Four of the country’s most eminent lawyers were presented with Honorary Doctor of Laws degrees at The College of Law’s Degree Congregation.
The degrees were awarded by Chairman of the College Governors, David Yates to Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger; Dr Mark Ellis, Executive Director of the International Bar Association (IBA) and leading academic lawyers Professor Sir Roy Goode and Professor William Twining.
At the ceremony, which took place on Saturday, November 26 at Central Hall Westminster, LL.B degrees were also given to 439 College students, who have passed both its Graduate Diploma in Law and then either its Bar Professional Training Course or Legal Practice Course. The College also conferred Masters of Laws degrees on 12 graduates of its LL.M programmes.
The College was the first non-publicly funded institution to be granted Degree Awarding Powers by the Privy Council in 2006.
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury became Master of the Rolls in October 2009 and is the 95th person to hold the office in an unbroken line stretching back to John Langton who commenced his nine-year term in 1286.
Having served as a Recorder for six years, Lord Neuberger was appointed to the Chancery Division of the High Court in 1996; he was appointed the Supervisory Chancery Judge in three of the High Court’s regional circuits in 2001; and then in 2004 to the Court of Appeal and the Privy Council.
Only three years later he became the youngest judge in the UK’s highest court – then the House of Lords – where he took the title of Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury.
Lord Neuberger (left) receives his honorary degree from David Yates, Chairman of the Governors at The College of Law
The citation for him delivered during the ceremony said: “…the esteem in which Lord Neuberger is so widely held is attributable mainly to the quality of his judgements - and most especially perhaps to the principles and values which underpin them, and indeed his other extensive writings."
Dr Mark Ellis is Executive Director of the foremost global organisation for practising lawyers, the IBA, which now has a membership of 116 international law firms, 45,000 individual lawyers and over 200 national bar associations and law societies. In 2007 The College of Law and the IBA launched the co-designed LL.M in International Legal Practice.
Prior to joining the IBA, Dr Ellis was the first Executive Director of the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI), a project of the American Bar Association (ABA). After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, CEELI provided extensive technical legal assistance to 28 countries in Central Europe and the former Soviet Union.
He then served as Legal Advisor to the Independent International Commission on Kosovo and was appointed by Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe to advise on the creation of Serbia’s War Crimes Tribunal. He was actively involved with the Iraqi High Tribunal and is presently a member of the Advisory Panel to the Defence Counsel for the ICTY – the international court established by the UN to investigate and prosecute war crimes committed by the former Yugoslavia.
Dr Ellis’ citation said: “In view of the IBA’s purposes, reach, range of activities and importance to the global legal community, there surely can be few who are as well qualified as Mark Ellis to be its Executive Director.”
After a 16-year career in legal practice Sir Roy Goode moved into academia in 1971, when he took up a chair at Queen Mary College London. For most of his time there he was the Crowther Professor of Credit and Commercial Law but also served as Dean of the Law Faculty and Head of the Law Department. In 1990 Sir Roy left Queen Mary to become the Norton Rose Professor of English Law at Oxford and a Fellow of St John’s College.
As both a practitioner and an academic, Sir Roy has specialised in Commercial Law, an area in which he has authored numerous books, practitioner texts and articles. In 1979 Sir Roy established the Centre for Commercial Law Studies within the Queen Mary College Law School, and served as the centre’s director for 10 years.
Having transferred to the Bar in 1988, he has been appointed a Queens Counsel and an Honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple. For his services to academic law he was awarded an OBE in 1972; a CBE in 1994; and a knighthood in 2000.
His citation said: “If anyone seriously doubts the contribution that practising lawyers can make to legal education and scholarship, and vice versa, then they could do no better than to reflect on the career and achievements of Professor Sir Roy Goode…..Sir Roy is one of the most accomplished, distinguished and respected academic lawyers of his generation."
Professor William Twining spent the first seven years of his career in Africa – first at the University of Khartoum; then at University College Dar-es- Salaam. At only 31 he was appointed to a chair at Queens University Belfast. From there he moved to the University of Warwick, and in 1983 to University College London where he held the Quain Chair in Jurisprudence, then a Research Professorship, and where, since his formal retirement in 2004, he has been the emeritus Quain Professor.
Professor Twining has acted as consultant on legal education in Hong Kong, India, Tanzania and Uganda and for over 20 years has taught regularly at the University of Miami - one of the leading law schools in the USA.
His citation said: “For over 40 years Professor William Twining has been one of this country’s most creative and influential academic lawyers….Over his long and distinguished career, Professor Twining has published numerous books and articles on jurisprudence, intellectual history, evidence, legal education, and most recently, human rights and globalisation."
Further information from Lucy Wray, Press Officer, The College of Law on 01483 216072 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Copies of the full citations are available on request