The new student forum, named the ‘The Argument’ is aimed at reflecting the critical legal focus that Kent Law School fosters on its programmes of study, representing the main alternative to the strict black letter law education. Subsequently, The Argument student forum (or some may say ‘student legal journal’) enables Kent Law School students to use the forum as a platform to provide reflective and critical legal articles. The first issue is now available online and features an exclusive interview with Carl Lygo, Chairman and Principle at BPP Law School.
The founder and Senior Editor of The Argument is Walker Syachalinga who is currently in his second year of studying Law (LLB) at the University. Law Updates has managed to obtain an exclusive interview with Walker Syachalinga about growing success of The Argument.
Walker played the down The Argument as strictly a legal journal, submitting that The Argument is “strictly speaking a law student forum”. Even as a law student forum, I believe The Argument offers a firm critical review of the law that is in keeping with traditions of Kent Law School.
Law Updates asked Walker what compelled the students behind The Argument to create this forum?
“The idea was to provide a medium through which law students could argue and challenge each others’ ideas of the law. The inspiration was the fact that learning law appeared so contrived that it was difficult to successfully question it at undergraduate level. A publication which was not controlled by the law school faculty appeared to be the best way of challenging the learning that the law school provided and also questioning each others’ opinions.”
How do you see The Argument progressing in the future? Will it still be around in years to come, even after you leave Kent? If so, will The Argument feature as a regular publication?
“I hope The Argument will become a permanent feature of the University of Kent. It is difficult to predict its progress because whether or not it succeeds depends on how willing students will be to support it. It is easy to find readers and sponsors but quite difficult to find writers and editors. I hope students will look at the benefits of having such a publication and take it forward with that in mind. We hope to publish one issue per term to start with. This is in order to avoid potential clashes with assessment deadlines and exams.”
What was the difficult part in creating The Argument?
“The most difficult part was coming up with equal input and an efficient team from both the Canterbury and Medway campuses. We had to ensure that both campuses contributed equally. The other difficult part was editing the articles without significantly altering the authors arguments”
How do you feel about the wide range of compliments The Argument has received?
“It has been encouraging to receive the compliments but even more challenging when you realise that people are expecting the same standard or even better next time. There is a developing standard of legal education at Kent and inadvertently or not, we as editors of The Argument have become part of this. In addition to this our exposure to institutions such as BPP, the Crown Prosecution Service and law professionals including judges and barristers means that we do not have the luxury of busking in compliments. A one off publication will be an embarrassing situation to put ourselves in just as a poor second issue will bring about some criticism. In conclusion, we are proud of how far we have come but equally challenged by how far we have to go”.
Walker Syachalinga clearly is focused on the task ahead of him and it appears he will be the key driving force behind the future success of The Argument. Law Updates will aim to keep you up-to-speed with any new publications that The Argument has to offer.
Issue 1 features articles by: Ben Slight (LLM: Medical Law and Ethics), Claire Hunt (final year, Law and Criminology BA), Madelaine Power (final year, Law LLB), Walker Syachalinga (second year, Law LLB – Medway Law Clinic Chair 2008-09), Marta Smorlarz (final year, European Legal Studies LLB), Amie Mackay (final year, Law LLB), Daniel Cooper (second year, Law LLB), Joanne Wilson (second year, Law LLB), Mohammed Asif Mahi (final year, Law LLB), Mohammed Ali Askari (first year, Law LLB), Hannah Jeffreys (final year, Law LLB), Katarzyna Burdzy (Canterbury Law Clinic Chair 2008-09), Jimmy Kapches (second year, Law LLB) and James McDonald (final year, Law LLB).
Photo: The Argument – Issue One