speaker: Adam Wagner, Doughty Street Chambers The coronavirus pandemic has driven liberal democracies to forfeit individual liberties of citizens in benefit of the collective well-being of society, thereby giving new colours to fundamental debates long entrenched in the human rights movement worldwide. In the UK, the most relevant corollary of the current crisis for the domestic legal sphere is that the provisions of the Human Rights Act (1998), much attacked by conservative leaders in the past decade, will from now on be discussed in a new light. From anti-vaxxers' freedom of choice to the government's enactment of confusing laws and beyond, the human rights dimensions of the COVID-19 crisis are multiple and far-reaching. To discuss the most salient human rights aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, the CPP has invited the leading human rights barrister Adam Wagner to participate in our new (virtual) Speaker Series. Adam Wagner is a member of Doughty Street Chambers and has been appointed as Specialist Adviser to the Joint Committee on Human Rights new Inquiry into the government’s Covid-19 response. He will be giving a talk for 40 minutes and the remaining 20 minutes of the webinar will be dedicated to Q&A. For more information about the Cambridge Pro Bono Project see: https://www.law.cam.ac.uk/cpp This entry provides an audio source for iTunes.
'Government by decree - Covid-19 and the Constitution': The 2020 Cambridge Freshfields Lecture (audio)
1:16:00On 27 October 2020 Lord Sumption delivered the 2020 Cambridge Freshfields Lecture entitled "Government by decree - Covid-19 and the Constitution". The disputes over Brexit last year saw an attempt to make the executive, not Parliament, the prime source of authority in the Constitution. The coronavirus crisis has provoked another attempt to marginalise Parliament, this time with the willing acquiescence of the House of Commons. Is this to be our future? Lord Sumption is an author, historian and lawyer of note. He was appointed directly from the practising Bar to the Supreme Court, and served as a Supreme Court Justice from 2012-18. In 2019, he delivered the BBC Reith Lectures, "Law and the Decline of Politics", and is now a regular commentator in the media. He continues to sit as a Non-Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal. Alongside his career as a lawyer, he has also produced a substantial and highly-regarded narrative history of the Hundred Years' War between England and France (with volume V still to come). More information about this lecture, including a transcript, is available from the Private Law Centre website: https://www.privatelaw.law.cam.ac.uk/events/CambridgeFreshfieldsLecture This entry provides an audio source for iTunes.
Webinar: 'Criminal Justice in a Pandemic: The Prisons' (audio)
1:02:00In these two public webinars from the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge, the panels explore the enormous additional pressures that the pandemic has imposed on the criminal justice system. In this second webinar we look at the current conditions in English prisons and explore why more has not been done for those in custody throughout the pandemic. At the beginning of April, the government announced plans for the early release of up to 4,000 prisoners in England and Wales, to reduce prison overcrowding and to slow the rate of infection among prisoners and staff. The Prison Governors Association and Public Health England argued that releasing 10,000 - 15,000 prisoners was needed. By late April, though, a mere 33 prisoners had been released. What went wrong? What has happened throughout May? What have been the implications for the welfare/health/progression of both prisoners and staff? What are the lessons to be learnt now, and for the future - within the prison and probation systems? Discussing the issues: Chair: Nicky Padfield, Professor of Criminal and Penal Justice Nicky is joined by a panel of experts: - Andrea Albutt (President, Prison Governors Association); - Richard Garside (Director, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies); - Laura Janes (Legal Director, Howard League for Penal Reform); - (Retired) Judge John Samuels QC (ex-Parole Board and President, Prisoners' Education Trust); and - Jessie Smith (Cambridge PhD candidate in Law, solicitor, formerly specialising in national security). This entry provides an audio source.
Webinar: 'Criminal Justice in a Pandemic: The courts' (audio)
1:01:00In these two public webinars from the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge, the panels explore the enormous additional pressures that the pandemic has imposed on the criminal justice system. In the first event, our focus is the courts and we explore the reality of daily life in magistrates’ courts and in the Crown Court, from bail applications to sentencing. What has happened to the right to trial by jury? What will be the impact of the pandemic on the rights of defendants and victims, both in the short and the long term? What are the lessons to be learnt from video-justice? Could HMCTS and the judiciary have been better prepared? Discussing the issues: Chair: Nicky Padfield, Professor of Criminal and Penal Justice Nicky is joined by a panel of experts: - Amanda Pinto Q.C. (Chair of The Bar Council); - Simon Davis (President of The Law Society); - Ian Kelcey (Criminal Solicitor Advocate); and - Abimbola Johnson (Criminal Barrister). This item provides an audio source.
The repatriation of offshore finance to onshore: transnational legal orders and the Cayman Islands experience (audio)
1:09:00A webinar hosted by the Cambridge Socio-Legal Group. May Hen-Smith is a PhD student in Sociology at Cambridge. She is a former tax collector from Canada Revenue Agency and studies offshore financial centres. She is also co-founder of the Cambridge Tax Discussion Group, a student-led discussion group which began in 2015 and continues to meet weekly during term to talk about all things tax. Their website is taxtaxtax.tax More information can be found at: https://research.sociology.cam.ac.uk/profile/may-hen-smith This presentation will discuss my PhD work which takes an ethnographic approach to the study of Cayman Islands professionals to understand how an offshore financial centre operates from the perspective of the professionals who live and work in them. It offers a close-examination of a single jurisdiction, one that is heavily referred to by critics of offshore, and brings new empirical data based on 13-months of fieldwork from a jurisdiction heavily used by some of the largest financial transactions in the world. Supported by the Centre for Tax Law. This entry provides an audio source.
Joint seminar: 'The 'Chimera' of Parenthood' (audio)
44:04Speaker: Dr Brian Sloan, College Lecturer & Fellow in Law, Robinson College, Cambridge A joint seminar between Cambridge Reproduction and the Cambridge Socio-Legal Group. In 2015, The Independent newspaper reported the case of a man who had ‘failed’ a paternity test in the United States because the genetic material in his saliva was different from that in his sperm. This was apparently the first reported instance of a paternity test being ‘fooled’ by a ‘human chimera’. Such a chimera has extra genes, in this instance absorbed from a twin lost in early pregnancy. The result was that the true genetic father of the man’s son was the man’s deceased twin, who had never been born. Cases of chimeras potentially present a challenge to legal systems, given their frequent emphasis on genetics in determining parenthood. This seminar will explore the likely practical response of English Law to the situation of a potential chimera, with reference inter alia to the human rights of all family members involved. The seminar will then consider what the phenomenon of the chimera might tell us about our understanding of parenthood and the differences between biological motherhood and fatherhood respectively. It will advocate the recognition of the chimeric person as the ‘true’ legal father but point out that this may require fatherhood to be understood as more of a ‘process’ than is often realised. Brian Sloan is College Lecturer & Fellow in Law, Robinson College, Cambridge and a member of the Cambridge Family Law Centre. His research focuses on issues including care of both adults and children. He is the author/editor of several books, most recently Spaces of Care (Hart, 2020, edited with Loraine Gelsthorpe and Perveez Mody). Several of his many articles concern the law of adoption and parenthood. This entry provides an audio source.
CELS Online seminar: 'The German Constitutional Court's decision on PSPP: Constitutional earthquake?' (audio)
57:50In its judgment pronounced on 5 May, the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court granted several constitutional complaints directed against the Public Sector Purchase Programme (PSPP) of the European Central Bank (ECB). The Court found that the Federal Government and the German Bundestag violated the complainants’ rights under Art. 38(1) first sentence in conjunction with Art. 20(1) and (2), and Art. 79(3) of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz – GG) by failing to take steps challenging that the ECB, in its decisions on the adoption and implementation of the PSPP, neither assessed nor substantiated that the measures provided for in these decisions satisfy the principle of proportionality. This seminar considers how the decision fits with the other major European Monetary Union decisions and ongoing questions concerning the role of the European Central Bank; the broader economic implications of the German Federal Constitutional Court’s decision for the ECB’s independence and for the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme; as well as constitutional questions such as supremacy of EU law and the role of judicial dialogue in the EU constitutional order. Chair: Professor Catherine Barnard Speakers: Dr Alicia Hinarejos Dr Markus Gehring Professor Michael Waibel This was the first CELS online webinar. For more information see the CELS website at: http://www.cels.law.cam.ac.uk/ This entry provides an audio source.