Internship with Scottish Legal News

By Dundee Alumni and Diploma Student Kate Scarborough

During August and September 2020 I had the privilege of being the Summer Intern at Scottish Legal News. I’m grateful that the Dundee International Law Society has invited me to write this and share my experience.

By way of an introduction, the Scottish Legal News is Scotland’s largest daily legal publication. It publishes a daily newsletter by email (if you’re not already subscribed I would highly recommend it), as well as posting on its website, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. Its sister publications include Irish Legal News, Scottish Financial News, and Scottish Construction News. Its main office is on South Tay street, just a few roads down from our main University campus. The publication includes stories from all across the legal profession and there are a number of different sections, such as the ‘Our Legal Heritage’ section which looks at historical cases and legal stories, a daily case report from a recent case of interest, and a light-hearted shorter story in the ‘And Finally…’ section. Each story is kept relatively short so that it is easy for busy law professionals to read through quickly and be updated on current affairs. Reading the articles on a regular basis will give you a fantastic overview of the legal profession and help with your commercial awareness.

My role as Summer Intern was a lot more hands-on than I anticipated and I was delighted to find that I was shown the ropes and was writing articles on day one. Arrangements for the internship were slightly different to normal due to the pandemic, but I was able to go into the office for the first couple of weeks to be trained by Connor, the editor who is normally responsible for the Irish Legal News. I was surprised when I found out that the team for the group of publications is so small, they all work very hard to produce the level of content they publish. The team encouraged me to be fully involved in the process from start to finish. I was researching to find stories, reaching out to contacts for comments, writing up articles, and editing. On a couple of occasions I was even allowed to press the button to publish! As time went on I was able to get much quicker and I was producing a number of articles each day. I also transitioned to working from home for the remainder of the internship, but thanks to instant messaging I had plenty of support from Kapil, editor of SLN, and the rest of the team.

My time at SLN gave me an incredible insight into the legal profession as each day I was aware of the key updates, changes, and news from law firms big and small, the government, and the courts. It also gave me an understanding of journalism, something I had never experienced before. Many of the skills I had developed in my undergrad degree, such as attention to detail, research skills, and time management were really useful and if you are contemplating a career outside of law then journalism might be worth your consideration. The other major benefit to working at SLN was getting visibility within the profession. My name was attached to many of the articles I wrote and there were a couple of pieces published to announce me as intern. This type of exposure and publicity can be really helpful when trying to make connections within the profession. Further, it looks great on my CV!


Some of my favourite articles I wrote were for the ‘Our Legal Heritage’ series including “The adulterous judge who had his troublesome wife kidnapped and exiled to St Kilda”, “The Scots contract case that influenced English Law”, and “The lamb that strayed too far from home”. I was also involved in writing a profile piece about Legable, a new platform which provides information for current and prospective law students from less advantaged backgrounds to support them in their legal journey. These pieces, along with many others I was involved in, can all still be found on the SLN website.

Opportunities such as these do exist and if you’re lucky enough to come across something like this I would highly recommend you go for it. Even though the work was not directly related to law, I definitely gained skills from my time at SLN that will be invaluable moving forward with my career.

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Academy of European Law: 2021 Online Advanced-level Summer Courses

This year’s Academy of European Law summer courses on The Law of the European Union and Human Rights Law include:

Law of the European Union

Course convened by Claire Kilpatrick & Joanne Scott, EUI
 
21 June – 2 July 2021  

General Course: 
Multilevel constitutionalism: national law as EU law

Allan Rosas, Former Judge of the European Court of Justice  

Distinguished Lecture:
Five years after the Cameron referendum: Brexit and European integration
Stefaan De Rynck, Senior Advisor to EU Chief Negotiator for Brexit
   

Five Specialized Courses:
New frontiers of EU funding: law, policy, politics   



Human Rights Law

Course convened by Nehal Bhuta & Rebecca Sutton, Edinburgh Law School
5th July – 16th July 2021

General Course:
Reimagining law, human rights and war
Frédéric Mégret, McGill University

Distinguished Lecture:
Georgette Gagnon, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya

Five Specialized Courses:
Human rights and conflict resolution

They are offering a reduced fee for selected participants in need of financial assistance. Applications are reviewed on a first come first serve basis and the deadline is 1st May 2021

For more information and to apply visit: //www.eui.eu/DepartmentsAndCentres/AcademyEuropeanLaw/SummerSchool/Applications

Council of Europe Traineeship

Applications for the second traineeship session with the Council of Europe are open.

Twice per year the Council of Europe welcomes graduates into its organisation as trainees. It provides an opportunity to gain valuable experience in a complex multi-cultural and stimulating work environment. The traineeship lasts from eight weeks to five months and can be undertaken in Strasbourg or in one of the field offices and are remunerated.

It provides a comprehensive induction programme for trainees which enables them to find out about the structures, the activities and the international co-operation procedures followed by the Council of Europe, including the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Trainees may attend conferences held within the Organisation, sittings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and meetings that may take place during their stay in Strasbourg or in the field.

The typical responsibilities given to trainees include:

  • research work;
  • preparation of draft reports and studies for meetings of experts;
  • drafting of meeting reports;
  • assistance with work in hand;
  • committee organisation;
  • updating websites.

Applications close 4th March 2021

For more details and to apply go to: https://www.coe.int/en/web/jobs/traineeships

The Philippines: “War on Drugs”- Systemic Human Rights Violations and Extrajudicial Executions

30th June 2016, a day marked in infamy for the people of the Philippines. A day that should have brought so much hope for so many people as Duterte took office. Instead, it marked the beginning of his war on drugs, a bloody campaign that has resulted in the death of at least 20,000 innocent people. Duterte has instigated and incited these killings and at least 2555 have been attributed to the Philippine National Police.

Last November, the DILS committee met the journalist behind the Nightcrawlers Documentary (The Nightcrawlers | National Geographic Documentary Films) and discovered that the UK Government may be complicit in helping Duterte by selling arms. Many human rights groups have expressed their outrage at the role the UK is playing. Even the UK’s International Ambassador for Human Rights has condemned the supply of arms to the Philippines. 

DILS has decided to launch a campaign to raise awareness of an issue that needs to be brought to light. As part of this campaign, we contacted our local MP about raising the issue to his colleagues in Parliament. We have also started a petition, calling for the UK to impose sanctions and stop selling arms to the Philippines.

Sign our petition at: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/575795/sponsors/new?token=_Si4wwq5t5ukP6wtPC4u

What is the War on Drugs?

The War on Drugs is the Government’s anti-drug policy, which Duterte promised would eradicate the drug problem in the Philippines, within six months. Five years later, it continues with drive by shootings, summary executions, red tagging and falsified crime scenes. The youngest victim was just three years old.

Levels of corruption are endemic, democracy in the Philippines is flawed, there persists a prevailing climate of impunity and activists and dissenters continue to be harassed and killed. At least 39 human rights defenders or activists were killed in the Philippines in 2018 – the third-highest number globally, according to Front Line Defenders.

Although the Philippines has recently withdrawn from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, a body that can give a voice and a face to countless victims, the UN Human Rights Council is investigating the gravity of the situation on the ground.

Is the UK Government complicit?

The bilateral trade relationship between the UK and Philippines is worth approximately $1.8 billion per year.

This relationship includes:

  • UK sold two £28million Wildcat choppers to the Philippines just last year despite the mass human rights violations and despite President Rodrigo Duterte having previously boasted about the fact that suspects have be thrown to their deaths from helicopters throughout the so-called ‘war on drugs’.
  • In 2016/2017, the UK issued 451 licenses for the sale of arms to the Philippines and since 2015, the UK has licensed £92million-worth of arms to the Philippines. These arms have been used on the people of the Philippines; the UK has aided in the murder of 20,000 people, despite the mass human rights violations, despite the mass executions, the UK has continued to supply the Philippines with arms and spyware. 
  • UK government Ministers have agreed to arms export licenses to the Philippines, which totalled £88 million in the last three years.
  • The UK government was involved in training the Philippine Armed Forces and information has surfaced that the UK Military led an International Jungle Warfare Instructors Course in the 2019/20 reporting period.
  • The UK International Trade Minister met with President Duterte in April 2017 and offered increased trade between the UK and the Philippines.
  • UK ministers have also approved the sales of electronic surveillance equipment to the Philippine Government although concerns were raised repeatedly at the time.

For more information: Philippines: President Duterte gives “shoot to kill” order amid pandemic response | Amnesty International

The Philippines: ICC examination into drug killings a crucial moment for justice | Amnesty International

Philippines’ ‘War on Drugs’ | Human Rights Watch (hrw.org)

Philippines war on drugs may have killed tens of thousands, says UN | Philippines | The Guardian

The Clock is Ticking

Around the world, 741 million people currently live in poverty. The DILS committee has decided to dedicate the month of March to fundraising for the Kamla Foundation.

Kamla Foundation, an incredible charity, seeks to help vulnerable people affected by poverty in Southern India by supporting communities to lift themselves out of poverty. Our committee members will each be completing 741 minutes of activity in the month of March along with some society members to raise awareness and funds for Kamla Foundation.

To find out more about the Kamla Foundation: Home | Kamla Foundation

To follow our progress: United Kingdom Club | Dundee International Law Society Fundraiser on Strava

To donate: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Dundee-International-Law-Society?utm_term=aq8q6BaA2

Q&A with Dundee Alumnus Nick Buckworth

DILS is thrilled to announce our upcoming inter-society event with the University of Dundee Mooting Society and the Dundee University Law Society. Together, the three societies welcome Nick Buckworth, a partner at Shearman LLP and former University of Dundee student, for a Q&A session on life as a leading commercial lawyer with a top ranked firm. Joining him will be Shearman’s senior recruitment manager Paul Gasgoyne to provide some insight into the recruitment process. 

Date: Tuesday 9th March

Time: 6pm

Format: Zoom ( for those interested, email dils@dundee.ac.uk for the Zoom link).

Goettingen Journal of International Law Essay Competition

GoJIL is thrilled to announce it is accepting entries for its Student Essay Competition. The title is: International Law in Times of a Pandemic.

 GoJIL is seeking entries that explore such questions from novel and interesting perspectives. Your contribution might consider – but need not be limited to – an exploration of the following questions:

  • The global institutional landscape: Is the current global institutional landscape (United Nations [UN], World Health Organization [WHO], Global Fund, GAVI, and others) suited to address the ongoing pandemic and future pandemics?
  • The tension between human rights and the containment of the virus: Do autocratic regimes have the upper hand in controlling pandemic outbreaks? What are the requirements, if any, under international law on restricting the fundamental rights of citizens to protect the public`s health? How do legal responses to the pandemic vary and compare between countries in this regard and others?
  • The global distribution and development of vaccines and other countermeasures: Does international law require and/or support an equitable distribution of countermeasures between countries? If so, how could legal distribution arrangements be designed? You may wish to refer to the WHO’s COVAX facility, its Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework, and/or other already existing initiatives.
  • The global economy with regards to financial regulation, trade, and economic liberalization: How can legal arrangements help to address negative economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and support positive trends that the pandemic may have engendered, e.g. for the environment?
  • State responsibility: Is and/or should it be possible for States to hold one another accountable under the general law of state responsibility in pandemics?
  • European integration: Which shifts, if any, did and does the COVID-19 pandemic produce in the fabric of European institutions? What role could the EU take in global legal arrangements that support pandemic preparedness?
  • The prevention of future pandemics: Is the pandemic human-made or a natural disaster? In either case, how can international law support better pandemic preparedness and response in the future? As a starting point, you may wish to refer to existing efforts and arrangements such as the WHO International Health Regulations (2005) and/or the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The deadline for submission is 1st August 2021. The maximum word count is 5,000 words (excluding footnotes and abstract). The winning submission will be published in an upcoming issue of the GoJIL.

For queries, please contact Ida Oks at info@gojil.eu.

Law Commission – Research Assistant Opportunity 2021

The Law Commission is accepting applications for prospective research assistants.

They are offering 18 top law graduates the opportunity to join the Law Commission in September 2021. It is a fixed-term, 51-week contract, in London, at a salary of £26,411 per year.

The research assistant role involves a mix of legal research, policy analysis and administrative work. Working as part of an expert team, our research assistants help to shape UK law.

Successful applicants will have an opportunity to think deeply and work creatively in a challenging and supportive environment.

For full details of the role, eligibility criteria, and how to apply visit: https://www.lawcom.gov.uk/placements-and-internships/research-assistants/

Applications are open until 31 January 2021.

Carnegie Vacation Scholarships for Undergraduates

The Carnegie Vacation Scholarships aim to help undergraduates develop their independent research skills and help them learn to manage a research project in preparation for postgraduate study. This is done through a summer project and the research is often posted in academic journals or reported in conference presentations. It also provides the opportunity to meet and network with other scholarship recipients.

Eligibility:

1.Undergraduate at one of the following :

-Aberdeen University

-Abertay University

-University of Dundee

-Edinburgh University

-Edinburgh Napier University

-Glasgow University

-Glasgow Caledonian University

-Heriot-Watt University

-University of Highlands and Islands

-Queen Margaret University

-Robert Gordon University

-St Andrews University

-University of Stirling

-Strathclyde University

-University of West of Scotland

-Glasgow School of Art

-Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

2. Are enrolled at one of the above for the length of your degree or transferred after HNC/HND from a Scottish College

3. In your 3rd year of a four year degree or 3rd/4th year of a five year degree, or 2nd year of a three year degree

4. Entitled to live and work in the UK

5. On track to achieve a 2:1 or higher

6. Have never had a Carnegie Vacation Scholarship

For more information on eligibility visit: https://www.carnegie-trust.org/award-schemes/vacation-scholarships/

The project must be supervised by an academic member of staff at your university- for more details on this visit: https://www.carnegie-trust.org/award-schemes/vacation-scholarships/

What’s Included?:

Weekly stipend which is the equivalent of the current Scottish Living Wage rate (£9.50 per hour)

Important Dates:

Early December 2020- Application portal opens

31st January 2021- Closing date for applications

Mid April 2021- Students and supervisors notified of outcome

Mid May-August 2021- Vacation projects take place

Early September 2021- Poster Competition

How to Apply?

Applications are not yet open. They will open approximately 8 weeks before the closing date. There is an eligiblity checker at : https://www.carnegie-trust.org/award-schemes/vacation-scholarships/ . Applicants must use this to check if they are eligible. If they are, a link to the online application portal will appear.