How to Write a First Class Law Dissertation – Complete Guide

  • November 18, 2010

“Protection of the Right to a Fair Trial and Civil Jurisdiction: Permitting Delay, Restricting Access and Recognising Incompatible Judgments”.

Below is my honours law dissertation together with tips and a very special video from an ex-Cambridge professor at the end. Enjoy!

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How to write a first class legal dissertation: Content and Structure

Three tips can be suggested to get you started on the right foot:

First, research the subject in which you are most interested in writing about for your dissertation, then choose a sufficiently narrow angle to approach the subject or choose something that hasn’t been discussed much before.

Second, collect, or print out or photocopy all relevant materials which discuss that narrow subject.

Third, plan rough headings for sub-topics within the main subject. While the contents below were finalised towards the end of the writing process, the rough structure was formulated at an early point in the writing process. This is how many academics write their books: they provide themselves with lots of headings and subheadings, then chip away at the work, bit by bit until complete.

Examples contents for “Protection of the Right to a Fair Trial and Civil Jurisdiction: Permitting Delay, Restricting Access and Recognising Incompatible Judgments” are as follows:-

1. INTRODUCTION

2. ARTICLE 6: THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL

2.1. Substantive Elements 2.2. Procedural Operation: Direct and Indirect Effect 2.3. The Human Rights Act 1998

3. REASONABLE TIME

3.1. Introduction 3.2. Framework under Article 6 3.3. Conflict with Lis Pendens: Erich Gasser 3.3.1. Delay in the Italian Court 3.3.2. A Clash of Treaties 3.3.3. Future Application 3.4. Conflict with Forum non Conveniens 3.4.1. General Operation 3.4.2. First Limb of Spiliada 3.4.3. Second Limb of Spiliada 3.5. Conclusions

4. ACCESS TO A COURT

4.1. Operation in Article 6 4.2. Anti-Suit Injunctions 4.3. Exclusive Jurisdiction Agreements and Waiving Convention Rights 4.4. Limitations on Jurisdiction 4.5. Conflict with Forum non Conveniens 4.6. Owusu v Jackson 4.7. Conclusions

5. RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENTS

5.1. Recognition of Contracting State Judgments 5.2. Recognition of Non-Contracting State Judgments 5.2.1. European Court of Human Rights 5.2.2. House of Lords 5.4. Conclusions

6. CONCLUSIONS

7. BIBILIOGRAPHY

7.1. Table of Cases 7.2. Table of Legislation 7.3. Table of Conventions 7.4. Textbooks 7.5. Articles

Writing your introduction

Together with the conclusion, the introduction is one of the most significant pieces of a dissertation that you have to get right. A well-written introduction can make all the difference between a first class and an upper second.

If you take just one thing away from this series of posts, it is this. You can develop a better stream of communication with your reader, forming a better relationship, if you tell them what you are going to say (introduction), say it (main body), then tell them what you have said (conclusion).

So, to the introduction, set the scene as fast as possible then tell the reader what you are going to say, but don’t be so amateurish as to write “I am going to discuss X, Y and Z”. Be more indirect. Suggest, for instance, that there are problems with the law that need to be resolved.

1. INTRODUCTION Long since inevitable initial encounters, human rights concerns, particularly regarding the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), have been accelerating in today’s civil jurisdiction and judgments arena in the United Kingdom, a notable consequence of the passing of the Human Rights Act (HRA) 1998. More than six years from the Act’s coming into force, it is now imperative to reach conclusions which reflect the “importance attaching in today’s world and in current international thinking and jurisprudence to the recognition and effective enforcement of individual human rights,” as Mance LJ (as he then was) has noted. This necessity is reflected in the recent extensive consideration of the right to a fair trial in key works of some of the most authoritative conflict lawyers in the United Kingdom, including Sir Lawrence Collins, Professor Adrian Briggs and, most significantly, Professor James Fawcett. Methods of protecting the right to a fair trial and thus of avoiding a breach of Article 6 are irrelevant to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR); the Court is not concerned with reviewing under the Convention in abstracto the law complained of, but rather the application of that law. There is therefore a large amount of discretion afforded to the courts regarding techniques to avoid infringement of the Convention. In the context of civil jurisdiction and judgments, various methods of avoiding infringement, or indeed enabling protection, of the right to a fair trial exist. However, the extent to which these have been used in practice, both by the UK courts and the ECJ, has been limited, a result of various factors, the most striking of which being the wrongful application of the ECHR and even the conscious decision to ignore it. Before analysing specific fair trial concerns in detail, it is necessary to examine the general structure and operation of Article 6 as it applies to civil jurisdiction and judgments.

Chapter 1: Setting the scene

Depending on the nature of your dissertation, you may need to set the scene further. In a legal dissertation, by “scene” is meant the bits of law that are relevant to set up key arguments in the main body of the dissertation. With this example dissertation, the target readership was, for various reasons, international private law experts. Because human rights law was a key part of the debate, the relevant law had to be set out in such detail that the chapters following it could discuss, for instance, the right to a fair trial and the doctrines of direct and indirect effect without any need for constant repetitive explanation.

2. ARTICLE 6: THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL 2.1. Substantive Elements Article 6(1) ECHR provides inter alia that “[i]n the determination of his civil rights and obligations…everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law….” The ECtHR has reverberated that “the right to a fair administration of justice holds such a prominent place” that Article 6 should not be interpreted restrictively. Instead, the seemingly distinct provisions of Article 6 are not discrete, but are “rights which are distinct but stem from the same basic idea and which, taken together, make up a single right not specifically defined in the narrower sense of the term.” This single right is the title of Article 6: the “right to a fair trial.” This right comprises two particularly significant elements important in the context of civil jurisdiction and judgments. First, the right to a trial within a reasonable time. Expressly stated in Article 6(1), this right may be pertinent where proceedings are stayed in favour of a foreign court. Second, access to a court, an inherent element of Article 6(1). This may have relevance where access is denied to the UK courts through, for example, staying proceedings, or restraining foreign proceedings. 2.2 Procedural Operation: Direct and Indirect Effect Article 6 can operate through a number of mechanisms in the civil jurisdiction and judgments context, which must be distinguished for analytical purposes. First, through direct effect, where there is direct protection of a party’s right to a fair trial in the domestic courts themselves. Such protection is strong and somewhat easier to obtain because there is no test for the seriousness of the breach. Such infringement may occur through a refusal of access to the UK courts, which refusal may emanate from, inter alia, an exclusion of jurisdiction or stay of proceedings. Second, through indirect effect, where a person is transferred to another country where his right to a fair trial may be infringed in that country. In Soering v United Kingdom the ECtHR emphasised that it was for Member States to secure Convention rights of persons within their jurisdiction, but that this obligation did not extend to non-Contracting States, nor should it seek to impose ECHR standards on such States. Thus, for example, in respect of deportation of a person to the United States of America from England, there may be an indirect breach of Article 6, but only where the transfer creates or risks creating a flagrant breach of the claimant’s right to a fair trial in that other country. In presenting an argument for the creation of such risk, it is axiomatic that a strong compilation of evidence is essential, with reference to the circumstances of both the case and proceedings of the court in question. The difficulty with such an argument in the civil jurisdiction sphere is that stays of proceedings concern transfers of actions abroad, not persons. Notwithstanding, arguments for the application of the indirect effect doctrine in this context are still applicable because the situations are “essentially the same.” Indeed, it could be argued that staying proceedings amounts to a transfer of persons through effective compulsion. Nevertheless, no authority exists for this argument and indeed the indirect effect doctrine itself has not been successfully relied upon in an Article 6 context before the (former) Commission or ECtHR. Third, through indirect effect where enforcement in a Contracting State of a judgment from a foreign State, whether Contracting or non-Contracting, would breach Article 6 because that judgment itself breached Article 6 standards. It has been stated that such a breach by the foreign court must also be a flagrant one. However, the reasoning underlying this proposition is unclear and, as with many matters in the civil jurisdiction and judgments sphere, there are concerns as to the extent to which the right to a fair trial can be upheld in this respect. 2.3 The Human Rights Act 1998 The Convention rights, including Article 6, now have the force of law in the United Kingdom under the HRA 1998. The Act places two initial express duties on the UK courts: first, the duty to read and give effect to primary and subordinate legislation in a way compatible with the Convention rights, if possible; second, the duty to take into account inter alia any previous judgment of the ECtHR in determining proceedings which have a Convention right element, insofar as it has relevance to those proceedings. Moreover, under Section 6(1) of the HRA 1998, it is unlawful for a public authority, including a court, to act in a way incompatible with a Convention right. This is a significant duty on the courts, which indeed sparked considerable academic debate as to the Act’s impact on private commercial disputes. Thus, the courts have a duty to interpret and apply the common law or any exercise of discretion compatibly with the right to a fair trial under Article 6. Ultimately, this may amount to a positive duty to develop the common law, extending beyond mere interpretation of the common law to conform to the Convention principles. Notwithstanding this rather stringent theoretical framework for the courts upholding the right to a fair trial, there has been a lack of consistency in its practical impact in the field of civil jurisdiction and judgments. Endnotes *Converting c300 footnotes on a Microsoft Word document to a WordPress post is not feasible for this blawgger. They are, therefore, pasted below as endnotes. The full dissertation is available in the Juridical Review, vol 1 of 2008 pp15-31 Delcourt v Belgium (1979-80) 1 EHRR 355, at [25]; indeed, the principles of due process and the rule of law are fundamental to the protection of human rights (Clayton and Tomlinson: 2000, p550,) just as a fair trial is a fundamental element of the rule of law (Ovey and White: 2002, p139.) Golder v. United Kingdom [1975] ECHR 1, at [28]. Ibid., at [36]. Such cases can be labelled “domestic” ones: Government of the United States of America v Montgomery (No 2) [2004] UKHL 37, at [15], per Lord Bingham. R (Razgar) v Special Adjudicator [2004] AC 368, at [42]. Soering v United Kingdom (1989) 11 EHRR 439. Ibid., at [113]; this test has been followed subsequently: e.g. Einhorn v France (no.71555/01, 16 October 2001) at [32], Tomic v United Kingdom (no.17837/03, 14 October 2003) at [3]. Fawcett; 2007, p4. Ibid. Montgomery (n12); Drozd and Janousek v France and Spain (1992) 14 EHRR 745, p795; cf. Pellegrini v Italy [2001] ECHR 480. HRA 1998, s3(1). Ibid., s2(1)(a); such previous decisions are not binding; notwithstanding, as Lord Slynn observed in R (Alconbury Developments Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Environment [2001] 2 WLR 1389 at [26]: “[i]n the absence of some special circumstances it seems to me that the court should follow any clear and constant jurisprudence of the [ECtHR].” Ibid., s6(3)(a). Wade: 2000; Lester and Pannick: 2000. Such discretion should be “exercised with great caution and with close regard to the overall fairness of the proceedings”: R v Jones [2003] AC 1, at [6], per Lord Bingham. HL Deb vol.583, p783 (24 November 1997); Grosz, Beatson and Duffy: 2000, para.4.56; cf.. Derbyshire CC v Times Newspapers Ltd [1992] QB 770. Grosz, Beatson and Duffy: 2000, para.4.59.

Main Body Part 1

Next follows the first main chunk discussing and debating the title of the dissertation. To maintain structure, even this sub-section of the dissertation has its own introduction, some degree of scene-setting with Art 6 in the particular context of the chapter, argument through various levels and conclusions.

3. REASONABLE TIME 3.1. Introduction It has been stated that “excessive delays in the administration of justice constitute an important danger, in particular for the respect of the rule of law” and for the legal certainty of citizens. This importance is reflected in the express protection of the reasonable time requirement in Article 6. There have been recent challenges in the civil jurisdiction context on this ground, the most significant of which being raised in Erich Gasser GmbH v Misat Srl, concerning conflict with lis pendens. A further instance, the common law doctrine of forum non conveniens has been suggested to be so incompatible, which would therefore have implications for the doctrine in its now very limited common law habitat. 3.2. Framework under Article 6 In civil cases, time starts to run when the proceedings are instituted and stops when legal uncertainty has been removed, which normally requires that the final appeal decision has been made or the time for making an appeal has expired. It is generally accepted that the correct approach is to decide whether the overall delay is prima facie “unreasonable” for the type of proceedings concerned and thereafter consider whether the State is able to justify each period of delay. In assessing such justification, the limited guidelines indicate that all the circumstances will be considered, with particular regard to the complexity of the case and the conduct of the applicant and judicial authorities in addition to the behaviour of other parties to the case and what is at stake in the litigation for the applicant. Generally, where proceedings are stayed, there are three stages which must be distinguished for determining delay. First, the proceedings before the domestic court. Any unjustifiable delay at this point would amount to a direct breach of Article 6. Second, the transfer of proceedings to the foreign court. Delay at this stage would be less justifiable where, for instance, there was known to be a heavy backlog of cases. Notwithstanding, the “normal lapses of time stemming from the transfer of the cases” are not to be regarded as unjustified. Third, the proceedings before the foreign court. At the second and third stages, although any unreasonable delay by the foreign court will amount to a direct breach by that court, there could also be an indirect breach by the domestic court, but only to the extent that the party suffered, or risked suffering, a flagrant breach. Endnotes Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Resolution DH (97) 336, 11 July 1997. Fabri and Langbroek: 2003, p3. C-116/02 [2005] QB 1. Opinion of AG Léger in Owusu v Jackson C-281/02 [2005] QB 801 at [270]. A sist by the Scottish courts through forum non conveniens can be made where jurisdiction is founded on Art.4 of the Judgments Regulation or Convention: Collins et al: 2006, para.12-023. Moreover, a sist can be made on the ground that the courts of England or Northern Ireland are the forum conveniens, because intra-UK jurisdiction can be so settled: Cumming v Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd, The Times, 8 June 1995; Collins: 1995. Scopelliti v Italy (1993) 17 EHRR 493, at [18]. Vocaturo v Italy [1991] ECHR 34. E.g. fewer than six years for a reparation action (Huseyin Erturk v Turkey [2005] ECHR 630.) Clayton and Tomlinson: 2000, p654; Harris, O’Boyle and Warbrick: 1995, p229. Eckle v Germany (1983) 5 EHRR 1, at [80]; an obvious consideration being delay in commencing proceedings. Buchholz v Germany [1981] ECHR 2, at [49]. Foti v Italy (1982) 5 EHRR 313, at [61]. Zimmermann and Steiner v Switzerland [1983] ECHR 9; Guincho v Portugal [1984] ECHR 9; cf. Buchholz (n36), at [61], where the backlog was not reasonably foreseeable; exceptional circumstances were taken into account in Foti (n37) as a result of troubles in Reggio Calabria, which impacted proceedings in the courts in Potenza, to which cases had been transferred. Foti (n37), at [61]. Soering (n14) at [113].

Having set the scene, it is time to delve straight into comment and opinion, drawing on relevant facts and law where required. Where possible, suggest ways in which events or decisions could have been improved and do not be afraid to say that commentators, judges or even powerful institutions, like the ECJ, got it wrong.

3.3. Conflict with Lis Pendens: Erich Gasser Erich Gasser v MISAT concerned the validity of a choice-of-court agreement in favour of the Austrian courts where one party had first seised the Italian courts by way of negative declaration. Second seised, the Austrian Court sought a reference from the ECJ on, inter alia, whether it must stay its proceedings under lis pendens where the proceedings in the court first seised generally take an unreasonably long time, such that there may be a breach of Article 6. Both the claimant and the intervening UK Government invoked the ECHR, arguing that Article 21 of the Brussels Convention should be interpreted in conformity with Article 6 ECHR to avoid excessively protracted proceedings, given that proceedings in Italy were likely to take an unreasonably long time. Through this interpretation, it was argued that Article 21 should not be applied if the court first seised had not determined its jurisdiction within a reasonable time. In a very short response, the ECJ effectively said that the ECHR did not apply because first, it is not expressly mentioned in the Brussels Convention and second, there is no room for it in a collection of mandatory rules underpinned by mutual trust between Contracting States. 3.3.1. Delay in the Italian Court However, it may be seen that the stay de facto risked at least a standard breach in the Italian court. The Italian courts have been held in breach of Article 6 a staggering number of times because of unreasonable slowness. The existence of these breaches amounted to a practice incompatible with the ECHR and produced the notoriety of the Italian legal system as “the land that time forgot.” Indeed, the practice of seising the Italian courts first by way of negative declaration has become known as instituting an “Italian torpedo,” which may succeed in delaying proceedings substantially even where the Italian courts have no jurisdiction. It has already been noted that evidence is crucial in determining a real risk of a breach of Article 6. Instead, in Gasser, human rights arguments were based upon a general breach of the reasonable time requirement in Italian courts. Moreover, no ECtHR case law was relied upon when so arguing, nor was mention made of previous breaches. Therefore, a very weak argument, if any, was laid before the ECJ in respect of a risk of a breach. In effect, the ECJ was being asked something tantamount to whether there should be an exception to Article 21 in respect of certain Member States, a question justifiably answered in the negative. However, if the arguments had been more focussed, concentrating on the present case, with evidence to show the likelihood of breach in the Tribunale civile e penale di Roma, then the ECJ may have been more persuaded by Article 6 considerations, as Fawcett suggests. Notwithstanding previous delays, efforts have been made to reduce the backlog of cases. This is somewhat owing to Article 13 ECHR, which requires Contracting States to provide persons with an effective national remedy for breach of a Convention right. Such domestic remedies assist in reducing further breaches and ultimately reduce the need for the indirect effect doctrine. Thus, the Italian “Pinto Act” was passed, providing a domestic legal remedy for excessive length-of-proceedings cases. The existence of this remedy may have gone towards justifying application of Article 21, which indeed was one of the questions referred to the ECJ by the Austrian Court, although unanswered. 3.3.2. A Clash of Treaties Nevertheless, given that the ECJ so held that Article 6 considerations were irrelevant, there may be further legal implications, particularly for the Austrian Court which was required to stay its proceedings under the Brussels Convention. If this stay created or risked creating a flagrant breach of the reasonable time requirement in the Italian Court, Austria may itself have breached Article 6 indirectly. Such an indirect breach is clearly not justifiable on the ground that Austria is party to the Brussels Convention or Regulation made under the European Treaties. Hence, the judgment may lead to a clash between the ECHR and Brussels Convention or Regulation. This in turn raises the questions of how and to what extent the Brussels Convention or Regulation could have been interpreted to give effect to Article 6. Formerly Article 57 of the Brussels Convention, Article 71 of the Brussels Regulation provides inter alia that “(1) [t]his Regulation shall not affect any conventions to which the Member States are parties and which in relation to particular matters, govern jurisdiction or the recognition of judgments.” Although the ECHR is not prima facie a Convention governing jurisdiction, all Member States are party to it and Article 6 contains the inherent right of access to a court. Thus, as Briggs and Rees argue, this may have application where a court with jurisdiction is prevented from exercising that jurisdiction in a manner compatible with the ECHR. Therefore, in Gasser Article 71 may have been applied to allow Austria to act in accordance with its obligations under the ECHR. This approach is complemented by Article 307 (ex 234) EC such that Article 21 or 27 of the Brussels Convention or Regulation respectively can be overridden by a Convention previously entered into, including the ECHR. Further, this conclusion is even more realistic in light of the jurisprudence of the ECJ, which is peppered with notions of protection for fundamental rights, and the express protection of these rights in Article 6(2) EC. Instead of even contemplating such an outcome, the ECJ showed that it was prepared to ignore a significant international convention. Perhaps, in addition to mutual trust between Contracting States, mutual recognition of international conventions should have been considered, especially due to the express provisions permitting such consideration. Endnotes Those having a duration of over three years: Gasser (n28), at [59]. At [71]-[73]. See Ferrari v Italy [1999] ECHR 64, at [21]. Ferrari (n46), at [21]; Article 6 imposes on the Contracting States the duty to organise their judicial systems in such a way that their courts can meet the requirements of the provision (Salesi v Italy [1993] ECHR 14, at [24].) Briggs and Rees: 2005, Preface to the Fourth Edition, p.v. Messier-Dowty v Sabena [2000] 1 WLR 2040. Franzosi: 1997, p384. Transporti Castelletti v Hugo Trumpy, C-159/97, [1999] ECR I-1597. Supra p4. Opinion of A.G. Léger in Gasser, at [88]. When Gasser came before the ECJ, there was already a delay in Italian proceedings of 3½ years in determining jurisdiction. Fawcett: 2007, p15. Kudla v Poland [2000] ECHR 512. Fawcett: 2007, p4. Law no.89 of 24 March 2001. However, even this has breached Article 6(1): Riccardo Pizzati v Italy [2006] ECHR 275, at [66]; Mance suggests that the Act only partially solved if not repatriated the ECtHR’s overwhelming number of claims in this respect (Mance: 2004b, p357.) Notwithstanding, since 1999, there has been a trend of continuous breach, the ECtHR having adopted more than 1,000 judgments against Italy (Riccardo Pizzati, at [66].) As Briggs and Rees note, the ECHR “might as well have been part of the law of Mars for all the impact it had.” (Briggs and Rees:2005, para.2.198.) Soering (n14), at [113]. Matthews v United Kingdom [1999] ECHR 12. Hartley: 2005b, p821 n35; the most important example of a conflict of treaties: Hartley: 2001, p26. Briggs and Rees: 2005, para.2.38. An approach recognised by both Mance (Mance: 2004a, paras.6-7) and Hartley (Hartley: 2005a, p383.) ERT v DEP C-260/89 [1991] ECR I-2925, at [41]; “Bosphorus Airways” v Ireland (2006) 42 EHRR 1,at [73]; particularly for Article 6: Philip Morris International Inc v Commission of the European Communities [2003] ECR II-1, at [121].

Tip: Suggest Improvements for the Future

It may be that, in the course of the research for your dissertation, you discover previous decisions and actions that may happen again in the future. You may want to suggest that there is such a risk in the future and that there are ways in which that risk can be guarded against. You may also want to state challenges with implementing such safeguards. For instance, in the below section, there is comment that the ECJ is, sometimes, so myopic that its stance won’t budge.

3.3.3. Future Application The ECtHR has held that a failure by a national court to make a preliminary reference to the ECJ could be a breach of Article 6 ECHR in certain circumstances. Thus, it is arguable that where similar facts to Gasser arise again, the domestic court may have to make a reference to the ECJ, and in doing so, show cogent evidence of the risk of a flagrant breach, unlike that presented to the ECJ in Gasser. In this context, the ECJ will have another chance to take human rights seriously, with the opportunity to apply Article 307 EC complementing Article 71 of the Brussels Regulation and jurisprudence both of the ECJ and ECtHR. Notwithstanding, given the ECJ’s swift dismissal of human rights concerns in Gasser in favour of the inflexible system of lis pendens, it appears unlikely that it would permit exception in the future. For the ECJ legal certainty under the Brussels regime is clearly more significant than legal certainty either through party autonomy under jurisdiction agreements or through the right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time. As Merrett notes, “[t]he ECJ simply does not see questions of jurisdiction as being concerned with private rights at all,” a stance which will need to change, particularly in light of the pressing atmosphere of today’s human rights culture. Endnotes Soc Divagsa v Spain (1993) 74 DR 274. Legal certainty is perhaps more significant under the Brussels Regulation, particularly illustrated by the addition of Article 30. Cf. A.G. Léger in Gasser, at [70]. Merrett: 2006, p332. Hartley notes that this is perhaps not surprising given that the ECJ is more concerned with public law, and as such, should be expected to give more weight to State interests, rather than the interests of private parties (Hartley: 2005b, pp814-815.)

Take a proposition that has never been discussed and debate it

Another thing that truly separates a first class dissertation from a second class one is discussion of ideas and issues that have never before been discussed. The following is an example of such a proposition and discussion, all of which stemmed from one footnote in an academic article that said a certain proposition “had never been discussed before in the courts of the UK”. Finding this loophole was essential to the dissertation’s success.

3.4. Conflict with Forum non Conveniens An export of Scots law, forum non conveniens was accepted into English law in Spiliada Maritime Corporation v Cansulex Ltd, becoming indistinguishable from Scots law. Under the Spiliada test, there are two stages: first, the defendant must show that there is some other available forum which is clearly more appropriate for the trial of the action, upon which a stay will ordinarily be granted; second, upon the first stage being satisfied, it is for the claimant to show, through cogent evidence, that justice requires that a stay should not be granted. Advocate General Léger has suggested explicitly that the forum non conveniens doctrine, as operating under this Spiliada test, may be incompatible with Article 6, given that the steps involved for the claimant in its application “have a cost and are likely considerably to prolong the time spent in the conduct of proceedings before the claimant finally has his case heard.” Although the UK courts have never discussed this proposition, there is a potential that forum non conveniens is indeed incompatible with the reasonable time requirement in Article 6. 3.4.1. General Operation Since the place of trial is decided through the exercise of judicial discretion, it is axiomatic that additional cost and time will be incurred in the domestic court, which may appear somewhat inappropriate in light of the parties having to “litigate in order to determine where they shall litigate.” Notwithstanding, given that the same forum will rarely be in the best interests of all parties, particularly highlighted by different choice of law rules, choice of forum is of crucial importance and rightfully so contested. In this respect alone, the time and cost involved may be justified. Moreover, it should be noted that it is the defendant who asks for a stay, thus incurring additional expenses, which expenses he might be expected to pay. Application for a stay is usually, and perhaps ought to be, made early. Procedural time-limits are set for such an application, despite the court retaining its discretionary power to stay proceedings. Notwithstanding, the longer an application is left, the greater the threat of the proceedings not being aborted as a matter of judicial reluctance. Moreover, if Lord Templeman’s view that submissions should be measured in hours not days with the rarity of appeals holds true, such time and expense should be contained to a minimum. This can be contrasted with the American experience of the doctrine, where forum non conveniens can produce forum battles that can last for years, such that the doctrine may even be labelled a “delaying tactic.” 3.4.2. First Limb of Spiliada As noted, there are various circumstances which can justify delay under Article 6. In assessing the complexity of a case, consideration is given to the number of witnesses , the need for obtaining expert evidence and the later intervention of other parties. It can be seen that these factors mirror the appropriateness factors considered under the first limb of the Spiliada test. Thus, in Lubbe v Cape Industries Plc the emergence of over 3,000 new claimants gave greater significance to the personal injury issues, the investigation of which would involve a cumbersome factual inquiry and potentially a large body of expert evidence, such that South Africa was rightfully identified as the most appropriate forum under the first limb of Spiliada. Moreover, in Spiliada, similar litigation had already taken place over another vessel, the Cambridgeshire, such that the proceedings would be more appropriate in England. Termed the “Cambridgeshire factor,” it is persuasive where advantages of “efficiency, expedition and economy” would flow naturally from the specialist knowledge gained by the lawyers, experts and judges in the related proceedings. However, successful use of this factor has been extremely rare. Although conveniens means “appropriate”, not “convenient”, considerations of convenience and expense are still relevant. Thus, in both The Lakhta and The Polessk , a stay was granted because the dispute could be resolved more appropriately in the Russian Court at far less expense and far greater convenience for those involved, in light of, inter alia, the availability of witnesses and other evidence. Further, speed of a trial itself may be decisive in balancing appropriateness factors. For example, in Irish Shipping Ltd v Commercial Union, although the courts of both England and Belgium were appropriate, the dispute could be resolved more quickly in the English court given the more complex position of the plaintiff’s title to sue under the governing law in Belgium; therefore a stay of the English proceedings was refused. Moreover, the availability of an early trial date is material in determining the most appropriate forum ; indeed, “speedy justice is usually better justice.” It can therefore be seen that the factors considered in the first limb of the Spiliada test reflect the justifications for delay under the reasonable time requirement of Article 6(1) and indeed consideration of these factors may result in an overall speedier trial. Hence, determining whether or not to apply the forum non conveniens doctrine is more than justifiable. Further, it is worth considering whether delay by the foreign court itself can be avoided. Endnotes Sim v Robinow (1892) 19 R 665. [1987] AC 460. Crawford and Carruthers: 2006, pp157-158. Spiliada (n13), pp474-477. Opinion of A.G. Léger in Owusu (n29), at [270]. Hare perceives that paragraph 42 of Owusu is “strangely reminiscent” of A.G. Léger’s suggestions: Hare: 2006, p172 n.96. Fawcett; 2007, p9. Slater: 1988, p554; Robertson: 1987, p414; Zhenjie: 2001, p157. Cf. Spiliada (n72), p464 per Lord Templeman. Crawford and Carruthers: 2006, p157. Bell: 2002, paras.2.40-2.42, 2.58. Svantesson: 2005, pp411-412. Briggs and Rees: 2002, p220. Despite potential for re-application: Owens Bank Ltd v Bracco [1992] 2 AC 433, p474. E.g. in England, CPR Part 11. Ibid., r.3.1(2)(f). Briggs and Rees: 2005, pp324-325. Spiliada (n72), p465. E.g. Lacey v Cessna Aircraft (1991) 932 F.2d 170. Green: 1956, p494. Supra p8. Andreucci v Italy [1992] ECHR 8. Wemhoff v Germany (1968) 1 EHRR 55. Manieri v Italy [1992] ECHR 26. [2000] 1 WLR 1545. [2000] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 383, p391; however, a stay was not granted because substantial justice could and would not be done in the South African forum under the second limb of Spiliada, see infra p25. Spiliada (n72), p469. Ibid., p486. Collins et al: 2006, para.12-030 n.34. The Atlantic Star [1974] AC 436, p475; Spiliada (n72), pp474-475. Hill: 2005, para.9.2.23; wastage of cost is an important consideration in granting a stay, whether under forum non conveniens or not (Carel Johannes Steven Bentinck v Lisa Bentinck [2007] EWCA Civ 175.) [1992] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 269. [1996] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 40. [1991] 2 QB 206. Ibid., p246. Xn Corporation Ltd v Point of Sale Ltd [2001] I.L.Pr. 35. Ibid., at [14]

Develop that new debate and get creative

As noted in the previous post, one of the most important breakthroughs in writing your dissertation can come from spotting a gap where something has not yet been discussed. Once writing to fill that gap, it may be helpful to ask yourself what other angles there are to the debate. Or think about if the matter went to an official debate or, for law dissertations, to court. Think about creative arguments that an advocate might run and try to develop them yourself. Such development can lead to your getting a first rather than a 2:1.

3.4.3. Second Limb of Spiliada Delay in the foreign forum is a fundamental consideration when determining the interests of justice at the second limb of the Spiliada test and may even be decisive if the anticipated delay is excessive. An example pertinent to justification under Article 6(1) is The Jalakrishna, where a delay of five years was anticipated if the case was tried in India, such that the claimant would be prejudiced given his need for financial assistance in light of his critical injuries in an accident. Thus, a stay was not granted, showing respect for both a potential delay itself and what was at stake for the claimant. Notwithstanding, such cases are rare. For example, in Konamaneni v Rolls-Royce Industrial Power (India) Ltd, Collins J (as he then was) recognised that the Indian legal system had made attempts to reduce its backlog of cases, such that in the absence of sufficient evidence of an anticipated delay, it would indeed be a “substantial breach of comity to stigmatise the Indian legal system in that way,” somewhat reflecting the principle that the claimant must “take [the appropriate] forum as he finds it.” Indeed, one of the major advantages of the forum non conveniens doctrine is that it offsets the judge’s tendency to grab as many cases as he can and it respects the valuable international private law principle of comity. As Lord Diplock stated in The Abidin Daver, “judicial chauvinism has been replaced by judicial comity.” However, the interests of States cannot always be reconciled with private party rights. When considering whether to stay proceedings, in light of Article 6, the interests of States should yield to the interests of private parties. Thus, if evidence is sufficient to show a real risk of a flagrant breach in the foreign forum, as was not presented in Gasser, a stay should not be permitted. Again mirroring reasonable time justifications under Article 6, additional considerations of what is at stake in the litigation may arise and authorities may have to exercise exceptional diligence in the conduct of certain cases. An ECtHR case, X v France shows that where a person sought compensation following infection with the AIDS virus, what was at stake was of crucial importance in determining the reasonableness of the length of proceedings. What is at stake will be relevant and probably decisive following a stay of proceedings under forum non conveniens, as The Jalakrishna shows. Notably, in Owusu v Jackson, where forum non conveniens was not permitted, what was at stake for Owusu was significant as he was rendered tetraplegic through his accident. It can therefore be seen that forum non conveniens takes a pragmatic approach to preventing foreseeable unreasonable delays under the second limb of Spiliada. Not only does this further justify operation of the doctrine under Article 6(1) through direct effect, it also greatly restricts, if not eliminates, the possibility of an indirect breach by the domestic court, given that the risk of a flagrant breach of the right to a fair trial is a fundamental factor of the interests of justice. Notwithstanding, herein there are still concerns in light of Professor Fawcett’s suggestion that a hybrid human rights/international private law approach should be taken such that Article 6 concerns should be identified first, taking into account ECtHR jurisprudence, and thereafter it should be for the flexible second limb of Spiliada to apply to resolve these issues. Fawcett concedes that the same result will be achieved in most cases, yet suggests that there may be borderline cases where this solution would work better and human rights concerns will have been taken more seriously. However, this need for procedural restructuring of judicial reasoning is arguably not wholly convincing, particularly given that the indirect effect doctrine under Soering requires a flagrant breach of Article 6, not merely a standard breach; it is therefore difficult to imagine the existence of any “borderline” cases as such. Moreover, in the cases of potential flagrant breaches, the interests of justice principle has been shown to be flexible enough to prevent stays which may breach Article 6 indirectly, regardless of the classification of the delay as a breach of human rights or otherwise. In this respect, it is arguable that the international private law case law could be adequately relied upon. Nevertheless, initial consideration of ECtHR jurisprudence may have more importance than in providing a mere procedurally attractive measure; it may guide and influence those who fail to see the pressing importance of human rights today and will at least effect compliance with the Section 2 of the HRA 1998 which demands that such jurisprudence be considered wherever Convention rights are in issue. Endnotes The Vishva Ajay [1989] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 558, p560; Chellaram v Chellaram [1985] 1 Ch 409, pp435-436; cf. The Nile Rhapsody [1992] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 399,pp413-414, where Hirst J gave “minimal weight to the delay factor” upon direction by the appellate courts. [1983] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 628. Hill: 2005, para.9.2.38. [2002] 1 WLR 1269. Ibid., at [177]. Connelly v RTZ Corpn plc [1998] AC 854, p872. [1984] AC 398. Ibid., p411. A and others v Denmark [1996] ECHR 2, at [78]. [1992] ECHR 45. [1983] 2 Lloyd’s Rep.628. (n29). Notwithstanding, the ECJ’s taking 2¾ years to produce its judgment did not go towards acknowledging the express request by the English Court of Appeal to provide reasonably quick compensation. Of course, time taken for a required preliminary reference from the ECJ is entirely justified under Article 6 (Pafitis v Greece (1999) 27 EHRR 566, at [95].) Fawcett: 2007, pp36-37. Such that length-of-proceedings cases (see supra pp.7-8) should be consulted in the context of unreasonable delay. (n14).

Put your foot in the icy water: Don’t be afraid to come to powerful conclusions

A dissertation that is written with balanced conclusions is a boring one. Reasoned opinion is important. Nothing would get done in this world if we said “X is right, but Y is equally right, so let’s just leave things the way they are”. Sitting on the fence may well get you a good upper second class award but there is little chance of it getting you a first. A certain English teacher, Sandra MacCallum, at Kyle Academy once taught that, sometimes, “you’ve got to put your foot into the icy water”. Don’t be afraid to come to powerful conclusions. Hopefully the below example, with a reasonable, opinionated attack on the ECJ’s lack of respect for the common law principles of the Scottish export doctrine forum non conveniens, illustrates the significance of this suggestion.

3.5. Conclusions It is perplexing that in Owusu Advocate General Léger, and perhaps indirectly the ECJ, suggested that applying forum non conveniens may be incompatible with the “reasonable time” requirement of the right to a fair trial under Article 6(1), whereas analysis of its proper operation shows that it is compatible and may even be a useful tool in providing faster and more economic litigation. Although it is at least somewhat refreshing to see ECHR arguments being acknowledged in an international private law context without encouragement, it is nevertheless peculiar that Article 6 concerns have been identified in relation to forum non conveniens, “one of the most civilised of legal principles” as Lord Goff of Chieveley put it, when the ECJ did not properly apply or even consider Article 6 in Gasser, where the need for its recognition was much more significant. The ECHR is not an optional instrument that can be applied to justify a course of reasoning, however misguided, on the one hand and dismissed when apparently greater considerations require it on the other; careful legal analysis is required for its operation, which analysis does not appear to have been applied or even respected by the ECJ.

A fresh perspective

Separating a dissertation into manageable chunks from the initial stages of structural planning gives you freedom to start afresh to write about a different but related topic once concluding another section. Access to a court, for instance, is a separate right from the right for a trial to be heard and decided within a reasonable time. It, thus, merits a separate chapter with its own introduction, subsections and conclusions.

4. ACCESS TO A COURT 4.1. Operation in Article 6 The fair, public and expeditious characteristics of judicial proceedings expressed in Article 6 would be of no value at all if there were no judicial proceedings. Thus, referring to the rule of law and avoidance of arbitrary power, principles which underlie much of the ECHR, the ECtHR has held that the right of access to a court is an element inherent in Article 6(1). Although this right is not absolute, any limitation must not restrict access to such an extent that the very essence of the right is impaired, provided that a legitimate aim is pursued with proportionality between the limitation and that aim. The potential for this right to arise in the civil jurisdiction context is high, given the intrinsic nature of the operation of jurisdiction rules. 4.2. Anti-Suit Injunctions A denial of access to a foreign court and, therefore, a potential Article 6 violation will occur through the grant of an anti-suit injunction, which seeks to restrain foreign proceedings. This issue arose in The Kribi, where the claimants sought an anti-suit injunction to restrain Belgian proceedings brought in contravention of an exclusive jurisdiction agreement. Aikens J held that “Article 6…does not provide that a person is to have an unfettered choice of tribunal in which to pursue or defend his civil rights” . Moreover, “Article 6…does not deal at all with where the right to a [fair trial] is to be exercised by a litigant. The crucial point is that civil rights must be determined somewhere by a hearing and before a tribunal in accordance with the provisions of Article 6.” Therefore, a court granting an anti-suit injunction, in the very limited circumstances in which it can now do so, would not be in breach of Section 6 of the HRA 1988 where another available forum exists. Contrastingly, Article 6 challenges remain for the “single forum” cases, where there is only one forum of competent jurisdiction to determine the merits of the claim, despite the cases already being treated differently. In such a case, the exemplary approach of Aikens J would easily resolve such human rights issues. Ultimately, in a commercially welcome judgment, human rights arguments were made and received properly. Moreover, Aikens J “logically” dealt with the human rights points first. Hence the case is a working model for Fawcett’s hybrid approach where human rights should be considered first before international private law principles. Contrasting with stays producing concerns of unreasonable delays, in this context of access to a court there is more impetus to follow Fawcett’s model, particularly given that such denial of access can constitute a direct breach of Article 6, thus producing a more realistic threat of contravention of Section 6 of the HRA 1998. 4.3. Exclusive Jurisdiction Agreements and Waiving Convention Rights Another instance pertinent to Article 6 is where a person has no access to the courts of the UK because of the enforcement of an exclusive jurisdiction agreement. Convention rights can, in general, be waived, including the right of access to a court under Article 6, which can occur where a jurisdiction agreement or agreement to arbitrate is valid and enforceable, but not where a person entered into the agreement without voluntary consensus. Generally, rights will be waived under a jurisdiction agreement meeting the requirements of Article 23 of the Brussels Regulation. However, as Briggs and Rees note, there may be instances, somewhat unattractive, where a party is bound by such a jurisdiction agreement without voluntary consensus as such, such that his right of access to a court may not have been waived, reflecting the more prudent stance taken towards compulsory alternative dispute resolution. Notwithstanding, Article 6 will be upheld provided there is another available court. 4.4. Limitations on Jurisdiction It is axiomatic that limitations on jurisdiction may restrict access to a court. The ECtHR has held that limitation periods are generally compatible with Article 6, particularly for reasons of legal certainty, provided that they are not applied inflexibly. This compatibility should encompass a stay under forum non conveniens for a forum barred by limitation, which is granted only where the claimant was at fault by acting unreasonably in failing to commence proceedings in the foreign court within the applicable limitation period. Contrastingly, blanket limitations are a more difficult species. An example of a blanket exclusion on jurisdiction is the English common law Moçambique rule, which provides that title to foreign land should be determined only at the situs of the land. This may conflict with Article 6 because of a denial of access to an English court. Although this proposition may be unfounded, particularly where access to a court is available somewhere, the exclusion on jurisdiction may still be challenged on Article 6 grounds if disproportionate its aim. Such proportionality concerns were considered in Jones v Ministry of the Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Following Al-Adsani v United Kingdom , a blanket limitation on jurisdiction was accepted because the grant of sovereign immunity, which restricted access to a court, pursued the legitimate aim of comity through compliance with international law and was proportionate. Notwithstanding, underpinning this reasoning is an inevitable tension between the interests of States and private parties, such that Mance LJ (as he then was) in the Court of Appeal produced his judgment in light of ECHR considerations, taking a more flexible approach supportive of human rights. Mark v Mark also illustrates such inflexibility and proportionality considerations. The limitation in that case prevented access to the English courts, which may have been the only available courts, through a particular rule of public policy. This rule was therefore seen by Thorpe LJ to be incompatible with Article 6 and hence the HRA 1998. Contrastingly, in the House of Lords, Baroness Hale affirmed the decision on different grounds, dismissing ECHR considerations, such that she perhaps did not take human rights concerns entirely seriously. Although access to some court will be available following most limitations, the few cases where access would be denied to the only available court under a limitation warrant special attention in light of protection of the right to a fair trial. Such attention has been properly given on occasion, as demonstrated by both Mance and Thorpe LJJ. However, this approach is not consistently followed, shown by the dangerous approach of Baroness Hale. 4.5. Interaction with Forum non Conveniens In Lubbe v Cape Industries Plc, the defendant asked for a stay of proceedings. After identifying South Africa as the natural forum, the Court was faced with the argument that the stay would breach Article 6 because the complexity of the case and lack of funding were such that the claimant could not sue in that foreign court. After applying the Spiliada principles, which provided that a stay should be refused because the claimant could not obtain justice in the foreign court, Lord Bingham then turned to the Article 6 arguments and noted simply that “I do not think article 6 supports any conclusion which is not already reached on application of Spiliada principles.” Although the right to a fair trial was acknowledged and indeed protected under the refusal to grant a stay, the procedure in reasoning lowered the importance of human rights as the Spiliada principles took precedence to application of Article 6. Thus, if the Lubbe approach was followed in the future and a stay was granted to a foreign court in which there was a risk of a flagrant breach, the court may indirectly breach Article 6 in addition to Sections 2 and 6 of the HRA 1998. Similar techniques to that employed by Lord Bingham have been used in other forum non conveniens cases. For example, in The Polessk, the extent to which evidence showed the right to a fair trial in the St. Petersberg Court was considered under the second limb of the Spiliada test. Moreover, as discussed, reasonable delay has been considered consistently, although somewhat effectively, within this second stage of Spiliada. As noted, these latter instances show a sufficient degree of reconciliation with at least the indirect effect of Article 6, regardless of the characterisation of the breach as one of Article 6 or otherwise, particularly because it is difficult to imagine “borderline” cases amounting to flagrant breaches of Article 6, as Fawcett suggests. This analysis can be applied equally to the facts of Lubbe where access to the foreign court clearly did not exist, such that a stay would unequivocally produce a flagrant breach. It may be suggested that other cases are not so easy to evaluate, such as in determining whether access to a court exists through lack of legal aid, as Santambrogio v Italy illustrates. Nevertheless, surely if the decision is a difficult one to make, then the breach cannot be flagrant and, as such, there cannot be an indirect breach of Article 6. However, as noted, a procedural shift in judicial reasoning will have undoubted procedural benefits, if at the very least it effects compliance with Section 2 of the HRA 1998. Endnotes Golder v. United Kingdom [1975] ECHR 1, at [35]. Ibid., at [34]-[35]. Ibid., at [36]; this includes the right to a determination of proceedings on the merits (Gorbachev v Russia, No. 3354/02, 15 February 2007.) Ibid., at [38]. Winterwerp v The Netherlands [1979] ECHR 4, at [60], [75]. Ashingdane v United Kingdom [1985] ECHR 8, at [57]. OT Africa Line Ltd v Hijazy (The Kribi) [2001] Lloyd’s Rep 76; now overruled on the specific point for decision (Turner v Grovit and Others [2005] AC 101). The Kribi (n131), at [42]. Ibid., at [42]. Following Turner v Grovit (n131), a court cannot grant an anti-suit injunction against a party who has commenced an action in a Brussels Convention State. British Airways v Laker Airways [1983] AC 58,at [80]. The Kribi, (n131),at [41]. Fawcett: 2007, pp36-37. Pfeiffer and Plankl v Austria (1992) 14 EHRR 692; cf. Loucaides: 2003, pp48-50. Deweer v Belgium (1979-80) 2 EHRR 439; indeed, this is a “natural consequence of [the parties’] right to regulate their mutual relations as they see fit.” (Axelsson v. Sweden, no.11960/86, 13 July 1990.) Malmstrom v Sweden (1983) 38 DR 18. Cf. under the common law (The Pioneer Container [1994] 2 AC 324); Briggs and Rees: 2005, p19. E.g. a person not party to a bill of lading bound by a jurisdiction agreement between shipper and carrier. Briggs and Rees: 2005, pp18-19. See generally Schiavetta: 2004, paras.4.2-4.21. Stubbings v United Kingdom [1996] ECHR 44, at [51]. Briggs and Rees: 2005, p20 n.101. Spiliada (n72), pp483-484. British South Africa Co v Companhia de Moçambique [1893] AC 602; for Scotland, Hewit’s Trs v Lawson (1891) 18 R 793. Briggs and Rees: 2005, para.4.06. [2006] UKHL 26. 34 EHRR 273. Cf. Markovic v Italy [2006] ECHR 1141, which held that although there was no blanket limitation on jurisdiction through sovereign immunity and that access to a court had been afforded, access was nevertheless limited in scope, such that the applicants could not receive a decision on the merits. [2005] QB 699. [2004] EWCA Civ 168, at [40]. [2006] AC 98. Fawcett: 2007, p34. [2000] 1 WLR 1545. (n72). Lubbe (n157), p1561. Further, no relevant decisions of the ECtHR were relied upon in the judgment e.g. Airey v Ireland [1979] ECHR 3 where representation costs were “very high” and the procedure was too complex and would evoke emotions too great for the applicant to present her case. Cf. Santambrogio v Italy [2004] ECHR 430 (post-Lubbe), where legal aid was deemed unnecessary in the circumstances. Fawcett: 2007, p.11. (n102), p51. Supra pp.17-19. Supra p.19. (n160).

Get creative!

Creative argument is essential if you’re going to get a first. Perhaps only unless your tutor or professor doesn’t know the topic well can you get away rehashing old argument and ideas that have been discussed thousands of times before. Having worked with academia in trying to commercialise intellectual property rights (IP), through, for instance, spin-off companies, it is clear that innovation is crucial for the business models of universities. It goes something like this: University teaches its students; Students produce research in which they and/or the university have IP, such as copyrights or patents; Student and/or university commercialises that IP by selling or licensing it to journals or other entities, such as companies. Money, then, gets reinvested into the system or society, which gets to work with the new innovation or improvement. The below argument is example of how such creativity can light up your dissertation, add value to your University and get you a better mark overall.

4.6. Owusu v Jackson Further relevance of Article 6 can be seen in the context of the ECJ’s analysis of forum non conveniens in Owusu v Jackson. Fundamentally wrong, the ECJ believed that a defendant “would not be able…reasonably to foresee before which other court he may be sued.” However, it is the defendant who asks for a stay and thus his foreseeability of a stay in this respect is secured. Article 6 is underpinned by the principle of legal certainty. Although legal certainty has specific provision in some articles of the ECHR, it is not confined to those articles; the specific provisions require domestic law “to be compatible with the rule of law, a concept inherent in all the articles of the Convention.” Legal certainty comprises the particularly significant aspect of foreseeability. In this regard, the ECtHR has noted that: “a norm cannot be regarded as a ‘law’ unless it is formulated with sufficient precision to enable the citizen to regulate his conduct: he must be able…to foresee, to a degree that is reasonable in the circumstances, the consequences which a given action may entail.” It is at least arguable that this would encompass procedural certainty emanating from rules of jurisdiction. If the forum non conveniens doctrine permitted stays without the defendant’s asking, the defendant would have such little legal certainty that there may even be an arguable infringement of his right to a fair trial under Article 6, not only incompatible with the higher test of legal certainty of jurisdictional rules under the Brussels regime. This would result from the defendant’s lack of foreseeability as to where proceedings against him would take place. Contrastingly, cogent arguments can be made against forum non conveniens, inter alia, because of the uncertainty for the claimant. Notwithstanding, it could be said that his rights under Article 6(1) are upheld through his right of access to a court somewhere else. Moreover, he would have much more legal certainty than that of the defendant under the ECJ’s interpretation of forum non conveniens because stays under proper operation of forum non conveniens are granted, to some extent, within the confines of regulated and foreseeable discretion. It can therefore be seen that the ECJ had analysed something which would be incompatible not only with Scottish and English law, but also with the ECHR and HRA 1998. Although a proper analysis of forum non conveniens would probably not have altered the outcome of Owusu, it would have been much more respectable to the common law, already set to be dismantled through an inevitable course of Europeanization, not to knock down, to some extent, a “straw man.” 4.7. Conclusions It is clear that there are disparate approaches to the right of access to a court, perhaps emanating in part from varying attitudes to the importance of human rights. Most civil jurisdiction cases will involve access being denied to one court, while access to another is still available. These will generally not breach Article 6 since there is no right of preference of court under Article 6 as Aikens J held in The Kribi, a judgment fully respectable of human rights. Contrastingly, in the limited number of cases which do yield Article 6 concerns, respect for human rights has been inconsistent, a worrying position particularly in light of the recognition of new, potential Article 6 challenges, such as in the areas of exclusive jurisdiction agreements and limitations on jurisdiction. Notwithstanding, such concerns may be unfounded, given the flexibility of international private law rules, such as the demands of justice under the second limb of Spiliada, which can effectively prevent indirect breaches of Article 6. Endnotes Except in exceptional circumstances: Collins et al: 2006, para.12-006 n.20. E.g. Articles 5 and 7. Reed and Murdoch: 2001, para.3.33. Amuur v France [1996] ECHR 20, at [50]. Reed and Murdoch: 2001, para.3.36. Sunday Times (No1) v United Kingdom [1979] ECHR 1, at [49]. Harris: 2005, p939; despite a lack of express mention by the ECJ in Owusu (n29); cf. Opinion of AG Leger in Owusu, at [160]. Hartley: 2005b, pp824-828; cf. Mance: 2007. (n72).

Add Another New Topic

The following is a different slant on the fundamental theme of the dissertation.

5. RECOGNITION AND ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENTS 5.1. Recognition of Contracting State Judgments An indirect breach of Article 6 may occur where a court recognises and thus enforces a judgment obtained in foreign proceedings contrary to the requirements of Article 6. Little challenge is presented where that judgment is obtained in a court of a State party to the ECHR; in such a case, recognition can be refused through Article 6 which is a facet of public policy under Article 27(1) of the Brussels Convention. Notably, Article 34(1) of the Brussels Regulation provides that the recognition must be “manifestly” contrary to public policy, implying a higher threshold than in Article 27(1). The difference in wording is uncertain, but it is hoped that it will not be used to “sweep mere procedural defects under the rug.” Indeed, the importance of the right to a fair trial to the rule of law cannot be underestimated and thus it is arguable that any breach of Article 6 will be manifestly contrary to public policy. Notwithstanding, if the phrases “manifestly contrary to public policy” and a “flagrant breach of the ECHR” were to be compared, it may be just as arguable that a manifest breach of Article 6, not a standard one, is required for the operation of Article 34(1) of the Brussels Regulation. However, this may not be unwarranted in the context of judgments of Contracting States, as noted. Through Krombach v Bamberski , the housing of Article 6 under public policy effectively creates a hierarchical system, whereby EC rules have precedence over human rights rules, particularly because of the ignorance of the indirect effect doctrine. However, this may not be wholly unwelcome in light of the potential existence of a common EC public policy, somewhat emanating from the harmonisation through the ECHR in 1950. Moreover, as Meidanis suggests, the ECJ appears to see the protection of human rights as the common core of the European public policy and is prepared to sacrifice the basic principle of the free movement of judgments of the Brussels Convention to ensure protection of human rights. Notwithstanding, as noted, in other contexts, the ECJ does not so respect human rights, particularly highlighted by its emphatic rejection of Article 6 in Gasser. Although the flexibility through the public policy exception does not extend to the rules relating to jurisdiction, there are other mechanisms for protecting human rights within the Brussels Convention and, especially, the Brussels Regulation. 5.2. Recognition of Non-Contracting State Judgments More difficulty arises with recognition of a judgment obtained in a non-Contracting State. 5.2.1. European Court of Human Rights Such recognition was permitted without reference to Article 6 in Drozd and Janousek. However, in Pellegrini v Italy, the ECtHR held that the Italian court could not recognise a judgment obtained in a Vatican City court in contravention of Article 6 standards. This was so despite a Concordat between Italy and the Vatican requiring such recognition. Pellegrini can be considerably demarcated from the Soering/Drozd line of cases, which requires a flagrant breach to have occurred in the non-Contracting State, the underpinning theory being the “reduced effect of public policy.” Instead, Pellegrini requires full compliance with Article 6 standards as if the foreign court were party to the ECHR, such that failure to review a judgment against which standards is a risky practice. Notwithstanding, the actual breach of Article 6 standards in Pellegrini was flagrant, despite the court’s omission of this, and therefore the judgment may not represent such a large departure from Drozd. Moreover, the “reduced effect of public policy” approach of Drozd was followed eight days prior to Pellegrini in Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein v Germany. However, it is difficult to distinguish Hans-Adam II on its facts particularly given the sweeping reasoning in Pellegrini. Thus, as it stands, Pellegrini is the leading authority, prescribing the need for a review of foreign judgments against full Article 6 standards, ensuring full protection for the right to a fair trial. It is nevertheless hoped by some that the case will be revisited, perhaps with the preference of a variable standard. Further, a dictum in Pellegrini may have the effect of requiring such review only where the judgment emanates from the courts of a State not party to the Convention. Hence, as Kinsch submits, an a contrario reading may be imputed, such that review of Article 6 standards is optional where the judgment emanates from a Contracting State. However, this may not be wholly unwelcome given that the Member States of the EU are party to the ECHR in addition to the Brussels Convention and Regulation, which seek to limit the power of public policy from preventing recognition of judgments. 5.2.2. House of Lords In stark contrast to Pellegrini, the House of Lords in Montgomery required a “flagrant” breach in the United States, a non-Contracting State, for the judgment not to be recognised. Such a flagrant breach was not created in the United States and hence recognition of a judgment breaching regular Article 6 standards was permitted. In its judgment, the House of Lords attempted to distinguish Pellegrini through the existence of the Concordat between Italy and the Vatican City, which required Italy to ensure that the Vatican court’s procedure complied with the fundamental principles of Italian legal system, one being Article 6. However, this is hard, if not impossible, to understand, particularly since it assumes that the Concordat of 1929, as amended, could incorporate ECHR standards, when the Vatican City deliberately refused to subscribe to the ECHR. Further, the ECtHR in Pellegrini did not suggest in its judgment that the relationship between Italy and the Vatican was material to its decision. Therefore, Montgomery is seen to be wrong in so distinguishing Pellegrini. Briggs and Rees further suggest that the House of Lords applied the wrong test in Montgomery because of the analysis of deportation cases, such as Soering. In such a case, a prediction is required, whereas in Montgomery, or indeed in any case concerning recognition, there was no need for such a prediction as the foreign judgment could already be seen to have breached Article 6. However, Soering requires that the person “has suffered or risks suffering a flagrant denial of a fair trial (emphasis added.)” If he has already suffered a breach, there is no need for a prediction to be made; instead, the reason for the standard of flagrancy is based on the “reduced effect of public policy” theory, an approach followed in Drozd, as noted. The reasoning of Briggs and Rees in this respect is akin to that of the Court of Appeal in Montgomery where Lord Woolf CJ stated that “the reference in [Soering at [113]] to a future flagrant breach of Article 6 was no more than a dicta which should not be applied to the enforcement of a court order of a non-Contracting State.” However, Drozd, which was not cited to, or considered by, the Court of Appeal, expressly requires such a flagrant breach of Article 6 if enforcement of a court order of a non-Contracting State is to be denied, which clearly has nothing to do with making predictions. Instead, as Briggs and Rees indeed note, the reason why the House of Lords applied the wrong test in Montgomery is that Pellegrini, the leading ECtHR authority which overrides Drozd, was wrongly distinguished and therefore permitted recognition of a judgment in contravention of ECHR jurisprudence. It may be argued that this was not a case of human rights not being taken seriously, but was merely a case of wrongful interpretation of human rights law, yet this could only be accepted upon an assumption of the incompetence of the House of Lords. 5.3. Conclusions The leading authority of the ECtHR on operation of the indirect effect doctrine with respect to recognising foreign judgments, Pellegrini demands a review of full compliance with Article 6 standards of foreign judgments, perhaps limited to those emanating from non-Contracting State courts. Through this, the right to a fair trial can be fully upheld in national courts and, in the UK, breach of Section 6 of the HRA 1998 can be avoided. Notwithstanding, the House of Lords effectively got human rights wrong, thus paving the way forward for reduced protection of Article 6 in the UK. However, this area is not devoid of hope; to effect compliance with this framework, Montgomery must be overturned, which does not appear too remote a possibility given the extensive criticism of the case.

How to conclude a first class law dissertation

The conclusion to your dissertation is, arguably, the most important part and is, therefore, potentially a major differentiator between a first class dissertation and a second class one.

There are three things which you should bear in mind:-

1. A well-written dissertation, thesis, essay or, indeed, any story should have three main parts to it: an introduction; a main body; and a conclusion. It reflects any good piece of oratory: say what you’re going to say, say it, then say what you’ve said. In your conclusion, you are, thus, trying to tell the audience what you’ve said throughout your dissertation. If the word limit is 10,000 words, 800-1000 words should, ideally, be used on your conclusion;

2. Don’t be afraid to put your foot into the icy water. As stated in an earlier section you should not be afraid to come to powerful conclusions even if they challenge the views of other academics, practitioners or even the general public, provided that your views can be fairly and reasonably supported. Which brings us to the third and most important aspect of any conclusion;

3. A well drafted conclusion should refer back to your analysis throughout your dissertation to support your suggested conclusions; it should not allow you to raise new arguments or thoughts which you haven’t already considered. Think about it like a civil proof in court: you conduct an examination-in-chief in which you ask open questions to get evidence from your witness; your opponent then cross-examines your witness to test their evidence; you then get a chance to re-examine the witness but you do NOT get a chance to raise anything new that was not covered in cross.

The conclusion to my dissertation, different from my Juridical Review version, is as below. Given the recent Supreme Court criminal law decision of Cadder v HMA, for which see the ScotsLawBlog Cadder article , the final words on getting human rights right attract even greater significance.

6. CONCLUSIONS The right to a fair trial has produced much concern in the conflict of laws arena today, a particular result of the evolution of a more stringent human rights culture in the United Kingdom. In the field of civil jurisdiction, the right to a trial within reasonable time and the right of access to a court, two of the most fundamental substantive rights of Article 6 ECHR, have emerged; in the sphere of recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, the indirect effect doctrine, a key procedural element of the ECHR, which protects the right to a fair trial indirectly but nevertheless just as significantly, has arisen. International private law mechanisms exist for the reconciliation of Article 6 with the sphere of civil jurisdiction and judgments. The extent to which these can be utilised to protect the right to a fair trial is undoubtedly immense. At the most extreme end of protection, Fawcett’s hybrid model could provide great procedural legal certainty, such that human rights concerns will be identified first, using ECtHR jurisprudence, following which international private law mechanisms can resolve these concerns with their inherent flexibility. This strict approach is not unwarranted, particularly where judges fail to see the function or even importance of human rights. Pertinent examples include the misapplication of human rights by the House of Lords in Montgomery , which indeed must be rectified, and other approaches not confined to the courts of the United Kingdom; for instance, the embarrassingly misguided approach of the ECJ in Gasser , where it refused to recognise human rights concerns in its myopic pursuit of the objectives of the Brussels regime, unyielding with respect for concerns of private parties, when there were measures available for reconciliation. This appears even more inadequate in light of Advocate General Léger’s later suggestions that forum non conveniens may actually be incompatible with Article 6, when the doctrine is more than justifiable as it seeks to produce faster and more economic litigation, through both the first and second limbs of Spiliada. Notwithstanding, the need for Fawcett’s model is more questionable in other situations; for instance, in those cases involving potential indirect breaches of Article 6 when transferring actions abroad, flexible international private law mechanisms appear to have been applied in a manner sufficiently compliant with the ECHR, regardless of the characterisation of the breach as one of Article 6 or simply of the demands of justice. For example, the second limb of Spiliada has effectively prevented stays where there is a real risk of a flagrant breach abroad, as is the Soering threshold for such an indirect breach, whether regarding unreasonable delay or lack of access to a court. Fawcett concedes that the overall result of many cases will remain unchanged but suggests that “borderline” cases may exist which pose as pitfalls for the courts. However, the requirement of flagrancy, as he correctly applied at the beginning of his analysis, makes the existence of such cases difficult, if not impossible, to imagine in practice. In this respect, Fawcett appears to be advocating an approach extending beyond avoiding breaching Article 6; instead, he is actively aiming at protection of a fair trial beyond the Article 6 threshold. However, this is not unwelcome; the importance of Article 6 is so great that it is worth adopting the strict approach. The consistent use of ECHR jurisprudence at the outset will, at the very least, prevent a breach of Section 2 of the HRA 1998; further, it may assist those judges who are misguided or fail to see the importance of human rights today. Ultimately, a strict approach may provide for considerable legal certainty in a fast and growing area of law which demands firm, human rights orientated answers.

New: we have published guides to some of the best personal injury lawyers , settlement agreement solicitors and best employment lawyers in the UK , in addition to helpful guidance on a range of other legal issues which may be useful if you or a friend need to point someone in the right direction.

How to write a bibliography to conclude your first-class dissertation

There are three stages for completing an abundant and competent bibliography. First, go into the footnotes on your document, select all, copy and paste to the foot of your article, then separate into different categories. Then, second, go back through the materials which you have read and add them. Finally, third, sort alphabetically using Word or Excel.

7. BIBLIOGRAPHY 7.1. TABLE OF CASES A and others v Denmark [1996] ECHR 2 AG of Zambia v Meer Care and Desai [2005] EWHC 2102 (Ch), appeals dismissed [2006] EWCA Civ 390 Airbus Industrie GIE v Patel [1999] 1 AC 119 Airey v Ireland [1979] ECHR 3 Al-Bassam v Al-Bassam [2004] EWCA Civ 857 Amuur v France (1996) 22 E.H.R.R. 533 Andreucci v Italy [1992] ECHR 8 Ashingdane v United Kingdom [1985] ECHR 8 Att. Gen. v Arthur Anderson & Co [1989] ECC 224 Axelsson v. Sweden, no.11960/86, 13 July 1990 Bensaid v United Kingdom (2001) 33 EHRR 10 Berghofer v. ASA SA Case 221/84 [1985] ECR 2699 Berisford Plc v New Hampshire Insurance [1990] 2 QB 631 Bock v. Germany [1989] ECHR 3 Boddaert v Belgium (1993) 16 EHRR 242 Bosphorus Hava Yollari Turizm Ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi(“Bosphorus Airways“) v Ireland (2006) 42 EHRR 1 Bottazzi v. Italy [1999] ECHR 62 Brazilian Loans (PCIJ Publications, Series A, Nos. 20-21, p.122) Bristow Heliocopters v Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation [2004] 2 Ll Rep 150 British Airways v Laker Airways [1983] AC 58 British South Africa Co v Companhia de Moçambique [1893] AC 602 Buchholz v Germany [1981] ECHR 2 Carel Johannes Steven Bentinck v Lisa Bentinck [2007] EWCA Civ 175 Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Banka AS v Nomura International Plc [2003] IL Pr 20 Chellaram v Chellaram [1985] 1 Ch 409 Connelly v RTZ Corpn plc [1998] AC 854 Credit Agricole Indosuez v Unicof Ltd [2004] 1 Lloyd.s Rep 196 Cumming v Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd, The Times June 8, 1995 Darnell v United Kingdom (1993) 18 EHRR 205 Delcourt v Belgium (1979-80) 1 EHRR 355 Derbyshire CC v Times Newspapers Ltd [1992] QB 770 Deweer v Belgium (1979-80) 2 EHRR 439 Di Mauro v. Italy ECHR 1999-V Drozd and Janousek v France and Spain (1992) 14 EHRR 745 Eckle v Germany (1983) 5 EHRR 1 Elderslie Steamship Company v Burrell (1895) 22 R 389 Elefanten Schuh GmbH v Jacqmain (Case 150/80) [1981] ECR 1671 Erich Gasser GmbH v Misat Srl, C-116/02 [2005] QB 1 ERT v DEP C-260/89 [1991] ECR I-2925 F v Switzerland [1987] ECHR 32 Ferrari v Italy [1999] ECHR 64 Foti v Italy (1982) EHRR 313 Fritz and Nana v France, 75 DR 39 Golder v. United Kingdom [1975] ECHR 1 Gorbachev v Russia, No. 3354/02, Judgment of 15 February 2007. Government of the United States of America v Montgomery (No 2) [2004] UKHL 37 Guincho v Portugal (1984) 7 EHRR 223 H v France (1990) 12 EHRR 74 Hesperides Hotels Ltd v Aegan Turkish Holidays Ltd [1979] AC 508 Hewit’s Trs v Lawson (1891) 18 R 793. Huseyin Erturk v Turkey [2005] ECHR 630. Irish Shipping Ltd v Commercial Union [1991] 2 QB 206. Iveco Fiat v Van Hool Case 313/85 [1986] ECR 3337 Jones v Saudi Arabia [2004] EWCA Civ 1394 JP Morgan Europe Ltd v Primacom [2005] EWHC 508 Katte Klitsche de la Grange v Italy (1994) 19 EHRR 368 Klockner Holdings GmbH v Klockner Beteiligungs GmbH [2005] EWHC 1453 Konamaneni v Rolls-Royce Industrial Power (India) Ltd [2002] 1 WLR 1269 Konig v Federal Republic of Germany (1978) 2 EHRR 170 Krombach v Bamberski Case C-7/98 [2001] QB 709 Kudla v Poland [2000] ECHR 512 Lacey v Cessna Aircraft (1991) 932 F.2d 170 Ledra Fisheries Ltd v Turner [2003] EWHC 1049 Lubbe v Cape Industries Plc [2000] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 383 Malone v United Kingdom (1985) 7 EHRR 1 Malstrom v Sweden (1983) 38 Decisions and Reports 18 Manieri v Italy [1992] ECHR 26 Margareta and Roger Andersson v Sweden (1992) 14 EHRR 615. Markovic v Italy [2006] ECHR 1141 Maronier v Larmer [2003] QB 620 Matthews v United Kingdom [1999] ECHR 12. Messier-Dowty v Sabena [2000] 1 WLR 2040 Netherlands 6202/73 1975 1 DR 66 OT Africa Line Ltd v Hijazy (The Kribi) [2001] Lloyd’s Rep 76 Owens Bank Ltd v Bracco [1992] 2 AC 433 Owners of the Atlantic Star v Owners of the Bona Spes (The Atlantic Star and The Bona Spes) [1974] AC 436 Owusu v Jackson and Others C-281/02 [2005] QB 801 Pafitis v Greece (1999) 27 EHRR 566 Pfeiffer and Plankl v Austria (1992) 14 EHRR 692 Philip Morris International Inc v Commission of the European Communities [2003] ECR II-1 Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein v Germany ECHR 2001-VIII. R (Razgar) v Special Adjudicator [2004] 1 AC 368 R v Jones [2003] 1 AC 1 R. (Alconbury Developments Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Environment [2001] 2 WLR 1389 R. (on the application of Ullah) v Special Adjudicator [2004] UKHL 26 Riccardo Pizzati v Italy [2006] ECHR 275 Robins v United Kingdom (1998) 26 EHRR 527 Salesi v Italy [1993] ECHR 14 Salotti v RUWA Case 23/76 [1976] ECR 1831 Santambrogio v Italy [2004] ECHR 430 Scopelliti v Italy (1993) 17 EHRR 493 Sim v Robinow (1892) 19 R 665 Soc Divagsa v Spain (1993) 74 DR 274. Soering v United Kingdom (1989) 11 EHRR 439 Spiliada Maritime Corporation v Cansulex Lid [1987] 1 AC 460 Standard Steamship Owners Protection and Indemnity Association v Gann [1992] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 528 Stogmuller v Austria (1979) 2 EHRR 155 Stubbings v United Kingdom [1996] ECHR 44 Sunday Times v United Kingdom (1979-80) 2 EHRR 245 The Al Battani [1993] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 219 The Benarty [1984] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 244 The Fehmarn [1958] 1 WLR 159 The Jalakrishna [1983] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 628 The Lakhta [1992] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 269 The Nile Rhapsody [1992] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 399 The Pioneer Container [1994] 2 AC 324 The Polessk [1996] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 40 The Vishva Ajay [1989] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 558 Toepfer International G.M.B.H. v. Molino Boschi Srl [1996] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 510 Trendex v Credit Suisse [1982] AC 679 Turner v Grovit and Others [2005] 1 AC 101 Union Alimentaria SA v Spain (1990) 12 EHRR 24 Vocaturo v Italy [1991] ECHR 34. Wemhoff v Germany (1968) 1 EHRR 55 Winterwerp v The Netherlands [1979] ECHR 4 X v France [1992] ECHR 45 Xn Corporation Ltd v Point of Sale Ltd [2001] I.L.Pr. 35 Z and Others v. United Kingdom (2002) 34 EHRR 3 Zimmermann and Steiner v Switzerland [1983] ECHR 9 7.2. TABLE OF LEGISLATION European Union EC Treaty Art 6(2) Art 307 Council Regulation 44/2001 (Brussels Regulation) Art 2 Art 4 Art 27 Art 28 Art 30 Art 34(1) Art 34(2) Art 35(3) Art 71 Italy Law no.89 of 24 March 2001 (the “Pinto Act”). United Kingdom Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 Civil Procedure Rules 1998 Part 11 r 3.1(2)(f) Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998) s1(1)(a) s2(1)(a) s3(1) s6(3)(a) 7.3. TABLE OF CONVENTIONS Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (Brussels Convention) Art 21 Art 22 Art 57 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) Art 5 Art 6 Art 7 Art 13 7.4. TEXTBOOKS Anton, A.E., and Beaumont, P., 1995. Anton & Beaumont’s Civil Jurisdiction in Scotland: Brussels and Lugano Conventions. 2nd ed ., Edinburgh: Greens Bell, A., 2003. Forum Shopping and Venue in Transnational Litigation. Oxford: OUP Briggs, A., 2002. The Conflict of Laws, Oxford: OUP. Briggs, A., and Rees, P., 2002. Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments. 3rd ed., London: LLP Briggs, A., and Rees, P., 2005. Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments. 4rd ed., London: LLP Clarkson, C.M.V., and Hill, J., 2002. Jaffey on the Conflict of Laws. 2nd ed., Oxford: OUP Clarkson, C.M.V., and Hill, J., 2006. The Conflict of Laws. New York: OUP Clayton, R. and Tomlinson, H., 2000. The Law of Human Rights. Oxford: OUP Collier, J.C., 2001. Conflict of Laws. 3rd ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Collins, L., et al (eds), 2006. Dicey Morris and Collins on the Conflict of Laws. 14th ed. London: Sweet and Maxwell Crawford, E.B., and Carruthers, J.M., 2006. International Private Law in Scotland. 2nd ed, Edinburgh: Greens Einhorn, T. and Siehr, K., 2004. Intercontinental Cooperation Through Private International Law – Essays in Memory of Peter E. Nygh. The Hague, The Netherlands: T.M.C. Asser Press. Fawcett, J.J., 1995. Declining jurisdiction in private international law: reports to the XIVth congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, Athens, August 1994. Oxford: Clarendon Press Fawcett, J.J., Harris, J. and Bridge, M., 2005. International Sale of Goods in the Conflict of Laws. Oxford: OUP Grosz, S., Beatson, J. and Duffy, P., 2000. Human Rights: The 1998 Act and the European Convention,.London: Sweet and Maxwell Harris, D.J., O’Boyle, M., Warbrick, C., 1995. Law of the European Convention on Human Rights. London: Butterworth Hill, J., 2005. International Commercial Disputes in English Courts. 3rd ed Portland: Hart Publishing McClean, D. and Beevers, K., 2005. Morris on the Conflict of Laws. 6th ed., London: Sweet and Maxwell North, P.M. and Fawcett, J.J., 2004. Cheshire and North’s Private International Law. 13th ed. Oxford: OUP Ovey, C. and White, R., 2002. The European Convention on Human Rights. New York: OUP Raitio, J., 2003. The Principle of Legal Certainty in EC Law. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers Reed, R. and Murdoch, J., 2001. A Guide to Human Rights Law in Scotland. Edinburgh: Butterworths Scotland Starmer, K., 1999. European Human Rights Law. London: Legal Action Group 7.5. ARTICLES Baldwin, J., and Cunnington, R., 2004. “The Crisis in Enforcement of Civil Judgments in England and Wales.” 2004 PL (SUM) 305-328 Briggs, A., 2005a. “Foreign Judgments and Human Rights.” 121(APR) L.Q.R. 185-189 Briggs, A., 2005b. “The Death of Harrods: Forum non Conveniens and the European Court.” 121(OCT) L.Q.R. 535-540 Clarke, A., 2007. “The Differing Approach to Commercial Litigation in the European Court of Justice and the Courts of England and Wales” 18 E.B.L.Rev. 101-129 Collins, L., 1995. “The Brussels Convention Within the United Kingdom”, 111 LQR 541 Costa, J-P., 2002, Rivista internazionale dei diritti dell’uomo, 435, cited in Kinsch, P., 2004. “The Impact of Human Rights on the Application of Foreign Law and on the Recognition of Foreign Judgments – A Survey of the Cases Decided by the European Human Rights Institutions,” in Einhorn, T. and Siehr, K., 2004. Intercontinental Cooperation Through Private International Law – Essays in Memory of Peter E. Nygh, The Hague, The Netherlands: T.M.C. Asser Press, pp197-228, p228 n100 Crawford, E.B., 2005. “The Uses of Putativity and Negativity in the Conflict of Laws.” 54 ICLQ 829-854 Crifo, C., 2005. “First Steps Towards the Harmonisation of Civil procedure: The Regulation Creating a European Enforcement Order for Uncontested Claims.” C.J.Q. 2005, 24(APR), 200-223 Eardley, A., 2006. “Libel Tourism in England: Now the Welcome is Even Warmer.” 17(1) Ent. L.R. 35-38 Fabri, M., and Langbroek, P.M., 2003. “Preliminary draft report: Delay in Judicial Proceedings: A preliminary Inquiry into the Relation Between the Demands of the Reasonable Time Requirements of Article 6(1) ECHR and Their Consequences for Judges and Judicial Administration in the Civil, Criminal and Administrative Justice Chains”, CEPEJ (2003) 20 Rev Farran, S., 2007. “Conflicts of Laws in Human Rights: Consequences for Colonies”, (2007) 1 EdinLR 121 Fawcett, J.J., 2007. “The Impact of Article 6(1) of the ECHR on Private International Law.” 56 ICLQ 1-48 Fentiman, R., 2005. “English Domicile and the Staying of Actions” [2005] 64 CLJ 303 Flannery, L., 2004. “The End of Anti-Suit Injunctions?” New Law Journal, 28 May 2004, 798 Franzosi, M., 2002. “Torpedoes are here to stay” [2002] 2 International Review of Industrial Property and Copyright Law 154 Franzosi, M., 1997. “Worldwide Patent Litigation and the Italian Torpedo” 19 (7) EIPR 382 Green, L., 1956. “Jury Trial and Mr. Justice Black,” 65 Yale LJ 482 Halkerston, G., 2005. “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” 155 NLJ 436 Hare, C., “Forum non Conveniens in Europe: Game Over or Time for ‘Reflexion’” JBL 2006, Mar, 157-179 Harris, J., 2001. “The Brussels Regulation.” 20 Civil Justice Quarterly 218 Harris, J., 2005. “Stays of Proceedings and the Brussels Convention.,” 54 ICLQ 933 Hartley, T.C., 1994. “Brussels Jurisdiction and Judgments Convention: Agreement and Lis Alibi Pendens.” 19(5) E.L.Rev 549-552 Hartley, T.C., 2001. “International Law and the Law of the European Union – A Reassessment”, 72 BYBIL 1 Hartley, T.C., 2005a. “Choice-of-court agreements, lis pendens, human rights and the realities of international business: reflection on the Gasser case” in Le droit international privé: mélanges en l’honneur de Paul Lagarde, (Dalloz, Paris, 2005), pp383-391 Hartley, T.C., 2005b. “The European Union and the Systematic Dismantling of the Common Law Conflict of Laws”, 54 ICLQ 813 Higgins, R., 2006. “A Babel of Judicial Voices? Ruminations From the Bench.” 55 ICLQ 791-804. Hogan, G., 1995. “The Brussels Convention, Forum non Conveniens and the Connecting Factors Problem.” 20(5) E.L. Rev. 471-493 Hood, K.J., 2006. “Drawing Inspiration? Reconsidering the Procedural Treatment of Foreign Law.” 2(1) JPrIL 181-193. Hunt, M., 1998. “The “Horizontal Effect” of the Human Rights Act”. 1998 Public Law 423-443 Hunter-Henin, M., 2006. “Droit des personnes et droits de l’homme: combinaison ou confrontation? (Family Law and Human Rights: Can They Go Along or Do They Exclude Each Other?),” 95(4) Revue critique de droit international privé pp743-775. Kennett, W., 1998. “Service of Documents in Europe.” 17(JUL) C.J.Q. 284-307 Kennett, W., 2001. “The Brussels I Regulation.” 50 ICLQ 725 -737 Kennett, W., 2001. “The Enforcement Review: A Progress Report.” 20(Jan) CJQ 36-57 Kennett, W., and McEleavy, P., 2002. “(Current Development): Civil and Commercial Litigation” 51 ICLQ 463 Kinsch, P., 2004. “The Impact of Human Rights on the Application of Foreign Law and on the Recognition of Foreign Judgments – A Survey of the Cases Decided by the European Human Rights Institutions,” in Einhorn, T. and Siehr, K., 2004. Intercontinental Cooperation Through Private International Law – Essays in Memory of Peter E. Nygh, The Hague, The Netherlands: T.M.C. Asser Press, pp197-228. Lester, A., and Pannick, D., 2000. “The Impact of the Human Rights Act on Private Law: The Knight’s Move.” 116 LQR 380-385 Loucaides, L.G., 2003. “Questions of a Fair Trial Under the European Convention on Human Rights.” (2003) HRLR 3(1), pp27-51. Lowenfield, A.F., 2004. “Jurisdiction, Enforcement, Public Policy and Res Judicata: The Krombach Case,” in in Einhorn, T. and Siehr, K., 2004. Intercontinental Cooperation Through Private International Law – Essays in Memory of Peter E. Nygh, The Hague, The Netherlands: T.M.C. Asser Press, pp229-248 Mance, J., 2004a. “Civil Jurisdiction in Europe – Choice of Court Clauses, Competing Litigation and Anti-Suit Injunctions – Erich Gasser v. Misat and Turner v. Grovit: Address to Second Conference of European Commercial Judges, (“Problems of enforcement of european law”)” Paris – 14th October 2004; http://www.courdecassation.fr/formation_br_4/2004_2034/jonathan_mance_8239.html, (Accessed 10 March 2007) Mance, J., 2004b. “Exclusive Jurisdiction Agreements and European Ideals.” 120 LQR 357 Mance, J., 2005. “The Future of Private International Law.” 1(2) JPrIL 185-195 Mance, J., 2007. “Is Europe Aiming to Civilise the Common Law?” 18 EBLRev 77-99 McLachlan, C., 2004. “International Litigation and the Reworking of the Conflict of Laws” 120(OCT) LQR 580-616 Meidanis, H.P., 2005. “Public Policy and Ordre Public in the Private International Law of the EU: Traditional Positions and Moderns Trends.” 30(1), ELRev, 95-110 Merrett, L., 2006. “The Enforcement of Jurisdiction Agreements within the Brussels Regime,” 55 ICLQ 315 Muir Watt, H., 2001. “Evidence of an Emergent European Legal Culture: Public Policy Requirements of Procedural Fairness Under the Brussels and Lugano Conventions.” 36 Tex. ILJ, p. 539. North, P., 2001. “Private International Law: Change or Decay?” 50 ICLQ 477-508 Orakhelashvili, A., 2006. “The Idea of European International Law.” 17 Eur. J. Int’l L. 315 Peel, E., 2001. “Forum non Conveniens Revisited.” 117(APR) L.Q.R. 187-194 Robertson, D.W., 1987. “Forum Non Conveniens in America and England: ‘A rather fantastic fiction’.” 103 LQR 398 Robert-Tissot, S., and Smith, D., 2005. “The Battle for Forum”, New Law Journal, 7 October 2005, p1496 Robert-Tissot, S., 2005. “The Battle for Forum.” 155 NLJ 1496 Rodger, B.J., 2006. “Forum non Conveniens: Post Owusu.” 2(1) JPrIL 71 Schiavetta, S., 2004. “The Relationship Between e-ADR and Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights pursuant to the Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights.” 2004 (1) The Journal of Information, Law and Technology (JILT). http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/elj/jilt/2004_1/schiavetta/ (Accessed 28 February 2007) Sinopoli, L., 2000. Le droit au procès équitable dans les rapports privés internationaux (doctoral dissertation, University of Paris-I, 2000) Slater, A.G., 1988. “Forum Non Conveniens: A View From the Shop Floor.” 104 LQR 554 Svantesson, D.J.B., 2005. “In Defence of the Doctrine of Forum Non Conveniens.” (2005) HKLJ 395 Van Hoek: 2001. “Case note on Krombach v Bamberski” (2001) 38 CMLR 1011. Wade, H.W.R., 2000. “Horizons of Horizontality.” 116 LQR 217-224 Williams, J.M., 2001. “Forum non Conveniens, Lubbe v Cape and Group Josi v Universal General Insurance.” J.P.I. Law 2001, 1, 72-77 Zhenjie, H., 2001. “Forum Non Conveniens: An Unjustified Doctrine.” 48 NILR 143

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Legal Dissertation: Research and Writing Guide

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This guide contains resources to help students researching and writing a legal dissertation or other upper-level writing project. Some of the resources in this guide are directed at researching and writing in general, not specifically on legal topics, but the strategies and tips can still be applied.

The Law Library maintains a number of other guides on related skills and topics that may be of interest:

The Wells Library also maintains guides. A few that may be helpful for managing research can be found here:

Choosing a Topic

This video discusses tips and strategies for choosing a dissertation topic.

Note: this video is not specific to legal dissertation topics, but it may still be of interest as an overview generally.

The Bloomberg/BNA publication United States Law Week can be a helpful resource for tracking down the major legal stories of the day.  Log into Bloomberg Law, in the big search box, start typing United States Law Week and the title will appear in the drop down menu beneath the box. This publication provides coverage of top legal news stories, and in-depth "insight" features.

If you have a general idea of the area of law you wish to write about, check out the Practice Centers on Bloomberg. From the homepage, click the Browse link in the top left-hand corner. Then select Practice Centers and look for your area of law. Practice Centers are helpful because they gather cases, statutes, administrative proceedings, news, and more on the selected legal area.

Bloomberg has other news sources available as well. From the homepage, click the Browse link in the top left-hand corner. Then select News and Analysis, then select News or Analysis, and browse the available topics.

If you know what area of law you'd like to write about, you may find the Browse Topics feature in Lexis Advance helpful for narrowing down your topic. 

Log into Lexis Advance, click the Browse Topics tab, and select a topic.  If you don't see your topic listed, try using the provided search bar to see whether your topic is categorized as a sub-topic within this list. 

Once you click on a topic, a box pops up with several options.  If you click on Get Topic Document, you'll see results listed in a number of categories, including Cases, Legislation, and more.  The News and Legal News categories at the right end of the list may help you identify current developments of interest for your note.  Don't forget about the filtering options on the left that will allow you to search within your results, narrow your jurisdiction, and more.

Similar to Lexis Advance, Westlaw Edge has a Topics tab that may be helpful if you know what area of law you'd like to write about.

Log onto Westlaw Edge, and click on the Topics tab.  This time, you won't be able to search within this list, so if you're area is not listed, you should either run a regular search from the main search bar at the top or try out some of the topics listed under this tab - once you click on a topic, you can search within its contents.

What is great about the Topics in Westlaw Edge is the Practitioner Insights page you access by clicking on a topic.  This is an information portal that allows you quick access to cases, legislation, top news, and more on your selected topic.

In United States federal courts, a circuit split occurs whenever two or more circuit courts of appeals issue conflicting rulings on the same legal question. Circuit splits are ripe for legal analysis and commentary because they present a situation in which federal law is being applied in different ways in different parts of the country, even if the underlying litigants themselves are otherwise similarly situated. The Supreme Court also frequently accepts cases on appeal that involve these types of conflicted rulings from various sister circuits.

To find a circuit split on a topic of interest to you, try searching on Lexis and Westlaw using this method:

in the search box, enter the following: (circuit or court w/s split) AND [insert terms or phrases to narrow the search]

You can also browse for circuit splits on Bloomberg. On the Bloomberg homepage, in the "Law School Success" box, Circuit Splits Charts appear listed under Secondary Sources.

Other sources for circuit splits are American Law Reports (ALR) and American Jurisprudence (AmJur). These publications provide summaries of the law, point out circuit splits, and provide references for further research.

"Blawgs" or law-related blogs are often written by scholars or practitioners in the legal field.  Ordinarily covering current events and developments in law, these posts can provide inspiration for note topics.  To help you find blawgs on a specific topic, consider perusing the ABA's Blawg Directory or Justia's Blawg Search .

Research Methodology

Types of research methodologies.

There are different types of research methodologies. Methodology refers to the strategy employed in conducting research. The following methodologies are some of the most commonly used in legal and social science research.

Doctrinal legal research methodology, also called "black letter" methodology, focuses on the letter of the law rather than the law in action. Using this method, a researcher composes a descriptive and detailed analysis of legal rules found in primary sources (cases, statutes, or regulations). The purpose of this method is to gather, organize, and describe the law; provide commentary on the sources used; then, identify and describe the underlying theme or system and how each source of law is connected.

Doctrinal methodology is good for areas of law that are largely black letter law, such as contract or property law. Under this approach, the researcher conducts a critical, qualitative analysis of legal materials to support a hypothesis. The researcher must identify specific legal rules, then discuss the legal meaning of the rule, its underlying principles, and decision-making under the rule (whether cases interpreting the rule fit together in a coherent system or not). The researcher must also identify ambiguities and criticisms of the law, and offer solutions. Sources of data in doctrinal research include the rule itself, cases generated under the rule, legislative history where applicable, and commentaries and literature on the rule.

This approach is beneficial by providing a solid structure for crafting a thesis, organizing the paper, and enabling a thorough definition and explanation of the rule. The drawbacks of this approach are that it may be too formalistic, and may lead to oversimplifying the legal doctrine.

Comparative

Comparative legal research methodology involves critical analysis of different bodies of law to examine how the outcome of a legal issue could be different under each set of laws. Comparisons could be made between different jurisdictions, such as comparing analysis of a legal issue under American law and the laws of another country, or researchers may conduct historical comparisons.

When using a comparative approach be sure to define the reasons for choosing this approach, and identify the benefits of comparing laws from different jurisdictions or time periods, such as finding common ground or determining best practices and solutions. The comparative method can be used by a researcher to better understand their home jurisdiction by analyzing how other jurisdictions handle the same issue. This method can also be used as a critical analytical tool to distinguish particular features of a law. The drawback of this method is that it can be difficult to find material from other jurisdictions. Also, researchers should be sure that the comparisons are relevant to the thesis and not just used for description.

This type of research uses data analysis to study legal systems. A detailed guide on empirical methods can be found here . The process of empirical research involves four steps: design the project, collect and code the data, analyze the data, determine best method of presenting the results. The first step, designing the project, is when researchers define their hypothesis and concepts in concrete terms that can be observed. Next, researchers must collect and code the data by determining the possible sources of information and available collection methods, and then putting the data into a format that can be analyzed. When researchers analyze the data, they are comparing the data to their hypothesis. If the overlap between the two is significant, then their hypothesis is confirmed, but if there is little to no overlap, then their hypothesis is incorrect. Analysis involves summarizing the data and drawing inferences. There are two types of statistical inference in empirical research, descriptive and causal. Descriptive inference is close to summary, but the researcher uses the known data from the sample to draw conclusions about the whole population. Causal inference is the difference between two descriptive inferences.

Two main types of empirical legal research are qualitative and quantitative.

Quantitative, or numerical, empirical legal research involves taking information about cases and courts, translating that information into numbers, and then analyzing those numbers with statistical tools.

Qualitative, or non-numerical, empirical legal research involves extracting  information from the text of court documents, then interpreting and organizing the text into categories, and using that information to identify patterns.

Drafting The Methodology Section

This is the part of your paper that describes the research methodology, or methodologies if you used more than one. This section will contain a detailed description of how the research was conducted and why it was conducted in that way. First, draft an outline of what you must include in this section and gather the information needed.

Generally, a methodology section will contain the following:

  • Statement of research objectives
  • Reasons for the research methodology used
  • Description and rationale of the data collection tools, sampling techniques, and data sources used, including a description of how the data collection tools were administered
  • Discussion of the limitations
  • Discussion of the data analysis tools used

Be sure that you have clearly defined the reasoning behind the chosen methodology and sources.

  • Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing for International Graduate Students Nadia E. Nedzel Aspen (2004) A guide to American legal research and the federal system, written for international students. Includes information on the research process, and tips for writing. Located in the Law Library, 3rd Floor: KF 240 .N43 2004.
  • Methodologies of Legal Research: Which Kind of Method for What Kind of Discipline? Mark van Hoecke Oxford (2013) This book examines different methods of legal research including doctrinal, comparative, and interdisciplinary. Located at Lilly Law Library, Indianapolis, 2nd Floor: K 235 .M476 2013. IU students may request item via IUCAT.
  • An Introduction to Empirical Legal Research Lee Epstein and Andrew D. Martin Oxford University Press (2014) This book includes information on designing research, collecting and coding data, analyzing data, and drafting the final paper. Located at Lilly Law Library, Indianapolis, 2nd Floor: K 85 .E678 2014. IU students may request item via IUCAT.
  • Emplirical Legal Studies Blog The ELS blog was created by several law professors, and focuses on using empirical methods in legal research, theory, and scholarship. Search or browse the blog to find entries on methodology, data sources, software, and other tips and techniques.

Literature Review

The literature review provides an examination of existing pieces of research, and serves as a foundation for further research. It allows the researcher to critically evaluate existing scholarship and research practices, and puts the new thesis in context. When conducting a literature review, one should consider the following: who are the leading scholars in the subject area; what has been published on the subject; what factors or subtopics have these scholars identified as important for further examination; what research methods have others used; what were the pros and cons of using those methods; what other theories have been explored.

The literature review should include a description of coverage. The researcher should describe what material was selected and why, and how those selections are relevant to the thesis. Discuss what has been written on the topic and where the thesis fits in the context of existing scholarship. The researcher should evaluate the sources and methodologies used by other researchers, and describe how the thesis different.

The following video gives an overview of conducting a literature review.

Note: this video is not specific to legal literature, however it may be helpful as a general overview.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions for digging into sources once you have selected a topic.

Research Guides

Research guides are discovery tools, or gateways of information. They pull together lists of sources on a topic. Some guides even offer brief overviews and additional research steps specifically for that topic. Many law libraries offer guides on a variety of subjects. You can locate guides by visiting library websites, such as this Library's site , the Law Library of Congress , or other schools like Georgetown . Some organizations also compile research guides, such as the American Society of International Law . Utilizing a research guide on your topic to generate an introductory source list can save you valuable time.

Secondary Sources

It is often a good idea to begin research with secondary sources. These resources summarize, explain, and analyze the law. They also provide references to primary sources and other secondary sources. This saves you time and effort, and can help you quickly identify major themes under your topic and help you place your thesis in context.

Encyclopedias provide broad coverage of all areas of the law, but do not go in-depth on narrow topics, or discuss differences by jurisdiction, or  include all of the pertinent cases. American Jurisprudence ( AmJur ) and Corpus Juris Secundum ( CJS ) have nationwide coverage, while the Indiana Law Encyclopedia focuses on Indiana state law. A number of other states also have their own state-specific encyclopedias.

American Law Reports ( ALR ) are annotations that synopsize various cases on narrow legal topics. Each annotation covers a different topic, and provides a leading or typical case on the topic, plus cases from different jurisdictions that follow different rules, or cases where different facts applying the same rule led to different outcomes. The annotations also refer to other secondary sources.  

Legal periodicals include several different types of publications such as law reviews from academic institutions or organizations, bar journals, and commercial journals/newspapers/newsletters. Legal periodicals feature articles that describe the current state of the law and often explore underlying policies. They also critique laws, court decisions, and policies, and often advocate for changes. Articles also discuss emerging issues and notify the profession of new developments. Law reviews can be useful for in-depth coverage on narrow topics, and references to primary and other secondary sources. However, content can become outdated and researchers must be mindful of biases in articles. 

Treatises/Hornbooks/Practice Guides are a type of secondary source that provides comprehensive coverage of a legal subject. It could be broad, such as a treatise covering all of contract law, or very narrow such as a treatise focused only on search and seizure cases. These sources are good when you have some general background on the topic, but you need more in-depth coverage of the legal rules and policies. Treatises are generally well organized, and provide you with finding aids (index, table of contents, etc.) and extensive footnotes or endnotes that will lead you to primary sources like cases, statutes, and regulations. They may also include appendices with supporting material like forms. However, treatises may not be updated as frequently as other sources and may not cover your specific issue or jurisdiction.

Citation and Writing Style

  • Legal Writing in Plain English Bryan A. Garner University of Chicago Press, 2001. Call # KF 250 .G373 2001 Location: Law Library, 3rd Floor Provides lawyers, judges, paralegals, law students, and legal scholars with sound advice and practical tools for improving their written work. The leading guide to clear writing in the field, this book offers valuable insights into the writing process: how to organize ideas, create and refine prose, and improve editing skills. This guide uses real-life writing samples that Garner has gathered through decades of teaching experience. Includes sets of basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises in each section.
  • The Elements of Legal Style Bryan A. Garner Oxford University Press, 2002. Call # KF 250 .G37 2002 Location: Law Library, 1st Floor, Reference This book explains the full range of what legal writers need to know: mechanics, word choice, structure, and rhetoric, as well as all the special conventions that legal writers should follow in using headings, defined terms, quotations, and many other devices. Garner also provides examples from highly regarded legal writers, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Clarence Darrow, Frank Easterbrook, and Antonin Scalia.
  • Grammarly Blog Blog featuring helpful information about quirks of the English language, for example when to use "affect" or "effect" and other tips. Use the search feature to locate an article relevant to your grammar query.
  • Plain English for Lawyers Richard C. Wydick Carolina Academic Press, 2005. Call # KF 250 .W9 2005 Location: Law Library, 3rd Floor Award-winning book that contains guidance to improve the writing of lawyers and law students and to promote the modern trend toward a clear, plain style of legal writing. Includes exercises at the end of each chapter.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style University of Chicago Press, 2010. Call # Z 253 .U69 2010 Location: Law Library, 2nd Floor While not addressing legal writing specifically, The Chicago Manual of Style is one of the most widely used and respected style guides in the United States. It focuses on American English and deals with aspects of editorial practice, including grammar and usage, as well as document preparation and formatting.
  • The Chicago Manual of Style (Online) Bryan A. Garner and William S. Strong The University of Chicago Press, 2017. Online edition: use the link above to view record in IUCAT, then click the Access link (for IU students only).
  • The Bluebook Compiled by the editors of the Columbia Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. Harvard Law Review Association, 2015. Call # KF245 .B58 2015 Location: Law Library, 1st Floor, Circulation Desk The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is a style guide that prescribes the most widely used legal citation system in the United States. The Bluebook is taught and used at a majority of U.S. law schools, law reviews and journals, and used in a majority of U.S. federal courts.
  • User's Guide to the Bluebook Alan L. Dworsky William S. Hein & Co., Inc., 2015. Call # KF 245 .D853 2015 Location: Law Library, Circulation Desk "This User's Guide is written for practitioners (law students, law clerks, lawyers, legal secretaries and paralegals), and is designed to make the task of mastering citation form as easy and painless as possible. To help alleviate the obstacles faced when using proper citation form, this text is set up as a how-to manual with a step-by-step approach to learning the basic skills of citation and includes the numbers of the relevant Bluebook rules under most chapter subheadings for easy reference when more information is needed"--Provided by the publisher.
  • Legal Citation in a Nutshell Larry L. Teply West Academic Publishing, 2016. Call # KF 245 .T47 2016 Location: Law Library, 1st Floor, Circulation Desk This book is designed to ease the task of learning legal citation. It initially focuses on conventions that underlie all accepted forms and systems of legal citation. Building on that understanding and an explanation of the “process” of using citations in legal writing, the book then discusses and illustrates the basic rules.
  • Introduction to Basic Legal Citation (Online) Peter W. Martin Cornell Legal Information Institute, 2017. Free online resource. Includes a thorough review of the relevant rules of appellate practice of federal and state courts. It takes account of the latest edition of The Bluebook, published in 2015, and provides a correlation table between this free online citation guide and the Bluebook.
  • Last Updated: Oct 24, 2019 11:00 AM
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dissertation plan law

Writing a First-Class Dissertation: The Planning Stage 

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dissertation plan law

By Oluwabunmi Adaramola   

  In the first installment of this series, I discussed the length of the dissertation, the average time frame it should take (depending on whether it’s an undergraduate or master’s dissertation) as well as various factors to take into consideration when choosing your research area or topic. In this article, I will  examine the planning stage and what it entails, providing tips and strategies that helped me properly set the foundation for my undergraduate and  masters  dissertation.  

  What’s Included in the Planning Stage?  

  Your dissertation is usually a 4-6 months project and this should  be   kept  in mind from the time you start thinking about your dissertation. The planning stage is probably, the most important stage to set the tone of a first-class dissertation. What does the planning stage involve? This stage usually asks all the  what s , the whys, the  when s  and  hows  of your topic and research objectives. And yes, this often involves writing it out or creating a visual aid of the direction your research takes. This could be a mind map which details every idea or argument or point  you  intent to make throughout the course of your dissertation. Note that this mind map or visual aid is not the final stop .   I nstead ,  think of it as the beginning as it would change over the course of thinking about your dissertation.  So, pick up an A3 paper and write out every single idea, detail, question or objective you want to discuss and achieve in your dissertation. Is it going to be an empirical or  doctrinal research ? Write out how you intend to achieve this and why you have chosen this. When writing my undergraduate dissertation, I found that what really helped me uncover all the potential angles and questions and essentially think outside the box was writing every single thought I’d had about my topic regardless of  whether  I was going to include it in the final project. Of course, it helped that I made this very colourful and as aesthetic as possible, with the help of my very good friend  Stabilo .   

Creating a Personalised Dissertation Plan.  

  The next thing I did right after was to create another (colourful) personalised ‘dissertation plan’. This involves drafting out a general plan for the intended time frame between when you intend  to   research  the dissertation and the intended submission date. This helped me mentally plan  what I  wanted to work on at each point in time, planning right from the research stage into the final editing stage, all within the stated period between research and submission.  My top tip when drafting your planning calendar is to plan to start research ing  as soon as possible and plan to have a ‘finished product’ at least a week before the actual submission date .   F actor in realistic circumstances that could occur as well as realistic writing goals.  Why? Let’s be honest, we all have those very student days when we feel super productive and ready to take on every task on your table, and then those days when you literally don’t feel up to doing anything except staying under the covers (aka the  l azy days).  There will be  days   when you’re not going to write 2,000 words every day or even feel up to researching anything.  There  will be  days   when you’d be stuck on an argument or when you’re not even sure if anything makes sense! Added on to this is the rigour of third year, with applications, part-time jobs, other  courseworks  and assessments and extra-curricular activities. As such, it would be very  helpful if  your plan itself is realistic and gives you off days to avoid burn out.   

Developing a more Strategic Plan .   

  Another optional step I’d taken, which is very dependent on your workload ,  was making an even more strategic plan within the dissertation plan, which was tailored alongside my already scheduled dissertation meetings with my supervisor. This plan included scheduling the periods I’d wanted to carry ou t  research for each chapter and begin writing the first drafts for each chapter. I’d wanted to do this because part of my supervised meetings meant I’d needed to submit 3,000 words (which could be one draft chapter or two chapters) by my third or fourth meeting and another 3,000 by the last meeting. I’d made this strategic plan to ensure I met the deadlines for submission set by my supervisor in order to get all the feedback on my work and apply it to the rest of the project, so I could produce a quality research work. It really made a difference having good feedback from my  supervisor  on 6,000 words (essentially half of my dissertation!) which I could properly apply to the remaining 6,000 words.   

General Advice:   

  Writing a dissertation involves a lot of self-discipline and sacrifice, especially if you’re gunning for the very high marks. Be realistic in the way you plan the  four  to  six  months ‘  journey as you don’t want to neglect your other commitments and assessments and at the same to experience burn out! Be kind to yourself whilst working. Take time out whenever you feel the pressure of working coming down heavily on you and don’t forget to breathe. Celebrate each milestone you’ve achieved and be grateful for each step of the way.  Remember, big goals start with the small and little tasks!   Overall,  this stage means being very realistic in planning  and having  in mind the need to make a lot of sacrifice and having a lot of d iscipline ,  The   end product is worth it!   

Oluwabunmi Adaramola

Oluwabunmi Adaramola

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How to Write a Dissertation Proposal | A Step-by-Step Guide

Published on 14 February 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on 11 November 2022.

A dissertation proposal describes the research you want to do: what it’s about, how you’ll conduct it, and why it’s worthwhile. You will probably have to write a proposal before starting your dissertation as an undergraduate or postgraduate student.

A dissertation proposal should generally include:

  • An introduction to your topic and aims
  • A literature review  of the current state of knowledge
  • An outline of your proposed methodology
  • A discussion of the possible implications of the research
  • A bibliography  of relevant sources

Dissertation proposals vary a lot in terms of length and structure, so make sure to follow any guidelines given to you by your institution, and check with your supervisor when you’re unsure.

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Table of contents

Step 1: coming up with an idea, step 2: presenting your idea in the introduction, step 3: exploring related research in the literature review, step 4: describing your methodology, step 5: outlining the potential implications of your research, step 6: creating a reference list or bibliography.

Before writing your proposal, it’s important to come up with a strong idea for your dissertation.

Find an area of your field that interests you and do some preliminary reading in that area. What are the key concerns of other researchers? What do they suggest as areas for further research, and what strikes you personally as an interesting gap in the field?

Once you have an idea, consider how to narrow it down and the best way to frame it. Don’t be too ambitious or too vague – a dissertation topic needs to be specific enough to be feasible. Move from a broad field of interest to a specific niche:

  • Russian literature 19th century Russian literature The novels of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky
  • Social media Mental health effects of social media Influence of social media on young adults suffering from anxiety

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Like most academic texts, a dissertation proposal begins with an introduction . This is where you introduce the topic of your research, provide some background, and most importantly, present your aim , objectives and research question(s) .

Try to dive straight into your chosen topic: What’s at stake in your research? Why is it interesting? Don’t spend too long on generalisations or grand statements:

  • Social media is the most important technological trend of the 21st century. It has changed the world and influences our lives every day.
  • Psychologists generally agree that the ubiquity of social media in the lives of young adults today has a profound impact on their mental health. However, the exact nature of this impact needs further investigation.

Once your area of research is clear, you can present more background and context. What does the reader need to know to understand your proposed questions? What’s the current state of research on this topic, and what will your dissertation contribute to the field?

If you’re including a literature review, you don’t need to go into too much detail at this point, but give the reader a general sense of the debates that you’re intervening in.

This leads you into the most important part of the introduction: your aim, objectives and research question(s) . These should be clearly identifiable and stand out from the text – for example, you could present them using bullet points or bold font.

Make sure that your research questions are specific and workable – something you can reasonably answer within the scope of your dissertation. Avoid being too broad or having too many different questions. Remember that your goal in a dissertation proposal is to convince the reader that your research is valuable and feasible:

  • Does social media harm mental health?
  • What is the impact of daily social media use on 18– to 25–year–olds suffering from general anxiety disorder?

Now that your topic is clear, it’s time to explore existing research covering similar ideas. This is important because it shows you what is missing from other research in the field and ensures that you’re not asking a question someone else has already answered.

You’ve probably already done some preliminary reading, but now that your topic is more clearly defined, you need to thoroughly analyse and evaluate the most relevant sources in your literature review .

Here you should summarise the findings of other researchers and comment on gaps and problems in their studies. There may be a lot of research to cover, so make effective use of paraphrasing to write concisely:

  • Smith and Prakash state that ‘our results indicate a 25% decrease in the incidence of mechanical failure after the new formula was applied’.
  • Smith and Prakash’s formula reduced mechanical failures by 25%.

The point is to identify findings and theories that will influence your own research, but also to highlight gaps and limitations in previous research which your dissertation can address:

  • Subsequent research has failed to replicate this result, however, suggesting a flaw in Smith and Prakash’s methods. It is likely that the failure resulted from…

Next, you’ll describe your proposed methodology : the specific things you hope to do, the structure of your research and the methods that you will use to gather and analyse data.

You should get quite specific in this section – you need to convince your supervisor that you’ve thought through your approach to the research and can realistically carry it out. This section will look quite different, and vary in length, depending on your field of study.

You may be engaged in more empirical research, focusing on data collection and discovering new information, or more theoretical research, attempting to develop a new conceptual model or add nuance to an existing one.

Dissertation research often involves both, but the content of your methodology section will vary according to how important each approach is to your dissertation.

Empirical research

Empirical research involves collecting new data and analysing it in order to answer your research questions. It can be quantitative (focused on numbers), qualitative (focused on words and meanings), or a combination of both.

With empirical research, it’s important to describe in detail how you plan to collect your data:

  • Will you use surveys ? A lab experiment ? Interviews?
  • What variables will you measure?
  • How will you select a representative sample ?
  • If other people will participate in your research, what measures will you take to ensure they are treated ethically?
  • What tools (conceptual and physical) will you use, and why?

It’s appropriate to cite other research here. When you need to justify your choice of a particular research method or tool, for example, you can cite a text describing the advantages and appropriate usage of that method.

Don’t overdo this, though; you don’t need to reiterate the whole theoretical literature, just what’s relevant to the choices you have made.

Moreover, your research will necessarily involve analysing the data after you have collected it. Though you don’t know yet what the data will look like, it’s important to know what you’re looking for and indicate what methods (e.g. statistical tests , thematic analysis ) you will use.

Theoretical research

You can also do theoretical research that doesn’t involve original data collection. In this case, your methodology section will focus more on the theory you plan to work with in your dissertation: relevant conceptual models and the approach you intend to take.

For example, a literary analysis dissertation rarely involves collecting new data, but it’s still necessary to explain the theoretical approach that will be taken to the text(s) under discussion, as well as which parts of the text(s) you will focus on:

  • This dissertation will utilise Foucault’s theory of panopticism to explore the theme of surveillance in Orwell’s 1984 and Kafka’s The Trial…

Here, you may refer to the same theorists you have already discussed in the literature review. In this case, the emphasis is placed on how you plan to use their contributions in your own research.

You’ll usually conclude your dissertation proposal with a section discussing what you expect your research to achieve.

You obviously can’t be too sure: you don’t know yet what your results and conclusions will be. Instead, you should describe the projected implications and contribution to knowledge of your dissertation.

First, consider the potential implications of your research. Will you:

  • Develop or test a theory?
  • Provide new information to governments or businesses?
  • Challenge a commonly held belief?
  • Suggest an improvement to a specific process?

Describe the intended result of your research and the theoretical or practical impact it will have:

Finally, it’s sensible to conclude by briefly restating the contribution to knowledge you hope to make: the specific question(s) you hope to answer and the gap the answer(s) will fill in existing knowledge:

Like any academic text, it’s important that your dissertation proposal effectively references all the sources you have used. You need to include a properly formatted reference list or bibliography at the end of your proposal.

Different institutions recommend different styles of referencing – commonly used styles include Harvard , Vancouver , APA , or MHRA . If your department does not have specific requirements, choose a style and apply it consistently.

A reference list includes only the sources that you cited in your proposal. A bibliography is slightly different: it can include every source you consulted in preparing the proposal, even if you didn’t mention it in the text. In the case of a dissertation proposal, a bibliography may also list relevant sources that you haven’t yet read, but that you intend to use during the research itself.

Check with your supervisor what type of bibliography or reference list you should include.

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Caulfield, J. (2022, November 11). How to Write a Dissertation Proposal | A Step-by-Step Guide. Scribbr. Retrieved 22 February 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/thesis-dissertation/proposal/

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How to Write a Law Dissertation – Structure, Types & Example

Published by Alvin Nicolas at December 22nd, 2022 , Revised On February 1, 2024

A law dissertation project is undoubtedly the most challenging academic assignment law students must complete before being awarded a degree.

This post aims to look at the steps of writing a law dissertation, the structure a law dissertation generally follows, the different types of research methods a student can choose from, and a reference to a law dissertation example.

We are confident that students can write a flawless law dissertation paper once they have carefully read and comprehended this law dissertation guide with examples.

Whether you are an undergraduate, Master or a PhD student, you must be mentally prepared to tackle your law dissertation project, which is an extensive research study based on qualitative, quantitative or mixed data.

So without further ado, here are the essential steps of writing a law dissertation paper.

Structuring & Writing a Law Dissertation Step by Step

1. follow the correct structure.

The structure you should follow when writing the paper is available in the dissertation handbook that your university or personal tutor will provide. Strictly follow the layout and the criteria as explained in the handbook document. The fundamental parts of a dissertation include an abstract, a literature review, a research methodology, data analysis and interpretation, conclusions, recommendations and references.

2. Carry Out the Initial Research

Conduct preliminary research and get used to spending long hours in front of your desktop to read through past law dissertation examples so you know the quality you must produce to achieve your desired grade. Read articles and journal papers on law topics that align with your interests.

3. Choose an Appropriate Law Research Topic

Once you have identified the broad research area you wish to research, start listing the possible research law problems or law dissertation topics you would like to investigate to make your mark in the profession. Be patient with this process, as your chosen topic should be narrower and more specific.

4. Develop a Research Proposal

Next, create a research proposal on the selected topic to develop a research plan to guide you through the entire dissertation writing process . Generally, Masters and PhD students must complete and have a research proposal approved before they can start working on their dissertation paper.

A research proposal can be best described as a research map guide document that briefly explores the research’s steps. The fundamental components of a research proposal are the introduction, literature review, proposed methodology, expected results, a project timeline and a list of references.

5. Law Dissertation Introduction Chapter

The introduction chapter is where you state your research problem, the background information, and the significance of the research problem. The introduction chapter establishes the research aim and objectives you will address as part of your research.

The length of the introduction chapter varies according to the overall allocated word count for the dissertation. Typically, your introduction chapter will be approximately 15-20% of the total dissertation word count.

6. Law Dissertation Literature Review

Find the existing literature relevant to your topic of research. Use this information as evidence and analysis for any arguments you make in the paper. The literature review chapter allows you to dive deep into your chosen research topic to determine how other research studies concluded.

Every paragraph of the literature review chapter should address the issue you are exploring from a unique angle so you can establish your authenticity as a researcher.

7. The Research Methodology

Arguably the most crucial chapter of the dissertation is the research methodology. It is where you justify your choice of the type of research you have chosen to proceed with. For example, you could base your research on qualitative, quantitive or mixed data. At this stage, you will also need to decide whether you will base your project on primary data, secondary data, or both. Ensure to include the research tools used during research, the philosophy of the research approach and the ethical limitations involved in this chapter.

8. Data Analysis & Interpretation

Once the dataset is ready, it is time to analyse and interpret the results. Dissertations based on secondary data usually do not require statistical software. On the other hand, where primary and quantitative data are involved, software such as SPSS, STATA, R-Studio, and Excel is almost inevitable.

Do not rust this part of the paper because the significance of your research is directly related to the quality of analysis and interpretation.

9. Conclusion & Recommendations

The conclusion chapter can be a short one. Here you present the results of your research and link them back to the research objectives as set out in the introduction chapter. Avoid introducing anything new at this stage of the writing. Only reinstate your original findings and connect them with the research problem you were supposed to investigate.

10. References

Follow the appropriate referencing style guide. For example, most UK universities require students to use the Harvard Referencing Guide. However, always check your handbook to be sure about the style you must follow. Other referencing style guides include MLA, Oxford, IEE, APA, and more. Use in-text citations where applicable and create a list of references.

11. Title Page & Abstract

Create a title page with your name, module code, programme name and date of submission. Create an abstract which is a summary of your entire research.

12. Contents, Tables, Figures & Abbreviations

Generate the contents table using the Microsoft contents feature. Use the format as instructed in the dissertation handbook.

Provide the list of figures and the list of abbreviations separately so the reader can quickly find their desired figure or abbreviation details.

13. Proofreading

Proofread and edit the paper before submission. Look for grammatical, language, structural, coherence and factual mistakes to ensure it is error-free before submission.

Law Dissertation Example

Here is a law dissertation example for inspiration. Do not copy the content of this sample paper. Instead, use it for reference and guidance purposes only.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Law Dissertation

How long is a law dissertation.

The length of your law dissertation will depend on many factors, including your academic institute, academic level, and country of study. Undergraduate and Master’s level law thesis papers are usually 8000 to 15000 words long. PhD thesis can be up to 100,000 words long.

How many chapters a law dissertation has?

Like other academic subjects, a dissertation for a law topic has five fundamental components: the introduction, the literature review, the methodology, the analysis & interpretation, and the conclusion. Always follow your university’s structure to ensure you stay focused.

How can I get help with writing my law dissertation?

We have several qualified law essay and law dissertation experts at Essay UK . Whether you are interested in business law, contract law, tax law, property law, employment or another area of law, our specialists can complete your dissertation to the highest possible quality. Please read about our law dissertation writing service to see how we can help you manage your looming deadlines.

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Visualizing and compressing information in the form of diagrams, drawings, or tables helps improve the readability and understandability of a document. Graphic inserts, which deliver information more accurately and quickly and give diversity to typography, are a good alternative to only words written. 

An abstract gives readers a quick overview of the main conclusions, research questions, methodology, and findings of your thesis or dissertation.

There is no definitive answer to the question of how long a nursing dissertation should be. Several factors combine to influence the length of a dissertation. A dissertation in the humanities and engineering is usually longer than in business and finance.

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Law: Proposal and Dissertation Writing

Structure of the proposal.

  • Conventions of Scholarship
  • Dissertation Writing
  • Getting started
  • Generate Research Ideas
  • Brainstorming
  • Scanning Material
  • Suitability Analysis
  • Difference between a topic and a research question
  • Literature Review
  • Referencing

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A proposal should proceed along the following steps:

(1) a clear problem statement is formulated;

(2) the significance of the problem is explained;

(3) a clear research question is formulated;

(4) an answer or solution to the problem is suggested;

(5) the originality of the answer or solution is indicated through a literature survey;

(6) the way in the which the argument will be substantiated in the bulk of the dissertation is outlined;

(7) the method used (and its suitability) to answer or solve the problem is explained;

(8) any definitional issues are clarified; and

(9) a bibliography of materials used is supplied.

  • Step 1: Problem Statement
  • Step 2: Significance of the Problem/Issue
  • Step 3: Research Question
  • Step 4: Argument/Answer
  • Step 5: Originality of Argument(Literature Survey)
  • Step 6: Substantiating the Argument (Chapter Outline)
  • Step 7: Methodology
  • Step 8: Defining Concepts (Optional)
  • Step 9: Bibliography

dissertation plan law

A proposal commences with a clear problem statement.

  • What is the problem that intrigues you?
  • What is the issue that you want to deal with?
  • What is the question that you want to answer?
  • It is often useful to state in your first paragraph as clearly and succinctly as possible what is the problem that you are addressing. Once that is done, the problem is unpacked.
  • What is the background to the problem?
  • What are the logical building blocks in law and practice that lead to the problem?

These building blocks are very important because they are again reflected in the chapters, where argument is substantiated. Vital to a successful dissertation is a narrowly defined problem. As a research paper is confined to 18 000 words, the issue must be much more limited than that for a mini-dissertation (30 000), full thesis (50 000) or a doctoral dissertation (100 000).

As you will be spending a considerable amount of time on the dissertation, you have to justify this endeavour to yourself, your supervisor and your examiners. Moreover, if the problem is significant, the solution or answer to the problem will be equally important. The significance of the problem may lie in a number of areas. In the case of divergent judgments on an issue, the conflict creates confusion and conflict in practice. The importance could lie in poor service delivery because of badly designed governance structures. Overall, the aim is to state the importance of the research that you will be doing.

Given the problem outlined and having shown its significance, a research question must be formulated that it captures the problem statement. What is the issue or problem that you want to answer? This is a short, concise statement that hones the problem statement into one or more questions.

Very important is that this research question must have a legal focus. It is the legal question you want to answer. Although sub-questions may include issues of development, etc., the main focus must be on some form of law/regulation,etc.

This should also be a measurable question. Indicating your research question as "Examining the effectiveness of insider trading legislation" is not feasible. How will you measure the effectiveness of this legislation?

Having done the reading of the relevant materials you have by now developed a tentative argument or an answer to the problem. You need to state upfront how you will be addressing the problem, what will be the answer or solution. This argument is what binds the dissertation together – providing the central measuring rod in deciding whether any material is relevant or not.

When you start off the proposal writing, you will have some idea of what the answer / argument will be. However, as you develop and substantiate the argument in the various chapters through your thorough engagement with the materials, you may find that the argument is refined, adapted, or changed. This is totally acceptable and even expected. Therefore, while the proposal signals the commencement of the dissertation (and is chapter 1 of the dissertation), it may also be last piece that you write in order to reflect the refinement and reshaping of the argument that occurred along the way.

The criterion by which you will be measured is whether your dissertation has added or contributed to knowledge on the topic. What is the point of the dissertation if the problem has already been solved or the issue addressed?

You must demonstrate the originality of the argument by showing how it compares with the existing literature on the issue. This is done by reading extensively around the issue to determine what other authors have written. In some cases, when you have described the literature on the topic (who wrote and what did they say – not a listing of article or book titles!), you may conclude that no one has yet addressed the particular issue, and therefore, you will provide a unique contribution. Even if you find that the issue has been addressed, you may conclude that it was wrongly or inadequately done. You may argue, for example, that the academic interpretation of a line of court judgments was wrong. The academic enterprise is about challenging accepted views and doctrines.

The focus in the literature survey is on “literature”, namely what other scholars have written. This is not the place to describe the Constitution, legislation or court cases.

The main purpose of the literature survey is to:

(A) Indicate what has been written on the subject and

(B) What will your contribution be? ie, What has not been covered by the literature? How will you contribute?

The bulk of the dissertation is devoted to substantiating the argument. This is done through breaking down your argument into its basic components and devoting a chapter to each component. In the proposal the chapters are outlined, showing how each form part of the argument and contributes to the answer or solution. This is not done by just providing chapter headings. You have to indicate whatthe purpose is of each chapter and what will be argued in that chapter. The emphasis falls on the logical flow of the argument and how each chapter contributes to that flow.

This should be done by way of a brief paragraph description of what will be covered in each proposed chapter.

Having outlined how the argument will be substantiated in the various chapters, you have to show how you will go about this task. What are the materials that you will rely on? What is the methodology that you will follow? If you are analysing court judgments, your primary source of information are case reports. A further primary source of information is legislation, official documents, policies, notices, etc. A secondary source is what other authors have written about the same cases or legislation in the relevant field. As all these materials are found in a library or the internet you may refer to it as a desktop study.

You may want to use empirical data in substantiating your argument. There are a variety ways of collecting such data. Official sources may be used. Newspapers may also be referred to. You may even venture out and collect your own data by, for example, conducting interviews, or inspecting court records. In the case of interviews you need ethical clearance from the University’s Senate Research Committee.

If you are going to do a comparative research, you must explain why, indicate your comparators (comparative countries, etc.) and you must explain why you are using these specific comparators.

In the context of your proposal (and later in chapter 1 of the dissertation), it may be necessary to define some key concepts that will be used in the chapters. This is done to provide the necessary clarity when confusion and ambiguity may be present.

All the materials referred to in the proposal must be listed alphabetically in the bibliography. Use the following main headings:

  • Laws, regulation and other legal instruments
  • Other government publications: policies, reports, etc.
  • Books, chapters in books, articles, reports, internet sources
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dissertation plan law

Sep 20, 2019

Written By Billy Sexton

LLB Law Dissertation

So, you've picked your final modules, consolidated your favourite library seat, and are finally feeling like a big fish in the university pond. But you've got one more challenge on the horizon—the dissertation... 

The final year of your LLB is here, which means it’s time to put together a lovely 10,000 or so word law dissertation.

Gone are the days of first year where a casual 2,000-word essay would be enough to secure 50% of your module marks. Even the tougher second-year essays, where word counts were raised up to 3,500 words, now seem like a walk in the park when faced with the mammoth dissertation.

Many law students before you have faced this, so don’t worry. If they do it, you can too!

A dissertation is a marathon, not a sprint (so no last minute late nights) and working on your dissertation should be treated like eating salami (bear with us on this). You wouldn’t eat a whole salami at once as it’s much tastier in thinner slices.

Therefore, you shouldn’t do your whole dissertation at once. Put it together bit-by-bit, and it will be a much stronger piece of work!

Law dissertation ideas

What you base your law dissertation on is entirely your choice… to a certain extent. You will need to find a supervisor for your dissertation so you won’t be able to do a dissertation on a specific issue if there’s no lecturer at your university who specialises in that topic!

However, presuming there is a lecturer to guide you along the long and bumpy dissertation path, you have free choice over what you’d like to study. Usually, first class dissertations carry originality and research depth.

If you’re stuck for ideas or broad topic areas, let us help you out. We can’t cover every individual area of law  but here are ideas for some of the core areas:

Contract Law – The influence of the EU on contract law, including anti-discrimination directives, a comparison of contract law in different jurisdictions or penalty clauses in contracts.

Criminal Law – Philosophical issues surrounding criminal law, human rights in criminal procedure or social dimensions of crime.

EU Law – Immigration and the law, the law of the European Convention for Human Rights and how this affects human rights within national borders or the impact of the EU on environmental legislation.

Public Law – Public understanding or law and education, state responsibility or historical developments in public law.

These are just a handful of suggestion and may or may not tickle your fancy. It’s best to talk to a range of potential supervisors to get a feel for how they could help you. Start looking early though, as supervisors get snapped up pretty quickly!

Law dissertation structure

Your university should tell you how to structure your dissertation, but usually an introduction highlighting the objectives of the dissertation should also put forward any issues or knowledge the reader will need to be aware of in order when they progress.

Next up is your methodology and literature review. This basically means pointing out what you’re going to research and how and summarising the key arguments already out there.

Then comes the juicy bit—the evidence. This should be what you discovered from your research and a detailed analysis of this.

Finally, the conclusion should outline what you discovered and your conclusion of this.

Writing a law dissertation can be stressful and it’s highly likely you might lose a bit of sleep over it. But at the same time it’s a great opportunity to stick your teeth into a subject you’re really passionate about and gain some good marks that will contribute significantly toward your overall degree mark. 

Next article:  Post LLB: applying for the LPC vs a training contract

If you're currently on the hunt for a  Training Contract  or  Vacation Scheme , head over to our  Law Jobs section.

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Stanford Law School | Robert Crown Law Library

Stanford Law School's Theses and Dissertations Collection

  • Early Thesis and Dissertation of Stanford Law School, 1929 to 1956
  • Theses and Dissertations of Stanford Law School,1970-1995
  • Stanford Program in International Legal Studies’ Theses, 1996 to 2010
  • Stanford Law School’s Dissertations, 1996 to 2010
  • Stanford Program in International Legal Studies Theses, 2011 to 2025

Collection Description

This collection contains Stanford Law School Students’ theses and dissertations written to fulfill the academic requirements for advanced degrees.   Historically, the collection of Theses and Dissertations were produced as part of the requirement coursework for receiving a Master of Laws (1933-1969), a Juris Doctor (1906-1932), or a Doctor of Jurisprudence.  

Currently, works received from students are produced under two different graduate programs.  Thesis are works were produced as part of the requirement for the Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS). SPILS was established in 1995 by Professors Lawrence Friedman and Thomas C. Heller, to educate international students, lawyers, judges, public officials, and other professionals trained in the study of law outside the United States.  Students in the SPILS Program are required to do interdisciplinary research that affects the global community.  The culmination of this program is a research project that each individual student develops over the course of the year under a faculty advisor, after which the earns a Master of the Science of Law degree.  The research project must demonstrate the student's ability to employ empirical methods of investigation and must addresses issues in the international community or within a specific country.  These can cover a large range of topics that analyze legal cultures, legal reforms, or public policy.  

Dissertations are produced under Doctor of Science of Law program or JSD.  The JSD program as we know it was revised for the Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1969 is designed for students who are interested in pursuing an academic career. Doctor of Science of Law Students are selected from the Stanford Program in International Legal Studies and those who have a postgraduate degree in Legal Studies.

All materials in this collection were donated by individual authors to the Stanford Law Library's Special Collections.

Collection Identity Number: LAW-3781

Finding Aid prepared by

Robert Crown Law Library Stanford, CA 94305-8610 Phone: 650.723-2477

  • Last Updated: Dec 18, 2023 9:02 AM
  • URL: https://guides.law.stanford.edu/c.php?g=1087208

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Library Guides

Dissertations 1: getting started: writing a proposal.

  • Starting Your Dissertation
  • Choosing A Topic and Researching
  • Devising An Approach/Method
  • Thinking Of A Title
  • Writing A Proposal

What is a Proposal?

Before you start your dissertation, you may be asked to write a proposal for it.  

The purpose of a dissertation proposal is to provide a snapshot of what your study involves. Usually, after submission of the proposal you will be assigned a supervisor who has some expertise in your field of study. You should receive feedback on the viability of the topic, how to focus the scope, research methods, and other issues you should consider before progressing in your research. 

The research proposal should present the dissertation topic, justify your reasons for choosing it and outline how you are going to research it . You'll have to keep it brief, as word counts can vary from anywhere between 800 to 3,000 words at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels.  

It is worth bearing in mind that you are not bound by your proposal. Your project is likely going to  evolve and may move in a new direction . Your dissertation supervisor is aware that this may occur as you delve deeper into the literature in your field of study. Nevertheless, always discuss any major developments with your supervisor in the first instance.  

Reading for your Proposal

Before writing a proposal, you will need to read. A lot! But that doesn’t mean you must read everything. Be targeted! What do you really need to know?  

Instead of reading every page in every book, look for clues in chapter titles and introductions to narrow your focus down. Use abstracts from journal articles to check whether the material is relevant to your study and keep notes of your reading along with clear records of bibliographic information and page numbers for your references.  

Ultimately, your objective should be to create a dialogue between the theories and ideas you have read and your own thoughts. What is your personal perspective on the topic? What evidence is there that supports your point of view? Furthermore, you should ask questions about each text. Is it current or is it outdated? What argument is the author making? Is the author biased?  

Approaching your reading in this way ensures that you engage with the literature critically. You will demonstrate that you have done this in your mini literature review (see Proposal Structure box).  

If you have not yet started reading for your proposal, the Literature Review Guide offers advice on choosing a topic and how to conduct a literature search. Additionally, the Effective Reading Guide provides tips on researching and critical reading.  

Four students are reading in a library

Proposal Structure

So, how is a dissertation proposal typically structured? The structure of a proposal varies considerably.

This is a list of elements that might be required. Please check the dissertation proposal requirements and marking criteria on Blackboard or with your lecturers if you are unsure about the requirements.

Title : The title you have devised, so far - it can change throughout the dissertation drafting process! A good title is simple but fairly specific. Example: "Focus and concentration during revision: an evaluation of the Pomodoro technique."

Introduction/Background : Provides background and presents the key issues of your proposed research. Can include the following:

Rationale : Why is this research being undertaken, why is it interesting and worthwhile, also considering the existing literature?

Purpose : What do you intend to accomplish with your study, e.g. improve something or understand something? 

Research question : The main, overarching question your study seeks to answer. E.g. "How can focus and concentration be improved during revision?"

Hypothesis : Quantitative studies can use hypotheses in alternative to research questions. E.g. "Taking regular breaks significantly increases the ability to memorise information."

Aim : The main result your study seeks to achieve. If you use a research question, the aim echoes that, but uses an infinitive. E.g. "The aim of this research is to investigate how can focus and concentration be improved during revision."

Objectives : The stepping stones to achieve your aim. E.g. "The objectives of this research are 1) to review the literature on study techniques; 2) to identify the factors that influence focus and concentration; 3) to undertake an experiment on the Pomodoro technique with student volunteers; 4) to issue recommendations on focus and concentration for revision."

Literature review : Overview of significant literature around the research topic, moving from general (background) to specific (your subject of study). Highlight what the literature says, and does not say, on the research topic, identifying a gap(s) that your research aims to fill. 

Methods : Here you consider what methods you are planning to use for your research, and why you are thinking of them. What secondary sources (literature) are you going to consult? Are you going to use primary sources (e.g. data bases, statistics, interviews, questionnaires, experiments)? Are you going to focus on a case study? Is the research going to be qualitative or quantitative? Consider if your research will need ethical clearance.

Significance/Implications/Expected outcomes : In this section you reiterate what are you hoping to demonstrate. State how your research could contribute to debates in your particular subject area, perhaps filling a gap(s) in the existing works. 

Plan of Work : You might be asked to present your timeline for completing the dissertation. The timeline can be presented using different formats such as bullet points, table, Gantt chart. Whichever format you use, your plan of work should be realistic and should demonstrate awareness of the various elements of the study such as literature research, empirical work, drafting, re-drafting, etc.

Outline : Here you include a provisional table of contents for your dissertation. The structure of the dissertation can be free or prescribed by the dissertation guidelines of your course, so check that up. 

Reference List : The list should include the bibliographical information of all the sources you cited in the proposal, listed in alphabetical order. 

Most of the elements mentioned above are explained in the tabs of this guide!

Literature-based dissertations in the humanities

A literature-based dissertation in the humanities, however, might be less rigidly structured and may look like this: 

  • Short introduction including background information on your topic, why it is relevant and how it fits into the literature. 
  • Main body which outlines how you will organise your  chapters .
  • Conclusion which states what you hope your study will achieve. 
  • Bibliography .  

After Writing

Check your proposal! 

Have you shown that your research idea is: 

Ethical? 

Relevant? 

Feasible with the timeframe and resources available?  

Have you: 

Identified a clear research gap to focus on? 

Stated why your study is important? 

Selected a methodology that will enable you to gather the data you need? 

Use the marking criteria for dissertation proposals provided by your department to check your work.  

Locke, L.F.,  Spirduso, W.W. and Silverman, S.J. (2014).  Proposals that Work: A Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grant Proposals . Sage.

  • << Previous: Planning
  • Last Updated: Aug 1, 2023 2:36 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.westminster.ac.uk/starting-your-dissertation

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HLS Dissertations, Theses, and JD Papers

S.j.d. dissertations, ll.m. papers, ll.m. theses, j.d. papers, submitting your paper to an online collection, other sources for student papers beyond harvard, getting help, introduction.

This is a guide to finding Harvard Law School (“HLS”) student-authored works held by the Library and in online collections. This guide covers HLS S.J.D Dissertations, LL.M. papers, J.D. third-year papers, seminar papers, and prize papers.

There have been changes in the HLS degree requirements for written work. The library’s collection practices and catalog descriptions for these works has varied. Please note that there are gaps in the library’s collection and for J.D. papers, few of these works are being collected any longer.

If we have an S.J.D. dissertation or LL.M. thesis, we have two copies. One is kept in the general collection and one in the Red Set, an archival collection of works authored by HLS affiliates. If we have a J.D. paper, we have only one copy, kept in the Red Set. Red Set copies are last resort copies available only by advance appointment in Historical and Special Collections .

Some papers have not been processed by library staff. If HOLLIS indicates a paper is “ordered-received” please use this form to have library processing completed.

The HLS Doctor of Juridical Science (“S.J.D.”) program began in 1910.  The library collection of these works is not comprehensive. Exceptions are usually due to scholars’ requests to withhold Library deposit. 

  • HLS S.J.D. Dissertations in HOLLIS To refine these search results by topic or faculty advisor, or limit by date, click Add a New Line.
  • Hein’s Legal Theses and Dissertations Microfiche Mic K556.H45x Drawers 947-949 This microfiche set includes legal theses and dissertations from HLS and other premier law schools. It currently includes about 300 HLS dissertations and theses.
  • Hein's Legal Theses and Dissertations Contents List This content list is in order by school only, not by date, subject or author. It references microfiche numbers within the set housed in the Microforms room on the entry level of the library, drawers 947-949. The fiche are a different color for each institution.
  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses @ Harvard University (Harvard login) Copy this search syntax: dg(S.J.D.) You will find about 130 SJD Dissertations dated from 1972 to 2004. They are not available in full text.
  • DASH Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard Sponsored by Harvard University’s Office for Scholarly Communication, DASH is an open repository for research papers by members of the Harvard community. There are currently about 600 HLS student papers included. Unfortunately it is not possible to search by type of paper or degree awarded.

The Master of Laws (“LL.M.”) degree has been awarded since 1923. Originally, the degree required completion of a major research paper, akin to a thesis. Since 1993, most students have the option of writing the LL.M. "short paper."  This is a 25-page (or longer) paper advised by a faculty supervisor or completed in conjunction with a seminar.  Fewer LL.M. candidates continue to write the more extensive "long-paper." LL.M. candidates holding J.D.s from the U.S. must write the long paper.

  • HLS Written Work Requirements for LL.M. Degree The current explanation of the LL.M. written work requirement for the master of laws.

The library generally holds HLS LL.M. long papers and short papers. In recent years, we require author release in order to do so. In HOLLIS, no distinction is made between types of written work created in satisfaction of the LL.M. degree; all are described as LL.M. thesis. Though we describe them as thesis, the law school refers to them solely as papers or in earlier years, essays. HOLLIS records indicate the number of pages, so at the record level, it is possible to distinguish long papers.

  • HLS LL.M. Papers in HOLLIS To refine these search results by topic, faculty advisor, seminar or date, click Add a New Line.

HLS LL.M. Papers are sometimes available in DASH and Hein's Legal Dissertations and Theses. See descriptions above .

The HLS J.D. written work requirement has changed over time. The degree formerly required a substantial research paper comparable in scope to a law review article written under faculty supervision, the "third year paper." Since 2008, J.D. students have the option of using two shorter works instead.

Of all those written, the library holds relatively few third-year papers. They were not actively collected but accepted by submission from faculty advisors who deemed a paper worthy of institutional retention. The papers are described in HOLLIS as third year papers, seminar papers, and student papers. Sometimes this distinction was valid, but not always. The faculty deposit tradition more or less ended in 2006, though the possibility of deposit still exists. 

  • J.D. Written Work Requirement
  • Faculty Deposit of Student Papers with the Library

HLS Third Year Papers in HOLLIS

To refine these search results by topic, faculty advisor, seminar or date, click Add a New Line.

  • HLS Student Papers Some third-year papers and LL.M. papers were described in HOLLIS simply as student papers. To refine these search results, click "Add a New Line" and add topic, faculty advisor, or course title.
  • HLS Seminar Papers Note that these include legal research pathfinders produced for the Advanced Legal Research course when taught by Virginia Wise.

Prize Papers

HLS has many endowed prizes for student papers and essays. There are currently 16 different writing prizes. See this complete descriptive list with links to lists of winners from 2009 to present. Note that there is not always a winner each year for each award. Prize winners are announced each year in the commencement pamphlet.

The Library has not specifically collected prize papers over the years but has added copies when possible. The HOLLIS record for the paper will usually indicate its status as a prize paper. The most recent prize paper was added to the collection in 2006.

Addison Brown Prize Animal Law & Policy Program Writing Prize Victor Brudney Prize Davis Polk Legal Profession Paper Prize Roger Fisher and Frank E.A. Sander Prize Yong K. Kim ’95 Memorial Prize Islamic Legal Studies Program Prize on Islamic Law Laylin Prize LGBTQ Writing Prize Mancini Prize Irving Oberman Memorial Awards John M. Olin Prize in Law and Economics Project on the Foundations of Private Law Prize Sidney I. Roberts Prize Fund Klemens von Klemperer Prize Stephen L. Werner Prize

  • Harvard Law School Prize Essays (1850-1868) A historical collection of handwritten prize essays covering the range of topics covered at that time. See this finding aid for a collection description.

The following information about online repositories is not a recommendation or endorsement to participate.

  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses HLS is not an institutional participant to this collection. If you are interested in submitting your work, refer to these instructions and note that there is a fee required, which varies depending on the format of submission.
  • EBSCO Open Dissertations Relatively new, this is an open repository of metadata for dissertations. It is an outgrowth of the index American Doctoral Dissertations. The aim is to cover 1933 to present and, for modern works, to link to full text available in institutional repositories. Harvard is not one of the institutional participants.
  • DASH Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard

Sponsored by Harvard University’s Office for Scholarly Communication, this is an open repository for research papers by members of the Harvard community. See more information about the project. 

Some HLS students have submitted their degree paper to DASH.  If you would like to submit your paper, you may use this authorization form  or contact June Casey , Librarian for Open Access Initiatives and Scholarly Communication at Harvard Law School.

  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (Harvard Login) Covers dissertations and masters' theses from North American graduate schools and many worldwide. Provides full text for many since the 1990s and has descriptive data for older works.
  • NDLTD Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations Union Catalog Worldwide in scope, NDLTD contains millions of records of electronic theses and dissertations from the early 1900s to the present.
  • Law Commons of the Digital Commons Network The Law Commons has dissertations and theses, as well as many other types of scholarly research such as book chapters and conference proceedings. They aim to collect free, full-text scholarly work from hundreds of academic institutions worldwide.
  • EBSCO Open Dissertations Doctoral dissertations from many institutions. Free, open repository.
  • Dissertations from Center for Research Libraries Dissertations found in this resource are available to the Harvard University Community through Interlibrary Loan.
  • British Library EThOS Dissertation source from the British Library listing doctoral theses awarded in the UK. Some available for immediate download and some others may be requested for scanning.
  • BASE from Bielefeld University Library Index of the open repositoris of most academic institutions. Includes many types of documents including doctoral and masters theses.

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Dissertations and Honours projects

Here are the answers to common questions about dissertations and Honours projects. 

If your question isn't answered here, check the other pages within this guide - there's lots of useful information on identifying sources, planning your search and managing the information you find.

If you have any more questions, contact us using the 'How we can help' page of this guide.

Can I view previous dissertations/honours projects?

The Library holds a small selection of digitised dissertations which are available to  view online  (you may need to log in to GCULearn). Previous examples may also be available by contacting your department directly.

For help around format, structure and layout  we recommend contacting the Learning Development Centre (LDC) within your School. They can also help with skills related to academic writing and critical analysis/thinking.  

  • Learning Development Centres Information to help you contact the Learning Development Centre (LDC) for your course/programme.

Where can I find books on the research process?

Books on undertaking and writing a dissertation/honours project are located on Level 2. You can find books on undertaking a literature review on Level 4.

The Academic Librarians have created a Dissertation and Honours Project resource list.

  • Library Dissertation Resource List A selection of library resources to support your dissertation process.

What are research question frameworks?

If you are trying to define a research question for a dissertation or research project, using a framework can be a useful approach.

Research question frameworks can be used to help frame a question and plan for empirical research or structured literature review. They are widely used in the field of health to investigate practice-based questions but they are also useful in other fields of research such as social sciences. 

You do not have to use a research question framework - it is just an option available to you. Visit our guide below for examples of research question frameworks.

  • Research question frameworks

How do I develop a search strategy?

Subject databases allow you to carry out a strategic search for journal articles. You can search using a combination of search terms, filter and narrow results (by date or subject area for example) and save your searches. There is some overlap between the databases but every database also has unique content. 

Visit the 'Using databases' section of this guide to find relevant databases for your topic.

Fulltext access to journal articles

Not all databases will host the full text of the article you need.  Here are some tips to help you locate the the fulltext article 

  • Search Discover using the article title.
  • To check if we hold a specific journal and if available online or in print, s earch Discover using the journal title .
  • You can also try a search using Google Scholar for an open access journal article. Search by the article title.

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Finding and accessing full text

This video demonstrates how to find and access the full text of journal articles.

Inter-library loan

You can request a journal article or a book not available in our Library stock via our Inter-library loan (ILL) service. View our Inter-library loan webpages using the link below for more details on how to submit a request and contact details for ILL team.

Journal articles, conference papers and book chapters are supplied electronically where possible but some processing time is required for ILL requests so w e recommend factoring this in to your time management for your assignment/dissertation or honours project.

Help and support on the ILL process including frequently asked questions are also available on our ILL webpages.

  • Inter-library loan Request an item for your research, teaching or coursework not available in Library stock.

Saving searches and managing references

It is essential to document your search process. You should keep a record of where you've searched and what terms you have used.

You might also want to save results, especially articles or items which you intend to include in your literature review and to aid your referencing.

Databases provide the option to create a personal account. These require you to either sign in, create or register an account. These details may differ from your usual GCU username and password and will be unique to you.

Personal accounts provide access to more functionality: ability to create alerts, save searches and save individual or batches of results.

Results can also be exported from a database to reference management software such as RefWorks. These tools help you to create reference lists or manage duplicate results.

Find out more about using RefWorks, including our help video to get started. 

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Archives and Special Collections

Different sources will be relevant to help you research your chosen topic or area of interest. Archival material may be useful for certain topics. 

GCU's Archive Centre may have material relevant to your topic - contact the Archive Centre team for advice.

There are other archives and special collections which you can visit, including:

  • Mitchell Library
  • National Library of Scotland

Some archival material is also freely available online.

If you need advice identifying collections outside of GCU, contact us using the 'How we can help' page of this guide.

Need more help or have a question?  Drop in to our dissertation clinics to get help with literature searching and reference management for your dissertation, honours project or proposal.

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Law Dissertation Topics

Published by Owen Ingram at January 9th, 2023 , Revised On October 5, 2023

Introduction

Law dissertations can be demanding because of the need to find relevant regulations, cases, and data to address the research problem successfully. It is of utmost importance to critically examine facts before framing the  research questions .

Selection of the most appropriate legal terms and legal authorities, whether online or in print, can be challenging especially if you have not tackled a law dissertation project before.

To help you select an intriguing law  dissertation  topic,  our expert writers have suggested some issues in various areas of law, including trust law, EU law, family law, employment and equality law, public law, tort law, intellectual property rights, commercial law, evidence, and criminal law, and human rights and immigration law.

These topics have been developed by PhD-qualified writers of our team , so you can trust to use these topics for drafting your dissertation.

Review step by step guide on how to write your own dissertation  here.

You may also want to start your dissertation by requesting  a brief research proposal  from our writers on any of these topics, which includes an  introduction  to the topic,  research question , aim and objectives ,  literature review  along with the proposed  methodology  of research to be conducted.  Let us know  if you need any help in getting started.

Check our  dissertation examples to get an idea of  how to structure your dissertation .

Review the full list of dissertation topics for 2022 here.

2022 Law Dissertation Topics

Topic 1: the role of international criminal laws in reducing global genocide.

Research Aim: This study aims to find the role of international criminal laws in reducing global genocide. It will be an exploratory study identifying the explicit and implicit effects of international criminal laws on the worldwide genocide. It will analyse different incidents of international genocide and find out how international criminal laws played a positive role to reduce these incidents. Lastly, it will recommend possible changes in the international criminal laws to effectively mitigate global genocide. And it will be done by comparing criminal laws of world-leading powers to reduce genocide.

Topic 2: Impact of Anti-Racism Employment Laws on Organisational Culture- A Comparative Study on the Anti-Racism Employment Laws in the US and Canada

Research Aim: This research aims to find the impact of anti-racism employment laws on the organisational culture in the US and Canada in a comparative analysis. It will identify the change in employees’ behaviour after implementing anti-racism laws. Moreover, it will find whether employees gleefully welcomed these laws or showed resistance. And how do these laws affect the organisations’ performance that strictly implemented them?

Topic 3: Globalization, international business transactions, and commercial law- A perspective from literature.

Research Aim: Students and practitioners can find the law of international business transactions as a subfield within a broader field of international commercial law to be somewhat amorphous.

This study will explain the impact of globalization on international business transactions and commercial law by establishing some necessary links between the study of transnational business law and related fields of international studies. This study also aims to address theories about foreign business regulation, such as the idea that it is free of power politics. For the collection of data existing literature will be studied. And the methodology of this research will rely on existing previous literature.

Topic 4: Investigating the impact of competition law on the businesses in the UK- Post Brexit

Research Aim: This study aims to investigate the impact of competition laws on businesses in the Post-Brexit UK. The proposed study will not only analyze the performance of the businesses with the current competition laws. But also analyze the impact of possible changes in competition laws on the businesses in the post-Brexit UK. And it will also incorporate the possible difference of changes in competition laws in deal, no-deal, hard deal, and soft deal scenarios. This way of individually analyzing the difference of competition laws due to the status of the UK’s deal with the EU will give better insights into how businesses will be affected by these laws in the post-Brexit UK.

Topic 5: A comparison between Islamic and contemporary laws against rape. Which law is the most effective in preventing this horrific crime?

Research Aim: Since several years, marital and non-marital relations in Muslim majority countries have been a source of controversy. Under Islamic law, it is strictly forbidden for a Muslim, or even non-Muslim to engage in illicit sexual relations with the opposite gender under any situation. The current study will help us understand the concepts presented in Islamic laws about rape cases. In this context, a comparative analysis of Islamic and contemporary law will be explained. It will also identify efficient and effective strategies to prevent this horrific crime.

Law Dissertation Topics 2021

Topic 1: the legal implications of the covid-19 pandemic on canadian immigration and the way forward..

Research Aim: This study will focus on how the Canadian government benefits from resources accrued from immigration, the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian Immigration, the current legislation on immigration, the effects of COVID-19 on the immigration law, the possible amendments that could help cushion the impact and the way forward.

Topic 2: Effect of COVID-19 on the United States Immigration policies; an assessment of International Legal agreements governing pandemic disease control and the way forward.

Research Aim: This research will focus on the pandemic’s effect on immigration policies in the United States. It also suggests the required steps based on the laws that regulate government acts during an outbreak of a pandemic.

Topic 3: Creating legal policies in preparedness for the global pandemic; lessons from COVID-19 on Canadian immigration policies.

Research Aim: This research will focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and how most countries seemed unprepared. Historical background of the flu pandemic can also be made to assess how the world overcame the pandemic. And the need for the Canadian government or any other country you wish to choose can prepare for a global pandemic by creating legal policies that could help prepare ahead for such a period, such as policies on scientific research and funding.

Topic 4: The need for uniformity of competition law and policy in Gulf Cooperation Council Countries; An approach to the European Union standard.

Research Aim: This research will focus on the Gulf Cooperation Countries and their current legislation on competition law and its implications. Countries under the European Union’s competition law, the legal implications, and the need to consider such a part.

Topic 5: The need for competition law and policy enforcement; An analysis of the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries.

Research Aim: This research focuses on the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries’ competition laws and their enforceability. It analyses the benefits of enforcing the competition law and looks at the European Union uniformed laws and its benefits. It looks into the various countries, how the competition law currently works, and how it can affect each country’s economy in a better way or adequately enforced.

Topic 6: Provisions of the law on rape, the need to expand its coverage on the misuse of its provisions, and false accusations.

Research Aim: This research will focus on the law’s present provisions on rape and rape victims and the recent false accusations.

Topic 7: Summary dismissal of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the legal implications under the labour law, and the way forward. The case study of Nigeria

Research Aim: This research will focus on the statistics of people who were summarily dismissed during the COVID-19 pandemic based on natural occurrences, provisions of the law against summary dismissal, and its enforcement, and how this can be cushioned against future events. The need to expand the labour law to cover similar situations for the protection of workers.

Topic 8: A legal assessment of the settlement of international disputes through the peaceful process and its effectiveness

Research Aim: This research focuses on the mode of dispute settlement in the international community, assessment of international laws and treaties on peaceful settlement of conflicts among countries of member states, the methods of dispute settlements, its strengths and weaknesses, and the need to improve the current mechanisms of peaceful settlement in the international community.

Topic 9: The protection of minority shareholders and the majority shareholders' power in Companies, a critical analysis of the Nigerian Companies and Allied Matters Act provisions.

Research Aim: This research will focus on the law’s provisions on protecting minority shareholders in companies and the majority shareholders’ power. How effective are these provisions in protecting the minorities against the management of the majority shareholders and the way forward

COVID-19 Law Research Topics

Topic 1: law during the time of the coronavirus crisis.

Research Aim:  This study will analyse the role of law and order during COVID-19.

Topic 2: Legal policies and issues during COVID-19

Research Aim: This study will focus on the legal policies issued during the COVID-19 across the world. Challenges faced by the public and government during the lockdown will also be addressed.

Topic 3: The role of cops during COVID-19

Research Question: This study will highlight the role of cops in combatting COVID-19 and ensuring public health safety. It’ll also focus on the risk and challenges they come across and how to overcome those challenges.

Topic 4: Justice during COVID-19

Research Aim: The entire world has been paused during the lockdown situation. This study will investigate the mode of trials, court sessions, and justice during the coronavirus pandemic.

Topic 5: Health guidelines and social distancing

Research Aim: This study will reveal the WHO’s health and safety guidelines.

Topic 6: Guidelines for transport, educational institutions, business sectors, and hospitals during the Coronavirus pandemic

Research Aim: This study will focus on reviewing the guidelines issued by the government for various public gathering places such as transport, educational institutions, business sectors, and hospitals during the Coronavirus pandemics.

Topic 1: World Bank developmental projects and greater accountability

Research Aim: Examine communities impacted by development operations under the World Bank Development project schemes using the project law model to understand the lack of participation and successful influence of these communities to improve accountability and good governance.

Topic 2: The right to bear arms: Rethinking the second amendment

Research Aim: Gun control and the right to bear arms has been an ever-evolving web discourse in the United States. The research aims at analysing how gun control laws have changed in the USA since specifically focusing on the 2nd Amendment and its original framework.

Topic 3: Rethinking the international legal framework protecting journalists in war and conflict zones.

Research Question: Is the current legal framework still appropriate for protecting journalists in today’s conflict zones? Research Aim: The primary body of law that is set out to protect journalists includes the Geneva Conventions and their additional Protocols. However, since the time they have been drafted and decades after, there have been conspicuous changes to the way warfare is conducted. It is imperative to examine this body of law in order to improve it as journalists have now become prime targets in war zones and conflict areas because of their profession.

Topic 4: A critical analysis of employment law of disabled individuals in the UK and what new policies can be integrated to increase its efficiency.

Research Aim: Employment or labour law has always been under the limelight. Many critiques and researchers have proposed different amendments to the existing law pertaining to labour and employee. The main aim of the research is to critically analyse the employment law of disabled individuals in the UK along with effective recommendations that need to be made in order to make the existing law more efficient and effective.

Topic 5: A critical evaluation of racial discrimination laws in developed countries and how it impacts the workplace environment

Research Aim: Racial discrimination has always been a controversial issue in almost every part of the World. However, many developed countries (companies) face severe racial discrimination issues that directly impact their name and brand value. Therefore, this research provides a critical evaluation of the racial discrimination laws, particularly in developed countries. Moreover, the research will be focusing on how racial discrimination laws are impacting the workplace environment.

Topic 6: A comparative analysis of legislation, policy, and guidelines of domestic abuse between UK and USA.

Research Aim: Domestic laws basically deal with and provide criminal rules for punishing individuals who have physically or emotionally harmed their own family members. It has been found out that many domestic cases of abuse are not reported to the concerned authority. Due to this reason, the main focus of the research is to conduct a comparative analysis of legislation, policy, and guidelines of domestic abuse between the UK and the USA and how effective both the countries have been to minimise domestic abuse.

Topic 7: Analyzing the negative impact of technology in protecting the intellectual property rights of corporations.

Research Aim: Intellectual property has gained significant importance after the emergence of counterfeit products coming from different parts of the world. It has been found out that many factors have motivated the sale of counterfeit products. Therefore, this research aims at analysing the negative impact of technology in protecting the intellectual property rights of products and corporations.

Topic 8: A critical assessment of the terrorism act of 2010 and its impact on Muslims living around the globe.

Research Aim: Since the incident of 9/11, the entire world has been under the pressure of terrorism activities, especially Muslims living around the world. Therefore, this research intends to critically assess the terrorism act of 2010 and its impact on Muslims living around the globe.

Trust Law Dissertation Topics

The trust law requires the settler to meet the three certainties, including the object, intention, and subject matter. As posted to a moral obligation or mere gift, confidence of choice can be best described as clarity of purpose. Some interesting dissertation topics in the field of trust law  are listed below:

  • To investigate the attitude of the courts to trusts supporting political agendas.
  • To identify and discuss principles on which half-secret and full secret trusts are enforced? Does a literature review highlight circumstances where it is essential to consider whether such beliefs are constructive and express?
  • The role and impact of trust law as asset portioning and fiduciary governance
  • From law to faith: Letting go of secret trusts
  • Critical analysis of the statement “Traditionally, equity and the law of trusts have been concerned with providing justice to balance out the rigour of the common law” regarding modern equity development/operation.
  • Should the assumption of resulting trusts and progression be abolished in this modern age? A critical review of the literature
  • A critical examination of the courts’ concern of financial reward in the context of “trustee powers of investment”
  • Does the doctrine of cypress do justice to the intentions of the testator?
  • The impact of the decision of Harrison v Gibson on the law of the clarity of intention?
  • The approval of trustees in the Zimbabwean law of trusts

Want more?   Read this.

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ResearchProspect writers can send several custom topic ideas to your email address. Once you have chosen a topic that suits your needs and interests, you can order for our dissertation outline service which will include a brief introduction to the topic, research questions , literature review , methodology , expected results , and conclusion . The dissertation outline will enable you to review the quality of our work before placing the order for our full dissertation writing service!

European Law Dissertation Topics

European law has recently attracted wide attention from the academic world, thanks to the growing influence of European Law on administrative law in EU members. It should be noted that every aspect of life in European states is significantly affected by European law, and therefore this area of research has gained tremendous popularity. Some exciting and specific research areas are given below:

  • A critical review of the European anti-discrimination Law
  • To investigate the economics and history of European Law.
  • An investigation of the European human rights law
  • Investigating the impact of “Freedom of Speech” on the German economy
  • Investigating the impact of immigration laws on the German economy
  • How the French parliamentary sovereignty has been affected by the European Union
  • Uniform interpretation of European patent law with a unique view on the creation of a standard patent court
  • The impact of European consensus in the jurisprudence of the European court of human rights
  • The impact of the European convention on human rights on the international human rights law
  • A critical analysis of the tensions between European trade and social policy
  • To investigate the European Union’s enforcement actions and policies against member countries.
  • European Laws amidst the Brexit process

Read this Article.

Family Law Dissertation Topics

A wide range of topics are covered under the field of family law and the law of children. Essentially, this area of law takes into consideration the registration of marriages, statutory rights concerning marriage, the effects of a decree, void and voidable marriages, the impact of the Human Rights Act, the legal stature of unmarried and married individuals, and the case for reform of UK family law . Other research areas include enforcing financial responsibilities in the Magistrates court, enforcing the arrears of maintenance payments, the award of maintenance, enforcing financial obligations to children or a child, financial orders for children, and the Child Support Act. An extremely intriguing area of law that has gained tremendous popularity in the modern era, some specific  dissertation topics  in this area of law studies are listed below:

  • Investigating therapeutic and theoretical approaches to deal with spouse abuse in light of the UK government’s latest research on domestic violence
  • Unmarried fathers’ access to parental responsibility – Does the current law enforce rights and responsibilities towards children?
  • To study the criminal justice process involving a child witness.
  • The children’s right to participation – Rhetoric or Reality? – A critical review of literature from the past two decades
  • To study the position of unmarried fathers in the UK.
  • Does the UK Family law need a major reform?
  • A critical review of the rights of married women in real estate
  • Child welfare and the role of local authorities
  • To study the legal and social foundations of parenting, civil partnership, and marriage.
  • To examine whether the Child Support Act has positively influenced child maintenance?

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Employment Law Dissertation Topics

Employment and equality law governs the relationship between the government, trade unions, employers, and employees.  Employment and equality law in the UK is a body of law that prevents bias and negative attitudes towards someone based on their ethnicity or race rather than work skills and experience. Some interesting dissertation topics  in this area of law are below:

  • A critical investigation of the right to fair labor practices in the United Kingdom
  • To determine the job’s inherent requirements as a defence to unfair discrimination or a claim – A comparison between the United Kingdom and Canada.
  • The role of the South African Labour Relations Act in providing unhappy staff sufficient protection against unfair dismissals and discrimination at the workplace
  • To investigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on employees’ lives with a focus on unfair dismissal and discrimination.
  • To assess ethnic discrimination in the European Union: Derogations from the ban on discrimination – Sexual harassment – Equal pay for equal value work.
  • To study the international employment contract – Regulation, perception, and reality.
  • To identify and discuss challenges associated with equality at work.
  • A study of the legal aspects of the relationship between employer and employee
  • How influential is the role of trade unions in English employment law?
  • A critical review of discrimination policies in the UK

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Commercial Law Dissertation Topics

Commercial law, also known as business law, is the whole body of substantive jurisprudence applicable to the conduct, relations, and rights of sales, trade, merchandising, and businesses and persons associated with commerce. Important issues of law covered by commercial law include real estate, secured transactions, credit transactions, bankruptcy, banking, and contracts. An intriguing area of law within the UK, specific topics for your law dissertation are listed below:

  • The impact of legislation for the regulation of investments services with EU economic area on the EU financial services market
  • Handling regulatory involvement incorporates organisational structure and strategy.
  • A study of convergence and complementarities concerning international corporate governance
  • How drafting and diffusion of uniform norms can help to harmonise the law of international commercial arbitration?
  • Convergence and adaption in corporate governance to transnational standards in India
  • A critical review of the international commercial arbitration system
  • Analysing the international commercial law on risk transfer
  • The role of the tripartite financial system in the UK on economic development
  • A comparative analysis of European contract law, international commercial contracts law, and English commercial contracts law
  • Is the European contracts law meeting the needs of the commercial community?
  • A critical review of anti-corruption legislation in the UK
  • The problems of director accountability in the UK and the impact of soft and hard law on corporate governance

Criminal and Evidence Law Dissertation Topics

Criminal law  can be defined as a system of law dealing with the punishment of criminals. Criminal evidence, on the other hand, concerns evidence/testimony presented in relation to criminal charges. Evidence can be presented in various forms in order to prove and establish crimes. A wide array of topics can be covered in this subject area. To help you narrow down your research focus, some  interesting topics  are suggested below:

  • The politics of criminal law reform with a focus on lower-court decision making
  • To understand and establish the historical relationship between human rights and Islamic criminal law
  • Investigating the rights of victims in internal criminal courts
  • The efficacy of the law of rape in order to prevent misuse by bogus victims and to protect rightful victims
  • To assess the criminal law’s approach to Omissions
  • To investigate the issues associated with the identification of the distribution, extent, and nature of the crime
  • A critical review of the Bad Samaritan laws and the law of omissions liability
  • How international criminal law has been significant influenced by the “war on terrors”?
  • The efficacy of modern approaches to the definition of intention in International criminal law
  • The efficacy of the law of corporate manslaughter

Company Law Dissertation Topics

Company law, also known as the  law of business associations , is the body of law that deals with business organisations and their formation, registration, incorporation, governance, dissolution, and administration. Some suggestions for company law dissertation topics are listed below:

  • Developing equity markets in growing economies and the importance of corporate law
  • A critical review of English company law and its effects on member workers and creditors
  • To investigate the essential aspects of corporate law.
  • To study business responsibilities for human rights.
  • Identifying disparities in corporate governance – Theories and Realities
  • The external relations of company groups in Zambian Corporate law
  • To study corporate governance practices concerning the minority stakeholders.
  • Establishing and evaluating arguments for and against “stakeholder theory.”
  • The importance of non-executive directors in the British corporate legal system
  • Investigating the regulation of the UK public company

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Intellectual Property and Tort Law Dissertation topics

All forms of legal injury are dealt with under the subject area of tort law. Essentially, tort law helps to establish the circumstances whereby a person may be held responsible for another person’s injury caused by either accident on intentional acts. On the other hand, intellectual property covers areas of law such as copyright, patents, and trademark. Trademark dissertation topics trademarks directive, trademarks act, infringement of trademarks such as revocation, invalidity, and the use of similar marks. Some interesting dissertation ideas and topics  of tort law and intellectual property are suggested below to help your law studies.

  • The efficacy of intellectual property rights in the UK under influence of European Law
  • The efficacy of UK copyright law concerning the needs of rights users and holders
  • The impact of intellectual property right on economic development
  • To investigate the right of confidence in the UK
  • Does the trademark law ensure sufficient protection in England?
  • The impact of European Law on intellectual property rights in the UK
  • The end of the road for loss of a chance?
  • To assess the success ratio of psychiatric injury claims in the UK
  • Should a no-fault system be implemented into UK law or should the law of negligence apply to personal injury claims?
  • A critical review of economic loss in 21 st century tort law

Human Rights and Immigration Law

The primary objective of human rights and immigration law is to ensure and protect human rights at domestic, regional, and international levels. With the world becoming a global village, human rights and immigration laws have attracted significant attention from academicians and policymakers. Some interesting law dissertation topics in this subject area are suggested below:

  • To assess the efficacy of the common European Asylum system in terms of immigration detention.
  • A historical analysis of Britain’s immigration and asylum policies
  • A critical analysis of immigration policy in Britain since 1990
  • A critical analysis of the right of the police and the public right to protest under PACE 1984
  • The right of prisoners to vote under the European law of human rights
  • Arguments for and against the death penalty in English Law with a focus on human rights treatise
  • A critical analysis of the right to private life and family for failed asylum seekers
  • The impact of UK immigration policies on the current education industry
  • How beneficial the points system has really been in regards to create a cap in the British immigration system
  • To study the impact of privatisation on immigration detention and related functions in the UK.

More Human Rights Law Dissertation Topics

Pandemic Law Dissertation Topics

Coronavirus, also known as the Covid-19, has become the most trending topic in the world since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic that started in China. Here are some interesting Corona Virus or Covid 19 Pandemic Law topics that you can consider for your law dissertation.

  • Co-parenting in the coronavirus pandemic: A family law scholar’s advice
  • How San Diego law enforcement operated amid Coronavirus pandemic
  • Pandemic preparedness in the workplace and the British with disabilities act
  • Why In a pandemic, rumors of martial Law fly despite reassurances
  • Investigating About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19
  • Resources to support workers in the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic:
  • A legal perspective
  • Navigating the Coronavirus Pandemic
  • Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) and employment laws in the UK going forward
  • Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) and employment laws in the US going forward
  • Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) and employment laws in Australia going forward

More Law Dissertation Topics

  • A critical analysis of the employment law of disabled individuals in the UK and what new policies can be integrated to increase its efficiency
  • A critical evaluation of racial discrimination laws in developed countries and how it impacts the workplace environment
  • A comparative analysis of domestic abuse with the legislation, policy, and domestic abuse guidelines between the UK and USA.
  • Analysing the negative impact of technology in protecting the intellectual property rights of corporations.
  • A critical assessment of the terrorism act of 2010 and its impact on Muslims living around the Globe.

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As a law dissertation student looking to get good grades, it is essential to develop new ideas and experiment with existing law dissertation theories – i.e., to add value and interest in the topic of your research.

The field of law dissertation is vast and interrelated to many other academic disciplines like civil engineering ,  construction ,  project management , engineering management , healthcare , mental health , artificial intelligence , tourism , physiotherapy , sociology , management , project management , and nursing . That is why it is imperative to create a project management dissertation topic that is articular, sound, and actually solves a practical problem that may be rampant in the field.

We can’t stress how important it is to develop a logical research topic based on your fundamental research. There are several significant downfalls to getting your case wrong; your supervisor may not be interested in working on it, the topic has no academic creditability, the research may not make logical sense, and there is a possibility that the study is not viable.

This impacts your time and efforts in writing your dissertation as you may end up in the cycle of rejection at the initial stage of the dissertation. That is why we recommend reviewing existing research to develop a topic, taking advice from your supervisor, and even asking for help in this particular stage of your dissertation.

While developing a research topic, keeping our advice in mind will allow you to pick one of the best law dissertation topics that fulfill your requirement of writing a research paper and add to the body of knowledge.

Therefore, it is recommended that when finalising your dissertation topic, you read recently published literature to identify gaps in the research that you may help fill.

Remember- dissertation topics need to be unique, solve an identified problem, be logical, and be practically implemented. Please look at some of our sample law dissertation topics to get an idea for your dissertation.

How to Structure your Law Dissertation

A well-structured dissertation can help students to achieve a high overall academic grade.

  • A Title Page
  • Acknowledgements
  • Declaration
  • Abstract: A summary of the research completed
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction : This chapter includes project rationale, research background, key research aims and objectives, and the research problems. An outline of the structure of a dissertation can also be added to this chapter.
  • Literature Review : This chapter presents relevant theories and frameworks by analysing published and unpublished literature available on the chosen research topic to address research questions . The purpose is to highlight and discuss the selected research area’s relative weaknesses and strengths while identifying any research gaps. Break down the topic, and binding terms can positively impact your dissertation and your tutor.
  • Methodology : The data collection and analysis methods and techniques employed by the researcher are presented in the Methodology chapter which usually includes research design , research philosophy, research limitations, code of conduct, ethical consideration, data collection methods and data analysis strategy .
  • Findings and Analysis : Findings of the research are analysed in detail under the Findings and Analysis chapter. All key findings/results are outlined in this chapter without interpreting the data or drawing any conclusions. It can be useful to include graphs, charts and tables in this chapter to identify meaningful trends and relationships.
  • Discussion and Conclusion : The researcher presents his interpretation of the results in this chapter, and states whether the research hypothesis has been verified or not. An essential aspect of this section is establishing the link between the products and evidence from the literature. Recommendations with regards to implications of the findings and directions for future may also be provided. Finally, a summary of the overall research, along with final judgments, opinions, and comments, must be included in the form of suggestions for improvement.
  • References : Make sure to complete this by your University’s requirements
  • Bibliography
  • Appendices : Any additional information, diagrams, and graphs used to complete the dissertation but not part of the dissertation should be included in the Appendices chapter. Essentially, the purpose is to expand the information/data.

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  • Consider societal or technological influences.
  • Consult professors and peers.
  • Select a topic aligning with your passion and career aspirations.

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FACT SHEET: President   Biden Cancels Student Debt for more than 150,000 Student Loan Borrowers Ahead of   Schedule

Today, President Biden announced the approval of $1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers currently enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan. The Biden-Harris Administration has now approved nearly $138 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 3.9 million borrowers through more than two dozen executive actions. The borrowers receiving relief are the first to benefit from a SAVE plan policy that provides debt forgiveness to borrowers who have been in repayment after as little as 10 years and took out $12,000 or less in student loans. Originally planned for July, the Biden-Harris Administration implemented this provision of SAVE and is providing relief to borrowers nearly six months ahead of schedule.

From Day One of his Administration, President Biden vowed to fix the student loan system and make sure higher education is a pathway to the middle class – not a barrier to opportunity. Already, the President has cancelled more student debt than any President in history – delivering lifechanging relief to students and families – and has created the most affordable student loan repayment plan ever: the SAVE plan. While Republicans in Congress and their allies try to block President Biden every step of the way, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to cancel student debt for millions of borrowers, and is leaving no stone unturned in the fight to give more borrowers breathing room on their student loans.

Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s SAVE plan, starting today, the Administration will be cancelling debt for borrowers who are enrolled in the SAVE plan, have been in repayment for at least 10 years and took out $12,000 or less in loans for college. For every additional $1,000 a borrower initially borrowed, they will receive relief after an additional year of payments. For example, a borrower enrolled in SAVE who took out $14,000 or less in federal loans to earn an associate’s degree in biotechnology would receive full debt relief starting this week if they have been in repayment for 12 years. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) identified nearly 153,000 borrowers who are enrolled in SAVE plan who will have their debt cancelled starting this week, and those borrowers will receive an email today from President Biden informing them of their imminent relief. Next week, the Department of Education will also be reaching out directly to borrowers who are eligible for early relief but not currently enrolled in the SAVE Plan to encourage them to enroll as soon as possible. This shortened time to forgiveness will particularly help community college and other borrowers with smaller loans and put many on track to being free of student debt faster than ever before. Under the Biden-Harris Administration’s SAVE plan, 85 percent of future community college borrowers will be debt free within 10 years. The Department will continue to regularly identify and discharge other borrowers eligible for relief under this provision on SAVE. Over four million borrowers have a $0 monthly payment under the SAVE Plan Last year, President Biden launched the SAVE plan – the most affordable repayment plan ever. Under the SAVE plan, monthly payments are based on a borrower’s income and family size, not their loan balance. The SAVE plan ensures that if borrowers are making their monthly payments, their balances cannot grow because of unpaid interest. And, starting in July, undergraduate loan payments will be cut in half, capping a borrower’s loan payment at 5% of their discretionary income. Already, 7.5 million borrowers are enrolled in the SAVE Plan, and 4.3 million borrowers have a $0 monthly payment.  

Today, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released an issue brief highlighting how low and middle-income borrowers enrolled in SAVE could see significant saving in terms of interest saved over time and principal forgiven as a result of SAVE’s early forgiveness provisions.

dissertation plan law

President Biden’s Administration has approved student debt relief for nearly 3.9 million Americans through various actions

Today’s announcement builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s track record of taking historic action to cancel student debt for millions of borrowers. Since taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration has approved debt cancellation for nearly 3.9 million Americans, totaling almost $138 billion in debt relief through various actions. This relief has given borrowers critical breathing room in their daily lives, allowing them to afford other expenses, buy homes, start businesses, or pursue dreams they had to put on hold because of the burden of student loan debt. President Biden remains committed to providing debt relief to as many borrowers as possible, and won’t stop fighting to deliver relief to more Americans.

The Biden-Harris Administration has also taken historic steps to improve the student loan program and make higher education more affordable for more Americans, including:

  • Achieving the largest increases in Pell Grants in over a decade to help families who earn less than $60,000 a year achieve their higher-education goals.
  • Fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program so that borrowers who go into public service get the debt relief they’re entitled to under the law. Before President Biden took office, only 7,000 people ever received debt relief through PSLF. After fixing the program, the Biden-Harris Administration has now cancelled student loan debt for nearly 800,000 public service workers.
  • Cancelling student loan debt for more than 930,000 borrowers who have been in repayment for over 20 years but never got the relief they earned because of administrative failures with Income-Driven Repayment Plans.
  • Pursuing an alternative path to deliver student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Administration’s original debt relief plan. Last week, the Department of Education released proposed regulatory text to cancel student debt for borrowers who are experiencing hardship paying back their student loans, and late last year released proposals to cancel student debt for borrowers who: owe more than they borrowed, first entered repayment 20 or 25 years ago, attended low quality programs, and who would be eligible for loan forgiveness through income-driven repayment programs like SAVE but have not applied.
  • Holding colleges accountable for leaving students with unaffordable debts.

It’s easy to enroll in SAVE. Borrowers should go to studentaid.gov/save to start saving.  

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Interview highlights

How alabama's ruling that frozen embryos are 'children' could impact ivf.

Ailsa Chang

Headshot of Alejandra Marquez Janse.

Alejandra Marquez Janse

Justine Kenin headshot

Justine Kenin

dissertation plan law

The decision stems from a case brought by three couples that had pursued in vitro fertilization treatment. Sang Tan/AP hide caption

The decision stems from a case brought by three couples that had pursued in vitro fertilization treatment.

Frozen embryos are people and you can be held legally responsible if you destroy them, according to a ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court on Friday .

The decision could have wide-ranging implications for in vitro fertilization clinics and for hopeful parents.

All Things Considered host Ailsa Chang speaks to UC Davis Professor of Law Mary Ziegler, who breaks down the possible downstream legal implication for how IVF is performed.

Abortion pills that patients got via telehealth and the mail are safe, study finds

Shots - Health News

Abortion pills that patients got via telehealth and the mail are safe, study finds.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Interview high lights

Ailsa Chang: Before we get to the actual ruling, can you just briefly explain the situation that led to the lawsuit, which was eventually brought to the state supreme court in Alabama?

Mary Ziegler: Absolutely. There were three couples that had pursued in vitro fertilization treatment at a clinic in Mobile, Alabama. And at a point in 2020, a hospital patient — the hospital was operated by the same clinic — entered the place where frozen embryos were stored, handled some of the embryos, burned his hand, dropped the embryos and destroyed them. And this led to a lawsuit from the three couples. They had a variety of theories in the suit, one of which was that the state's "wrongful death of a minor" law treated those frozen embryos as children or persons. And the Alabama Supreme Court agreed with them in this Friday decision.

Alabama Supreme Court rules frozen embryos are 'children' under state law

Alabama Supreme Court rules frozen embryos are 'children' under state law

Chang: It's worth noting that this lawsuit, it was a wrongful death lawsuit, meaning it was brought by couples who are mourning the accidental destruction of the embryos and wanting to hold someone responsible for that destruction. That said, what do you see as the wider-ranging or perhaps unintended consequences for IVF clinics in Alabama?

Ziegler: Well, if embryos are persons under this ruling, that could have pretty profound downstream complications for how IVF is performed. So, in IVF, generally more embryos are created than are implanted — they're stored, sometimes they're donated or destroyed, depending on the wishes of the people pursuing IVF. If an embryo is a person, it's obviously not clear that it's permissible to donate that embryo for research, or to destroy it. It may not even be possible to create embryos you don't implant in a particular IVF cycle.

So in other words, some anti-abortion groups argue that if an embryo was a person, every single embryo created has to be implanted, either in that person who's pursuing IVF, or some other person who "adopts the embryo." So as a result of that, it may radically change how IVF works, how cost effective it is, and how effective it is in allowing people to achieve their dream of parenthood.

'Something needs to change.' Woman denied abortion in South Carolina challenges ban

'Something needs to change.' Woman denied abortion in South Carolina challenges ban

Chang: Can you offer some examples, some expectations that you think we might see in how IVF providers in Alabama might change the way they operate?

Ziegler: Well, if Alabama IVF providers feel obligated to implant every embryo they create, that's likely to both reduce the chances that any IVF cycle will be successful. It also might make it a lot more expensive. IVF is already very expensive. I think the average being between about $15,000 and $20,000 per IVF cycle. Many patients don't succeed with IVF after one cycle. But if you were not allowed to create more than one embryo per cycle, that's likely to make IVF even more financially out of reach for people who don't have insurance coverage, and who struggle to pay that hefty price tag.

Chang: And what is the likelihood of this case heading to the U.S. Supreme Court?

Ziegler: It's pretty low, because of the way the Alabama Supreme Court framed its decision. It grounded very firmly in Alabama state constitutional law. And so I think this is the kind of ruling that could eventually have some reverberation at the U.S. Supreme Court, but it's very unlikely to be appealed directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bayer makes a deal on popular contraceptive with Mark Cuban's online pharmacy

Bayer makes a deal on popular contraceptive with Mark Cuban's online pharmacy

Chang: If the ruling in this case was very much confined to Alabama state law, as you describe, what are the wider implications of this ruling for people who don't live in Alabama? What do you see?

Ziegler: I think there's been a broader strategy — the sort of next Roe v. Wade , if you will — for the anti-abortion movement. It is a recognition that a fetus or embryo is a person for all purposes, particularly for the purposes of the federal constitution. And while this isn't a case about the federal constitution, I think you'll see the anti-abortion movement making a gradual case that the more state courts — the more state laws — recognize a fetus or embryo as a person for different circumstances and reasons, the more compelling they can say is the case for fetal personhood under the constitution. The more compelling is their argument that a fetus is a rights holder and that liberal abortion laws or state abortion rights are impermissible.

  • Supreme Court

dissertation plan law

Alex Jones Estate Liquidation Gets Sandy Hook Families’ Vote

By Alex Wolf

Alex Wolf

The families of Sandy Hook school shooting victims voted overwhelmingly in favor of a plan to wrap up Alex Jones’ bankruptcy proceedings by liquidating the right wing talk show host’s assets.

Jones’ general unsecured creditors—comprised mostly of Sandy Hook families holding about $1.5 billion in defamation judgments against the famed conspiracy theorist—voted 100% in favor of a Chapter 11 plan that would methodically liquidate and redistribute his property and cash, while preserving potential legal actions against parties affiliated with Jones and his Infowars program.

An official committee appointed to represent Jones’ unsecured creditors notified the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas on Feb. 16 that of 23 liquidation plan ballots distributed to creditors, it received 21 back—all supporting the committee’s liquidation proposal .

The vote indicates the creditors’ preference over a competing plan submitted by Jones that would allow him to reorganize by preserving parts of his media empire and paying the group at least $5.5 million a year over 10 years. His plan would provide additional creditor recoveries out of disposable income from Jones’ bankrupt Infowars parent company, portions of Jones’ personal income, and the proceeds from selling various personal assets.

No ballot tabulation for Jones’ plan has been submitted to the court yet.

The parties are scheduled to hold plan approval hearing in late March.

Jones filed for Chapter 11 protection in December 2022, after being hit with state court judgments for repeatedly calling the 2012 massacre of elementary school students and teachers a hoax. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Lopez ruled last year that Jones can’t discharge the defamation awards because those debts stemmed from intentional and malicious conduct.

Jones is represented by Crowe & Dunlevy PC and Jordan & Ortiz PC.

The creditors’ committee is represented by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

The case is In re Alexander E. Jones , Bankr. S.D. Tex., No. 22-33553, notice filed 2/16/24.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Wolf in New York at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maria Chutchian at [email protected]

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Trump Allies Plan New Sweeping Abortion Restrictions

His supporters are seeking to attack abortion rights and abortion access from a variety of angles should he regain the White House, including using a long-dormant law from 1873.

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Anti-abortion activists march in the snow in Washington holding a sign reading, “Hey GOP, We Vote Pro-Life First.”

By Lisa Lerer and Elizabeth Dias

Allies of former President Donald J. Trump and officials who served in his administration are planning ways to restrict abortion rights if he returns to power that would go far beyond proposals for a national ban or the laws enacted in conservative states across the country.

Behind the scenes, specific anti-abortion plans being proposed by Mr. Trump’s allies are sweeping and legally sophisticated. Some of their proposals would rely on enforcing the Comstock Act , a long-dormant law from 1873, to criminalize the shipping of any materials used in an abortion — including abortion pills, which account for the majority of abortions in America.

“We don’t need a federal ban when we have Comstock on the books,” said Jonathan F. Mitchell, the legal force behind a 2021 Texas law that found a way to effectively ban abortion in the state before Roe v. Wade was overturned. “There’s a smorgasbord of options.”

Mr. Mitchell, who represented Mr. Trump in arguments before the Supreme Court over whether the former president could appear on the ballot in Colorado, indicated that anti-abortion strategists had purposefully been quiet about their more advanced plans, given the political liability the issue has become for Republicans.

“I hope he doesn’t know about the existence of Comstock, because I just don’t want him to shoot off his mouth,” Mr. Mitchell said of Mr. Trump. “I think the pro-life groups should keep their mouths shut as much as possible until the election.”

The New York Times reported on Friday that Mr. Trump had told advisers and allies that he liked the idea of a 16-week national abortion ban but that he wanted to wait until the Republican primary contest was over to publicly discuss his views.

But among the people thinking most seriously about actual abortion policy should he win the election, very different plans are underway.

Mr. Trump’s idea is not yet a concrete proposal, and the anti-abortion lawyers and strategists within his own orbit already have plans in the works that toughen abortion policies using other avenues. They are not waiting for Mr. Trump to pursue turning his discussions about what he ultimately will say about abortion after the G.O.P. primary into reality, especially because they know a 16-week ban is all but certain to never pass Congress and become law. Instead, they are working much faster, and much more sharply, to exceed their anti-abortion successes in the Trump presidency.

In their view, their plans seem more achievable and more far-reaching than a ban like Mr. Trump floated, which might have a political impact but not as much of a material one. A 16-week ban would affect only a small fraction of abortions, given that nearly 94 percent happen in the first trimester, before 13 weeks of pregnancy.

It is easier to think of abortion restrictions in terms of a single ban, but the reality is more complex: Abortion policy is filled with intricate regulatory details and plays out in the far reaches of the federal bureaucracy, with a host of officials well beyond the president. Mr. Trump is personally disengaged from these efforts and considers any discussions of more hard-line policy to be politically inconvenient. Anti-abortion strategists are nevertheless putting themselves in position to steer actual abortion policy as they did in his first term.

In policy documents, private conversations and interviews, the plans described by former Trump administration officials, allies and supporters propose circumventing Congress and leveraging the regulatory powers of federal institutions, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Justice and the National Institutes of Health.

The effect would be to create a second Trump administration that would attack abortion rights and abortion access from a variety of angles and could be stopped only by courts that the first Trump administration had already stacked with conservative judges.

“He had the most pro-life administration in history and adopted the most pro-life policies of any administration in history,” said Roger Severino, a leader of anti-abortion efforts in Health and Human Services during the Trump administration. “That track record is the best evidence, I think, you could have of what a second term might look like if Trump wins.”

Policies under consideration include banning the use of fetal stem cells in medical research for diseases like cancer, rescinding approval of abortion pills at the F.D.A. and stopping hundreds of millions in federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Such an action against Planned Parenthood would cripple the nation’s largest provider of women’s health care, which is already struggling to provide abortions in the post-Roe era.

The organizations and advocates crafting these proposals are not simply outside groups expressing wish lists of what they hope Mr. Trump would do in a second administration. They are people who have spent much of their professional careers fighting abortion rights, including some who were in powerful positions during Mr. Trump’s administration.

In his first term, Mr. Trump largely outsourced abortion policy to socially conservative lawyers and aides. Since he left office, some of those people have remained in Mr. Trump’s orbit, defending him in court, suggesting policy plans well beyond issues like abortion and attending events at Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence in Florida.

Frank Pavone, an anti-abortion activist whom Pope Francis removed from the priesthood for “blasphemous communication,” said he had discussed abortion policy at several poolside receptions at Mar-a-Lago.

“When I’m there at Mar-a-Lago,” he said, “I get strong affirmation from everyone I meet there for my work.”

Mr. Trump has not publicly addressed the extensive list of possible anti-abortion executive actions or the enforcement of the Comstock Act. Yet, Mr. Trump’s official blessing may not matter if his former aides and their networks are returned to key positions in the federal bureaucracy.

“The question will then become what can be done unilaterally at the executive branch level, and the answer is quite a bit,” Mr. Mitchell said. “But to the extent to which that’s done will depend on whether the president wants to take the political heat and whether the attorney general or the secretary of Health and Human Services are on board.”

Abortion opponents are enmeshed throughout the ecosystem of organizations that are suggesting policies for the next conservative administration. Russell T. Vought, a former senior Trump administration official who ran the Office of Management and Budget, is celebrated by the anti-abortion movement for successfully blocking funds for Planned Parenthood during the Trump administration. He now runs a think tank with close ties to the former president that has backed arguments in a Supreme Court case attempting to undo the 2000 approval of mifepristone , a widely used abortion medication.

Some activists and former aides have tried to downplay their plans. Speaking at a church in Gallup, N.M., last spring, anti-abortion activists rallied the crowd to support a local ordinance that would require compliance with the Comstock Act but referred to the law solely by its statute number, 18 U.S.C. 1461 and 1462.

In a plan released by a coalition that has been drawing up America First-style policy plans, nicknamed Project 2025 , the Comstock Act is also referred to only by the statute number.

“Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, there is now no federal prohibition on the enforcement of this statute,” the plan states. “The Department of Justice in the next conservative Administration should therefore announce its intent to enforce federal law against providers and distributors of such pills.”

The plan also cites the statute number in a footnote justifying its recommendation that the F.D.A. stop “promoting or approving mail-order abortions in violation of longstanding federal laws that prohibit the mailing and interstate carriage of abortion drugs.”

Students for Life, an anti-abortion group, is not actively pushing Mr. Trump for a gestational ban, at any number of weeks. The group is instead focused on executive actions and changing policies though federal agencies, which they view as both more effective and more politically achievable. “This is probably the first election where D.O.J., H.H.S., F.D.A. are big-ticket items,” said Kristi Hamrick, a strategist for the group.

When a donor in Ohio recently expressed concern that Mr. Trump personally did not care about ending abortion, Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life, offered reassurance. “We haven’t come across a campaign staffer yet who doesn’t share our values,” she said of Mr. Trump’s campaign.

Some allies think a second Trump administration could move even faster than before to advance anti-abortion measures because Roe is no longer a roadblock.

As president, Mr. Trump in 2019 announced a 440-page rule that strengthened “conscience protections” for health care workers who opposed abortion on religious grounds. The measure allowed medical providers to refuse care if it conflicted with their personal beliefs, and it took over a year to put in place. But at the time, Mr. Severino said, H.H.S. had to consider comments against the rule noting that abortion was a constitutional right under Roe.

“Those arguments are now gone,” Mr. Severino said. “You cannot say that it is a federal constitutional right to abortion, so that would simplify the rule-making process significantly.”

Similarly, limits to fetal tissue research could also come much more quickly. “It took longer than necessary to get a resolution on that,” he said. “The vetting and the testing and the argumentation has been done already once before.”

Polling indicates that plans banning or severely restricting abortion would most likely be deeply unpopular. Since Roe fell, support for legalized abortion has gained support. Only about 8 percent of American adults oppose abortion with no exceptions.

Biden administration officials say they have reached the limits of their powers to restore federal abortion rights. They have pushed Congress to pass legislation that would restore federal abortion rights, but the legislation has repeatedly failed to garner enough support in the Senate.

For more than a decade, Republicans have been trying to enact a federal ban on abortions after 20 weeks. That legislation, too, has failed to gain enough traction to pass.

“Congress isn’t going to pass a ban, but the Comstock Act is already on the books,” said Mary Ziegler, a law professor and a historian of abortion at the University of California, Davis. “As interpreted in this way, it doesn’t have any exceptions — it applies at conception. It’s any abortion, full stop.”

Ms. Ziegler said such an action would certainly face litigation from liberal groups and abortion providers that could end up before the country’s highest court.

Even the advocates are uncertain how far the courts and the public will allow them to go. Some groups have argued for immediate enforcement of Comstock. Others are more cautious about how to enforce it in a politically palatable way. Mr. Mitchell said he believed the enforcement of Comstock would have to ensure provisions to protect the life of a pregnant woman and to address how to care for miscarriages.

The Comstock Act made it a federal crime to send or deliver “obscene, lewd or lascivious” material through the mail or by other carriers, specifically including items used for abortion or birth control. The 1973 ruling in Roe, which recognized a federal right to an abortion, largely relegated the law to constitutional history.

Beyond reactivating the Comstock Act, conservatives believe they can roll back much of what the Biden administration has done to try to protect abortion rights. One example is a plan to eliminate guidance from the Biden administration requiring federally funded hospitals to perform lifesaving abortions, even in the 16 states with near-total bans. They also float ideas about how the Justice Department could direct U.S. attorneys not to prosecute people who violate laws prohibiting the obstruction of clinic entrances.

Republican gains in the courts could help lock in their goals. Many executive actions are undone or redone when a new administration takes power. But former officials, including Mr. Severino, are hopeful that the Supreme Court will rule soon to eliminate the Chevron deference, which he said could allow regulations they enact to remain in place even if a Democratic president were elected in the future.

Abortion rights leaders have little doubt that a second Trump administration would go as far as possible to limit abortion rights and access. While their organizations are publicly hammering Republicans for embracing national bans, they quietly worry more about the damage Mr. Trump could materially do to their cause through executive actions.

“He’s trying to masquerade in public as a moderate,” said Mini Timmaraju, president of Reproductive Freedom for All, formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America. “It’s mind-blowing that anyone would imagine he wouldn’t do worse in a second term.”

She added, “He’s going to do whatever Jonathan Mitchell wants.”

Lisa Lerer is a national political reporter for The Times, based in New York. She has covered American politics for nearly two decades. More about Lisa Lerer

Elizabeth Dias is The Times’s national religion correspondent, covering faith, politics and culture. More about Elizabeth Dias

Our Coverage of the 2024 Presidential Election

News and Analysis

A new super PAC supporting former President Donald Trump has emerged with plans to air ads during the presidential general election . The group, Right for America, is backed by a member of his private club, Mar-a-Lago.

Anger within the Democratic Party over Biden’s support for Israel in the war in Gaza has been building for months . Michigan’s upcoming primary will measure that discontent for the first time .

Immigration Politics:  President   Biden’s aides are looking at the Republicans’ decision to kill a bipartisan border measure as an opportunity to bolster his re-election campaign. But there are risks to such a strategy .

An Invisible Constituency: Asian Americans are largely underrepresented in public opinion polls. Efforts are underway to change that .

 On Wall Street:  Investors are already thinking about how financial markets might respond to the outcome of a Biden-Trump rematch , and how they should trade to prepare for it.

Watch CBS News

Israel plans to build thousands more West Bank settlement homes after shooting attack, official says

February 23, 2024 / 12:50 PM EST / CBS/AP

Jerusalem —  Israel plans to build thousands of new homes in settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank in response to a fatal shooting attack  by Palestinian gunmen, a senior cabinet minister said. At a time of growing tension over the course of Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Friday that the Biden administration was disappointed by the announcement of new homes in the settlements, which he called "inconsistent with international law."

Israel's finance minister, far-right firebrand Bezalel Smotrich, announced the new settlement plans late Thursday, after three Palestinian gunmen opened fire on cars near the Maale Adumim settlement, killing one Israeli and wounding five, according to Israeli police.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN-CONFLICT

"The serious attack on Ma'ale Adumim must have a determined security response but also a settlement response," Smotrich wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "I demand that the Prime Minister approves the convening of the [Central Planning Bureau] and immediately approves plans for thousands of housing units in Ma'ale Adumim and the entire region. Our enemies should know that any harm to us will lead to more construction and more development and more of our hold all over the country."

  • Palestinians say Israeli West Bank settlers attack them, seize their land

He said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant participated in the discussion. The decision will put in motion approval processes for some 3,000 homes, according to figures widely reported by Israeli media outlets, though no numbers were confirmed by Israeli government officials.

Blinken says settlements illegal, U.S. disappointed

Speaking with reporters during a visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina on Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration was disappointed by the announcement from Israel.

"We've seen the reports and I have to say we're disappointed in the announcement. It's been long standing U.S. policy under Republican and Democratic administrations alike that new settlements are counterproductive to reaching an enduring peace," Blinken said. "They're also inconsistent with international law. Our administration maintains a firm opposition to settlement expansion and, in our judgment, this only weakens, doesn't strengthen Israel's security."

Once the war in Gaza is over, the Biden administration seeks eventual Palestinian governance in Gaza and the West Bank as a precursor to Palestinian statehood. It's an outcome opposed by Netanyahu and his right-wing government — and pushed farth

er from view, advocates say, as new settlement plans are advanced.

"Instead of acting in order to prevent future horrible attacks such as of yesterday, the government of Israel is acting to deepen the conflict and the tensions," said Hagit Ofran, from Israeli settlement watchdog group Peace Now. "The construction in settlements is bad for Israel, distancing us from peace and security." 

Tension between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank has soared since Hamas' brutal Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel sparked the ongoing war in the other Palestinian territory, Gaza, which has been ruled by Hamas for almost two decades.

Israel's National Security Minister,  ultranationalist Itamar Ben-Gvir , visiting the scene of the shooting on Thursday, declared that Israelis' "right to our lives prevails on their [Palestinians] freedom of movement."

He suggested that officials "need to distribute more weapons" to Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank — whose very presence is illegal under international law but strongly supported by Netanyahu's far-right government .

Hamas issued a statement lauding "the heroic operation south of occupied Jerusalem," calling the attack near the West Bank checkpoint "a natural response to the occupation's massacres and crimes in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank."

Support for Hamas in the West Bank  has increased significantly since the war in Gaza began, and that devastating war appeared nowhere near easing on Thursday.

Consecutive Israeli governments have expanded settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, territories the Palestinians seek for a future state, along with Gaza. Construction has accelerated under Netanyahu's current government, which includes settlers, including Smotrich, in key positions.

Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war.

Since Oct. 7, Palestinian gunmen have carried out several deadly attacks on Israelis. Israel has held the West Bank under a tight grip — limiting movement and conducting frequent raids against what it says are militant targets. Palestinian health officials say 401 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank during that period.

  • Palestinians
  • Middle East
  • Benjamin Neta​nyahu

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  3. Legal Dissertation: Research and Writing Guide

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  29. Sample Undergraduate 2:1 Law Dissertation Proposal

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