Faculty of Law, Cambridge
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The Faculty of Law, Cambridge is the
law school A law school (also known as a law centre or college of law) is an institution specializing in legal education, usually involved as part of a process for becoming a lawyer within a given jurisdiction. Law degrees Argentina In Argentina, l ...
of the
University of Cambridge The University of Cambridge is a Public university, public collegiate university, collegiate research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209 and granted a royal charter by Henry III of England, Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the world' ...
. The study of
law Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. ...
at the University of Cambridge began in the thirteenth century. The faculty sits the oldest law professorship in the English-speaking world, the Regius Professorship of Civil Law, which was founded by
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England from 22 April 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry is best known for his Wives of Henry VIII, six marriages, and for his efforts to have his first marriage (to Catherine of Aragon) ...
in 1540 with a stipend of £40 per year for which the holder is still chosen by
The Crown The Crown is the state (polity), state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their subdivisions (such as the Crown Dependencies, British Overseas Territories, overseas territories, Provinces and territorie ...
. Today, the faculty incorporates the Institute of Criminology as well as 11 Research Centres, including the world's leading research institute for international law, The Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. The faculty has 31 professors, six readers, and over 70 other university, faculty and college teaching officers. The student body comprises about 700 undergraduate and 250 postgraduate students. It is also home to the
Cambridge University Law Society The Cambridge University Law Society (also known as "CULS" or "LawSoc") is the educational and representative body of undergraduate law students at the University of Cambridge. Founded in 1901, and with an estimated 2,000 active members, it is ...
, the largest student-run
law society A law society is an association of lawyers with a regulatory role that includes the right to supervise the training, qualifications, and conduct of lawyers. Where there is a distinction between barristers and solicitors, solicitors are regulated ...
in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
and among the largest in the world.


Courses offered

The BA Tripos undergraduate degree at Cambridge is intended to give a thorough grounding in the principles of law viewed from an academic rather than a vocational perspective. The faculty offers the following postgraduate degrees: the LLM, the MCL, the MLitt, the MPhil in Criminology, the MPhil in Criminological Research, the M.St in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management, the M.St in Applied Criminology and Police Management, the PhD in Criminology, and the PhD in Law. In addition, the faculty offers the Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Studies and the Postgraduate Diploma in International Law.


Rankings and reputation

Cambridge is unanimously ranked as the best law school in the UK by all major national academic league tables. It is currently ranked first by ''
The Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers ''The Observer'' and ''The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the Gu ...
'', ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British Newspaper#Daily, daily Newspaper#National, national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its s ...
/
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' Good University Guide'', and ''
The Complete University Guide Three national rankings of universities in the United Kingdom are published annually – by ''The Complete University Guide'', ''The Guardian'' and jointly by ''The Times'' and ''The Sunday Times''. Rankings have also been produced in the past ...
.'' Since it started publishing its annual rankings for 2010, ''The Guardian'' has ranked Cambridge first six times (2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018). ''The Complete University Guide'' has given the top spot to Cambridge since 2013 and eight times in the last 11 years. The ''Times'' ''Good University Guide'' law rankings has Cambridge atop its league table since 2014. In 2021, THE ranked Cambridge as the world's second best university for law in its 2021 subject rankings. In 2021, the
QS World University Rankings ''QS World University Rankings'' is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). The QS system comprises three parts: the global overall ranking, the subject rankings (which name the world's top universities for th ...
ranked Cambridge as the world's third best university for law and legal studies.


Facilities


David Williams Building

The faculty is housed in the David Williams Building on the university's Sidgwick Site in
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town in Cambridgeshire, England. It is located on the River Cam approximately north of London. As of the 2021 United Kingdom census, the population of Cambridge was 145,700. Cam ...
. The Building is named after the University's first full-time Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Public Law, Professor Sir David Williams. The Building opened in 1996 and was designed by Lord Norman Foster of Thames Bank, who also designed the terminal building at
Stansted Airport London Stansted Airport is a Airports of London, tertiary international airport serving London, England, United Kingdom. It is located near Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, England, northeast of Central London. London Stansted serves over 16 ...
and
30 St Mary Axe 30 St Mary Axe (previously known as the Swiss Re Building and informally known as the Gherkin) is a commercial skyscraper in London's primary financial district, the City of London. It was completed in December 2003 and opened in April 2004. W ...
(the "Gherkin" in London). The building suffered serious acoustic problems (primarily due to a lack of consideration of acoustics in Foster's design), with its form amplifying any noise from the lower levels and causing significant disturbance at higher levels, not least in the library. This was fixed in 1999 with the installation of a glazed acoustic screen, separating quiet areas from noisy ones. The David Williams Building contains the University's Squire Law Library, together with offices, lecture and seminar rooms and common room facilities.


Squire Law Library

The Squire Law Library, which occupies the majority of the first, second and third floors of the building, is a dependent library of
Cambridge University Library Cambridge University Library is the main research library of the University of Cambridge. It is the largest of the Libraries of the University of Cambridge, over 100 libraries within the university. The Library is a major scholarly resource fo ...
. It contains one of the three largest legal collections in the UK with more than 180,000 volumes. The collection is very strong across UK law, the law of other major
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omnipres ...
countries (the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand),
international law International law (also known as public international law and the law of nations) is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between State (polity), states. It establishes normative guidelines and a common conceptua ...
and the law of the European Union, France and Germany. There are, additionally, smaller collections for the law of many other countries. The library provides its users with access to many major legal databases. The library was founded in 1904, at first with only 8,000 volumes, although this soon increased. In 1934, together with the
Seeley Historical Library The Seeley Historical Library is the history library of the University of Cambridge, England. It is housed within the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, History Faculty building on the Sidgwick Site off West Road, Cambridge, West Road, ...
, it moved to the Cockerell Building on
Senate House Passage A senate is a deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a meeting of members who use parliamentary procedure. Etymology In a speech to the electorate at Bristol in 1774, Edmund Burke described the British Parliament as a "de ...
, previously the home of the
University Library An academic library is a library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are accessible for use and not just for display purposes. A library provides physical (hard copies) or digital access (soft copies) materials, a ...
built in 1837-42. The Squire took over the whole of the Cockerell Building on the construction of James Stirling's building for the history library in 1968. With the Squire's own move in turn, its former site became the library of
Gonville and Caius College Gonville and Caius College, often referred to simply as Caius ( ), is a Colleges of the University of Cambridge, constituent college of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1348, it is the fourth-oldest of the University ...
. Most individual colleges also have a smaller
law library A law library is a special library used by Legal education, law students, lawyers, judges and their law clerks, historians and other scholars of legal history in order to Legal research, research the law. Law libraries are also used by people w ...
of their own, while the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law has its own library composed of international law books and other related materials.


Societies

There are a number of groups and societies based around the Faculty of Law: *
Cambridge University Law Society The Cambridge University Law Society (also known as "CULS" or "LawSoc") is the educational and representative body of undergraduate law students at the University of Cambridge. Founded in 1901, and with an estimated 2,000 active members, it is ...
* Cambridge Societies at the Inns of Court (Gray's Inn, Lincoln's Inn, and Middle Temple) * Graduate Law Society * The Cambridge University Society for Women Lawyers * Cambridge University Students' Pro Bono Society * Cambridge Pro Bono Project Most
colleges A college (Latin: ''collegium'') is an educational institution or a University system, constituent part of one. A college may be a academic degree, degree-awarding Tertiary education, tertiary educational institution, a part of a coll ...
also have their own law societies.


Publications

Notable publications produced under the aegis of the faculty include: * University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series * The Cambridge Law Journal * International Law Reports * Clarendon Studies in Criminology (joint venture with the criminology centres at
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the Un ...
and the
London School of Economics The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is a public university, public research university located in London, England and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Founded in 1895 by Fabian Society members Sidn ...
) * Cambridge Studies in English Legal History * Cambridge International Law Journal


Notable persons


Alumni


Faculty

Named Chairs *
Downing Professor of the Laws of England The Downing Professorship of the Laws of England is one of the senior List of Professorships at the University of Cambridge, professorships in law at the University of Cambridge. The chair was founded in 1800 as a bequest of Sir George Downing, ...
( Sarah Worthington since 2011) * Regius Professor of Civil Law ( David Ibbetson since 2000) * Rouse Ball Professor of English Law ( Louise Gullifer since 2019) * Whewell Professor of International Law (
Eyal Benvenisti Eyal Benvenisti ( he, איל בנבנשתי; born 1959) is an attorney and legal academic, and Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge. He was formerly Anny and Paul Yanowicz Professor of Human Rights at Tel Aviv Unive ...
since 2016) * Sir David Williams Professor of Public Law ( Alison Young since January 2018) * S.J. Berwin Professor of Corporate Law ( Brian Cheffins since 1998) * Harold Samuel Professor of Law and Environmental Policy (Jorge E Viñuales since 2013) Others * Trevor Allan, Professor of Jurisprudence and Public Law * Catherine Barnard, Professor of European Union and Labour Law since 2008 * Eilís Ferran, Professor of Company and Securities Law since 2005 * Matthew Kramer, Professor of Legal and Political Philosophy *
Graham Virgo Graham John Virgo is an English legal academic, barrister and university administrator. He is Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor of English Private Law at the University of Cambridge. Frequently cited in the English courts and those of oth ...
, Professor of English Private Law since 2007 * Richard Fentiman, Professor of Private International Law


References


External links

*
Squire Law Library

University of Cambridge
* {{Coord, 52.2017, 0.1096, type:edu_region:GB-CAM, display=title Foster and Partners buildings High-tech architecture Lattice shell structures Law, Faculty of Law schools in England