The second annual University of Strathclyde Postgraduate Law Conference was held on 27-28 October, 2016. This year’s theme – Visualising the Law – invited presenters to develop a paper based on one of six pre-selected images. The images acted as conference streams, and presenters were asked to consider how the images related to their research, either literally or through the use of metaphor to explore concepts. The aims were bring together postgraduate and early career researchers from diverse areas of law and to challenge researchers to think about and communicate their research from a different perspective.
The conference attracted over forty presenters from all over the United Kingdom and abroad, including Italy, Greece, Latvia, the Netherlands, and India. The presentations demonstrated a high level of engagement with the theme and covered a range of areas, including EU law, criminal law, IP law, family law, labour law, and jurisprudence. The conference was attended by approximately 20 additional delegates, who fully participated in discussions and contributed to the event with their thought-provoking questions.
Dr. Saskia Verymeylen gave the keynote address, entitled ‘Drawing Lines in the Sand: Performativity of Terra Nullius and Native Title Claims.’ Delegates were welcomed to the conference by Professor Nicole Busby, Head of Strathclyde Law School, and enjoyed a civic reception hosted by the Lord Provost of Glasgow at Glasgow City Chambers. Karen Richmond, a PhD candidate at StrathclydeLawSchool, delivered a skills workshop, ‘Visual Methods in Legal Research,’ which was developed in collaboration with Amanda Perry-Kessaris of the University of Kent.
The support from the Society of Legal Scholars’ Small Projects and Events Fund meant that we did not have to charge delegates a registration fee. As a conference primarily aimed at postgraduate students, this was extremely important to the conference committee. One of our aims was to develop an inclusive and accessible conference, and the financial support from SLS helped us to achieve this.
The conference was well received by delegates, with the vast majority rating the conference “excellent” or “very good” in our follow-up survey. Presenters reported that they welcomed the opportunity to approach their research from a different perspective, with many indicating that they chose to attend the conference due to its theme. Participants also indicated that they were grateful to have the opportunity to connect with other postgraduate researchers, both for the intellectual exchange and the informal networking. Committee members gained valuable experience in all aspects of conference planning and evaluation, and the conference is set to become an annual event with the LawSchool.