Conference Report from Glasgow 2015

Lord Hope keynoteThe 2015 conference was organised by Michael Bromby (CLEA General Secretary, Glasgow Caledonian University) and was hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University in Glasgow, Scotland.  It ran from Wednesday 8th – Friday 10th April 2015, attended by keynote speakers Prof Justice Date-Bah (retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana) and Lord Hope of Craighead (retired Justice of the UK Supreme Court).

Conference delegates also included Lady Justice Arach-Amoko, Justice of the Supreme Court of Uganda, the Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria, Prof Vincent Tenebe and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Prof John Mubangizi.  A total of 48 delegates attended from around the Commonwealth representing the following countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Uganda, and UK.

IMG_7400.JPGThe conference was preceded by a workshop on interactive teaching methods organised by Prof David McQuoid-Mason (CLEA president, University of KwaZulu-Natal), Patricia McKellar (CLEA General Secretary, University of London) and Helena Whalen-Bridge (National University of Singapore) held within the GCU LEAD (Learning Enhancement and Academic Development) centre, and was also attended by some LEAD staff.  In particular, the workshop focussed on teaching large groups, methods for interactive teaching and explored other methods for engaging law students.

imageA Welcome Reception hosted by the Glasgow City Chambers took place on Wednesday evening, with the kind generosity of the Glasgow City Council.  The Lord Dean of Guild and a Baillie represented the Lord Provost, with a welcome address to the conference delegates.

The conference opened with plenary papers followed by a keynote from Prof Justice Date-Bah entitled “Legal education in Ghana. International and local dimensions”.  The afternoon had parallel papers in the following sessions: pedagogical approaches, intellectual property, comparative education and embedding skills.  An evening drinks reception was held in the Museum of Piping followed by the conference dinner in the National Piping Centre which was followed by a ceilidh dance with traditional, live Scottish music.

Conference DelegatesThe second day started with plenary papers and a keynote from Lord Hope entitled “The Roles of the Court in the Development of Society” followed by the association’s AGM.  Executive Committee members were either re-elected or elected and on-going projects such as the various model curricula were discussed.  The afternoon saw further parallel sessions on clinical legal education, curriculum design, equality & diversity and human rights.  Abstracts from all the papers can be found on the conference website.

Moot FinalThe Commonwealth Moot took place Monday 13th – Thursday 16th April, and the semi-finalists were teams from Canada, who won the competition, Australia in second place, and India and South Africa.  The next conference and moot will take place in 2017, the location is not yet known and hoped to be announced in the next few months.

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