Twice per year our PGR Lead, Dr. Ngozi Okoye, organises a PGR Presentation Day. The PGR Presentation Days enable our post graduate research students to present their Ph.D. research or articles they are working on to other PGR students and academics within Lincoln Law School. It allows academic staff to ask questions and provide comments on research in a friendly collegiate atmosphere.

Our most recent PGR Presentation Day took place at the end of June 2019 where four PGR students presented their research in twenty minutes slots.  Each student that presented has given a short summary of their research presented on the day and their experience of the day in the order they presented in.

Verity McCullagh (Third Year) – “Is CSR still necessary? An analysis of the EU Directive on Non-Financial Reporting and its Impact on Reporting Practices”.

This is the second PGR presentation day I have attended and presented at, which has proved again to be an enjoyable and thought-provoking day. It is a great opportunity to catch up with other PGR students and how they are progressing, as well as to gain helpful feedback on research.

My presentation focussed on the impact the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive has had on company reporting practices. This is based on a far more substantial chapter within my Ph.D. thesis. The presentation began with an overview of what corporate social responsibility (CSR) is and the changes that have been made to reporting requirements with the implementation of the EU Directive. The Directive requires certain companies to report on what can be considered as CSR matters. These include environmental matters, employees, social matters, respect for human rights, and anti-corruption and anti-bribery matters. I then focussed on the conclusions found from analysing company reports pre and post the regulatory change, determining whether the Directive has changed reporting practices.

I received really insightful comments and feedback regarding this area of my research which has provided me with ideas of how to extend my analysis and conclusions. As PGR Rep I look forward to liaising with our PGR Lead to arrange the next PGR Presentation day which will no doubt be as successful.

Thomas Welch (Second Year) – “Intersectionality in Application: An Analysis of British Penological Research”.

This was the second time that I had been given the opportunity to present my work at a PGR event held by the Law School and, as with the first time I presented, the event was as stimulating as it was enjoyable.

Whilst my doctoral thesis is centred upon the exploration of the legal realities surrounding the lived-experiences of refugees and stateless populations, I chose, on this occasion, to present on an issue unrelated to my doctoral work. Specifically, I decided to base my presentation on a paper that I have been working on for the past two years, that explores the (in)frequency with which intersectionaly-based methodological approaches are present within the academic literature surrounding the study of women’s imprisonment in the UK. It is my experience that PGR events such as the one held by the Law School on this occasion provide an opportunity to receive detailed and thought-provoking feedback from both peers and academic staff alike. I was due to present the same paper at the British Society of Criminology’s 2019 Conference (BSC), held at the University of Lincoln, the week following the PGR presentation day. Not only did the PGR event act as an opportunity to practice my BSC presentation in front of a group of experienced and insightful individuals, but the feedback I received led me to completely restructure my presentation, resulting in (what I hope was) a more streamlined and clear presentation the following week.

The presentation day also provided the opportunity to learn about the exciting research that is being undertaken by my friends and peers who are also studying at the Law School. As ever, I found their enthusiasm and dedication to their respective subject areas inspiring and left the event feeling re-invigorated and excited to continue on with my own research. In my opinion, events such as this play an essential role in the fostering of a vibrant and active Ph.D. community within the Lincoln Law School; one that I am proud to be a part of.

Olivier Yambo (Third Year) – “Giving a meaning to the terms conservation and sustainable use when applied in the context of marine biodiversity ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction”.

I was very pleased to be invited last June at the PGR presentation day to talk about my research doctorate and learn about the research work that my PhD colleagues are doing. Although the topics presented were quite diverse and touched on different areas of law and social sciences, I still enjoyed each and every presentation thanks to the presenters’ ability to secure the audience’s attention and interest. As a transfer student from Nottingham Trent University, the PGR presentation day was a great opportunity for me to visit, for the very first time, Lincoln Law School and meet my new PhD colleagues.

My presentation focussed on one important aspect of my PhD Thesis: determining whether a difference exists between the concepts of conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity when these concepts are expressed in global and regional agreements whose area of application extends to areas beyond the national jurisdiction (ABNJ) of Coastal States. I started my presentation by explaining the importance of doing this research. I decided to do this research due to the current lack of consensus in the literature on the meaning of the concepts of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Given the importance of the role played by the agreements on biodiversity governance of ABNJ in the safeguard of the world’s oceans, an understanding of the meaning of the concepts of conservation and sustainable use is of paramount importance. A lack of understanding of these concepts can undermine the proper implementation and achievement of the objectives pursued by these agreements.

In my presentation, I highlighted the steps that I followed to determine the meaning of the concepts of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. As a first step, I identified and selected all the agreements (20) which express the concepts of conservation and/or sustainable use when these concepts are applied in the context of marine biodiversity of ABNJ. In the second step, I applied the rules and principles of treaty interpretation enshrined under the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. I applied these rules and principles to determine the meaning of the concepts of conservation and/or sustainable use expressed in the 20 agreements selected in step one. The findings of this exercise revealed two important elements: first, there are three concepts to be interpreted: the concepts of conservation, sustainable use and conservation and sustainable use. Second, each of these concepts has a distinct definition and definite objective. I concluded my presentation by indicating that based on the findings of step two, there is a substantial difference between the concepts of conservation, sustainable use and conservation and sustainable use.

The PGR presentation day is one event not to miss and I am very thankful to Lincoln Law School for organising this day and providing such an amazing opportunity for PhD students to share their research work and interest with others. I am also very thankful to the friendly audience for their questions and comments which were very useful and provided food for thought as to how to improve my presentation skills and clarify certain aspects of my research. I am looking forward to renewing this fantastic experience.

Amber Smith (First Year) – “Third World Approaches to International Law: The Responsibly to Protect and Regional Organisations”.

This PGR presentation day was the first time I have verbally presented my Ph.D. research. Initially I was nervous, but the environment was friendly so by the time my presentation was due I felt relaxed.

I presented a brief overview of my thesis, followed by an in-depth break down of my first substantive chapter. The first chapter in the thesis is focused on Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), which is the theoretical framework of my Ph.D. research. I explained what TWAIL is, what is objectives are and why it is relevant to my research topic through looking at Anthony Anghie’s work on the colonial origins of International Law. I also discussed TWAIL’s allies, particularly focusing on Marxism and Feminism and I gave a brief overview of the two generations of TWAIL.  I then discussed why TWAIL should not concede to other approaches in International Law and why it must continuously seek to represent the Third World voice in the international arena.

The PGR presentation day was also the first time I heard my PGR friends presenting their research. I knew what most of their topics were as we discuss research in the Ph.D. rooms, but it was the first time I could see it presented in an academic setting. This allowed me to get a better understanding of what each person does as well as observe a range of presenting styles. I really enjoyed hearing everyone’s research and how diverse the topics were.

Overall, I found the day interesting and useful, particularly with the questions and comments I received which I will use to aid my future research. I am looking forward to our next scheduled PGR day, which is due to take place in December 2019.