Socio-Legal Studies Association
Where law meets the social sciences & humanities

Dr Janine Sargoni

This page is dedicated to Dr Janine Sargoni who served on the SLSA Executive Committee from 2017 to 2018 in her role as co-organiser of the hugely successful SLSA 2018 Annual Conference, hosted by the University of Bristol. This tribute was written by her colleagues in the Law School.

JanineIt is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing away of Dr Janine Sargoni, an esteemed colleague and a beloved friend. Janine left us on 11 June 2020, after a two-year long battle with cancer.

After practising as a solicitor–advocate in Bristol, Janine has been a very active member of the Law School for over 10 years. She joined as a mature postgrad student, and a doctoral researcher, and then as a member of staff.

Her work, theoretically sophisticated, has explored the regulation of geoengineering research and its legitimacy, providing an important contribution to both environmental law scholars and the socio-legal community. Janine’s approach to research has always been rigorous and driven by intellectual curiosity and willingness to share ideas and knowledge. Her dedication to the academic work was not only visible in research but also in the demanding administrative roles she performed remarkably well and in her innovative teaching methods and care for the students.

There is no doubt that Janine was a well-rounded academic and she had planted the seeds for a fruitful academic career that unfortunately has been cut short.

We will all remember Janine for her intellectual openness, collaborative spirit, concern for others and genuine altruism. She co-chaired the Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference in 2018 at our law school in Bristol with colleague Dr Devyani Prabhat. More than 500 delegates came to Bristol over three days from 27–29 March. Janine and Devyani worked with a team of colleagues who toiled tirelessly to iron out organisational details.

At that time, Janine was already ill and, as yet, undiagnosed.  Yet, she was vivacious and got everyone through the days with unfailing enthusiasm.  Devyani recalls, 'I cannot forget the many laughs we shared: could we pretend to be Banksy ourselves and turn up as plenary speaker (in a mask of course)?  Should we ask a handsome grotesque from the tower of Wills Memorial Building to be our chief reception host? The collegiality Janine expressed in responding to everyone was inspiring.  She was patient with attendees who requested last-minute schedule changes. She did not want to inconvenience anyone and planned meticulous details such as maps for the conference programme. Her joy was infectious, laughter: contagious, and intellectual rigour: a model for emulation.'

Professor Rich Pancost, Head of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, notes how Janine contributed to the Cabot Institute for the Environment : 'She was very active during Cabot's early years and brought her warmth, intelligence and humour to many Cabot events and initiatives. We had a lot of fun together and she was a champion of interdisciplinary research.  Part of that arose from her passion for how legal frameworks needed to work alongside new technology to find equitable and sustainable solutions. And part of that arose from the fact that she just loved collaborating with people. She will be missed by me and many others in the School of Earth Sciences and the wider Cabot family.'

Her interest in environmental matters was translated in a love for all-things outdoors, from swimming in Henleaze Lake during the winter months, to cycling, to staring at her garden trees and listening to the sounds of nature in the last months of her life.

We will miss her not only as a colleague but as a person and friend and her welcoming smile will always stay in our memories.  

Janine is survived by her parents, brother, husband Alan, and sons Dominic and Sebastian.

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