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Research projects and grant applications
The following lists give an overview of some of the research projects conducted, or currently pursued, at Kent Law School and highlights successful grant applications for some research related work (e.g. financing workshops or conferences).
Anneli Albi - The Role and Future of National Constitutions in European and Global Governance
Dr Anneli Albi has been awarded 1.2 million euros by the European Research Council for a five-year research project titled 'The Role and Future of National Constitutions in European and Global Governance'.
The funding is from the Council's Independent Starting Grant programme, a highly competitive scheme designed to support frontier research by leading young international scholars.
The project aims to revisit the role of national constitutions at a time when decision-making has increasingly shifted to the transnational level. According to Dr Albi, 'national constitutions have often come to be seen as somewhat old-fashioned bulwarks of sovereignty. However, the project will explore other constitutional values that seem to have a continued importance in the contemporary globalising world, for example the protection of constitutional rights, the rule of law, legitimacy and democratic checks and balances. Concerns have increasingly been voiced with regard to a certain degree of erosion of classic constitutional safeguards in European and global governance'.
The key examples that the study hopes to explore include defence rights in the European Arrest Warrant system and access to justice in the global fight against terrorism. Additionally, 34,000 individuals in Germany and civil rights groups elsewhere have brought constitutional cases against a European directive that requires the storing of data on everyone's electronic correspondence. More recently, issues around democracy and legitimacy have been raised in relation to policy responses to the global financial crisis.
The project also seeks to analyse the role of constitutional courts in drawing attention to these issues in transnational judicial dialogues. Another line of inquiry will be to find out how the texts of the constitutions reflect the shift of decision-making powers from domestic to European and global institutions.
Donatella Alessandrini and Suhraiya Jivraj - Exploring wellbeing and gross national happiness in sustainable development policy making
Donatella Alessandrini and Suhraiya Jivraj have been awarded £9,208 by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust for their project "Exploring wellbeing and gross national happiness in sustainable development policy making".
How can we attach value to happiness? How can this be measured against other public goods? What, if anything, can we learn from Bhutan (and/or other national models), where 'sufficiency' is prioritised over profit maximization? And how might this translate into policy in the very different national context of the UK where the government is attempting to construct an Index of National Happiness? The recent policy interest in measuring subjective well-being derives from the acknowledgement that non-economic factors affect wellbeing as much as growth. However government efforts have not led to concrete shifts in policy-making and Gross Domestic Product continues to provide the yardstick for economic performance. Indeed the current focus on austerity to reduce deficit and revive growth points to the dominance of the economic over other spheres of life. This project investigates what kind of policy making might better attend to an appreciation of the way in which these spheres interact to produce well-being. It does so by exploring Bhutan's Gross National Happiness and other wellbeing initiatives prioritising 'sufficiency' over profit.
Kate Bedford - A Full House: Developing a New Socio-Legal Theory of Global Gambling Regulation.
Studies of gambling law reform provide insights for policymakers and academics concerned with the regulation of risk and speculation. Previous studies of gambling law and political economy have typically taken casinos and lotteries as the key research sites. This project seeks to make a substantial contribution to debates about gambling and the regulation of speculation by using a different lens: bingo.
Bingo is a markedly under-researched site, attracting a fraction of the attention given to casinos. However it is a globally significant and profitable gambling form, played in many countries and increasingly popular online. As a key site for working class women's gambling, bingo reveals the resilience of gendered and class-based gambling cultures: in the UK commercial bingo halls outnumber casinos by a factor of five. Bingo is also enmeshed with law and political economy in distinctive ways. For example it is a key site for charity fundraising in many jurisdictions, and even when played commercially it is associated with community and social welfare more often than with gambling. Two pilot studies have revealed that this legal and social position, at the intersection of risk and welfare, poses significant challenges for regulators, and raises important questions about how the governance of speculation is related to concerns about social cohesion and non-profit activity. The proposed research will address those regulatory challenges, and provide answers to those key questions.
Using four case studies of bingo regulation (England and Wales; Canada; Brazil; and online play offered to residents of EU countries), the research aims to achieve two objectives:
1. provide a systematic account of how bingo is regulated, to ascertain the key legal and policy challenges involved, and to make recommendations to policymakers, the gambling industry, third sector stakeholders, and academics;
2. advance knowledge of a key site in global gambling liberalization debates, one which allows us to explore how the governance of risk and speculation are gendered, and related to concerns about charity and welfare.
The project will get underway in September 2013, but please get in touch now if you would like to know more. The principal researcher is Dr Kate Bedford of Kent Law School and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anne Bottomley - Alternative Property Practices (Onati)
Anne Bottomley has been successful in an application made to The International Institute for the Sociology of Law (Onati, Spain) for them to host a seminar entitled ‘Alternative Property Practices’ in April 2014. The seminar, which builds on the work of the R-CoMuse network established at KLS/UKC, brings together scholars from Europe, America, Canada and Australia whose disciplines range though law, anthropology and and social sciences to cultural studies and philosophy. This extends the international and cross-disciplinary work of R-CoMuse into property theory and, in particular, in placing scholarship on property relations in mutuals and co-operatives alongside scholarship in intellectual property, the seminar will address the ways in which practices in two seemingly very different domains both raise, address and illustrate the theme of ‘alternative property practices’ in ways which can inform scholarship in both domains, as well as scholarship into property more generally.
Anne Bottomley - Assembling Methods for Socio-Legal Research into mutuals and other non-conventional law sites
A British Academy (BA) award has enabled the establishment of a joint project led by Anne Bottomley of Kent Law School, (and by Nathan Moore, Birkbeck) tracking the development and legal implications of a bid by 'the people of Dover' to take 'ownership' of the Dover Docks through a 'community trust'. The funding from the BA focuses on investigating, developing and disseminating suitable research methodologies for such projects.
Emilie Cloatre - Technoscience, Law and Society: Interrogating the Nexus AHRC
Science and technology are increasingly important to society. At the same time, controversial research (such as around stem cells and climate change science) feature in fierce public and policy debates. Many people have strong feelings over what kinds of research should be undertaken, and what its acceptable limits are. Often, the law is looked to as a way to control or shape science. However, others see regulation as a means of stimulating innovation. Regardless, advances in science and technology are closely related to the law and legal processes, and the role of these in society is changing as a result.
The AHRC Network on ‘Technoscience, Law and Society’ will hold its inaugural event on the 6th June 2013. The event is organised jointly with the Arts Catalyst, and will provide a first opportunity to explore some of the key aspects of the relationships between law, science and society that the Network seeks to interrogate. This discursive event will be organised around displays of and introductions to the work of artists Carey Young and the Critical Art Ensemble, and academic presentations pertaining to debates in law and science. The event will foster new forms of discussion, which will in turn structure future network meetings.
If you wish to attend, please contact KLSResearch@kent.ac.uk (places are limited)
Vicky Conway - Policing Twentieth Century Ireland
This research project - Policing Twentieth Century Ireland - aims to assess the ways in which social change in Ireland in the twentieth century fundamentally altered the nature of policing in terms of what the functions of the police were considered to be as well as how both police officers and society more broadly conceived of the job. The twentieth century was a tumultuous one for Ireland and issues like post-colonialism, independence, the creation of the new state and later events such as joining the ECC, the emergence of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the decline in influence of the Catholic Church as well as the economic boom of the 1980s all had profound impacts on society. Through studying archival sources such as newspapers and government debates as well as conducting oral history interviews with retired police officers this research aims to examine what each of these issues meant for policing in Ireland as well as their lasting effect. Such explicit connections between social change and policing are rarely made and, as such, the book aims to make a highly significant original contribution to our knowledge and understanding in this important area.
Mairead Enright - ESRC Seminar Series 'The Public Life of Private Law'
ESRC Seminar Series 'The Public Life of Private Law' examines the relations between private legal obligation and political struggle. Private law has an ever more demanding public life. If it ever had any material reality, the traditional view that saw public law as underpinning the just distribution of power between citizens and the state, and private law as primarily concerned with regulating individual apolitical projects, is no longer viable. Private law is increasingly visible in the management of political conflict, whether that is the use of 'persons unknown injunctions' to prevent protest, tort and land law litigation for human rights abuses or the privatisation of religious divorce. It frequently determines the legal and political spaces in which disputes are staged, and sets the thresholds for entry into those spaces. By transposing political disagreement into its own discourse of risk, responsibility, duty, agreement, harm, restitution and compensation, it opens some possibilities for political action and constrains others. All this occurs according to the peculiar sanctions, remedies and flows of power which private law entails. The series seeks to investigate new uses of private law, which may generate novel 'strategies of rupture' or jarring or violent experiences of being 'bound to law'; of political and legal dislocation.
More information is available at www.publicprivatelaw.co.uk
Mairead Enright - Irish Feminist Judgments Project
Together with Dr. Aoife O'Donoghue (Durham Law School), Mairead Enright is in the early stages of establishing an Irish Feminist Judgments Project. The project builds on the Feminist Judgments Project (http://www.kent.ac.uk/law/fjp/), which was also a collaboration between academics at Kent and Durham. A group of academics and practitioners will come together to write 'the missing feminist judgments' in a series of important Irish and Northern Irish cases. The Inaugural Meeting of the Project is funded by a University of Kent Faculty of Social Sciences Small Grant and by a grant from the Pro-Vice Chancellor's Seedcorn Fund at Durham University.
John Fitzpatrick - Kent Law Clinic - Immigration and Asylum Bid 1/3
Funding has been awarded to obtain the employment by the University of Kent of an 'Immigration and Asylum Clinic Solicitor' (IACS) for a fixed term of three year, starting in September 2012, to work in the Kent Law Clinic in the Kent Law School exclusively in the field of immigration and asylum for the benefit of clients and students.
The Kent Law Clinic is a partnership between students, academics, solicitors, barristers in practice locally. It has two aims:
- to provide a public service to people living locally who need legal advice and representation but cannot afford to pay for it, and
- to enhance the education of students in the Kent Law School through their direct participation in legal practice.
The IACS will join in with the other of the other Clinic solicitors and Co-ordinators as part of the staff team in the Law Clinic supervising and teaching students in this field and advertising and representing clients, and will also research and publish on the law, procedure and policy relating to the operation of immigration and asylum law, including the accessibility of public legal services and other legal assistance for immigrants and asylum seekers and otherwise disseminate the fruits of the research practice research undertaken.
Emily Grabham - The Politics of Prognosis: HIV, anti-retrovirals, and the definition of disability in UK equality law, 1996-2005
Emily Grabham has been awarded £1,300 by the Socio-Legal Studies Association for a project entitled: 'The Politics of Prognosis: HIV, anti-retrovirals, and the definition of disability in UK equality law, 1996-2005'. Operating in a climate of persistent, and generalized, misunderstanding about the potential transmission risks of HIV in the late 1990s and early 2000s, many queer and/or Black employees in the UK were facing employment discrimination and dismissal. Between 1996 (when the Disability Discrimination Act came into force) and 2005 (when HIV was automatically recognized as a disability), it was necessary to show that HIV was a long-term condition with a serious effect on day-to-day life in order to prove that it was a disability.
Through qualitative empirical research, Emily Grabham will investigate how dominant ideas about HIV timelines were constructed and reframed within legal proceedings about the definition of disability in this period. By interviewing ten UK-based legal practitioners and HIV activists about the strategies used to obtain employment protection for people affected by HIV discrimination, she will begin to develop a socio-legal analysis of the effects of prognosis, as a temporal construct, on dominant legal understandings of disability, sexuality and race in UK discrimination law. This analysis will provide important new questions not only about the key conceptual underpinnings of legal equality projects in the UK more specifically, but also on the socio-legal regulation of embodied futures, more generally
Emily Grabham - Leverhulme Visiting Chair
Emily Grabham secured funding from the Leverhulme Trust Visiting Chair scheme for Professor Judy Fudge to visit Kent Law School for six months from September 2012.
Professor Judy Fudge is a leading scholar, internationally, in the field of labour law, with particular expertise in gender and labour regulation, migration, and constitutionalising labour law. She is based at the University of Victoria in Canada. She will visit the Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality (KCLGS) for six months from late January 2013 to late June 2013.
The visit will allow Professor Fudge and Dr Grabham to work closely with colleagues at Kent and other UK and non-UK institutions to plan future activities of the Gendering Labour Law network, including designing and delivering an international workshop to be held in June 2013, exploring further external funding to continue the research network past the life of the Leverhulme grant, with attention to ESRC and Leverhulme schemes, and advancing discussions on an appropriate publication such as a special issue of Feminists@Law or an edited collection.
Emily Grabham - Balancing Precarious work and Care: How well does Labour Law respond to women's changing work patterns
Information coming soon.
Emily Haslam: Nineteenth Century British Slave Trade Abolition Litigation and the Development of International Criminal Law
Slave trading was one of the first international crimes. And yet, contemporary accounts of international criminal law place its origins in the legal principles established in post-World War Two Nuremberg and Tokyo trials. This project develop a systematic analysis of British slave trade abolition litigation before English, colonial and Mixed Commission Courts (established by European states to adjudicate on captured slave ships) thereby locating the development of international criminal law within much longer histories of slavery, abolition and colonialism. It will draw on original archival research to examine the impact of slave trade abolition litigation on the development of early international criminal law. It will set litigation in its political context by considering the relationship between abolition litigation and British colonialism. It will seek to provide historical and theoretical context to a series of key contemporary debates about the relationship between Africa and international criminal law by exploring the different roles of Africans, including slaves in litigation, drawing on cross-disciplinary narratives of abolition.
Part of this project, that is Emily Haslam’s examination of the contribution of litigation before mixed commissions to the development of international criminal law, is being supported by the Society of Legal Scholars Research Activities Fund.
Bill Howarth - Ethiopian Water Pollution Protection Regimes: A Comparative and Functional Analysis.
The project is a comprehensive study designed to establish the legal and policy gaps that impact on the failure of the enforcement of water pollution laws in south western Ethiopia. It aims to protect land and biodiversity in and around the aquatic environment, and it also seeks bio-cultural responsive policies to avert water pollution problems in addition to legal recourses. The findings of the research will inform stakeholders of ways to protect against water pollution and prevent or minimize the ongoing risk to biodiversity. Funded by The Christensen Fund, the grant covers the training of a researcher from Ethiopia and related research costs.
Rosemary Hunter - Mapping Paths to Family Justice
Rosemary Hunter of Kent Law School has been awarded, in conjunction with the School of Law at Exeter University, a grant from ESRC to research different forms of alternative family dispute resolution.
There is a widespread perception that the family justice system is in crisis and that escalating demands on family court and legal aid resources cannot be met. In this context, successive governments have promoted mediation as a preferred means of resolving family disputes out of court. As we go into an era of public funding cuts and economic austerity, diversion away from the family courts is likely to be further encouraged. Mediation is, however, strongly challenged by two alternative forms of out-of-court family dispute resolution: the traditional negotiation between the parties’ solicitors, which appears to be the default option for most parties; and a relative newcomer, collaborative law, in which the parties and their solicitors work together to reach a resolution against a background commitment by all participants not to resort to court proceedings.
Mapping Paths to Family Justice is a 3 year project that will investigate these alternatives. The project seeks to provide an evidence base to inform future decisions by policy-makers, funders, practitioners and disputing couples. It will focus on how widely each process is actually used and how embedded it has become in the public mind as a means of resolving family disputes; how positive or negative people’s experiences of the different processes have been in the short and longer term; what norms of family dispute resolution are embedded in the different alternatives; and whether particular alternatives are more or less appropriate for particular kinds of cases or parties.
Findings will be disseminated through the project website, an end-of-project conference, and a range of published material.
Access the project website here: http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/law/research/frs/researchprojects-/mappingpathstofamilyjustice/.
Suhraiya Jivraj -Transnational Network for Sexuality. Race and Religion Researchers and Civil Society Actions
The Decolonizing Sexualities Network (DSN) was first established at a transnational workshop held in Berlin in 2010. It brought together scholars, activists and civil society practitioners working on the diverse ways in which sexuality can converge with religious and racial identities to produce multiple exclusions and socio-economic disadvantage as well as political marginalisation.
The aim of the 2010 workshop and the continued overall aim of the DSN is to develop links and conversations between various constituencies working across the themes of the network. As part of this overall aim, we see it as essential to continue re-mapping some of the specifically local issues as well as the common ones affecting us all transnationally. The DSN will contribute knowledge on how sexuality, race and religion intersect within state law and policy as well as within civil society developments in different national settings. DSN members will share knowledge and experience from their localities with each other and for wider policy and public dissemination.
The DSN’s work has been taking place informally since Berlin and we have now secured funding from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Networking Scheme to strengthen and develop the activities of the network. The main activities include: 1) A series of on-line discussion between Oct 2012 and June 2013 examining topics falling under the two broad themes: Re-mapping the urgent questions in local contexts; and Transnational QPOC Conversations across the Global South and across Europe. 2) A two day invitee only international workshop taking place in the UK in July 2013.
An open event linked to this network is taking place at Birkbeck on 6th July 2013. For more information, please see here.
Nikolas M. Rajkovic –The Power of Legality: Practices of International Law and their Politics
Nikolas is leading a research project together with Tanja Aalberts (VU Amsterdam), Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen (DIIS), and Wouter Werner (VU Amsterdam) which investigates the relationship between international law and politics by looking at the notion of “legality”, and how it becomes constructed and contested through various fields of practice in international law. The project has received funding from European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST IS1003 “International Law between Constitutionalisation and Fragmentation”) and the Global Governance Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies to convene an interdisciplinary workshop between International Law and International Relations scholars. The workshop will involve 15 scholars from universities in the EU, Canada, South Africa and the United States; and each participant will submit a draft chapter toward an edited book on the power of international legality. For further information on the workshop, please see here.
Sally Sheldon - Assessing Child Welfare under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act: The New Law
Sally Sheldon is Co-Investigator on this ESRC grant, working with Ellie Lee and Jan Macvarish of the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. The project aims to investigate the ongoing role played by the child welfare assessment in infertility treatment. Infertility is estimated to affect around one in six or seven UK couples and some 35,000 patients make use of IVF each year. Since 1990, infertility services have been subject to a highly complex system of statutory regulation: the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990) and accompanying Code of Practice issued by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Controversially, in 2008, the legal requirement in place since 1990 that clinicians providing treatment take account of "the welfare of any child who may be born as a result of the treatment" including "the need of [a] child for a father" was replaced with a new mandate: they must henceforth consider the child's need for "supportive parenting".
The project aims will explore the extent to which there is any continuing potential for exclusion of patients seeking infertility treatment services, assess any ongoing tensions or problems in the application of the reworded section, and trace the fit between what Parliament had intended it to achieve and its operation in practice.
Sally Sheldon - Fernand Braudel Senior Research Fellowship
Sally Sheldon has won a Fernand Braudel Senior Research Fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence. During her fellowship, Sally will conduct research on the implications of the development of early medical abortion drugs, with particular consideration given to how the disruptive potential of this technology for law, ethics and socio-cultural understandings of abortion, may be further enhanced when combined with the possibility of online provision.
Alan Story - The North to South Transplantation of Copyright Laws and Values
Many assumptions about the nature of cultural production, especially the central role and philosophy of the copyright system, have developed over centuries in the West. Currently, they are being transplanted to Africa, Asia and Latin America. Investigating some of the conflictual "pressure points" in this attempted global standardisation, this project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, will examine copyright piracy, access to knowledge in the supposed Internet era, the economic/social position of cultural producers (e.g. musicians, storytellers), and indigenous knowledge. Through interviews and related research, it asks: how successful has this homogenisation effort been on a radically different terrain? Who is benefiting? What of the future?
Sophie Vigneron -World Heritage Sites for the Nation: the preservation of World Heritage Sites in a national context
Sophie Vigneron has been awarded AHRC Network funding. This network will evaluate the implementation of the 1972 UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (Convention). It will access its impact on national laws and its effectiveness in protecting World Heritage Sites. It will seek to promote their effective custodianship do the ben of future generations by developing a set of minimum legal standards and policies, which should become a crucial reference point in the field, for local authorities, governments and stakeholders.
Sophie’s research on the Europeanisation of private law has led her to assess the Draft Common Frame of Reference’s section on personal security for the Common Core Evaluating Group which was part of the official evaluation process of the DCFR funded by the European commission. She researches the impact of European law (Directives and Regulations) on English contract law.
Her research on Cultural Heritage Law covers both cultural objects and the built heritage. In the field of cultural object, her research aims at assessing the efficiency of export restrictions and restitution laws for stolen and/or illegally exported cultural objects. Her research involves a close evaluation of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of ownership of Cultural Property. In the field of the built heritage, she was recently awarded an AHRC research networking grant for a project entitled “World Heritage Sites for the Nation: the preservation of World Heritage Sites in a national context” (2012-2014). This project will evaluate the implementation of the 1972 UNESCO Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (the Convention) in ten countries (Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Spain, the UK and the USA). It will assess its impact on national laws and its effectiveness in protecting World Heritage Sites. It will seek to promote the effective custodianship of those Sites for the benefit of future generations by developing a set of minimum legal standards and policies, which should become a crucial reference point for local authorities, governments and stakeholders.
Lisa Dickson - The NHS and s29 of the Data Protection Act 1998
This project investigates the practice of the NHS release to the police of confidential patient-identifiable information where no consent has been given by the patient. Such disclosure can be made following a request to an NHS organization by the police under s29 of the Data Protection Act 1998, but in spite of the statutory framework there is no national NHS policy governing the deliberation of access, and no overview exists of the practices of either police forces in making requests or of NHS bodies in determining disclosure. This research aims to close the gap in our knowledge both in theory, by connecting the issue intellectually to related themes elsewhere in the literature, and in practice, through the creation and publication of the overview of policy and practice in question.
An SLSA grant is funding the the collation of data gathered under this project and its publication as a geographical mapping document using ArcGIS software. The use of this mode of dissemination is central to the project, as it enables patterns of spatial variability to be identified swiftly and effectively amongst the relevant local and regional datasets. The information will then be published as public-access Web content, to ensure that its accessibility matches the scope of interest and the significant impact of the project for the public, academics, media and professional bodies alike.
Francesco Messineo - Shared responsibility in International Law
MFrancesco Messineo has been awarded funding by the University of Amsterdam as a Visiting Fellowship at the Instituion in Sping/Summer 2012.
Maria Drakopolou - Professor Margaret Davies, Leverhulme Visiting Professorship
Maria Drakopolou secured funding from the Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship scheme for Professor Margaret Davies to visit Kent Law School for six months from September 2011.
Professor Davies is an eminent scholar with an international reputation in critical legal theory, particularly feminist legal theory, legal pluralism, and property theory. She also holds a visiting appointment with Umeå Law School in Sweden and is at the heart of important academic networks in Australia and Scandinavia.
This visit allowed further development of a new academic network in Anglo-Nordic Feminist Legal Scholarship, and will consolidate links between Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality, the Umeå Centre for Gender Studies in Law and Society, and Flinders University. It also allowed cross-fertilisation of ideas between feminist legal scholars working in these jurisdictions and a better understanding of the contextual factors which inform policy and theory regarding law and gender. Closer reflection on dominant Nordic normative ideas of social citizenship, solidarity and redistributive social justice benefited UK scholars.
Over the course of the visit, Professor Davies gave six Leverhulme Lectures, four of which were at Kent and one each at Keele University and University of Reading. Professor Davies was also actively involved in the research life of KCLGS, participating in informal seminars and other post-graduate research focussed activities.
Professor Davies gave an Open Lecture on 18 January 2012 titled ‘Are persons property?’ which will be made available as a podcast on the website. Further details of this lecture and the other Leverhulme Lectures are on the KLS Research events calendar.
Mairead Enright - The Private Law of Protest
This one-day workshop, sponsored by Social & Legal Studies, examined the deployment of private law by university management against students in the context of recent protests against the marketisation of learning and teaching. The workshop drew on the experiences of occupiers and their lawyers in mapping and critiquing the use of tort, contract and property law to end, prevent and punish student occupations of university buildings.
Alan Story - The Copy South Research Network
The webs of copyright in countries of the global South: political economy, cultural commodification, and accessibility issues were among the topics Alan Story explored during his study leave, starting August 2007. An AHRC research leave grant worth £22,2557 enabled him to extend the time available for research up to April 2008. Another British Academy small grant worth £6,875 paid for part time researchers, travel expenses and interpreters for field studies in South America, Africa and Asia. The outcome of his research programme was the production of a theoretically and empirically validated monograph on copyright issues with a particular focus on North-South copyright relations and the multi-faceted inequalities for countries of the global South.
Sebastian Payne - Parliamentary oversight of the intelligence and security services
Sebastian Payne's project on "Parliamentary oversight of the intelligence and security services: a comparative study between the United Kingdom and Australia" was funded by a British Academy Small Grant worth almost £7000.
Rosemary Hunter - Feminist Judgments Project
Rosemary Hunters's Feminist Judgments Project was funded by an ESRC Grant worth almost £70,000. The project was a unique imaginative collaboration within a group of feminist socio-legal scholars who wrote alternative feminist judgments in significant legal cases.It ran between November 2008 and February 2010.
Emily Grabham - Welfare to Work Conference
This two day workshop focused on the gendered, racialised and ableist effects of the proposed ‘workfare’ regime. It brought together prominent overseas scholars and activists with experience of ‘workfare’ into conversation with UK-based legal scholars and benefits activists. The aim was to begin a critical, interdisciplinary conversation within the field of gender, sexuality and law about workfare’s potential effects on low-income communities, especially in relation to interconnected experiences of disability, single parenthood, racism and gender.
Themes for the workshops included:
- Welfare reform in a neo-liberal landscape: Privatisation and private sector involvement in the provision of welfare benefits;
- Contesting and Surviving Welfare Reform: Governmental strategies versus grassroots struggles;
- Welfare Reform and criminalisation of poverty: ‘Benefits fraud’, benefits sanctions and the carceral state; and
- Welfare to Work: Critical interventions into ‘work for your benefit’
Following the workshop, the organisers have developed their work in this area. Nicola Barker (University of Reading) is working on the connections between conjugality and welfare reform. Sarah Lamble (Birkbeck College) is working on welfare reform and poverty in the context of her ongoing work on criminal justice. Emily Grabham (Kent) has developed a research project on precarious work and labour regulation, for which she is currently seeking external funding.
If you would like to contact us about this workshop and associated research ideas, please email Emily Grabham.
Sally Sheldon - Parenthood and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (2008)
Sally Sheldon conducted a joint project, with Julie McCandless (Oxford Brookes University), regarding the understandings of parenthood which inform the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (2008). The first stage of this research, which ran from January to April 2009, l drew on a number of interviews with key actors involved in framing the parenthood provisions of the Act. This first part of the work was funded by the SLSA.
Gerry Rubin - The law of evidence and the enforcement of the criminal justice system in inter-war England
Gerry Rubin's project on "The law of evidence and the enforcement of the criminal justice system in inter-war England" is funded by a British Academy Small Grant worth almost £7000. Focusing on the inter-war period the grant will allow him to test the hypothesis whether technical rules of criminal evidence (for example rules concerning hearsay, confessions or bad character) were viewed as permitting criminals to "escape justice". Gerry's main sources of research in this topic are government and police files in the National Archives, and contemporary books, newspapers and private papers. Starting in October 2007 the project will end in January 2009.
RCUK Academic Fellowship
Davina Cooper secured one of the prestigious RCUK Academic Fellowships for the AHRC Research Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality, worth £125,000. The fellowship was appointed to Kate Bedford, who previously was Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in Women's Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York. Starting in autumn 2007 she contributed significantly to the centre’s strand of research in trans-national governance and citizenship
Didi Herman - Jews and Jewishness in English Law: Race, Representation, and Judicial Discourse
Didi Herman is examining the question of Jews and Jewishness in English Law: Race, Representation, and Judicial Discourse. Her project explores the neglected area of representations of Jews and Jewishness in English legal cases. First outcomes are published in the article 'An Unfortunate Coincidence': Jews and Jewishness in Twentieth-century English Judicial Discourse. A monograph on this topic is forthcoming 2009 (Oxford University Press). The book takes its focus on one particular ‘minority’ group in England, and uses the historical encounter between English judges and ‘the Jew’ as a means of shedding light on wider forms and processes of state power, most specifically the formation of official racial knowledge. It analyses representations of Jews and Jewishness in English legal judgments, from the early 20th century to the present day.
Bernard Ryan - An expert seminar on 'extraterritorial immigration controls: legal challenges'
An award of £2750 from the Modern Law Review, is going to fund an expert seminar on 'extraterritorial immigration controls: legal challenges' , to take place at Queen Mary University of London on 13 June 2008. This award was obtained jointly with Valsamis Mitsilegas of Queen Mary. The papers from the seminar will form an edited collection, which (subject to approval) will be published by Brill, in their series on European Immigration and Asylum Law.
Sophie Vigneron - A comparative study of the trafficking and restitution of cultural property in the UK and the USA
Funded by a £3818 British Academy Grant, Sophie Vigneron aims at comparing the rules on trafficking and restitution of cultural property both in the UK and the US in order to evaluate the need for reforms and, if necessary, the steps that should be taken to facilitate restitution claims. Cultural property is ranked the third most trafficked item after drug and weapon trafficking. Recent claims for the restitution of stolen/illegally exported cultural property were made by Italy, the UK and Iran. Many stolen and/or illegally exported items are found in London and New York, the two leaders of the art market. However, the fight against trafficking in the UK has not enjoyed full Government's support, being limited by fears of deterring the art trade and encouraging it to move to markets based in New York. Are such fears sound? Are US markets less regulated? Such claims will be critically examined to assess whether American legal rules and practices are more lenient than those in operation in Britain and whether the introduction of stricter border controls and more generous restitution principles would be detrimental to UK art trade.
Gerry Rubin - The politics of British Courts in Post-War Germany: Prosecuting British Personnel in Germany, c. 1945-1950
Following ill-treatment of SS prisoners in a British interrogation centre in post-war Germany courts martial of the officers ordering the abuses were convened by military government. Whether those proceedings reflected the "politics of courts martial", aiming to set a political statement to German society beyond the singular aim of punishing wrongdoers is one of the questions Gerry Rubin is tackling in his research on The politics of British Courts in Post-War Germany: Prosecuting British Personnel in Germany, c. 1945-1950. His studies in the National Archives, to be conducted from July 2007 to July 2008, are financed by a Nuffield Foundation Social Sciences Small Grant worth £6863.
Emily Grabham - International conference on Gender and Human Rights
Financed by a Modern Law Review Grant, worth almost £15.000, Emily Grabham organized an International Conference on “Gender and Human Rights”. The conference took place from 6-7 January 2007 at the University of Westminster. It offered an opportunity for academics, legal practitioners and campaigners in the field of gender and human rights to explore a range of urgent questions about the immediate relevance of human rights to those campaigning around gender and social inequalities.
Sally Sheldon - Exploring Key Concepts in Feminist Legal Theory: Gender, Sexuality, Family and State
'Exploring Key Concepts in Feminist Legal Theory: Gender, Sexuality, Family and State' is the title of a British Academy Networking Grant for an annual programme of workshops held in Keele, Kent, Cornell and Emory Universities over five years (2003-2007). The £15,000 grant was won by Sally Sheldon with Martha Fineman (Cornell/Emory) as named overseas partner. The workshops have brought together UK and US academics in order to explore how key concepts used in feminist legal theory (such as 'state', 'equality', 'race', 'ethnicity' and 'family') are deployed in different ways in feminist legal work emerging from these two jurisdictions. The last workshop was held in Emory in September 2007.
Eleanor Curran - Reclaiming the rights of Hobbesian subjects: Hobbes's modern theory of rights
Eleanor Curran's book project is based on the thesis that Hobbes describes substantive political rights for individual subjects. The monograph challenges two common assumptions of Hobbes scholarship; first, the Hohfeldian assumption that all rights for subjects are bare freedoms with no correlative duties to protect them and second, that Hobbesian subjects hold no rights against the sovereign. The £9000 project was financed by the Shelagh Anne Venning Trust. The book has been published by Palgrave Macmillan in November 2007.
Sally Sheldon - A Socio-Legal Analysis of Fatherhood
'A Socio-Legal Analysis of Fatherhood' is the title of the working programme Sally Sheldon tackled during her two year funded ESRC Research Fellowship (1 Sept 2004 - 30 Sept 2006, ESRC RES-000-27-0111), worth £123,000. Her research aimed to provide a unique, sustained and wide-ranging engagement with the ways in which fatherhood has been understood, constructed and regulated within English law and social policy.
Research outputs include:
- (with Richard Collier) 'Fragmenting Fatherhood: a Socio-Legal Study' (Oxford: Hart Publications).
- (2006) 'Reproductive Choice: Men's Freedom and Women's Responsibility?' in Pedain, A. and Spencer, J. (eds) Freedom and Responsibility in Reproductive Choice (Oxford: Hart) 175-95.
- (2007) Unmarried Fathers and British Citizenship: the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act (2002) and British Nationality (Proof of Paternity) Regulations (2006), 19(1) Child & Family Law Quarterly 1-16. (2005) 'Fragmenting Fatherhood: the Regulation of Reproductive Technologies' 68(4) Modern Law Review 523-53.
- (2005) 'Reproductive Technologies and the Legal Determination of Fatherhood' 13(3) Feminist Legal Studies 349-62.
- (2005) 'Natallie Evans' Case: Some Lessons for the Parliamentary Review of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990)?' reproduced as 'What the House of Lords Hashmi ruling really means', BioNews (7 May 2005).
Yutaka Arai - Armed Conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq (2001-2004)
A British Academy Small Grant worth £5055 allowed Yutaka Arai to pursue research into Armed Conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq (2001-2004) and Legal Constraints – Contintuity and Change in International Humanitarian Law. In particular his project aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of international humanitarian law vis-à-vis recent armed conflicts and belligerent occupation as in Afghanistan and Iraq,highlight structural and functional deficiencies of existing frameworks of international law, and propose a coherent framework of humanitarian principles for such instances of belligerent occupation. Supported through an AHRC Research Leave Grant worth £17808 Yutaka was able to stretch his study leave by another three months. He used the time to intensify his research based on theoretical appraisal of the development of the customary international humanitarian law.
Bernard Ryan - Labour Migration: Comparative Perspectives on British Law and Policy
Labour Migration: Comparative Perspectives on British Law and Policy is the title of a project Bernard Ryan conducted in 2006. He used a British Academy Small Grant, worth £7,300 for a research visit to the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University. Combining the analysis of legal and policy materials with interviews and correspondence with national experts he examined to what extend US approaches on labour migration could be adopted for Britain. The research conducted at Georgetown University was part of a wider project comparing British Labour Migration Law and Policy with other EU states and the US which will result in a monograph on the topic.
Anneli Albi - Ratification of the European Constitution: Implications for National Constitutions
n 2005-06, Anneli Albi managed the British Academy and European Commission funded project 'Ratification of the European Constitution: Implications for National Constitutions'. In the framework of this project, a conference was held on 3-4 November 2005 in Tallinn, Estonia. At the conference, more than twenty leading scholars of European and constitutional law explored the methods to conceptualise the potential co-existence of the national constitutions and the European Constitutional Treaty, with a special focus on recent theories such as post-national or multi-level constitutionalism and constitutional pluralism. The contributions were published by Kluwer Law International as a book entitled The European Constitution and National Constitutions: Ratification and Beyond, which was co-edited with Prof. Jacques Ziller from the EUI, Florence.
Steve Uglow - Evaluation of Operation Enhance
Steve Uglow evaluated Operation Enhance for the Home Office and Kent Police (£50,000).
Davina Cooper - Lesbian and Gay Policy-making within Local Government, 1990-2001
An ESRC Research Grant (Grant Number R000239293) worth £80,000 enabled Davina Cooper to work (with Jean Carabine and Surya Monro) from 2001-2003 on a project about Lesbian and Gay Policy-making within Local Government, 1990-2001. This project explored the changing face of British local government's engagement with questions of sexual orientation and lesbian and gay equality, building on her earlier research which studied the period 1980-1991. The project examined the changing discourses, practices and institutional structures through which sexuality was approached, the challenges and difficulties it encountered, and the ways lesbian and gay municipal work provided an empirical lens for thinking more theoretically about the state, citizenship and policy practice. Articles from the research have been published in Political Geography, Contemporary Politics, Social Politics, Gender, Work & Organization and Local Government Studies.
Davina Cooper - Leverhulme Fellowship
Davina Cooper held a Leverhulme Fellowship from 2001-2003 in order to pursue the topic of Governing Prefigurative Communities. Looking into three innovative social spaces: Hyde Park's Speakers Corner, Summerhill School and Local Exchange Trading Systems, the aim of the project was to explore "everyday utopias" about the mainstream - focusing in particular on how they are affected by dominant social practices and inequalities of power, how they seek to articulate and inhabit alternatives, and how wider forces and institutions work to contain and limit their radical potential. Publications from this project include: Challenging Diversity (CUP, 2004) and articles in Law & Social Inquiry, Society and Space.
Steve Uglow - Evaluation of Visual Recording of Interviews with Suspects in Police Station
Steve Uglow evaluated a DVD pilot in Medway regarding the Visual Recording of Interviews with Suspects in Police Stations. The £20,000 project was financed by the Home Office.
Steve Uglow - Introduction of Referral Orders into the Youth Justice System
Within the Kent Centre for Criminal Justice Steve Uglow has been contributing significantly to a project examining The Introduction of Referral Orders into the Youth Justice System. The 18 month (March 2000 to August 2001) joint project of KLS, Kent University's PSSRU and Gosdsmith College had an overall volume of £122000, financed by the Home Office Crime Reduction Programme. The final report is available here.