This issue is a tribute to our late President, Sir John Laws, who passed away on 5 April 2020. Sir John showed humour, warmth and tremendous knowledge whenever he spoke. We were fortunate to have him as President of BEG for so long, and with him his wife and “historical researcher” Lady Sophie Laws, who passed away in 2017. We carry a tribute from our new President and Sir John’s friend, Lord David Lloyd-Jones. We have Sir John and Lady Sophie in their own words with extracts from two of Sir John’s BEG conference speeches and Lady Sophie’s candid insights into her role as Sir John’s historical researcher. Look out for Sir John’s prescient reference to one Boris Johnson.
The spring 2020 issue of the Advocate was the first post-Brexit edition and this is the first one to be released after the end of the transition period. What was meant to be an Autumn edition was pushed back as the negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union went down to the wire. We now have a EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) which, at the time of writing, is in provisional application awaiting the final ratification. This issue reflects this new world we live in.
Elsewhere in the edition I interview Sir Geoffrey Cox QC on the UK government’s decision, which they have subsequently stepped back from, to override parts of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement and Northern Ireland Protocol. He also gives us his advice for anyone considering a career in the law.
Anneli Howard QC looks at the future of competition law. Rupert Paines takes a view of the UK government’s recent consultation on retained EU case law, in which BEG took part. Professors Dimitry Kochenov and Graham Butler question the lawfulness of Advocate General Eleanor Sharpston’s dismissal from the ECJ by the EU Member States, and the method of her replacement. George Peretz QC looks at the future of state-aid and subsidies in light of the EU-UK TCA. We are pleased to also have the March Hare.
Finally, this will be the last print edition of the European Advocate. We have decided to take the advocate online – to reach a wider audience, save money and reduce the environmental impact. It will be part of a wider refresh of BEG’s online presence. I would like to thank our artful, brilliant and dedicated publisher, Timothy Elphick. His involvement with the publication since 1997 has made it much of what it has been. He chose the exhibition quality photos, directed the elegant layout and made sure that every page coming off the Heidelberg presses was of the highest quality. The European Advocate has been in print since 1993, having replaced Bar European News, which started in 1983, as the new kid on the block. Special mention should be made of Neville March Hunnings, our Consultant Editor and the first editor of the Advocate, without whom the publication in its current form would not have been. I look forward to making sure this change is as exciting as the arrival of the first printed edition of the Advocate was some 28 years ago.