As John Lennon so eloquently stated: “another year over, and a new one just begun”. As I nurse my prolonged hangover, and realise how much winter weight I have put on, I take a look back at OULS’ 2016, look to the future, and put out a taster of what is to come in 2017…
January introduced the first OULS Officer for Scotland, Lidia Dancu to the committee, and she has been making waves within the Scottish OU community ever since.
April saw the newly elected committee take their seats, with the long term friend and chair of the committee Abi Scott standing down, replaced by Abi’s mooting partner; Peter Savory. Peter had big ambitions and instigated major changes within the OULS and its links with the OU Law School. The news team also saw the addition of 2 news reporters to join myself as news editor to bring more relevant news than ever before, as well as the introduction of the OULS Careers Newsletter created by Sophie Terrington. April also saw the OULS deliver a mooting demonstration at the OU Careers Day which drew attention to our ever increasing cohort of mooters.
May saw 2015/2016 Vice Chair Fathi Tarada and present Careers Coordinator Sophie Terrington take to the streets for the London Legal Walk, raising money for the poorest people in our community to give them a fair chance of access to justice.
Whilst students broke for summer holidays, the OULS made the best of this opportunity to make headway with the OU Law School. Not only have we managed to cement our standing and affiliation with the law school, we also saw our collaboration with the Law School’s media team lead to a mail out to all OU Law School students, promoting the OULS. Thanks mainly go to Peter Savory who had many a discussion and meeting with heads of the Law School to demonstrate that the OULS was a force to be reckoned with.
Hitting back hard in August after the summer break, we held the OULS’ first Bristol Summer Social Event, featuring beer and laser tag. September was a month of mooting, with workshops in Edinburgh and London, and the OULS’ Mooting Selection Day in Camden, London. The Selection Day provided a strong arena in which our Mooting Coordinators could pick the most eager and talented mooters to represent the OULS in our 2016/2017 calendar of mooting events.
The OULS spent October and November beavering away in the background, arranging upcoming events for 2017 as well as the highly anticipated OULS first; the OULS Christmas Party 2016 held at the iconic Manchester Central Convention Centre on December 10th. This event proved a great success, providing the forum for OULS members to meet, and get to know each other in a completely non-academic setting.
The start of 2017 is set to go off with a bang. The ICLR Open University Mooting Competition kicks off its 1st round with a deadline for skeleton argument submissions of 3rd January (so get your submissions in now). February 4th sees Round 2 commence, decided on oral submissions in London, and finally, the Grand Final is set to be held at none other than the UK Supreme Court on 6th March. Furthermore, UKSC Justice Lady Hale will be judging the Grand Final and there will be the opportunity to attend as a spectator!
Following on from the success of the 2016 Mooting Workshops, our Mooting Coordinators have been working very hard to arrange two 2017 Mooting Workshops, in Edinburgh on 14th/15th January and London on 21st/22nd January. Whether you have decided to take part in the ICLR Open University Mooting Competition or not, these events provide the ideal setting to get some top tips and advice from our veteran mooting coordinators.
The annual Tom Bingham Essay Competition deadline is the 31st January and has been months in the planning. This collaboration between the OULS and OU Law School is a prestigious competition in honour of the Rt Hon the Lord Bingham of Cornhill (1933-2010), author of the infamous ‘Rule of Law’. Don’t miss the opportunity to take part in this fantastic Essay Competition.
In March/April, we will see the nomination of a new OULS committee, to represent you going forward. I do hope you all take this opportunity to nominate yourself and help make the OULS bigger, better and stronger!
From all of us here on the OULS Committee, we hope you have had a fantastic 2016, and wish you all the best for 2017 in both your academic studies, career and personal life.