02 February 2015

University of Copenhagen Postgraduate Law Conference 2015 a huge success


The Faculty of Law at the University of Copenhagen hosted its first ever Postgraduate Law Conference in January 2015. The seven PhD Fellows who formed the Organising Committee, representing a number of research centres of the Faculty (CECS, WELMA, and iCourts), gathered upwards of seventy PhD students from around the world to speak at the two day event in Copenhagen.

The Postgraduate Law Conference, a new concept in doctoral research dissemination in Denmark was the first large-scale event of its kind in a Nordic country. With insightful discussion over eighteen panels, participants had the opportunity to present some of their research – a portion of their thesis or standalone article, gain experience in disseminating their work, and obtained feedback from experienced academics, offering a unique occasion to discuss their various projects amongst their colleagues. With nearly three hundred submissions received during the call for papers, those selected represented high levels of innovative thought, originality and quality. The grouped panels focused on:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Copyright and Patent Law
  • EU Environmental Law
  • EU External Relations Law
  • European Law
  • Human Rights Law
  • International Arbitration Law
  • International Criminal Law
  • International Economic and Free Trade
  • International Law
  • Law of the Sea and Maritime Law
  • Legal History
  • Legal Theory
  • Migration Law

In addition to the panels, the three main event speakers were:

  • Judge Robert Spano (ECtHR) – “The European Court of Human Rights in the Age of Subsidiarity” (Keynote Address)
  • Lynn Roseberry (Copenhagen Business School) – Legal Method, Theory, and Methodology: What’s the difference?
  • Bart Van Vooren (Altius Brussels / University of Copenhagen) – “Publishing as a PhD researcher (and beyond)?”

The popularity of the University of Copenhagen Postgraduate Law Conference 2015 can be traced to a number of factors, namely, effective marketing of the call for abstracts, first-rate teamwork, proper delegation of duties, and most importantly, the obvious demand for settings that provide PhD students with atmospheres that nurtures their professional legal development. Major steps have been undertaken in recent years thanks to the efforts of many for expanding and internationalising the PhD Programme at the Faculty of Law. With new researchers come new methods of dissemination, and while traditional means of diffusing research continue to exist, innovative models to provide junior researchers with forums to publicise their work are always strived for. The intended result that was ultimately achieved was to introduce new dissemination methods that work in other like-minded research environments and transpose them to institutions like the University of Copenhagen. Such novelties will continue to ensure that doctoral research in Nordic institutions will be well placed, enabling researchers to work in a more globalised and interconnected world of legal research.

The Organising Committee was composed of Ahmed El-Sayed, Amalie Frese, Céline Brassart Olsen, Diana Nacea, Graham Butler, Katarina Hylten-Cavallius, and Katharina Ó Cathaoir. The conference would not have been possible without the generous support of Iryna Marchuk (Head of the PhD School), Jacob Graff Nielsen (Dean of the Faculty), Jørn Vestergaard (Former Vice-Dean of the Faculty), Anja Ritto Kraiberg Knudsen and Ann Rosenkilde Mølgaard (PhD Administration), Alberte Storm, Amalie Munch-Jensen, Christina Bredmose Holm and Jacob Ungar Felding (Student Assistants), all the academic staff who acted as discussants, and the PhD Fellows/Postdocs for chairing the panels.

For more information on the University of Copenhagen Postgraduate Law Conference 2015, contact Graham Butler (graham.butler@jur.ku.dk)