Pictured: Maariyah islam

Maariyah Islam

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background (including previous study)

I attained a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Leeds in 2016. Thereafter, in 2017, I completed a Master’s by Research in Banking and Financial Law. In addition to this, I have worked within several legal practice firms around England and have published articles within academic journals.

I started my doctoral studies in Banking and Financial Law at Leeds in October 2018. I am a recipient of the University of Leeds, School of Law, PhD Scholarship. In addition to this, I teach on the following modules: Banking and Financial Law, Foundations of Law and Equity and Trusts. Moreover, I am also an Access to Leeds and Realising Opportunities academic tutor.

What motivated you to undertake a PhD and why did you choose the University of Leeds?

Leeds was my first choice as it is one of the leading law schools in the country with academic staff that are leading researchers, within their respective fields. I am deeply honoured to be given the opportunity to work alongside Professor Andrew Campbell, a renowned scholar of International Banking and Financial Law.

Please tell us about your research topic and what makes you passionate about this area of study.

The UK luxury goods sector is an extremely attractive avenue for individuals seeking to launder criminal proceeds. Although the Government has raised its concerns in relation to the money laundering risks within the UK, the luxury goods sector appears extremely vulnerable to such practices. This issue has received very little attention from law enforcement bodies and academics and thus appears largely neglected. This research project seeks to examine the money laundering risks within the UK luxury goods sector and propose solutions to strengthening the luxury goods sector from such practices.

How would you describe the research environment and community in the school and in the university generally? Are you involved in research centres and/or do you work with other academics and postgraduate researchers whether inside the school or across the university?

The School of Law offers numerous opportunities for students to progress their skills further within their respective research area and beyond. I am part of the Centre for Business Law and Practice and the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies.

Last year I acted as a PGR Representative which allowed me to represent the views of fellow postgraduate researchers in committee meetings. These meetings have showcased particularly that every students’ input is valuable. In addition to this, I organised various social events for PGRs including picnics and day trips.

What would you say about the learning, training and research facilities in the School and at the University?

The staff within the School of Law and the wider university campus are extremely supportive and helpful. The university provides numerous training courses to assist researchers through their PhD. I have attended: subject specific, IT related and wellbeing training courses this year, which I have found very beneficial.

Do you take part in any activities outside of your study? (eg. clubs and societies at the union or perhaps activities in the School).

In addition to my research interests I am extremely passionate about aviation. Presently, I am a Private Pilot and hold a license which entitles me to fly across Europe. I thoroughly enjoy taking my friends and family for flights in my free time and aspire to further this passion after my PhD Studies.

What are your plans once you have completed your PhD?

Aspiring academic/ lecturer in law.

What do you think of Leeds as a city?

Leeds is a diverse city with students from all across the globe. The diversity of the city makes it a thoroughly exciting place to study and learn about different cultures and traditions. The city itself is well linked to cities within the country which makes travelling easy and accessible.

What would you say to someone considering a research degree in the School?

Leeds was my first choice as it is one of the leading law schools in the country with academic staff that are leading researchers, within their respective fields. I wanted to study a course that would allow me to progress my research further in an independent manner, as well as push myself to new limits. The MRes allowed me to do just that. It has allowed me to expand my research and develop my ideas along with the support of my supervisors.

Are there any other highlights of your PhD experience so far that you would like to tell us about (eg. any awards, conferences, publishing achievements or social events)?

A major highlight within my academic journey in the University of Leeds, School of Law was publishing two articles from my masters by research in an international journal. In addition to this, I am a recipient of the School of Law PhD Scholarship. Moreover, I have presented my research in several academic conferences.