Following the recent recruitment of Associate Editors in the Strathmore Law Review, the entire board had the revered opportunity to meet with Professor Luis G. Franceschi, on Thursday 27 May 2021. This meeting served not only as an introduction of the Associate Editors to the rest of the board and the founding Dean of the Strathmore Law School, but also, as an appreciation of the historical underpinnings of the Strathmore Law Review, its goals as well as the importance of legal academic writing.
Professor Luis G. Franceschi is currently the Senior Director of Governance and Peace at the Commonwealth Secretariat. He is also a luminary in legal academic research. As an accomplished writer, he has authored many publications, with one of the most recent being ‘The Rule of Law, Human Rights and Judicial Control of Power’, Springer. Undoubtedly, the entire board gained immensely from the informative and interactive session. This article highlights some of the key takeaways.
The Strathmore Law Review: Deep and Critical in the Quest for the Truth
Professor Luis began by recounting the two main objectives which the Strathmore Law School aimed to achieve in its establishment. These, he provided, were ensuring that both the ‘hardware’ and ‘software’ of the institution are of high quality. He compared this to a phone which requires both the tangible and physical components as well as the operating information to efficiently perform a task. As such, in the context of the institution, the Law School strives to maintain quality facilities along with nascent yet renowned and critical lectures to produce remarkable legal professionals.
He critically espoused that the university press serves as the interweaving thread between the ‘hardware’ and ‘software’. The Strathmore Law Review, which is an annual, peer-reviewed, student-edited academic law journal that publishes pre-PhD submissions, falls within this category. It was founded to enable students to influence legal thinking in a professional direction. As such, it has the fundamental mandate to be deep and critical in the right direction, which is the search for the truth. Demonstrably, the institution has acquired value through its novel and analytical contributions in the sphere of legal knowledge as opposed to the repetition of popular ideas.
As an institution, the SLR therefore has an obligation to maintain; safeguarding the integrity of academia which in the succinct words of Professor Luis, ‘is destroyed and reduced to journalism if people are paid to push scandalous agendas or those not of their own thinking’.
The More You Do, the Better You Become
Professor Luis concluded the session through reiterating the importance of legal academic writing. His word of advice to early researchers and writers is to continuously write as the more articles you author, the better you become. He humorously related how looking back, he would be abashed by some of his earlier weekly newspaper pieces, which he arduously worked on and admired then. However, this has certainly been impactful on his writing skills. His words are commensurate with a famous quote within the Strathmore Law Review, ‘There are no good writers, only good rewriters’.
From his account, what remains predominantly important is to remain deep and critical in the quest for the truth. Admittedly, this serves as a clarion call to passionate legal researchers and writers, even those looking to publish in the Seventh Volume of the Strathmore Law Review.
This article was written by Sharlene Kapere, LLB student.