UCL Law society tried to introduce a trial by combat option and people aren’t happy

At their recent AGM a ‘Trial by Combat’ amendment was proposed as joke to add to their constitution

At the recent UCL Law Society annual general meeting, an amendment was proposed allowing “trial by combat” for future meetings.

This would have meant that candidates running for committee positions in the society could choose this mode of election instead of a traditional voting system and “battle it out”, aka physically fight, to see who wins. 

At the AGM, reportedly there are normally serious amendments, but someone made the joke and proposed this new amendment to “lighten the mood”. The amendment wasn’t passed, so sadly there will be no cut throat trials by combat to come.

However, some students are deeply unhappy about the proposition of such a clause, fearing that the legal profession already has a bad reputation and stereotype as being “laddish and non inclusive.”

A UCL student told The London Tab: “I’m worried what kind of message this is sending to the students. The UCL Law Society (and frankly, the legal profession as a whole) has always been perceived as having this barrier of entry, favouring only a specific kind of demographic.


“What kind of message is the Law Society committee, with dozens of law firms as its sponsors, sending? The fact that so many law firms, including the Magic Circle and US firms, sponsor it thus rendering the Law Society as THE richest student society at UCL, is very concerning – these sponsors most likely do not know what goes on with the committee they are supporting.’

Another student posted on UCLove, saying: “And the most toxic society of UCL goes to… Law Soc! You always say to be ‘welcoming’ and ‘inclusive’ but tonight you showed your true colours. Not only did the ‘trial by combat’ constitutional amendment pass, the committee was clearly getting gratification and a power trip form asking the questions they did. It was disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

UCL Law society defended the amendment as a joke, telling The London Tab: “We understand that the said amendment was mentioned as a light-hearted joke: It was not proposed in the proper constitutional way and is not valid.

“Additionally, in light of the current stress and anxiety facing our students, we think it’s inappropriate to give weight to the aforementioned amendment. The UCL Law Society does not condone violence of any sort and as such this clause is not and will not be in our Society’s Constitution.”