Archive of Law stories

Oxford Brookes launches brand new Criminology course


The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences are pleased to announce the launch of a new undergraduate degree in Criminology.

The course has been designed to tackle fundamental questions behind what makes an act or action a crime and look at how crime can be analysed from both a social and political perspective. It will include topics as diverse as crime and punishment through the ages to Robo-Cops and ASBOs.

The course will be taught from an interdisciplinary perspective spanning the fields of Social Sciences, History and Law and the University’s commitment to research-led teaching will be a prominent feature in this new degree programme.

We are very excited about the launch of this new course. It has been developed in close collaboration with external stakeholders, current students, recent graduates and with advice from expert colleagues in the field.

Richard Huggins, Principal Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University

Criminological theory expert Richard Huggins, who has over two decades of research expertise around substance use and misuse, homelessness and social inclusion, will act as programme lead for the new course. Speaking about the launch of the new programme he said: “We are very excited about the launch of this new course. It has been developed in close collaboration with external stakeholders, current students, recent graduates and with advice from expert colleagues in the field. The course offers students a varied, interdisciplinary and up-to-date programme in criminology in a global context.”

Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Britain’s only professor of Criminal History, will offer the historical approach to the teaching of criminology. Anne-Marie specialises in the history of violent crimes and has previously been the recipient of a Brookes Union teaching award for her inspirational lecturing style.

The course will also offers some law options for students especially interested in the policies and processes of the criminal justice system.

The course is currently accepting applications for an enrolment date of September 2017. To find out more or to apply please visit the Criminology course entry page.

First Law Summer School is a success


This summer the Oxford Brookes School of Law opened its doors to a cohort of aspiring A-level student lawyers. Both attendance and spirits were high over the course of the week as the students engaged in a range of interactive seminars, including lectures with law staff, practising judges as well as professional lawyers. The summer school also included a trip to the local crown court and police station. Finally, and for many the highlight of the week, was the preparation and staging of a mock trial by the students.

The mock trial took place in the School of Law’s moot court and dealt with a fictional case of burglary. The students had to put in to practice all they had learnt in the previous days. They were split into a prosecution and a defence team and took turns to call witnesses and the defendant to the stand. The magistrates delivered a verdict of guilty, albeit with mitigating circumstances and gave the defendant a 6 month suspended sentence.

Summer school director Dr Michael John-Hopkins said “I think it is important to give students hands-on experience of what it’s like to be a lawyer: preparing for a trial, interviewing witnesses and dealing with case files.’ He went on to say that “all the students did a good job in performing their different roles in the mock trial.’

One student commented ‘The summer school has taught me the proceedings of court and what the role of a lawyer consists of. It was great, and thank you to everyone for the warm welcome and helping us over the four days!.’

Law students volunteer with Oxfam’s Junior Lawyers Against Poverty

Law student Rachel Kimberley

Two Law students at Oxford Brookes have been chosen to serve on the steering committee of the recently launched Oxfam’s Junior Lawyers Against Poverty.

The new Junior Lawyers Against Poverty project is a derivative of Oxfam’s Lawyers Against Poverty initiative and is overseen by a total of 14 Law students from eight universities across the UK.

Iulia Mirzac, who graduated in July, and Rachel Kimberley, a second-year undergraduate Law student at Brookes, were nominated to join the committee by one of their lecturers.

On why she chose to get involved in the project, Rachel said: “Sometimes lawyers can get a bad name for being very money orientated and I wanted to help show another side. On my gap year I worked for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and I loved it – I was able to make a real difference to the people whose lives I got to guide and stand up for.

“With Junior Lawyers Against Poverty it’s the same; we’re trying to relieve poverty, give people access to justice and let people know they’ve got legal rights.”

The Lawyers Against Poverty project is based on the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the activities of the Junior Lawyers Against Poverty steering committee will focus on issues in developing countries that are currently affiliated by Oxfam. The main issues the project will work with are relieving poverty, achieving justice, improving recruitment and retention of women in law, and improving access to resources for Law students.

Rachel continued: “My role is sponsorship chair, so it’s up to me to raise the money we need to carry out our various ventures. We’re planning a twinning project with law students from other countries, so we’d like to raise enough money to travel out to Tanzania and visit the students we’re planning to twin with. We’re also planning to send them out some textbooks which they can then donate to libraries that under under-resourced.”

Several Oxford Brookes Law students have been working with Lawyers Against Poverty since late 2015 to conduct research. The School of Law at Oxford Brookes also hosted a breakfast seminar for lawyers involved with the project during Lawyers Against Poverty Week in June. The students, with the backing of the School of Law, are launching a pro bono scheme in September in order to open this to all Law students who wish to be involved.  Students will be able to undertake small research projects and will work towards hosting a pioneering Ted-style conference early in 2017 in conjunction with the School of Law and Oxfam’s Lawyers Against Poverty.

Dr Shirley Shipman, Principal Lecturer in Law, commented: “It is a privilege to be involved from the outset with this exciting Oxfam initiative.  This provides an excellent opportunity for law students to work alongside legal professionals in order to make a difference to people in need due to poverty.”

To find out more about Junior Lawyers Against Poverty visit the Oxfam Lawyer’s Against Poverty website


First Year Students receive Ede and Ravenscroft Prize


Five students from across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences have received prizes for outstanding academic achievement in their first year of studies. The prizes of £500 are donated by Ede and Ravenscroft and are awarded to one student in each department who has achieved the highest grade point average over their first year.

The winners are:

Miriam Manco, Applied Languages, Department of English and Modern Languages

Charlotte Reece, Primary Teacher Education, School of Education

Tatiana Sollis, History of Art, Department of History, Philosophy and Religion

Max Jones, Geography, Department of Social Sciences

Tiffany Heppell, LLB Law, School of Law

Winner Tatiana Sollis commented ‘‘I feel very honoured to have received this prize. I will use this prize to motivate me for the rest of my studies and I will put my winnings towards a trip to New York to visit the Museum of Modern Art next summer, which we studied this year and fired my artistic imagination.”

The English and Modern Languages winner Miriam Manco said “It was such an honour to win the Ede and Ravenscroft prize 2016. The department is a community I feel very close to and has been incredibly engaging. Winning this prize was great and has given me impetus to do even better in the years to come.”

Social Sciences winner Max Jones added ‘’I feel extremely happy to be recognised for all of the hard work I have put in to my Geography course this year. I would also like to thank the lecturers for all of their help and support in guiding me through the first year of university.”

 ‘Congratulations to all of the Ede and Ravenscroft prize winners!’

Dave Ellis, Dean of Student Experience, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Law graduate joins pro bono collective Oxfam Lawyers Against Poverty

LAP iulia mirzac

Iulia Mirzac, an Oxford Brookes University graduate, has started an internship with Lawyers Against Poverty (LAP). This pro bono initiative launched by Oxfam in June 2015 enables individuals from the legal community to work on legal projects that help fight the injustice of poverty. LAP targets global issues such as legal education, women’s rights to property, legal empowerment, climate litigation and Iulia will be working as a legal research intern for the team with a specific focus legal research on issues related to justice and poverty.

“I often feel honoured and privileged to be part of a team that works so hard to bring justice to those who need it most.”

Iulia Mirzac, School of Law graduate

Iulia, who studied Law with International Relations said “I decided to take the internship because the work Oxfam does globally, and specifically through Lawyers Against Poverty, is very similar to what I have always wanted to do – using my law degree for the good of those who need it the most.”

Since graduating this summer Iulia has been working on a range of projects within Oxfam’s legal team, including coordinating events and a fact-finding trip on migration, as well as drafting documents and using her linguistic skills to translate legal documents from English to French.

“One of the projects I am currently involved with is coordinating efforts across law firms and universities, to provide work experience opportunities for individuals from the refugee communities in the UK. I have also been involved in facilitating Summer Law Schools for young people from the refugee communities, in an effort to help them better integrate into our society and education system.”

“Lawyers Against Poverty Week, which took place from 13 to 20 June 2016, was the highlight of my first month at Oxfam, and I was particularly pleased and grateful that the School of Law at my own University hosted one of the events on June 17.”

Junior Lawyers Against Poverty will be launched at Oxford Brookes University in September 2016, providing research opportunities, a seminar series, a JLAP conference in January 2017, and potentially twinning  law students with law students from African countries.

To find out more about Lawyers Against Poverty please visit their website.

Leading Humanities and Social Sciences academics recognised in new research excellence awards

REX_2016The Research Excellence Awards are a new initiative introduced by the University as part of Oxford Brookes’ commitment to supporting research-active academics.

Professor Gary Browning, Associate Dean Research and Knowledge Exchange, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, explains: “The Research Excellence awards are a timely and positive initiative, allowing some of our most successful researchers to press forward in their research. We are delighted that researchers across the Faculty have been recognised for their outstanding research projects, notably monographs and impact case studies. I am sure that the outputs they produce will be excellent.”

Following a recent application period, the winners of the inaugural Research Excellence Awards from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences were as follows:

School of Education

Professor Graham Butt

Department of English and Modern Languages

Dr Simon White

Dr Dinah Roe

Department of History, Philosophy and Religion

Professor Roger Griffin

Professor Anne-Marie Kilday

School of Law

Dr Simon Cooper

Department of Social Sciences

Professor Tina Miller

Professor Anna Nekaris

Researchers were able to apply for one of two levels of award worth either £10,000 or £20,000 which would contribute towards research leave or employment of a research assistant in supporting a project. The scheme is funded through the Central Research Fund and is intended to provide enhanced support for research excellence. It complements Quality-Related Funding at Faculty and Department levels which supports research and knowledge exchange more broadly.

The intention of the university is to continue the scheme annually as part of Oxford Brookes’ investment in research excellence and in supporting the aims of the recently revised Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy 2016-2020.

Oxford Brookes students win prestigious mooting competition

Pictured: James Fennemore (left) and Jonathan Goddard (right) outside the Essex Court Chambers. Image courtesy of the English-Speaking Union (ESU)

Pictured: James Fennemore (left) and Jonathan Goddard (right) outside the Essex Court Chambers. Image courtesy of the English-Speaking Union (ESU)

Law students from Oxford Brookes University have won the ESU Essex Court National Mooting Competition 2016 for the third time in five years.

James Fennemore and Jonathan Goddard beat students at Liverpool John Moores University in the Grand Final last month (Wednesday 22 June) at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Founded in 1972, The ESU Essex Court National Mooting Competition is one of the most prestigious legal competitions of its kind, with teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland entering.

“We were delighted to win this prestigious competition last year and back in 2012, so to win again this year is a great achievement for the students and a testament to their hard work and skills as future lawyers.”

Marc Howe, Principal Lecturer in Law 

The winning duo were presented with the ‘Silver Mace’ and £1,000 each plus a further £1,000 for the Oxford Brookes’ School of Law which will go towards funding future mooting competitions.

Last year Oxford Brookes law students Nicole Kapu and Duncan Graves won the same competition and went on to face the winners of the Inner Temple Inter-Varsity Mooting Competition in the Magna Carta Moot in October, who unprecedentedly, were also Brookes Law students.

James and Jonathan will now represent the UK in the Commonwealth Mooting Competition in Melbourne in March 2017. They will follow in the footsteps of Matt Sellwood and Daniele Selmi who won the ESU Essex Court Competition for Oxford Brookes in 2012, and went on to win the Commonwealth Mooting Competition in Cape Town in 2013.

Marc Howe, Principal Lecturer in Law and University Teaching Fellow said: “In the last few years our School of Law’s reputation for national mooting success has grown significantly, so it is fantastic to see this success continue. We were delighted to win this prestigious competition last year and back in 2012, so to win again this year is a great achievement for the students and a testament to their hard work and skills as future lawyers.”

Mooting is the traditional method through which law students are introduced to practical experience of courtroom advocacy. All students on academic law programmes in the School of Law have the opportunity to participate in internal mooting competitions, with the winners representing Brookes in national mooting competitions.

More information about studying at Law at Oxford Brookes University can be found on the School of Law webpages.

Oxford Brookes Reader in Law receives a Brookes Union teaching award

Sonia Brookes teaching awards

Dr Sonia Morano–Foadi, Reader in Law at Oxford Brookes University was recently a finalist and a winner of two separate Brookes Union Teaching awards.

Sonia was one of three finalists for the most inspirational lecturer award; this award recognises exemplary teaching practice, and Sonia received an overwhelmingly positive response from students about her teaching, including one student saying “Dr Sonia is a one in a million, her quality of lectures has been both outstanding and inspirational.” Sonia was also highly praised for always making time for her students and making them feel valued.

The Brookes Union Teaching Awards were set up by Brookes Union in 2013 to celebrate the fantastic work that academic and support staff do for the university, and in particular the student experience. There are five categories: most inspirational lecturer, best taught module, best support staff member, best academic advisor and most effective feedback.

Alongside being a finalist for the most inspirational lecturer award, Sonia also won the award for best taught module. Her European Union Law module, an advanced undergraduate law module received particular praise for its logical construction, and how Sonia’s use of visual aids and engaging teaching methods made the subject come alive.

One student commented that it was “The most enjoyable and fascinating module I have ever taken throughout my degree.”

For more information about the Brookes Union teaching award please see the Brookes Union website.

Oxford Brookes Reader in Law presents at European Parliament Committee

Dr Stelios Andreadakis and Dr Sonia Morano-Foadi

Dr Sonia Morano-Foadi, Oxford Brookes University and Dr Stelios Andreadakis, University of Leicester

Dr Sonia Morano-Foadi, Reader in Law, research associate at the International Migration Institute, University of Oxford and Centre for Diversity Policy and Practice, Oxford Brookes University, was recently invited by the European Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO) as an expert to the public hearing on “Accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR): stocktaking after the ECJ’s opinion and way forward” held on 20 April 2016 at the European Parliament’s premises in Brussels.

She presented her research and offered some legal and policy recommendations on the path forward for the EU after the opinion of the European Court of Justice on the EU’s accession to the ECHR.

Sonia, who researches the relationship between European citizenship, migration and fundamental rights, will also be hosting a mini symposium on Friday 1 July 2016 around economic migration in Europe.

For more information about the mini symposium please see here. To see a podcast of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs please see here.

Life in Law: a free summer school for Oxfordshire A-level students

Life in Law main photo

New for 2016, the School of Law at Oxford Brookes University are excited to launch a Summer School programme for aspiring lawyers. This programme is aimed specifically at local A-level students looking to study Law at university or learn about working in the legal sector.

The Beautiful Headington Hill Hall

This non-residential programme runs over four days and students will take part in a range of activities, including a mock trial, visiting the local crown court and police station and engaging in interactive seminars with a range of Law academics.

The summer school will take place from the 16-19 August 2016 and will be based in the beautiful Headington Hill Hall, a stunning 19th century mansion with extensive grounds.

One of the summer school organisers, Dr Michael John-Hopkins, a senior lecturer in Law at Oxford Brookes University and a researcher in International Humanitarian Law said

“We are excited to offer this summer school by way of engaging young people in our legal system and fostering knowledge and skills that will serve them well in their future career”

The closing date for applications is Friday 15 July 2016, to find out the criteria for applying or to submit an application please see here.