The role of law within society in the UK, Europe and internationally forms the basis for the world-class work of the Law Research Division.
Our expertise helps us understand how legal issues shape domestic society, the European Union and the international order; questions how law does – and ought to – balance the interests of different groups and individuals; and examines the effect it has in influencing, changing and improving the work of social and political institutions.
We also lead the way in analysing legal history and researching law’s impact on property, transactions and markets and family, gender and sexuality.
Recent research produced by our academics has shaped the reform of laws concerning finances when relationships break down, provided unique insights into the application of Shariah family law in England and Wales and even helped the NHS develop a more ethical means of making decisions about treatments.
For specific enquiries, please contact:
Research Division Lead
Telephone: +44 (0)118 378 7527
Sensationalist stories suggesting health and safety legislation has “gone mad” are being debunked thanks to a first-of-its-kind study by a Law Research Division academic.
Professor Paul Almond established that regulatory myths – stories about health and safety law told as fact despite lacking factual verification, such as children being made to wear goggles when playing conkers in the playground – are often politically motivated and can have a detrimental impact on policy-making, ultimately challenging the legitimacy of the law.
His findings have been widely used by stakeholder groups and charitable bodies in evidence to Government reviews and subsequently drawn upon during the development of policy recommendations.
Drs Dimitrios Kyritsis and Stuart Lakin received the maximum award of £6,000 from The Modern Law Review to present a seminar series entitled The Methodology of Constitutional Theory during 2016.
The Society of Legal Scholars selected Dr Katja Samuel as the winner of the Peter Birks Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship.
Law, Justice and Society
Women’s Legal Landmarks
Professor Rosemary Auchmuty – together with Erika Rackley (University of Birmingham) – coordinates the Women’s Legal Landmarks project, which consists of more than 100 scholars engaged in identifying, researching and analysing key points in women's legal history in the UK and Ireland. Dr Nora Honkala is also supporting the collaboration, created to celebrate the 2019 centenary of women's admission to the legal profession.
The Death Penalty Worldwide
Dr Mai Sato's research focuses on public attitudes to the death penalty. Her monograph The Death Penalty in Japan: Will the Public Tolerate Abolition? (Springer, 2014) received the Young Criminologist Award 2014 from the Japanese Association of Sociological Criminology. She is also engaged in consultancy work for international organisations and has collaborated with the Death Penalty Project, a London-based NGO. In August 2015, she completed a two-year empirical project funded by the UK, German, Swiss and Norwegian foreign offices, the European Commission and the Daiwa Foundation, which further focused on the death penalty in Japan.
The Changing Legitimacy of Health and Safety
Professor Paul Almond recently completed a two-year interdisciplinary project (with Dr Mike Esbester, University of Portsmouth), funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, looking at the ways in which public and social perceptions and attitudes towards the regulation and governance of health and safety issues have changed since 1960. Evidence of political, legal and social changes was gathered, and the final report will be launched later this year with the aim of providing practical and conceptual insights to a policy audience.
Stephen Banks. (2014) Informal Justice in England and Wales 1760 - 1914: The Courts of Popular Opinion. The Boydell Press.
James A. Green. (2016) The Persistent Objector Rule in International Law. Oxford University Press
Dimitrios Kyritsis (2015) Shared Authority: Courts and Legislatures in Legal Theory. Hart Publishing
Alina Tryfonidou. (2016) The Impact of Union Citizenship on the EU's Market Freedoms. Hart Publishing
Aleardo Zanghellini. (2015) The Sexual Constitution of Political Authority: The 'Trials' of Same Sex Desire. Routledge