Swansea University - News Archive

News & Events Archive for 2010-2011

Items are listed in chronological order by publication date.

    The Lord Chief Justice Delivers a public lecture to launch the Hywel Dda Institute

    On June 21st 2011, The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Baron Igor Judge, who is the head of the judiciary and President of the Courts of England and Wales, delivered a public lecture at Swansea University to launch the Hywel Dda Institute. The Hywel Dda Institute is a new research centre within the School of Law named after the renowned Welsh king of the tenth century traditionally associated with the promulgation of the native Welsh laws. Its function is to promote research and scholarship on the Welsh legal tradition and the laws and legal system of Wales in contemporary times.

    The referendum of 3 March 2011 heralded a step-change in the devolution process in Wales by affirming and enhancing the distinctive constitutional role of the National Assembly of Wales as a legislature. Devolution has also instigated a process whereby the legal system in Wales is incrementally acquiring its own distinctive legal identity in response to this constitutional change. This process has been labelled Legal Wales, and it heralds the further evolution of an indigenous legal system to serve the needs of contemporary Wales.

    The Hywel Dda Institute is therefore a strategic response to the historic opportunity that has arisen to establish legal scholarship as an essential and dynamic contributor to the development of Legal Wales. The Hywel Dda Institute’s mission, therefore, is to contribute to the maintenance and development of Legal Wales by promoting research and scholarship which reach levels of excellence measured against the highest international standards.


    Hywel Dda Inaugural Lecture  


    Swansea University Vice Chancellor, Professor Richard B Davies made the introductory remarks at the lecture, which was very well attended by an audience of judges, lawyers, academics and members of the public. The Lord Chief justice’s lecture focussed on the history of the Welsh language and he explored how its legal and constitutional status had developed through history.  He told the audience that the Welsh language must today survive in a challenging international environment and within the context of modern communication, but that its survival is crucial.

    Following the lecture Professor Gwyn Parry commented that it ‘was an honour for us to have the Lord Chief Justice to deliver this inaugural lecture, which was a fascinating, passionate and timely lecture on a subject which is at the heart of Legal Wales, devolution, indeed, the national life of Wales. His lecture reminded us that although the Welsh language today has a place of dignity within our legal system, it is not something we should take for granted’.

    The Lord Chief Justice concluded his lecture by saying, ‘The language of Wales is a precious heritage.  It has survived.  Its survival is thanks to a relatively small number of people who or centuries stood by it, probably against their own economic and social self-interest. Here in Wales, speaking as Lord Chief Justice of Wales, I can only urge you to safeguard your language.  Guard it well’.




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