The Hamlyn Trust was created by Miss Emma Hamlyn in memory of her father, a solicitor and Justice of the Peace in Torquay. The object of the Trust is to further knowledge and understanding of the law, including "the comparative jurisprudence of the chief European countries", among the people of the United Kingdom, "to the intent that the people of the United Kingdom may realise the privileges which in law and custom they enjoy ... and recognise the responsibilities and obligations attaching to them". The Trustees represent all parts of the United Kingdom.


The Trust's objective is achieved primarily by an annual series of public lectures by distinguished judges, legal practitioners, academic lawyers and other eminent speakers. The first of these Lectures, on "Freedom under the Law", were given by Lord Denning in 1949. All the Hamlyn Lectures are published by Sweet & Maxwell.

Click here for the details of the next Hamlyn Lectures.


In recent years the Trustees have expanded their activities by setting up a "small grants" scheme to provide financial support for other activities which fulfil the objective of the Trust, and it was this scheme which provided the basis for the special awards designed to mark the Trust's 50th Anniversary in 1998. Having received a large number of extremely interesting proposals for projects of varying kinds designed to further public knowledge and understanding of the law, the Trustees made "50th Anniverary Awards" as follows:

Coatbridge CAB, North Lanarkshire

To assist the creation and testing of a pilot scheme in the use of computers for improving the quality of information and advice given in the interview room (in conjunction with Citizens Advice Scotland)

Legal Services Agency Ltd., Glasgow

To provide bursaries to enable social workers, lay advisers and other interested persons to attend seminars and workshops on social welfare, housing and mental health law.

Liberty, London

To facilitate the setting up a programme of training courses and seminars designed to improve the qualitry and efectiveness of advice given by advice workers in the public, community and voluntary sectors.

Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, University of Leeds

To create a world wide web site, UK Law Online,  designed to promote understanding of the law and the legal system of the United Kingdom by means of accessible formats and nontechnical language.


For further information concerning the Hamlyn Trust and its activities, please contact the Chairman of the Trustees, Professor Kim Economides, School of Law, Exeter University and visit the current

Hamlyn Trust web-site

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Last Updated on 21 December 2004