Law strengthens its global reputation

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Professor Thom Brooks, Dean of Durham Law School, has been appointed President of the Society of Legal Scholars

Did you know that students who join Durham Law School are joining a world top 50 department where they’ll be taught by some of the world’s leading experts?

Law’s status as a leading centre of research and teaching has been strengthened by another prestigious honour to add to the school’s impressive list of accolades and achievements

Professor Thom Brooks, Dean of Durham University Law School, has been appointed as President of the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) 2020-21.

The SLS is the oldest and largest learned society for academic lawyers and works to advance legal education and scholarship in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Past presidents have included Lord (Andrew) Burrows, recently appointed to the UK Supreme Court.

Public benefit

During his time as President, Thom, an award-winning author, columnist, policy advisor and public speaker, aims to further raise the profile of academic lawyers to show how their work contributes to our understanding of law academically, practically and for public benefit.

Our Law School produces ground-breaking research that brings change both nationally and internationally and our students are taught by the some of the very best researchers in their field.

Durham graduates include some of law’s leading figures, such as current members of the UK Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, Members of Parliament and Government.

Highest recognition

Thom’s new role is the latest in a long line of achievements for Law at Durham including:

  • Securing its best ever ranking (33rd) in the Times Higher World University Rankings by Subject 2020 and also featuring in the world top 50 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 .
  • The appointment of Professor Clare McGlynn, who has championed women in the legal profession and shaped new laws on extreme pornography and upskirting, as an honorary Queen’s Counsel - the highest recognition a non-practising lawyer can receive.
  • The launch of a new Centre for Chinese Law and Policy , the first of its kind for any UK law school and one of the biggest in Europe.
  • Professor Emma Cave appointed to advise the UK’s Infected Blood Inquiry on medical ethics.
  • Professor Shaun Pattinson named as Deputy Chair of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.
  • Work led by Professor Deirdre McCann into Unacceptable Forms of Work globally. Deirdre has presented on the Future of Work at the UN International Labour Organization.

Academic excellence

Thom said: “Durham has a proud heritage of producing superb Law graduates who are taught by academics whose research is making a meaningful difference to the world.

“I am enormously honoured to be elected the Society’s President for 2020-21.

“There is a long tradition of academic excellence and engagement between academia and the wider legal profession that is inspiring and enriching that I am dedicated to promoting to the best of my abilities.’


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