BEG was founded in 1977 as a Specialist Bar Association of the Bar of England and Wales. It is a forum for practitioners and academics to attend meetings, talks, conferences and other social events for those whose area of practice or interest is European law and issues concerning the European Union. We have a representative on the Bar Council in our capacity as a Specialist Bar Association. We are consulted by the Bar, the Ministry of Justice, the Law Commission and the House of Lords Select Committee on issues concerning European law.
BEG’s membership is predominantly comprised of barristers, but also includes Judges, solicitor advocates, government lawyers, academics and students. Members either practise or share an interest in the area of European law. We hold a series of meetings throughout the year on relevant topics. In addition, BEG organises and hosts an annual Elland Lecture in memory of the late William Elland, chairman of the Group in 1992, who died during his term of office.
The highlight of the year for many members of BEG is the annual Conference. It is now a long-established tradition that the conference takes place in another Member State of the European Union or neighbouring European country. Recent conferences have taken place in Taormina, Heraklion and Gdansk.
Below is a list of our previous BEG presidents, vice-presidents, chairs and conferences.
|1994-2018||Rt Hon Sir John Laws|
|1990-2018||David Vaughan CBE QC|
|1990-present||Rt Hon Lord Justice Green|
|1977-1980||David Vaughan (co-founder with Stephen O’Malley)|
|1990-1992||Bill Elland (died in office)|
|1998-1999||Peter Duffy (died in office)|
|2004-2005||David Lloyd Jones (appointed to the Bench 2005)|
|2011-2013||Tom de la Mare|
|2015-2016||Stephen Morris (appointed to the Bench 2016)|
Previous BEG annual spring conferences
|1991||Edinburgh, United Kingdom|
|1993||Amsterdam, The Netherlands|
|1994||Prague, Czech Republic|
|1999||Trier, Germany (and CJEU visit, Luxembourg)|
|2000||Rhodes, Greece (Millennium conference held jointly with ALBA)|
|2018||San Sebastian, Spain|
|2020||Granada, Spain (cancelled due to Covid-19), held online in the Autumn|
|2021||held online, due to Covid-19|