The Institut Français promotes French culture worldwide and works closely with the Alliance Française which promotes both the French language and the French art de vivre.

The French are well known, and lauded, for their willingness to debate and discuss ideas, often in more abstract terms than we do.

Launched by the IF in 2016 the NIGHT OF IDEAS is a project which runs simultaneously in Paris, London and worldwide and on the 30th January 2020 it’s coming to Jersey.

It has quickly become a major Franco-British event and previous participants have included Nicolas Hulot, Thomas Pesquet, Timothy Peake, Posy Simmonds, Ken Loach, Anthony Grayling or Maggie Aderin-Pocock.

For Jersey’s inaugural Nuit des Idées in 2020 the Alliance Française, in close collaboration with the Institute of Law Jersey, is organising a discussion and a debate. If, for example, you are a fan of Melvyn Bragg’s BBC Radio 4 series “In Our Time” this will be a treat for you, but also if you don’t follow that programme you will find much to enjoy.

Taking a British, French and wider European perspective the Nuit des Idées will engage audiences in discussion and debate the latest issues central to the challenge of being alive today.

What does it mean for a human being to be alive today? Some say artificial intelligence will bring our species to the brink of extinction … and then decide to dispense with it. Others look forward to building mankind anew. With the natural world seemingly under threat from all quarters and technology now all-powerful we need to discuss, openly and collectively, the frontiers of what it means to be human. We need to dare to question what has long been taken for granted and ask; where does the border lie separating humans from machines, where will it lie and where should it lie?

Guest Speakers include,

Dr James Smithies

Life in New Times: Artificial Intelligence and Modernity’

 Artificial Intelligence (AI) raises profound questions about the nature of human existence, and our relationship to technology and nature, but these are not new questions. Rather, they represent contemporary versions of questions asked since the dawn of modernity. Commentators since René Descartes (1596 – 1650) have viewed modernity as a loss as much as a gain: scientific naturalism offers the ability to reshape the material world in ways previously thought impossible but living in the “neuzeit” (‘new time’) brings disorientation and a sense of dizzying historical acceleration.  AI has been positioned as a solution to that underlying experience of the world, a palliative to ease our discomfort with rapid technological change and socio-economic uncertainty, promising variously the next phase of capitalism, the end of work, or a fantastical union with machines. Recourse to notions of transhumanism and posthumanism help us assess the situation, creating fluid boundaries between humankind and the machines we use for work and play, but even advanced mathematics holds no concrete answers. In the final analysis our attitude depends on the time horizon we choose to frame our conversation with: are we imagining a future 20 years, 40 years, 1000 years away? Claims for radical advances in human-machine interaction within decades should elicit deep scepticism; the possibilities over the next millennium match even the wildest modern imaginings.

Dr Austin Gibbs

Dr Austin Gibbs graduated from UCL with degrees in medicine and psychology and has worked in Emergency Medicine and on healthcare projects in a variety of settings across the world. Away from Medicine, he’s spent time studying Law, living off the land in France, renovating a 120yr old house, before joining the Cardiology department in Jersey and forming The Allan Lab to develop a way of translating technology into meaningful and deliverable clinical practice. Unashamed nerd, passionate that advances in health technology can deliver better patient outcomes and experiences, yielding economic benefits.


“AI in Health – Removing the bias retaining the humanity”

Introduction to The Allan Lab.

Where AI has power to enhance the humanity of medicine offering increased patient contact

Where AI has the power to harm by removing humanity from decision process and training using bad data leading to bad outcomes.

François Chesnay

François Chesnay is a Jersey-based independent non-executive director, co-founder of an Artificial Intelligence consulting company, who is currently studying artificial intelligence at Stanford University. His research interests in Artificial Intelligence are education, financial crime detection, and intelligence processing.

François has a degree in economics from Paris-Dauphine University, a Master of Science in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics, and an MBA from the University of Chicago-Booth.

After beginning his career at the Bank of France as an economic researcher on financial and banking crises, he became a manager at KPMG, advising investment banks in London and Paris on financial engineering and structuring. He subsequently moved to Jersey in 2005 to work in the fiduciary arm of the law firm Ogier. Between 2009 and 2013, he was a director of State Street AIS, and appointed as an interim managing director to restructure State Street AIS Luxembourg.
François left State Street to successfully restructure an international industrial group in bankruptcy with a USD 260 million turnover for an UHNW family between 2013 and 2018.
François co-authored research articles on the applications of Artificial Intelligence to detect criminal activities.

Come along to the Institute of Law and take part. Tickets are limited so apply now to avoid disappointment.

Eventbrite - Let's Talk About...

Mini Symposium – Women In Law


An evening to mark International Women’s Day (Sunday 8th March)

We are celebrating the success of women working in the Law and Justice Profession.

Our guest speakers for the evening will be

Claire Davies – Having passed her English Bar exams in 1992 Claire was called to the Jersey Bar in 1997 becoming an Associate of Mourant du Feu & Jeune before joining Backhurst Dorey & Crane. Having served as a partner of that firm from 2005 Claire founded Davies & Ingram as senior partner in 2012. In 2018 Claire commenced a new firm, ‘Claire Davies, Advocate’ specialising in all aspects of family law. Claire also lectures here at the Institute.

Judge Bridget Shaw – An Assistant Magistrate since 2008, Bridget went on to become the Island’s first female Magistrate in 2013.

Karen Houston – Is the Acting Detectire Sergeant at the Economic Crime & Confiscation Unit.

Get tickets here –

Eventbrite - Women In Law