At the School of Law, we cultivate a dynamic, thriving research environment where academics undertake significant, cutting-edge research with real world impact.
We take a pluralistic approach to legal research, with members of the School actively engaged in individual and collaborative research which spans a wide range of methodologies and research traditions. Across all of these areas, our research challenges preconceptions and established ideas about the law, subjects the content and process of legal decision-making to stringent analysis, and provides value to external users and impacts upon the wider world.
a centre of research excellence
In the latest Research Excellence Framework, we were ranked 10th in the UK for research intensity, and 100% of our research was judged world leading, internationally excellent or internationally recognised. In a dynamic research environment, our academics are established legal scholars who feed their acknowledged expertise into teaching and enriching students' experiences.
Our research is organised into themes which reflect the longstanding strengths and interests of members of the School. Much of our research crosses thematic boundaries but they provide a framework for collaborations, the organisation of events, and the support of critical engagement.
- Global Law at Reading (GLAR) The home of public international law, EU law and human rights law at Reading
- Justice, Rights and Legal Theory How does the law define and balance the interests of different individuals and groups?
- Family, Gender & Sexuality Tackling key issues relating to gender and law, sexuality and law, feminist legal studies and family law.
- Public Policy In what ways can the law change and improve the ways that social institutions work?
- Legal History How does the past shape the laws that govern us in the present?
- Property, Transactions & Markets Research incorporates all transactions regardless of the identity of the parties or the nature or type of the transaction as well as markets which are subject to regulation.
- Centre for Commercial Law and Financial Regulation Established in partnership with the International Capital Market Association Centre the forum conducts stimulating research in commercial law, competition law, intellectual property law, banking and finance law, the regulation of network industries, corporate law, legal issues on oil and gas.
Each term, we host many different research-related within the School of Law. Details about recent and upcoming events can be accessed via our blog. A particular highlight is our Annual Lecture which features a different eminent external speaker.
We have a number of standing seminar series, which are open to all, including: the Ghandhi series which focuses on international law, humans rights and EU law; the (cross-institution) Axis of Protection series, which focuses on human rights, the law of armed conflict, and refugee law; and the Work-in-Progress series, which showcases developing research across the School.
an interdisciplinary approach
Our researchers regularly incorporate aspects of other disciplinary traditions in their work, and collaborate on major projects with scholars from other disciplines, including global development, environmental science, international relations, business and financial regulation, computer science and history.
research with impact
Our academics undertake a wide variety of research, much of which has produced a tangible impact beyond the academy. From court decisions and public policy made by central and local government and international organisations, to the activities of NGOs and charities, we aim to create positive change.
Our recent projects include: The changing legitimacy of health and safety, 1960-2015, which was funded by IOSH; The existence of, and classification of, the armed conflict in the Middle East involving the Kurdish peoples; public attitudes towards-and justifications of-retention of the death penalty, funded by UK, German, Swiss and Norwegian foreign offices, the European Commission, and the Daiwa Foundation; Civil partnership dissolution: expectations and experiences, funded by the British Academy and the Families and Work Network, funded by the AHRC.
Discover the breadth and depth of our research
Academic research at the cutting-edge of the legal field.