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SLS Welcomes Professor Thom Brooks as President for 2020-21

1st October 2020

We welcome Professor Thom Brooks, the Dean of Durham University’s Law School, who took up post of the Society of Legal Scholars President 2020-21 on October 1st.

Professor Brooks says:

“I am enormously honoured to be elected the Society’s President for 2020-21. There is a long tradition of academic excellence and engagement between academia and the wider legal profession that is inspiring and enriching that I am dedicated to promoting to the best of my abilities. I am proud of what the Society has achieved and continues to do – and I will work to improve its work over the coming academic year.

One goal is to continue raising the profile of academic lawyers in terms of showcasing their scholarly achievements and to promote their related contributions to our understanding of law academically, practically and for public benefit. To further this end, I have launched a ‘make the news’ opportunity to support our Early Career Researchers in promoting their research in the media.

I am indebted to the continuing brilliant work of our Officers, Executive Committee and administrators for making the Society stronger than ever. I am hugely grateful for the leadership and support from the immediate past president, Professor Rebecca Probert of the University of Exeter, and the Society owes her much thanks for steering the Society so well in such turbulent and uncertain times including a terrific annual conference – our first online. Most of all, I am most thankful to our membership for their continuing support and inspirational achievements. This Society is your Society. If you have ideas about what the Society should be doing or how we might do things better, please do not hesitate to contact your Constituency representative or contact me directly at president@legalscholars.ac.uk.

I hope to see you at one or more of the Society’s events over the course of the year, and to welcome you to Durham University on 7-10 September 2021 for the 112th annual conference. It is clear that our legal sector is increasingly global both in terms of the global diversity of staff, students and the wider legal sector. EDI and global legal education will feature on plenaries at the conference to address the challenges and opportunities.”

Professor Brooks has been a SLS representative on a working party with representatives from across all law-related learned societies who submitted a joint consultation response to the LSB strongly opposing the current plans for introducing a Solicitors Qualifying Exam. Recent responses to consultations can be found here: https://www.legalscholars.ac.uk/position-papers-consultation-responses/.

Past SLS Presidents have included Lord (Andrew) Burrows, recently appointed to the UK Supreme Court.