Last year, when I became convenor of the Environmental Law course, I introduced a formative essay in order to provide the students with the opportunity to gain feedback on written work in a low-pressure and informal way. I didn’t set an essay question; the students could choose a topic to write about. The result was an impressive and fascinating range of diverse submissions – from a discussion of the role of communities in environmental protection to an analysis of the moratorium on commercial whaling. The passion students had with respect to their chosen topic was evident, as many essays demanded a more progressive approach to environmental protection than was currently in operation. This experience confirmed to me the presence of talent and interest which students have in areas of law which can be non-compulsory subjects of the LLB and in questions not covered by the curriculum. Such talent and interest can remain undiscovered and unexplored. The GULS Law Review gives students an opportunity to investigate and analyse such questions and then publish the results of their research. The hard work and enthusiasm which both the writers and editors have shown in order to produce this latest edition can only be commended. Reflecting my experience on the Environmental Law course, the range of topics covered is a testament to the scope of expertise present in the law school’s student body and the progressive stances in many of the articles demonstrate a theme of dedication to change for the greater realisation of justice – for victims of domestic abuse, for Palestinians or for those receiving services of social care. I am also especially pleased to see that environmental law articles have been included this year for the first time. Awareness of and attention to the problem of environmental degradation is ever-increasing, and it is obvious that students at Glasgow University are responding to this global challenge through analysis of pressing environmental issues.
I have been a lecturer at Glasgow University now for almost 4 years. Although I have seen many accelerated LLB students as well as Masters students graduate, this year is the first year I will see LLB students graduate who I have taught or known for the full four years of their degree. It is such a privilege to see the development of each individual’s legal capabilities over this time – from learning the basics of the institutions of the Scottish legal system and methods of legal reasoning in first year, to advanced theoretical debates about property law in the last. The articles contained in this edition demonstrate the culmination of many hours of individual study and research over several years, and they represent the achievement of a high level of legal analytic skills. For those writers who are moving onto legal practice or further study, this development will only continue in the future. I hope the passion and talent, as well as dedication to justice and analysis of global challenges, will also continue to flourish.