Winter Williams Scholarship
Name: Hannah Bogaert
Scholarship: Winter Williams Scholarship
My DPhil project focuses on the “competence” of the European Union. More specifically, it examines how a combination of the legal concepts of competences, powers, attributions, tasks and objectives determines whether the EU may act. This research is supervised by Liz Fisher.
I first studied law at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and spent a semester abroad in Hamburg. I then came to Oxford for the MJur. Before starting the DPhil, I worked as a trainee in the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union.
What are your career ambitions?
I would like to pursue a career in EU law. This could be in private practice, academia or an official setting. A personal dream is to apply and further develop EU law as a member of the judiciary, but I know that this is not something that one can really plan for.
Is life in Oxford different to what you expected it to be?
I definitely underestimated how welcoming Oxford is. The standards are very high and can make studying here somewhat stressful, but both the Faculty and my College have always been incredibly supportive. Oxford is also less formal than I expected.
What do you hope to achieve whilst studying law in Oxford?
I hope to pursue my own research in EU law while engaging with the larger (legal) community at Oxford. The DPhil in itself is, of course, an ideal opportunity to deepen my understanding of the law. My research project, however, only focuses on a specific aspect of EU law. By taking part in lectures, seminars, and other events organised by the Faculty and its student-led discussion groups, I hope to become a better legal scholar in general. In addition, the interactions with students, academics, and staff from different backgrounds and disciplines allow me to grow as a person.
What have you found most rewarding about your programme so far?
The DPhil offers a fantastic opportunity to explore and discover. My supervisor encourages me to read widely and it is very exciting to be able to engage in depth with a wide range of materials ranging from archive documents to the most recent case law of the CJEU.
What have you found most challenging about your programme so far?
Finding the best way to convey an argument can be frustrating. I sometimes struggle to write down thoughts that at first seemed perfectly clear in my mind, but then prove to be more tricky when put down on paper. It took me some time (and despair) to realise that constant rewriting is not a problem, but a normal part of the DPhil process.
Are you involved with or joined any projects or societies?
I very much enjoy teaching Roman law to first year jurisprudence students.