The return of the High Sheriff’s Law Lecture series at Bournemouth University brought keen insight to the role of the justice system, the media, juries and the Supreme Court in the UK during a stimulating one hour debate.
The event, hosted by the High Sheriff of Dorset Mrs Jennifer Coombs, took the form of a panel discussion between two of the UK’s most senior legal experts, The Rt Hon the Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers KG PC and The Rt Hon the Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury PC, alongside prominent filmmaker Professor Roger Graef OBE.
The three debated the role that juries have to play in the judicial system, whether public opinion influences sentencing, the role of adversarial litigation in civil disputes and the difference the Supreme Court has made to the UK justice system, all under the watchful eye of award-winning journalist and broadcaster Mary Ann Sieghart, who chaired the debate.
High Sheriff of Dorset Mrs Jennifer Coombs said, “It was brilliant to partner with Bournemouth University to bring such a prominent panel in for the Lecture. The panel did not disappoint either with their sharp insight and wit; it was the perfect blend of information and entertainment, and a thoroughly enjoyable evening. I was especially pleased to see so many students at the event, some even asking questions, as they took their opportunity to quiz these legal experts and deepen their knowledge.
“I was so delighted with the whole event; my thanks go to all who were involved in making it happen.”
Her praise of the evening was echoed by Professor John Vinney, Vice-Chancellor of Bournemouth University, who said, “Events like this really help to show that Bournemouth University is going from strength to strength, and it is great that we are developing deeper links with leading legal experts. I was delighted to see so many students and staff members come together to learn about our legal system.”
The debate concluded with a question and answer session for the panel members. This was a chance for the audience made up of BU staff and students, and local guests, to quiz the panel members on their more general views of the legal system, prisons and changes they would make to the judicial system in the UK if given the chance.
The debate was followed by a networking opportunity – where BU students studying law could speak one to one with some of the most distinguished legal minds in the UK.
Lord Phillips is the Chancellor of BU, he was the inaugural President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and has held many other notable positions including Master of the Rolls and Lord Chief Justice. His successor, Lord Neuberger, has been President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom since 2012. His rise to the Court of Appeal and then to the House of Lords is one of the quickest in recent times, and he was the youngest ever sitting Law Lord. Professor Graef OBE is an eminent filmmaker, criminologist and writer who has produced or directed over 100 films, and also has ties to the University as a Visiting Professor.
Professor Vinney continued, “As inaugural President of the Supreme Court, our Chancellor Lord Phillips gives an aspirational target to our law students and I am grateful that he, along with Lord Neuberger, Professor Graef OBE and Mary Ann Sieghart took the time to share their professional experience and expertise. Supporting these events is an important part of BU’s role in engaging with the community in our region and my thanks go also to the High Sheriff for hosting this event with us.”
The High Sheriff’s Law Lecture is available to watch in full on the University’s website. Visit: https://www1.bournemouth.ac.uk/law-lecture