Lecture: Carol Gould on How Democracy Can Inform Consent: The Cases of Internet and Bioethics

27 September 2018
The Yeoh Tiong Lay Centre for Politics, Philosophy, and Law is hosting the Society for Applied Philosophy Annual Lecture. The lecture will be given by Carol Gould (CUNY). The title is “How Democracy Can Inform Consent: The Cases of Internet and Bioethics”.
The event will take place in the Council Room, Strand Campus, King’s College London on 26 October 2018, beginning 5pm (doors open 4.30pm). It will be followed by a drinks reception (6.30pm – 7.30pm).

Please register here.

Lecture: Has Montgomery Administered the Last Rites to Therapeutic Privilege? A Diagnosis and a Prognosis

12 January 2017

UCL Current Legal Problems Series

Professor Rachael Mulheron (Queen Mary University of London)

Thursday 19 January 2017, 18:00-19:00

UCL Pavilion (Main Quad), Gower Street, London WC1H 6BT

This lecture will outline those limited circumstances in which therapeutic privilege has actually worked in English jurisprudence to date, as well as the impact of Montgomery on the operation of the defence will be analysed. This lecture will also challenge the English judiciary either to adopt some workable version of the defence or to expressly abolish it altogether.

To read more about this lecture and register your attendance click here

Lecture: Mary Donnelly on Rebalancing Empowerment and Protection: Evolving Legal Frameworks for Impaired Capacity

28 November 2016

Thursday 8 December 2016, 18:00 – 19:00

UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Current Legal Problems series

Speaker: Professor Mary Donnelly (University College Cork)
Chair: TBC
Accreditation: This event is accredited with 1 CPD hour with the SRA and BSB

Admission: Free, Registration required (here)

The past decade has seen a notable evolution in the normative context for law’s response to people with impaired capacity. Driven by a range of factors, including greater recognition of human rights (perhaps most notably through the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and better empirical understandings, a rhetoric of inclusion and empowerment has replaced traditional approaches centred on control and protection.  Law reform projects in various jurisdictions (Australia, Canada, Ireland, Northern Ireland) have attempted to develop legislative frameworks to give effect to these emerging norms. Yet there is also another narrative. Concerns are expressed (perhaps most commonly by frontline professionals: healthcare professionals, lawyers, social workers and sometimes by family members of people with impaired capacity) that something important may be lost where there is a devaluation of protective norms. There is also a dissonance between the abstract ideals of human rights on the one hand and on the other, the complex corporeal, economic, family, phenomenological and social context within which people with impaired capacity, and those who care for/about them, live.

Tensions between empowerment and protection norms and between abstract, rights-based and contextual, evidence-based policy drivers are inevitable by-products of law’s evolution and they play a necessary role in the development of the law in this area. Rebalancing is a process and not a once-off event. And, of course, as revealed by even a minimal consideration of earlier legal responses to impaired capacity, there is a good deal of room for evolutionary wrong-turns and for unexpected and undesirable consequences. Placing current debates about how law should respond to impaired capacity within an evolutionary context, this paper identifies and evaluates the range of ways in which contemporary tensions may be resolved.

About the speaker:

Mary Donnelly is a Professor in the Law School, University College Cork. Her books include Consent: Bridging the Gap Between Doctor and Patient (Cork: Cork University Press, 2002); Healthcare Decision-Making and the Law: Autonomy, Capacity and the Limits of Liberalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) and The Law of Credit and Security (Dublin: Round Hall Thomson Reuters, 2011; 2nd ed, 2015) and she is co-author of End-of-Life Care: Ethics and Law (Cork University Press, 2011) and Consumer Law: Rights and Regulation (Dublin: Round Hall Thomson Reuters, 2014) and co-editor of Ethical and Legal Debates in Irish Healthcare: Confronting Complexities (Manchester University Press, 2016).

She has collaborated on projects funded by the European Commission, the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the National Children’s Office and the Irish Hospice Foundation and has acted as consultant for public agencies and legal firms.  She is/has been a member of the Expert Group to review the Mental Health Act 2001 and of the HSE National Consent Advisory Group and the HSE National Assisted Decision Making Steering Group.

Lecture: Disabling Legal Barriers – The inaugural lecture of Professor Oliver Lewis, KCL MA Medical Ethics and Law alumnus

28 September 2016


3rd November 2016, 5pm

Moot Court Room
Liberty Building
School of Law
University of Leeds

This lecture will review the impact of strategic human rights litigation as a tool that can expose and demolish barriers that prevent people with mental health issues or learning disabilities from enjoying equality, inclusion and justice. Oliver will draw on fifteen years work in central and eastern Europe with the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre, an international NGO that collaborates with the University and offer students an opportunity to engage with its litigation and advocacy.

Dr Oliver Lewis was called to the Bar in 2000 and is an associate barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, London. He is the Executive Director of the Mental Disability Advocacy Centre, an international NGO that uses law to secure equality, inclusion and justice for people with mental health issues or learning disabilities worldwide. He is a recurrent visiting professor in law at the Central European University where he developed a LLM module on ‘Mental disability law and advocacy”, and a faculty member at the Indian Law Society where he teaches an international diploma on mental health and human rights law. He is a trustee of the Avon and Bristol Law Centre, and a member of PILNet’s Hungary board. He is interested in how law serves both as a barrier to social inclusion and as method of addressing injustice. His research has focused on international human rights law and mechanisms, human rights monitoring (including monitoring closed institutions such as psychiatric hospitals), strategic litigation, legal capacity, mental health law, political participation and the right to life.

He served as research director for the first disability project of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, and has been retained as an expert to organisations such as the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights.

Register via Eventbrite.


Lecture: John Toulmin Lecture in Law and Psychiatry

11 February 2015

Wednesday 11 March 2015 19.00 – 20.00The Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London.

This year’s lecture, ‘Equality and Coercion in Mental Health Law – Can They Ever Be Compatible?’, will be given by Rt Hon The Baroness Hale Of Richmond DBE PC LLD FBA

Lady Hale is the United Kingdom’s most senior woman judge.  She became the first, and sadly the only, woman ‘Lord of Appeal in Ordinary’ in 2004, after a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer and judge. She taught Law at Manchester University for 18 years, specialising in family and social welfare law, and also practising for a while at the Manchester Bar.

In 1984 she became the first woman to serve on the Law Commission, a statutory body which promotes the reform of the law. There she led the work of the family law team, resulting (among others) in the Children Act 1989 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. She was a founder member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and chair of its Code of Practice Committee from 1990 to 1994, when she was appointed a Judge of the Family Division of the High Court. She was promoted to the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in 1999 and in 2004 to the House of Lords. This was the top court for the whole United Kingdom, until the ‘Law Lords’ became the Justices of the newly established Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in 2009. She became Deputy President of the Court in 2013. She is author and co-author of a number of books, including The Family, Law and Society: Cases and Materials (6th edition 2009) and Mental Health Law (5th edition, 2010). She retains her links with the academic world as Chancellor of the University of Bristol and Visitor of Girton College. She also helped to establish the United Kingdom Association of Women Judges in 2004 and from 2010 to 2012 served as President of the International Association of Women Judges, a world wide body of both men and women judges committed to equality and human rights for all.

In order to reserve a place at the lecture please register here

Event: On Informed Consent

5 February 2015

Forum for European Philosophy Event: On Informed Consent

Monday 9 February, 6.30 – 8pm, New Theatre, East Building, London School of Economics

Onora O’Neill, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge. She is also the current Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and a crossbench member of the House of Lords

Jonathan Wolff, Professor of Philosophy, University College London

Chair: Peter Dennis, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow

Informed consent is not the most fundamental ethical standard, but a means of securing respect for other, more basic standards or aims. It is neither possible nor required when public goods – such as sound currency or clean air – are to be provided. Where it is possible and can be required, as in transactions with individuals, it must be tailored to their cognitive capacities. Genuine, legitimating consent is demanding, and is not achieved by the ‘tick and click’ approaches used in many commercial transactions.

This event is free and open to the public. Podcasts of most FEP events are available online after the event. Further information and podcasts can be accessed here.

Suggested hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEethicsmatters

Lecture: Nuffield Council Annual Lecture 2015

10 January 2015

‘In conversation with Dr Amy Gutmann’

The British Library Conference Centre on Tuesday 17 March at 6pm – 9pm.

This year, Dr Geoff Watts, member of Council, will host a conversation with Dr Amy Gutmann, Chair of the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, President and Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Professor of Communication, University of Pennsylvania.

Under Dr Gutmann’s leadership, the Commission has advised the Obama Administration on the ethics of synthetic biology and emerging technologies; protecting research participants; whole genome sequencing; clinical research in children; incidental findings in research, clinical, and consumer settings; and neuroscience research.

A political scientist and philosopher, Dr Gutmann has authored numerous articles, essays and books and continues to teach and write on ethics and public policy, democracy and education.

The event is free and open to all but places must be booked in advance. Go here to find out more and book a place.