The Rolls Building was opened by Her Majesty the Queen in December 2011 as the new home of the Chancery Division, the Admiralty and Commercial Court and the Technology and Construction Court. With 31 court rooms, including 3 ‘super courts’, it is the largest specialist centre for the resolution of financial, business and property litigation in the world.
The Rolls Building Art & Education Trust (RBAET) has been set up to use art works and historical items to promote awareness of the law and the business-related justice system among young people. It is a registered charity and entirely independent of the Royal Courts of Justice Group, of which the Rolls Building is part. Under the Chairmanship of Geoffrey Bond OBE DL the Trust has commissioned, through its own fundraising, works by Nick McCann, whose updating of the Rhinebeck Panorama of early 19th century London fills the entrance foyer, and Neil Roland, whose photographic reflections on familiar City scenes depict them in new and intriguing ways. The Trust has, on loan, several large-scale drawings of Ballroom interiors from artists associated with the Prince’s Drawing School and has acquired a drawing of London Bridge from one of these artists, Christopher Green. Please go to Art and Artefacts for further details of these and other works on display at the Rolls Building. The RBAET also curates various historical artefacts including the Admiralty Oar and the Letters Patent and Seals of Thomas Edward Scrutton (1856 – 1934) who was a key figure in the development of the Commercial Court.
The Trust is working with the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law, who run educational activities for schools and colleges at the Royal Courts of Justice and the Supreme Court, to develop an educational programme for the Rolls Building. This will link to the jurisdictions at the Rolls Building and draw on the cues provided by the works of art and artefacts (there are, for example, case references to be found in the Nick McCann work) to provide case studies for students to discuss. The aim is to educate young people about these important areas of civil law and also, through meeting High Court Judges, to open their eyes to the possibility of a career in law. As Geoffrey Bond notes – “The Trust was not formed simply to raise money to put art on the walls of this splendid new building – important though that is – but to link this firmly to educating young people about the law. In addition to the NCCL programme we will be offering placements for Pathways to Law, which aims to provide opportunities for students from state schools who are interested in a career in law and will be first generation attendees at university. We also hope to fund a bursary in association with one of the Inns of Court.
The Trust welcomes donations and offers of support. It is a registered charity and therefore able to benefit from gift aid arrangements. Further information can be obtained from the RBAET Secretary, Stephen Fash, at email@example.com.