Named after the legendary legal pioneer Dame Rose Heilbron QC, our new lecture series aims to champion female experts in the legal profession by giving them a platform to deliver thought-provoking lectures that shape the debate on topical legal issues. We also hope to thereby counter the often male-dominated lecture circuit.

Each year will focus on a different topical theme.

Our 2024 Lecture:

‘No Choice but to Trust – The Predicament of the Powerless.” by Flora Page

We are thrilled to announce that Flora Page will be our distinguished speaker for this year’s Heilbron Lecture – now in its 5th year!

About the Speaker:
Flora Page is a barrister at 23ES Chambers who prosecutes and defends serious crimes. She played a pivotal role in overturning Post Office convictions in Hamilton and others. Currently, she represents 16 former Post Office workers in the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry, including Teju Adedayo, Lee Castleton, Tracy Felstead, Seema Misra, and Janet Skinner.

Flora’s diverse legal career began at Clifford Chance and has included significant positions at the Law Commission, the University of Law, and the Financial Conduct Authority. She is now a member of the Legal Services Board and has recently resumed her PhD research at University College London.

 

 

Our 2023 Lecture:

Value Conflicts in Life and Law’ by Professor Ruth Chang

The 4th annual lecture was held on Wednesday 24 May on the topic of ‘Value’, and was delivered in the historic setting of Pewterer’s Hall. Professor Ruth Chang delivered a thought-provoking lecture exploring how the decisions we make influence the value of the options facing us, and how the law shapes these decisions.

The lecture concluded with a Q&A session, in which Professor Chang answered captivating questions regarding how the decisions we make shape our identity, and whether inaction results in the world and society shaping our identities for us. In response, Professor Chang illustrated that on the contrary, the choices we make hold even more weight just by the act of decision-making, and how that can affect the value of that choice. She then explored how decisions in a legal setting are shaped not only by the values and morals of the individual, but also of the institution.

A write-up of the lecture is below for you to enjoy.

Our 2022 Lecture:

Climate Change, and the Radical Potential of Outrage to Advance the Frontiers of Law’ by Professor Lavanya Rajamani

The 3rd annual lecture was held on Thursday 16 June on the topic of ‘Nature’, and was delivered in the iconic setting of The Old Bailey. Following an introduction from Alderman Alison Gowman, the Sherriff of The City of London, Professor Rajamani delivered her lecture exploring what law can do for nature. 

The lecture concluded with a 15-minute Q & A, in which Professor Rajamani was asked topical questions including in regards to ESG and how to make action truly meaningful. She responded by referencing the unfeasibility of making certain environmental action mandatory through the use of sanctions. 

Closing remarks were given by our patron, Lady Hale, who described the lecture as “truly outrageous” and “truly inspiring”

You can read the full lecture script below, and also watch the lecture!

 

Our 2021 Lecture:

Learning Our Time’s Fables’ by Law Commissioner Professor Sarah Green

The 2nd annual lecture was held on Tuesday 23 November on the topic of ‘time out’, and was delivered in an online format. Following an introduction from our patron, Lady Hale, Professor Green explored certain paradoxes of the pandemic, including how we are more connected and yet more isolated than before. 

Through a masterful series of ‘fables’, Sarah explored how work patterns and their organisation are going to change for the long term and the importance that the diverse range of women’s voices are central to shaping those new patterns.

Why women? Because they have more experience in aggregate of trying to achieve a balance and also because being in the “home” environment is generally more charged for women than it is for men.

Also explored in this thought-provoking lecture were the topics of what the law can do in relation to flexible working, the embracing of technology for more effective flexible working, as well as the following questions: Is the law enough, or does there still need to be a cultural shift? Does the practice of law suffer particularly from the reduction in physical presence?

The lecture concluded with a 15-minute Q & A, where Lady Hale shared her initial reaction to the lecture, which she described as a “mind-expanding experience.”

You can watch the recording of the lecture here.

You can also read the full lecture script below.

 

Our Inaugural Lecture 2020:

Love, Law and Government in the time of Coronavirus‘ by Kirsty Brimelow QC

Our inaugural lecture was held on Tuesday 1 December via Zoom and was on the topic ‘freedom’. It was delivered by Kirsty Brimelow QC, barrister at Doughty Street Chambers and leading expert in international human rights and criminal law. Kirsty’s fascinating and timely lecture was titled ‘Love, Law and Government’ and reflected on the response to Covid-19, what it means for individual human rights, the common good and ultimately what future lies ahead for British society.

We were also honoured to be joined by Lady Arden, who introduced the lecture series with a few inspiring words about her admiration for Dame Rose Heilbron QC. Drawing the event to a fitting close, Dame Rose’s very own daughter Hilary Heilbron QC shared a tribute to the legacy of her mother. 

You can watch the lecture recording below!

You can also read the full lecture script below.