Law Society Lecture, a review by Louise Hayes and Rahama Tanimu, Year 13
On 28 September, the Malvern St James Law Society was very privileged to host Professor David Feldman of Downing College, Cambridge, who shared with us his experience in the legal world, his initial approach to Law and his interpretation of Law as a diverse and two-fold concept. Prof Feldman studied at Exeter College, Oxford and has taught at Bristol and Birmingham Universities; also holding visiting positions at the Australian National University, University of Melbourne and University of Nottingham. He left academic life to become the first Legal Adviser to the UK Parliament’s new Joint Select Committee on Human Rights (2000 – 2004). His judicial experience was as one of the three international judges of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2002 – 2010).
Professor Feldman gave a stirring and inspirational speech, inviting questions from the audience of the fellows of the MSJ Law Society, PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics) Society and a wide audience from local schools. His speech and advice concerning applications for Law courses at university, personal statements, expectations from a legal career and the numerous paths a Law career may lead to was insightful, captivating and a thoroughly worthwhile experience.
As an aspiring Law with Politics student, I was particularly intrigued by his view on the task of ensuring the independence of the judiciary from political matters being difficult, and often impossible. However, it was his background as a foreign judge in the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina that reflected the need for neutrality and impartiality within modern courts of multi-ethnic nations.
It was interesting to see how the American legal system, unlike Bosnia and Herzegovina, uses the race of jury members to avoid prejudice influencing judgements.
With questions ranging from the limits and power of EU law on Britain’s national courts, to his stance on the dangers of a lawless state, MSJ Law Society and visiting attendees alike benefitted from Professor Feldman’s experiences and knowledge as a successful constitutional lawyer. It was indeed, a lecture that enhanced our understanding of constitutional law, whilst also broadening our awareness of the study of Law at University.
Mrs Marfleet, Head of Careers, said ‘Professor Feldman provided the audience with an inspiring and thought-provoking presentation and we were particularly delighted to be able to welcome students and staff from local schools to partake in the event . A lively discussion ensued at supper which concluded an enjoyable and informative evening.’