The formal launch of a research centre that focusses on law, justice and globalization took place this November at the School of Law and Politics.
A day of events took place on 3 November to celebrate the work of Cardiff Law and Global Justice, which was formally approved as a research centre in 2017.
The Centre’s work contributes to the integration of law, international relations and politics within the School by working closely with the International Studies Research Unit and the Centre for Law and Society. The centre focusses on the global south and is informed by post and anti-colonial perspectives, delivering high quality research in law, justice and globalization.
The launch day started with a presentation at the School by four students from the Centre’s pioneering Transnational Pro-Bono Law Clinic. The clinic works to support law firms on human rights cases overseas. Supported by Cardiff University’s Global Opportunities programme, Josie Hebestreit, Hannah Greep, Thomas Ikin and Jack Pankhurst all travelled to Nairobi, Kenya in September 2017. They held internships at the Katiba Institute for Constitutional Change, working closely with its lawyers on land rights and electoral governance. They were also received at the International Commission of Jurists and gave a lecture at the University of Nairobi on our Law Clinic at Cardiff.
The students’ presentation on their visit was warmly received by staff and students, who were joined by Professor Ken Hamilton Dean of International Affairs, AHSS College, and Rose Matthews from the University’s Office of International Affairs. Given the success of this trip, and with renewed support from Global Opportunities, the Centre is extending its placement scheme in 2018 to enable a group of students to take up internships in India, as well as Kenya.
Members of Cardiff Law and Global Justice then met the centre’s advisory board for a planning and review meeting. Professor Diamond Ashiagbor (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London), Professor Gillian Hundt (University of Warwick), Professor Nick Johnson (African Prisons Project) and Dr Surabhi Ranganathan (University of Cambridge), all contribute to the work of the centre with their experience of academic leadership, clinical legal education, research in the global south and critical scholarship.
The launch day moved on to the historic Temple of Peace in Cathays Park, where the Centre co-hosted a colloquium on Global Justice: the Basics. Written by Centre member Dr Huw Williams and Dr Carl Death (University of Manchester) this is an innovative and accessible book on justice activism around the world and the contribution that philosophy can make to it.
Before a large crowd drawn from Cardiff University, the NGO community and members of the public, the authors first described the aims and scope of the book. They were joined by Professor Ashiagbor, Professor Johnson and Dr Ranganathan as discussants, who spoke about the book’s relevance to their own work and experience. All agreed that Global Justice: the Basics expresses key ambitions and values of the Centre. The discussions were concluded with an address from Marie Brousseau-Navarro, Director of Policy, Legislation and Innovation at the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales. She noted how the law to promote sustainable development has put Wales at the forefront of policy and practice for global justice. The presentations were followed by a lively audience debate and a wine reception for all hosted by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs.
Professor of Political Philosophy and International Relations, David Boucher commented, “The Centre for Law and Justice is a timely and inspiring initiative at the cutting edge of practice based research, informed by firm theoretical commitments. It places Wales firmly in the cause of global justice, and is preparing the new generation of law and politics students to view world problems with a social conscience.”