Impact and Law Reform Conference

 Impact and Law Reform Conference
11 June 2019, 10.00am - 7.30pm
Conference / Symposium
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR


Impact and Law Reform Conference

A one-day conference organised by the SLSA and the SLS in collaboration with the Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission and in association with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

‘Impact’ has become an increasingly important aspect of academic work over the last decade. This conference, co-organised by the Law Subject Associations and the Law Commissions aims to reflect on how academic legal research has influenced and informed law reform in the past, engage in debate and dialogue on contemporary law reform projects, and equip legal researchers with the tools they require to generate legal and policy impacts in the future.

The conference seeks to address the following questions:
•  How can legal researchers work with the Law Commissions to advance law reform agendas?
•  What approaches to impact and law reform have worked well in the past?
•  How can legal researchers develop the skills required to facilitate legal and policy impact?
•  What are the foreseeable future challenges and opportunities for legal and policy impact?

Draft Programme:

10:00 – 10:25 Registration

10:25 – 10:30 Welcome

10:30 – 12:00 Plenary: Impact and Law Reform
This first plenary session will include contributions from: Sir Nicolas Green, Chair, Law Commission of England and Wales; Chair, Scottish Law Commission; Lady Ann Paton, Chair, Scottish Law Commission; and Professor Joanne Conaghan, Chair of the Law UoA in REF2021

12:00 – 13:00 Break-Out Workshops (3 concurrent sessions)
•  Discussion workshop on Surrogacy Law Reform Project - This workshop session will be led by the team at the Law Commission of England and Wales working on the current joint project with the Scottish Law Commission on reforming Surrogacy law.
•  Communicating Research Findings to Parliament -  Naomi Saint, Knowledge Exchange Manager, POST, UK Parliament. This workshop will explore how Parliament uses research evidence, and how to communicate academic research findings to Parliament and policy makers.
•  Discussion workshop on New Technology and Law Reform: Smart Contracts and Automated Vehicles - This workshop session will be led by the teams at the Law Commission of England and Wales taking forward work in their 13th programme of law reform on regulatory issues relating to new technology, particularly relating to automated vehicles.

13:00 – 13:45 Lunch

13:45 – 15:15 Plenary 2: Reflections on Law Reform

Chair: Paula Giliker

Professor Hector MacQueen, Professor of Private Law, University of Edinburgh and former Scottish Law Commissioner.
Professor Gillian Douglas, Executive Dean, Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London.

15:15 – 15:45 Afternoon Break

15:45 – 16:45 Break-Out Workshops
•  Discussion workshop on Criminal Law Protection against Hate Crime: For Whom and How? - This workshop session will be led by Law Commission teams working on hate crime reform.
•  Developing Effective Pathways to Impact through Research - This workshop will explore how to develop, and describe pathways to impact for the purposes of applying for research funding. It will be led by Prof Diamond Ashiagbor, University of Kent.
•  Reflections on Law Reform Roundtable - This roundtable discussion will explore experiences of working together from law commissioners and legal academics, and will be led by Dr Andrew Steven (Commissioner, Scottish Law Commission), and include contributions from Prof Rosie Harding (University of Birmingham), Dr John MacLeod (University of Edinburgh), Prof Liz Trinder (University of Exeter) and Prof Janet Ulph (University of Leicester).

16:45 – 17:00 Comfort break

17:00 – 17:45 Keynote Address

Chair: James Lee

Brenda Hale, President of the Supreme Court, The Right Hon the Baroness Hale of Richmond DBE.

17:45 – 19:00 Drinks Reception


  • Standard Rate - £50.00;
  • Discounted rate for members of the Society of Legal Scholars and the Socio-Legal Studies Association - £40.00;
  • Speakers - Free.


IALS Events Office
020 7862 5800