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Race: Why can’t the law effect genuine equality?

Friday 7th December 2018

Hosted by the Centre for Law and Culture at St Mary’s, with the University of Westminster and GSM London.

Location: Waldegrave Drawing Room, St Mary's University, Twickenham

Launched by Lady Hale in 2014, the Centre for Law and Culture is re-focusing its academic attention on addressing pressing contemporary matters of social justice and equality through interdisciplinary doctrinal, historical, and philosophical legal scholarship. The Centre aims to foster the exchange of high-quality, impactful and insightful legal research; the promotion of education; and the sharing of knowledge relevant to the fight for social justice and equality. When we understand what has gone before, we better understand today, and our hopes for the future.

It has been 25-years since the murder of Stephen Lawrence and nearly 20-years since the Macpherson Report promised change. Our 2018 conference ‘Race: Why can’t the law effect genuine equality?’ aims to examine the stagnation in our progress towards full, inclusive, and stable racial equality in the UK, and to question law’s role in inhibiting, or failing to promote, the achievement of full racial justice.

Call for papers

Contributions are invited to this one-day conference which analyse the issue of racial equality from doctrinal legal, historical, and philosophical perspectives. Papers which address the relationship between law and race from both a domestic or international level are welcomed. Subjects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Criminal Law, Law Enforcement, and Criminal Justice
  • Access to Justice
  • Immigration, Refugee Law (including International Humanitarian Law), nationality and citizenship
  • Employment Law
  • Education, Family Law, Children’s Rights, and Reproductive Rights
  • Disability and Health rights
  • Human Rights and minority interests
  • Political Philosophy, including elections, government powers and spending, and Constitutional reform
  • Legal History
  • Legal Philosophy

We would particularly welcome papers on stop and search laws; the 2018 London knife crime crisis and the inability of the criminal justice to deal with it; the racial disadvantage in access to elite Higher Education; FGM; the history and legacy of slavery; the ‘glass ceiling’ of public sector workers; discrimination in the legal profession; and the Race Relations Act 1965 and Equality Act 2010 post-Brexit. Comparative reflections on the Grenfell disaster, the Windrush scandal, the Lavinia Woodward suspended sentence, and the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba are also particularly welcome.

Papers are expected to last 20 minutes with a further 10 minutes for questions.

Please submit your abstract (max 250 words) and a short biography by email to by 28th September 2018.

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Friday 7th December 2018

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