Eleven Law students accepted to present at BCUR
Warwick Law School is delighted to announce that eleven of our students have been selected to present at The British Conference for Undergraduate Research (BCUR) hosted by the University of Leeds in April this year. Law is one of only four departments at Warwick to have more than 10 students accepted to present.
Along with the other speakers, LLB students Stephanie Cheng, Myriam Atassi and Debbie Olesin, Law and Sociology Student Jasmine Ebimomi-Rossey and German Law student Natalia Deptala will all present their research at the conference scheduled to run virtually from 12-13 April 2021.
BCUR promotes undergraduate research in all disciplines. The conference meets annually every spring at a different British university and undergraduates of all levels are invited to submit papers, posters, workshops and performances. This year Leeds promises an exciting and diverse online programme of presentations, workshops and speakers to inspire and encourage outstanding undergraduate researchers from all over the country.
The conference has been running since 2011 and is the first conference of its kind and largest in the UK. According to Dr Jane Bryan, Director of Undergraduate Research at Warwick, “this conference showcases the very best in student research and I am delighted that Warwick Law School will have such a strong presence there, demonstrating the talent and hard-work of our students.”
We caught up with three of our presenters to find out a little more about their research.
What will you presenting on?
Stephanie: Opposing Legal Egalitarianism: A Flawed Doctrine that Creates Further Divide.
I will be presenting on the research I completed for my first year Introduction to Legal Theory module. My research is on legal egalitarianism - specifically, I evaluate the need for equality to be present in law to be fair and just. In my presentation, I will explore both classic and contemporary academic sources regarding equality, analysing them through a legal lens. I will be focusing on equality in three areas of societally construed advantages: equality in opportunity, equality in treatment, and equality in resource, and will argue in favour of a simplified anti-discriminatory approach over egalitarianism.
Jasmine: The Foresaken Child: Nigeria’s Acceptance of Child Marriage.
My presentation is focused on Child Marriage in Northern Nigeria. Child Marriage as a transnational phenomenon is not restricted to the implementation of ‘international instruments’, but also patriarchy-infused ideals that constrain and soften, the safe-guarding of rights and freedom for female child-brides. The conclusive result of this research presentation is to provide a socio-legal (sociological and legal) analysis of why these constraints have allowed Child Marriage to continue. The reformative goal of this paper is to reform trans-historic truths of womanhood against the tenacity of patriarchy.
Myriam: Our Right to our Mother’s Land: The intersection of gender and statelessness in refugees.
I will be presenting on the link between gender-discriminatory nationality laws in the Middle East and juvenile statelessness during the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. A lot of countries in the Middle East have laws that do not allow mothers to pass their nationality to their children on the same basis as their fathers, which severely heightens the risk of statelessness if the family is forcibly displaced. My project thus touches on issues of regional politics, history, migration, international law, and gender equality.
Why did you decide to take part in this opportunity?
Stephanie: Over the course of completing my research, I became fascinated with and passionate about my paper. I wanted to look for a venue where I could present my work, gain a few valuable skills, and potentially increase my network. BCUR seemed to fit perfectly.
Jasmine: In order to debunk and reform sex violence, particularly in post-conflict states, firstly requires discussing the issue in an inter-disciplinary space. The British Conference for Undergraduate Research is a unique opportunity to develop my academic voice and share the concerns I have for individuals across the world. I truly intend to use my platform to share lost narratives for other members of my field, whilst also learning about new conflicting issues, that are rarely discussed.
Myriam: A lot of my extracurricular activities are based on campaign advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers, and it's a cause I am very passionate about. I took part in this opportunity because I was very eager to direct my own interests into independent academic work that also considers law in a broader, global context.
What skills do you hope it will help you to achieve?
Stephanie: Within my degree modules I do not have many opportunities for public speaking through group presentations or organised debates. I am hopeful that BCUR will allow me to practice my public speaking skills, as well as help me work on consolidating my research and creating a cohesive presentation.
Jasmine: At the forefront of the BCUR, I think the most vital skill I will develop is my public speaking. I am learning how to develop a voice in a climate where women are consecutively silenced. The ability to present in front of others, will also heighten my confidence in my own work. I hope to also learn how to critically assess, sensitive work.
Myriam: Even from when I was in high school, I greatly enjoyed independent research and projects like the EPQ/Extended Essay. I wanted to gain more confidence working independently, albeit with the guidance of a supervisor, and focus on issues that intellectually interested me. While I had a lot of experience writing essays, I have never presented my research in front of an audience before, and condensing months of research into a short presentation is a skill I will have to learn. I also had the ability to practice reading quantitative data and approaching key NGOs for interviews.
How will this research help you in the future?
Stephanie: This research project was one of the first major research projects I completed as part of my degree, and regardless of the grade I received, I am grateful for the experience it provided me. My research on legal egalitarianism may seem a bit too philosophical for some, but I believe this research has truly enriched my academic experience, providing me with an interesting perspective or lens of egalitarianism in all my academic pursuits, allowing for a more varied personal understanding and potential discussion.
Jasmine: I hope to utilise this research to progress further conversation in the Child Marriage practice. In cross-examining the boundaries of Child Marriage within the discourse of sex inequality, I wish to leave two critical thoughts to my audience; firstly, who will protect the female child-bride? Secondly, if the child-bride cannot rely on the sustainability of the law, what/whom should they rely on?
Myriam: Independent research experience has helped me show intellectual curiosity and proactivity when applying for postgraduate courses. I definitely recommend completing a URSS project if anyone is considering further study or entering academia. Even if not, it is great evidence of your motivation to work independently and think outside the box.
We wish all our participants the best of luck at the conference next month.
If students are interested in presenting their research to a global audience, the Law School also takes part in the International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR) which takes place in September. Submit your abstract here: https://www.icurportal.com/abstract-submission/ by 2 June 2021.
Further Student Research Information:
- Warwick Student Research Hub
- The British Conference of Undergraduate Research - University of Leeds, 12 – 13 April 2021
- About BCUR
- About Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL)
- Submit your research to the reinvention journal for publication or the Global Undergraduate Awards (deadline for which is 15 June 2021 at 12.00pm Irish Standard Time)