With participants from universities such as Trieste, Dublin, Monterrey, Vancouver, Beijing and Johannesburg the YPLF has become a truly global network.
Presentations covered issues of property law in the broadest sense of the term, ranging from privacy issues involved in granting people access to land registries, to economic considerations in the law of neighbours, to implied and ancillary rights in servitude law.
The conference ended with a panel discussion held by a number of YPLF 'alumni' - previous participants who have obtained their doctorates and gained experience as postdocs. The panel addressed specific issues they faced when finishing their doctorates and, subsequently, when taking the next steps up the academic ladder. Particular emphasis was placed on the value of practical experience (in a law firm) and how it compares to an academic career, and on maintaing a balance between work and private life, especially when starting a family.
Inequality in the treatment of women and men in law in academia and practice was one issue resulting from discussions. However, for the first time since its inception in 2009, the YPLF was pleased to see more women than men chairing sessions. The increase in female property law researchers over the past decade has presented a need for strong female role models. The YPLF is happy to be meeting this need as well as providing a welcoming and supportive network for junior researchers trying to make a name for themselves in academia.
Event organiser and Wadham Fellow, Eveline Ramaekers commented: "The 2014 meeting of the YPLF at Wadham College has been a major success. It is an amazing experience to have so many eager young property law researchers gathered in one place, excitedly discussing their work, their trials and triumphs in climbing the academic ladder. It is incredibly fulfilling to see that the vision I shared with the other founders of the YPLF in 2009 - to foster a long-lasting, supportive network for property lawyers - has become a reality. Not only has it helped me tremendously in my own career, it has also allowed me and many other participants to form close friendships. I look forward to many more meetings in future years."
The YPLF is an informal network of junior property law researchers, particularly those writing a doctorate, but also those within five years of having obtained their doctorate.
The YPLF aims to bring property law scholars from around the world together. This enables them to discuss their work with each other and with more experienced researchers. It provides an informal setting for young researchers to discuss innovative ideas and research in the area of property law, and to seek support in solving problems and improving their research, both in skills and in content.
The 2014 event was organized by Dr Eveline Ramaekers, Fellow in Law, together with Mr Luke Rostill, a DPhil student at Wadham.