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A research informed curriculum - Q&A with acting MA Director

Press release issued: 18 November 2020

Ahead of our Postgraduate Virtual Open Day on 20 November, acting director of our MA in Law programme Dr Joshua Paine spoke to us about what it is like to study at a top 10 UK Law School, its dynamic learning community and how research informs a diverse curriculum.

What is your role in the Law School?

I am a Lecturer in Law. Currently, I am acting as the MA Programme Director.

What are your main research interests and how do these feed into the postgraduate curriculum?

I am an international lawyer. Much of my research focuses on investment treaties and the investor-State arbitrations that occur under these treaties. In 2020-21 I'm co-teaching a postgraduate unit with Dr Clair Gammage, an international trade lawyer, on international trade and investment law. This unit enables us to draw out similarities and differences between international trade and investment law and offer students two different perspectives on the topics covered.

Another strand of my research focuses on international dispute settlement, and specifically adjudication before international courts and tribunals. For example, prior publications have focused on the functions of international adjudication in the international legal order, and judicial dialogue between international courts and tribunals. In 2020-21 I’m lucky to be coordinating the postgraduate unit General Principles of International Law, which focuses on foundational issues such as the sources and subjects of international law, and state responsibility. Throughout the unit, we read a range of judgments of the International Court of Justice that address these topics, and it’s always fun to discuss the cases with students.

If you could describe the learning community in the Law School in three words, what would they be?

Diverse, dynamic, rigorous.

What is your favourite part of working/living in Bristol?

My favourite aspect of working at the Law School is the opportunity to engage with students who are genuinely interested in the areas in which I research and teach. As for living in Bristol, my partner and I moved here not long before the first lockdown, so we like to think we haven’t yet discovered the best parts!

If you had one piece of advice for student applying for a postgraduate law course, what would it be?

Follow what you are interested in and make the most of all the opportunities a postgraduate course will offer you.

Further information

If you have questions about our MA in law course (or any other of our postgraduate law courses), join our next Postgraduate Virtual Open Day on 20 November 2020.

Registration is free and you will have the opportunity to speak with law academics such as Joshua, our Law Employability Adviser plus a selection of law students and alumni.

Register your attendance here and find out how you can do more with law.

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