International Conference on Teaching and Learning
16 Jan 2011

I attended the International Conference on Teaching and Learning as Tools of Progress in Higher Education: Integrating Effective Technology Tools into your learning: A review of trends in Higher Education by Dr Jennifer Richardons and Dr Melanie Shoffner, Purdue University (Workshop)

  A review by Professor Scott Davidson
May 2009

'Myra Williamson has produced a work of considerable scholarship which not only challenges some fundamental assumptions about the use of force in the modern world, but which sets those assumptions against a strong historical backdrop. This is a book which deserves to be read not only by those interested in international law and international relations, but also by anyone concerned with the question of whether force can be used legitimately to combat terrorism.'

By Professor Scott Davidson, University of Lincoln, UK

  Professional development
January 16 - 17 2011

I attended the International Conference on Teaching and Learning as Tools of Progress in Higher Education.

University of Waikato, 2007-2009

I attended numerous workshops at the University of Waikato in 2007 and 2009 including the following workshops conducted by the Teaching and Development Unit:

  • An Introduction to Course Design
  • Teaching Strategies to Develop Students’ Learning Skills
  • Maximising Small-Group teaching
  • Maximising Learning in Large Groups
  • Principles of Assessment
  • Assessment Matters: Group Work Assessment
  • Research and Teaching
  • Tertiary Teaching: Exploring Our Beliefs





Bertrand Russell

"No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he himself believes to be of value".



Most universities subscribe to the notion that an academic's time should be split 40-40-20 across teaching, research and administration, respectively. I also believe that this is the best division of my time as a law academic, even though it is a balancing act. Administrative duties differ from university to university, depending on its needs, but I have always been happy and willing to play my part in serving the university. I have served on a number of committees (see list below) but I have also performed other roles such as attending events in support of the faculty, attending staff and academic board meetings, writing proposals for change and reform, and of course completing forms and other admin duties.

A university needs its academic staff to be involved in a number of administrative activities in order for it to function effectively. I am committed to that in principle and in practice and am happy to serve the university where I am employed in any capacity I can.


  • Prince Sultan University Preparatory Year Programme co-ordinator for the Law Department – 2010-2011

In this role I contributed in a number of ways including submitting numerous proposals for curriculum reform, implementation of new papers, adoption of a new post-graduate program, moving from textbooks to course materials and greater use of technology in teaching as well as trying to increase opportunities for staff to engage in professional development.


  • Prince Sultan University Law Department's Chief Invigilator for the final examinations in spring semester

I served the Law Department in my rotation as the Law Chief Invigilator for the final exams. In that role I was required to check and oversee the final exams in Law and Computing and Information Technology papers at the end pf the spring semester. I was required to supervise the invigilators, visiting each exam room regularly, ensuring that there was appropriate supervision to eliminate cheating, ensuring that both students' and invigilators' needs were met and compiling a report at the end of the exam cycle.

  • ICARDA International School of Aleppo (IISA) - 2009-2010

During my year working at IISA I volunteered to serve, and was consequently a member of, the Professional Development Committee. The members of this committee met regularly to discuss PD applications from individual staff members as well as the overall PD policy within the school. I value professional development and regard it as an integral part of any teacher's job: the teaching landscape is always changing and all teachers must be personally motivated to change with it. I enjoyed being a member of this committee, assisting staff to meet their personal and professional goals.

  • University of Waikato Scholarships Committee (as representative of the School of Law) – 2008-2009

I was invited by the Faculty of Law to be its representative on the University of Waikato Scholarships committee. In this role, I attended monthly meetings to discuss applications for university-administered scholarships, mainly the University's Masters and Doctoral scholarships. Prior to each meeting, I would contact the law school's applicants to discuss with them their aims. I would then represent them during the discussions at the committee meeting. I was able to obtain scholarships for almost all applicants from the Law Faculty. This was an important role which I enjoyed because it was very rewarding to be able to report back to students when their application for funding had been approved. In that way, I was able to help them move ahead with their research goals.


  • University of Waikato School of Law Graduate Committee – 2008, 2009

I volunteered to be a member of this extremely important committee so that I could serve the students and staff of the law department. Given that I was both teaching graduate students (in my paper Terrorism and International Law which was offered to Honours and Masters students only) and I was previously a post-graduate student myself, I was well placed to offer ideas regarding the future development of the graduate programme. I attended (usually) monthly meetings, where I contributed to discussion on issues such as providing study spaces for PhD and Master of Laws students, broadening and strengthening paper offerings in the LLM programme, supervision of post-graduate students and other related issues.


  • University of Waikato School of Law Library Committee – 2008, 2009

I volunteered to be a member of this committee because I wanted to contribute to the law faculty in this vitally important area. The law library is extremely important to both staff and students; the quality of its holdings affects the ability of staff and post-graduate students to undertake research. Under-graduates are also heavy users of the law library as they learn legal research and writing skills. As a member of the committee I attended meetings (usually one per month) and contributed towards the discussions on the future of the law library's physical holdings. At that time, the law library was moving many of its print journals to e-journals. I was pleased to be a part of this process. There was much discussion over whether to keep joint print and electronic holdings, whether to halt some physical holdings and whether to initiate others. During the time I served on this committee, the law library experimented with the online database HeinOnline which it subsequently decided to maintain. The law library at the University of Waikato is an excellent source of legal materials. See the law library homepage.


  • University of Waikato School of Law Undergraduate Programmes Committee – 2007, 2008, 2009

I volunteered to be a member of this committee so that I could provide service to the law school in the area of undergraduate studies. As I was teaching in papers at first and third year levels, I wanted to be a part of future development of the law program. I attended (usually) monthly meetings and contributed to the development of the program in areas such as the recording of lectures for distance students, the effective use of Moodle and paper offerings. I was pleased to be able to attend the meetings and contribute my ideas to the development of the law program. As in all meetings in the law department, minutes were taken which I was required to read and confirm as a member of the committee.

  • University of Waikato Admissions Committee 2008-2009

I was part of and served on the Law Department's Admissions' Committee in 2008-2009. As a member of this small committee I reviewed approximately 200 applications during the period from November 2008 until February/March 2009. I enjoyed this role as I was in a position to read the personal statements of all the applicants and read about their personal goals and desire to study law. I was amazed at the diversity of the student body and the different reasons why a career in law motivated so many different people. I found professional satisfaction from giving prospective students the opportunity to follow and realise their dreams. Serving on this committee, whilst time-consuming, provided invaluable insight into the diversity of the student body. It also provided me with greater understanding of the national and international qualifications frameworks. I thoroughly enjoyed serving on this committee.

  Australia and New Zealand Society of International Law (ANZSIL) Conference

Australia and New Zealand Society of International Law (ANZSIL) Conference, Post-Graduate Student Workshop, held at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, June 2004

I presented a paper based upon some aspects of my PhD thesis. The title of my presentation was: "The Use of Military Force Against Afghanistan in 2001: reprisal, riposte, self-defence or none of the above?"

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