The Society’s House of Lords Annual Reception 2022

This year ‘The House of Lords Annual Reception’ took place as a hybrid event virtually and in person from the Athenaeum Club, London, as the original intended River Room location was suspended due to the pandemic.

The Ambassadrice gave the opening address in French. As it was the last day of January, as it was within the French tradition, she wished all a Happy New Year – une Bonne Année 2022! She followed by expressing her congratulations to the Society for its unique continuing contribution over thirty-three years to relations between France and the UK in the legal area. The importance of our joint values of justice, democracy and the Rule of Law. She re-confirmed her personal support as Patron and Ambassador and the support of the French Embassy in the UK.

The President thanked the Ambassadrice warmly and introduced The Right Honourable Lord Hodge, Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the UK. Lord Hodge gave the legal talk entitled ‘Contemporary Controversy – the Judicial Development of Public Law’.

He began:

‘At a time when the UK Government has been conducting reviews of Administrative Law and of the Human Rights Act and has expressed an intention to review the relationship between the judiciary, the executive and Parliament, the development of public law by judges can be seen as a subject of contemporary controversy. Tonight, I seek to set this development in its historical context.

Judges are sometimes criticised for developing the law, as if the law were a fixed set of rules which did not, and should not, adapt to social change. That is misconceived.’

The appreciation on behalf of the Society was given to Lord Hodge by Simon John Horsington, Vice-Président d’Honneur, founder. He said the talk was an historical analysis and reference for all, especially students, a seminal contribution to this important debate or ‘contemporary controversy.’ Particularly his comments on the separation of powers reminding of the visits of Montesquieu to London and the impact of that principle.

The Society’s UK Academic Award was introduced by the Academic Director, Vivienne Forrest. She explained that the annual Award was made to a UK University with a combined UK-France law course. The financial award was then made over the ensuing years to a student who had made special achievement and contribution in respect of France and the UK. She then handed over to Lord Hope to announce the winner for 2022. He announced the University of Strathclyde course and presented the Award and the Certificate to Professor Claire McDiarmid. The Professor expressed that the university and course were honoured and privileged to receive the Award. Alice Flynn, a student on the course, added how those on the course appreciated the Award. She spoke in French from Toulouse University one of the French partners of Strathclyde University in the course.

The reports from the Vice-Presidents and Presidents of the Section committees of the Society were introduced by Simon John Horsington. The Presidents were: Leonardo Carpentieri, London; Frederic Goldberg, Paris; David Guild, Edinburgh; Fionnuala Connolly, Belfast.

After the reports, the President introduced, demonstrated, and explained some of the important revisions in progress for updating the Society’s website with the web consultant. This initiative would be adding benefit to the Society and its members.

He then gave his detailed report on the Society’s past year’s activities and achievements. He introduced its exciting Programme for 2022 and specific events, listed on the website. He thanked his team of directors, officers, and committees. He thanked all the speakers, participants, and organisers of events in 2021 and members for their support, including this Annual Reception. He looked forward to moving forward not only with virtual or hybrid events but specific events in person again.

Concluding remarks by Simon John Horsington expressing the great appreciation of the Society to the President for his dedication to the Society last year and throughout the pandemic. He mentioned the President’s leading talk given from the Premiere Chambre of the cour de cassation in Paris on the invitation of the Patron Première Président, Chantal Arens. The chamber where the Society was hosted and launched in 1990. The President thanked all those involved in preparing and running the Annual Reception, to the French Embassy, and to all speakers. He thanked all and hoped they would put Monday 30th January 2023 in their diaries for the House of Lords Annual Reception 2023!

After the hybrid event closed, the President hosted the traditional President’s dinner for those present in person at the Athenaeum Club once more, as before the pandemic in January 2020. The Society’s first social event, a convivial event opening in the new year of 2022.

The Athenaeum
107 Pall Mall
England & Wales
Annual Reception
David Hope
Catherine Colonna

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