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How to become a Subject Sections Convenor

The subject sections are the very heart of the SLS. They seek to promote the development of the subject through meetings and discussion, most notably at the annual conference. The subject sections also play an important role in formulating the responses of the SLS to law reform proposals relevant to subject sections.

Calls for nominations for subject section convenors are advertised in June/July via the Subject Section mailing lists.   Where vacancies are contested an election can be held at the subject section meeting at the Annual Conference, but where multiple people are interested in the role, we would usually seek to appoint co-convenors. The term of office for a subject section convenor is three years, renewable.

What do subject section convenors do?

Subject Section Convenors are responsible for organising their subject meeting at the Annual Conference. This involves issuing a call for papers for the conference, and then putting together the programme for the subject meeting, usually four sessions with around 2-4 papers. The Subject Section Convenor may also organise smaller events for the section outside of the main conference. Where the Society is responding to law reform proposals relevant to subject sections, the convenor may be asked to contribute to the development of that response.  Each convenor completes a short report after the Annual Conference which is submitted to the Subject Sections Secretary to be reported to the Executive Committee.

What is the time commitment of being a subject section convenor?

The time commitment involved in being a subject section convenor varies somewhat by the size of the subject section. In all cases, it involves preparing the call for papers for the subject section at the Annual Conference, receiving abstracts and developing the subject section programme, and attending Annual Conference and leading the subject section, including ensuring it is a welcoming and supportive space for new members, attendees, and early career researchers. Subject section convenors may also seek to arrange events outside of conference, for which financial support is available from the SLS. Averaged out across the year, we estimate that convenorship of a subject section takes up an average of half a day a month.

How are subject section convenors supported?

The subject sections convenors are supported by the Subject Sections Secretary. Funds are available from the Society to support subject section events outside of conference (see the guidance here). The Society does not usually reimburse subject section convenors’ expenses for attending the Annual Conference. Ordinarily, they are reimbursed by their school or department.