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Institute hosts successful Conference on the Treaty of Lisbon

On Friday 29 February, BIICL hosted a conference on the new European treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon. Speakers included academics, practitioners, political scientists and politicians, covering every aspect of the new Treaty.

The morning saw Michael Connarty MP giving his view of the Treaty as the Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee of the House of Commons, followed by a summary of the changes made by the Treaty by Sir David Edward KCMG QC. We then heard from Andrew Duff MEP on the effect of the Treaty on the European Parliament, and Xavier Lewis of the Legal Service of the European Commission gave his view of the impact on the Commission. Professor Steve Peers then examined the changes made by the Treaty to the area of Justice and Home Affairs, and Human Rights.

The first afternoon session saw Timothy Kirkhope MEP and Michael Patchett-Joyce of Monckton Chambers dealing in detail with the effects of the Treaty on the UK. In the final session the foreign policy aspects of the Treaty were covered by Professor Richard Whitman, and Professor Alan Dashwood CBE asked whether the Treaty would really have that much of an impact, concluding that its effects were less far-reaching than first suspected, and the Treaty is in fact a sheep in sheep's clothing!
Rigorous questioning followed each session, and further debate amongst the panelists revealed some interesting differences of opinion.

The day brought clarity and understanding on the impact of the Treaty for all those attending, and has launched some interesting questions for the future, which it is hoped the Institute can take up in the form of evening seminars over the coming months.

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