AuthorJames MacLean
PositionPhD Programme Director
This edition of the Southampton Student Law Review comprises a selection of papers
from current and former students that, as ever, present a wide spectrum of topics
and approaches across a variety of different fields. Perspectives engage not only
analytical and theoretical questions relating to law, legitimate authority and
democracy, but also historical and doctrinal questions in relation to the principle of
supremacy of EU Law. Moreover, they range from commercial interests and the
uncertainties over obligations and expectations of contracting parties, through to
healthcare law questions over the relationship between mental capacity and patient
autonomy in refusal of treatment cases and the protection of vulnerable patients, to
issues that trace the rise and fall of medical paternalism in English law, to a comment
on reasoning in trust law cases that illustrates the ongoing tensions that characterise
the continuing relation between common law and equity.
Today, the media is burgeoning with reports, opinions and comments on events and
debates that reflect very real concerns over, for example, the future of the National
Health Service, relations between constituent parts of the United Kingdom, the long-
term economic and constitutional arrangements between the United Kingdom and
its partners in continental Europe and further afield. At a time, therefore, when
political and constitutional uncertainties seem to have become something of the
order of the day, with 'big' questions forever setting the agenda both domestically
and internationally, it is perhaps fitting that this edition of the Southampton Student
Law Review should itself offer, and deliver, an interrogative and reflective attitude
and stance, quizzing and probing and pointing.
It is commendable that Southampton Law School students are encouraged through
their ongoing conversations with each other and with their tutors and instructors not
simply to accept but also to challenge received wisdom and the assumptions and
ideas underpinning accepted thought and practice. As this edition amply
demonstrates, freedom of thought and expression is a characteristic feature of
academic life at Southampton Law School, among its students, graduates, and staff,
both individually and collectively, and the editors must be applauded and thanked
for ensuring that an impressive collection of articles is provided once more this year
to showcase this work and talent.
Dr James MacLean
PhD Programme Director
July 2017

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