NCLG Conference 2009

“Human Rights and The State”

28th February – 1st March 2009


26th February 2009

Dear Delegates,

Registration on Saturday 28th will begin at 9:30am for the conference to start at 11:00am. On the Sunday 1st March delegates can arrive from 9am for a 10am start. Parking is available from the Chester Street car park entrance for parking in the John Dalton car park.

Further details are listed on this site.

Accommodation: No student accommodation is available and all delegates are asked to make their own provisions.


17th February 2009 – Provisional Time table amended significantly – see below

On Saturday 28th February – Sunday 1st March, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) Critical Lawyers Group, invites you to attend the 2009 National Critical Lawyers Group Conference entitled “Human Rights and the State”.

The NCLG has existed for over twenty years and many thousands of students have been members, with local groups operating at numerous institutions across the country. The Critical Lawyers Group is a student group committed to looking at the law from a critical perspective, going beyond the black letter law that so many take as gospel.

The conference is designed to be a forum for debate surrounding legal issues affecting the country and the world as a whole.  We are hoping to attract around 500 delegates.

It is to be hoped that the Programme will be CPD accredited by the Bar Council and the Law Society.

The Programme (so far)

NB This is a working programme and may be subject to change

First Plenary Saturday 11-00 am to 12.45 pm

Chair: Ian Grigg-Spall

Stephen Whittle

Implementing Europe: The Transgender case

Professor Conor Gearty QC (Director of LSE Human Rights Centre)

‘Beware of new bills of rights!’

Liz Davies:

Human rights and respect for your homes

Phil Shiner (Public Interest Lawyers):

Enforcing Human Rights

Professor Sally Sheldon:

Women’s Rights and the State

Everard O’Donnell:

Myths generated by international criminal law – How they can serve as tools for “piercing the veil” of the state power in future

Lunch 12.45-1.45

Panel Session 1.45-3.15

1. Public Interest Lawyering – Chair: Nick Little

Phil Shiner:

`Pro-active Use of the Law in the Public Interest’

Matthew Weait (Birkbeck) & Andrew Francis (Keele):

The Radical Use of Legal Form: Evidence and Activism African HIV Policy Network project Merry Varney (Leigh, Day):

‘Using Human Rights Law in the Public Interest’

2. Law & Medical Ethics – Chair: Sophia Bangi

Dr. John Coggon:

“Human Rights and the ‘Right to Die with Dignity'”

Dr Mary Ford:

‘The Concept of Dignity in Medical Law’

Dr Kirsty Horsey:

‘Out of Sight, out of mind? The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and surrogacy arrangements’

Anna Smajdor

“Consent and consistency: the ethical and legal ramifications of posthumous  gamete extraction”

3. Homelessness, hopelessness and the lawyer  – Chair: James Smith

Helen Carr:

The need to develop a theory and system of thinking about the way that real people live their lives to allow for a connection of law with social policy/politics in a productive way

Diggy Patel:

The real life experience of the homelessness lawyer and his/her clients

Caroline Hunter:

Unpacking legal concepts – the complexities of understanding vulnerability decisions in homelessness applications

Joanne Marks: (Shelter)

Impact on the Voluntary Sector of the Contract Culture

4. A practical session on how to support protests From the Climate Camp legal team – Chair: Andrew Ward

Frances Wright

Jason Davies

5. “We are all human, aren’t we?” LGBT – Chair: Wayne Barrett

Tim Sigsworth (Chief Executive, Albert Kennedy Trust)

Ane Freed-Kernis (Trainer, Senior Social Worker (Child Protection)

David Allcock (CPS Lawyer)

6. Legal Critical Thinking  – Chair: Helen Hughes

Donald Nicolson:

Human Rights and the Radical Lawyer: Aamer Anwar, the Scottish Law Society and Ethical Regulation

Safina Rafiq

No Recourse to public funds in relation to domestic violence

Niamh O’Brady:

Compensation culture

Gita Parihar:

The climate challenge- the end of state-based human rights?


3:15 – 3:45 Tea/Coffee

3:45 – 5:15 Panel


1. Law & Medical Ethics – Mental Health – Chair: Karl Sedgwick

Nell Munro:

Why nobody listens to mad people

Peter Bartlett:

Mental Health in the Courts: Why users always lose

Dr. Ruth Cain:

Feminist approaches to the construction and regulation of PND (mental health ethics)

Dr. Melanie Latham

2. Provocation – Changes in the law – Chair: Cath Little

Kate Cook:

The Law of Provocation

Clare Wade:

Changing the law on Provocation

3. ‘The Problem of Rights in the EU’ – Chair: Dominique Lauterburg

Michelle Everson

The Social in European Citizenship: Class Bites Back

Patricia Tuit

The Birth of the European Union and the Death of the Refugee

4. ‘Property and Law: Inclusion and Exclusion’- Chair: Nick Dearden

Anne Bottomley:

Access to public space

Helen Carr:

ASBOs and ‘good’ tenants

Sarah Blandy:

Gated communities

5. ‘The work of a Law Clinic: a presentation by students’

Kent Law Students

Strathclyde Law Students


5:15 – 5:30 Break

5:30-7:00 Plenary Session – Human Rights and the State

Chair: Kayla Karapalidis

Paul Feldman:

‘Unmasking the State a Rough Guide to Real Democracy’

Professor Bill Bowring:

In and Against the State

Owen McIntyre:

Human Right to Water Under International Law – the core obligations of the State

Andrew Sanders:

‘What rights should victims of crime have?’

Anapurna Waughray

Minority rights and forms of discrimination

Dr Alex Magaisa:

‘Closing the Gates to the Supreme Court’ – A critical Analysis of the judiciary ‘role in enforcing human rights in Zimbabwe’


Sunday March 1

10:30– 12:00 Panels


1. Law & Medical Ethics – Chair: Kylie Jones (Room 2.10)

John Harrington:

The place of law (and ethics) in the ongoing privatization of the NHS

Stephen Wilkinson:

“Is the ban on sex selection justified?”

Dr Anthony Wrigley:

“Wrongful Life”

2. Public Interest Lawyering – Chair: Phil Murphy

Dan Carey:

“The Prohibition of Torture – enforcement against the UK”

Abigail Bright:

‘Determinations as to Dangerousness and Risk, the Home Secretary, and Human Rights’

Gavin Sullivan:

3. Pornography – Chair: Kayla Karapalidis (Room 2.01)

Kate Cook:

Radical feminist perspective on pornography

Dr Stephen Maddison:

“Porn, ‘Freedom’ and Neoliberalism”

Elisabetta Bertolino “The hidden faces of women in commercial sex”

4. ‘Law and the promotion of Animal Welfare’ – Chair: Nicola Webb            (Room 2.06)

Ian Robertson (Director, International Animal Law, & University of Leeds)

“The role of the professional in the face of public and private animal law”

Kathy de Gama (Keele University)

Criminal Prosecution of Animals

Debbie Rook (University of Northumbria)  POWER POINT

‘Legal Personhood for Animals’

Laura Donnellan (University of Limerick)

Recent Developments in EU Animal Welfare: The Cat and Dog Fur Regulation

Marie Fox (Keele University)

‘Taking Dogs Seriously’

5. ‘University Law Clinics – creating a new generation of legal activists’

Donald Nicolson & Helen Bain

Strathclyde Law Clinic

John Fitzpatrick & Kashka Burdzy

Kent Law Clinic


12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 2:30 Closing Plenary – What Caused the Economic Crash?

Chair: Nick Little

Professor Paddy Ireland:


Professor Sol Picciotto:

“Financial Liberalisation and the Failures of Regulation”

Dr Alex Magaisa:

Regulation of International  Financial System

Ellie Palmer:

State and socio-economic rights with particular reference to issues of accountability in the current economic crisis

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch:

Human Rights and the State

Legal publishers will be promoting their latest books.



The conference is heavily subsidised for student and other unwaged attendees.  As such, we ask wherever possible that waged speakers pay the higher fee for attendance.  This allows us to spread the cost of running the conference between different institutions.  While we do not expect to make any profits from this conference, if we do then that money will be used by the NCLG to fund future events.


Ticket prices:

1. One day Ticket:

Student/Concessions £7;   Waged/Speaker (self-funded) £20; Speaker with Institutional Backing £60

2. Two Day Ticket:

Student/Concessions £10; Waged Speaker (self-funded) £30; Institutional Rate £75

As this is a non-profit student event, any monetary support/donation will be greatly appreciated. If you are an organisation who would like to support our commitment to looking at the law from a critical perspective and providing forums for debate (like this conference), please feel free to get in touch with us via e-mail –



Do not worry if you do not know how to find us. Whether you are coming from the North, South, East or West, we have provided maps and directions, to make sure your journey is less stressful and hopefully a little easier.  If the directions and maps provided are not to your satisfaction, websites like the AA provide a Route planner to help you ( or you could key our address/post code into Google Maps ( ). Our address is:

Manchester Metropolitan University,

School of Law

Sandra Burslem Building, All Saints Campus,

Lower Ormond Street,

Manchester, M15 6BH


Distance from Manchester city centre to University All Saints Campus: 1 mile/0.8km


Please find below the directions for various means of travel:



Input the postcode M15 6BH into your satellite navigation system to get to the All Saints campus.



There is on-road and multi-storey car parking around the All Saints campus and the All Saints Car Park is available via Chester Street although spaces are limited and parking charges can be expensive. Whenever possible, please use public transport. The organising committee are currently looking into making the University parking facilities available for conference delegates.


By Rail

Directions below are dependent on the train station to which your train arrives at either Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Victoria.


Take a train from Manchester Piccadilly to Oxford Road station for the All Saints campus. From  Manchester Victoria station, take the Metrolink tram to St Peter’s Square, from which the All Saints campus is a 10 minute walk. Oxford Road station is a 5 minute walk to the All Saints campus.


By Bus

Take the 147 bus from Piccadilly railway station to the stop outside the BBC on Oxford Road. You can also get numerous buses heading towards south Manchester (Bus Number 41, 42, 43, 85, 111, 141, 142, 143, 250, 256), which all stop at the All Saints campus. Visit GMPTE for more information.


By Car

From the M56, south of Manchester, keep in right hand lanes at Junction 3 (signposted City Centre) and continue from the end of the M56 onto A5103 (Princess Parkway), signposted Manchester city centre. Continue ahead until you reach a major roundabout with an overpass and take the third exit, signposted Sheffield A57 (M). At next roundabout take the first exit onto Cambridge Street, turn right onto Chester Street and right onto Oxford Road.

From the M60, north and east of Manchester, exit at Junction 22 and turn right at traffic lights onto A62. Continue until the end and turn left onto A665 then, following signs for Universities, turn right. Bear left just before the road rises to become the Mancunian Way and join the dual carriageway, immediately moving into the right hand filter lane to turn right (signposted Manchester Aquatics Centre) onto Grosvenor Street. Follow sign for MMU onto Oxford Road.

From the M602, west of Manchester, proceed to the end of the M602, join the A57 (M) (Mancunian Way) and leave by the slip road (signposted Universities) immediately after the MMU buildings visible on both sides of the carriageway. Follow the slip road from the Mancunian Way round to the left and join the dual carriageway (Upper Brook Street). Take the first right onto Cavendish Street, then turn right onto Oxford Road.


The University’s central campus at All Saints is situated close to Manchester’s city centre.

There is a free hop-on/hop-off city centre shuttle service that covers the main city centre areas, linking the main city centre railway stations, main NCP car parks and many bus and Metrolink tram stops.


Taxi Information

There is a local taxi company who operate right opposite the MMU Law School:

Oxford Taxis – 0161 275 9339


Useful travel information


Route planners for road travel

GMPTE runs Manchester’s public transport (site has journey planner)

Telephone + 44 (0) 161 228 7811

Metrolink Trams

National Rail enquiries

Telephone +44 (0)845 748 4950

Coach travel

Manchester International Airport


At the moment, we are relying on Heads of Law Schools to arrange coach travel. If you are a student, you should ask your Head of Department or CLG co-ordinator to arrange (or subsidise) travel from distant places.




It is expected that delegates attending the conference will make provision for their own accommodation. Please find below a selection of hotels & hostels around the University area. A map is also included showing the hotels & hostels in relation to the University Campus where the conference will be held


There are subsidies available for student accommodation allocated on a first come first serve basis. Please email for further information regards this.


The best prices are available on-line and when booking in advance




1)Travelodge Manchester Central

11 Blackfriars Street Salford, M3 5AL

11 Blackfriars Street

Salford, M3 5AL

more info »


2) Travelodge Manchester Ancoats

Travelodge – There are two Travelodge’s located within an easy distance of the conference.  Prices quoted are for the evening of 28th, please note due to high demand there is limited availability at this venue.


Travelodge Ancoats – £61.00 per room per night, maximum of four persons per room.

Address: Travelodge Ancoats,

22 Great Ancoats Street,

Manchester, M4 5AZ


Travelodge Central – £61.00 per room per night, maximum of four persons per room.

Address: Travelodge, Central,

Blackfriars Street,

Salford, M3 5AL


more info »


3) Midland Hotel

The Midland Hotel – The Midland is one of Manchester’s premier hotels and is within ten minutes easy walking distance of the conference.  Prices for a room on the 28th start at £110.00, this based on two adults sharing, not per person.



The Midland Hotel

16 Peter St Manchester,

Lancashire, M60 2DS

more info »

4) The Palace Hotel

The Palace – Another of Manchester’s top hotels, the Palace is within five minutes walking distance of the conference.  Prices for a room on the 28th start at £145.00, again based on two adults sharing.



The Palace Hotel

Oxford Rd Manchester,

Lancashire, M60 7HA

more info »


5) Jury’s Inn Manchester

Jury’s Inn- Located within 15 minutes walk from the conference adjacent to Manchester Central (formally G-Mex).  Rooms are £55.00 per night based on two sharing, please note this price is only valid if booking 30 days in advance.



Jury’s Inn

56 Great Bridgewater Street

Manchester, M1 5LE

more info >>




This type of accommodation is best suited to groups of students, prices alter according to group size and single or mixed sex bookings.  Also note that the individual web-sites referred to have special deals for large group bookings.



1) Chargebox – Hatter’s Hostel

Hatters Hostel – Located in the centre of Manchester and approximately 20 minutes walk from the conference, although being in the city centre is on the bus route to the Universities. Hatters Hostel offers great rates from £16.00 per person per night, this is based on an 18 bed mixed dormitory.



50 Newton St

Manchester, Lancashire, M1 2EA

more info »


2) Manchester Youth Hostel

YHA Manchester – Located slightly outside the city centre this hostel would be recommended for those traveling to the conference by car. Prices from£21.95 per person, per night, based on 8 sharing per dormitory.



Potato Wharf

Manchester, M3

more info »


3) Hilton Chambers

Hilton Chambers: Located within the Northern Quarter in the centre of Manchester this hostel is within 5 minutes walk of the main bus route to the Universities.  Prices start from £24.00 per person, per night, based on a 10 bed mixed dormitory.



15 Hilton St Manchester, Lancashire, M1 1JJ

15 Hilton St

Manchester, Lancashire, M1 1JJ

more info »


Please click on this link to see information regarding hostels and hotels in the vicinity of the conference venue.


Click this link for a University to accommodation map.


The above map provides the location of the hotels & hostels in relation to the University. Manchester City Centre is extremely easy to get around by bus, tram or train. So no matter where you end up staying it will most likely be the case that the University is within easy reach.





To register and pay for the Conference please fill out and return the registration form with your payment. If you can’t pay in advance, please register by filling in the form, return it to us, and pay on the day.


If you are registering as a group, please indicate the numbers of tickets required and enclose the appropriate payment. In addition, please include the names of all the members of your party.


The registration form can be accessed by clicking here.


All payment is made payable to: MMU Critical Lawyers’ Group


Contact Details

School of Law Office:

Telephone: +44 (0) 161 247 3046 (Ask for Nick Dearden)

Fax: +44 (0)161 247 6309


If you want to contact the NCLG directly:-


FAO: Nick Little (Re NCLG)

The School of Law

Manchester Metropolitan University

Sandra Burslem Building

Lower Ormond Street


M15 6HB




Tickets WILL NOT be sent to you. Please pick them up on registratation on the day. Please hold onto your ticket as you will need it for any evening entertainment.


After the Conference we have organised evening drinks at a nearby venue called Trof (@ The Deaf Institute). Guests will be able to take advantage of cheap drink deals as well as have the chance to mingle with us and other guests.  (More information will be provided about this event in the Conference Pack on the day, including directions to venue)

A list of REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS can be found by clicking here (this link is not yet active).

If your expenses are met by your employer, we would be grateful if you pay the higher rate.  The conference is heavily subsidised for student attendees and this allows us to split that cost between institutions

Confirmation of registration will be sent by e-mail and a list will appear here soon.

For enquires or further information please email the Organisers.

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