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Understanding Welsh law

25 October 2011

Emyr Lews WebEmyr Lewis (left) will work alongside Professor Richard Wyn Jones (Right) to develop the study and awareness of Welsh law.

Leading Welsh lawyer Emyr Lewis has been appointed as a Senior Fellow in Welsh Law at Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre.

A senior partner with law firm Morgan Cole, Mr Lewis will work with the University’s Wales Governance Centre to develop the study and awareness of Welsh law.

He will also have responsibility for enabling academic and professional lawyers to engage more fully with the legislative process as part of civil society.

Commenting on the appointment, Director of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre Professor Richard Wyn Jones said: "Emyr is a leading figure in Welsh law and has the necessary experience to act as a central point of reference in public debates surrounding the development of Welsh Law and a Welsh legal space.

"His work will include building links and networks both within Cardiff University and externally pertaining to the development of Welsh Law, legal institutions in Wales and devolution more generally."

"He is exceptionally well placed to contribute to the formulation and the delivery of the research and outreach programmes of the Wales Governance Centre, acting as a catalyst and mentor for research and teaching relating to Welsh Law and the Welsh legal space within Cardiff Law School. We are delighted to have him on board."

Having qualified in 1984, Mr Lewis specialises in public and commercial law and has a particular understanding of public procurement matters.

Mr Lewis’ work has included advising the Welsh Affairs Committee at Westminster, the Welsh Government, the Welsh Assembly Commission, Universities, Local Government, HEFCW, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, NHS organisations, several Welsh Government Sponsored Bodies, Further Educational Institutions, charities and businesses.

He is also the UK’s member on a Council of Europe monitoring body, the Committee of Experts, which monitors compliance by States with their international law obligations under the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages.

As a Senior Fellow in Welsh Law at the Wales Governance Centre, Mr Lewis will play a pivotal role in the development of the Welsh Law-related activities and advise on the opportunities that arise in the context of empirical research; providing support and advice and contributing to the teaching programme at Cardiff University, as well as identifying opportunities to collaborate with other Universities.

With a passion for and interest in the law of Wales, Mr Lewis considers that the involvement of Universities will be essential in ensuring a healthy legal system in Wales.

Emyr Lewis said: "Since 1997, there has been rapid and dynamic change in the way in which Wales is governed, with three distinct constitutional dispensations having had effect. It appears that this change is set to continue. Universities have a crucial role to play in ensuring a healthy legal system, through clear exposition of the law, critical analysis of the actions and decisions of legislators and judges and of course the dissemination of knowledge and understanding through teaching and outreach activities. The legal profession, and consequently the public it serves, rely on this.

"We must rise to the challenges posed by the consitutional changes of the past 14 years. This requires the development of a strong academic base for Welsh law in Wales’ Universities. This will be valuable not only in terms of the healthy effect it is likely to have on Welsh civil society, but also in terms of the interest it is likely to attract from academics in other countries looking at the whole issue of regional and sub-state governance, a theme of growing significance."

Robin Havard, Chairman of Morgan Cole, added: "We are delighted that Emyr has been appointed to this post. He is in a tradition of which we are rightly proud and which goes back over a century, of partners in the firm contributing to Welsh public life. We know that he will bring to this post the intellect and enthusiasm that he displays in his client work."