Kent Law School

Critical perspectives research led teaching


Ed joined Kent Law School in November 2015 as a Lecturer.  His research interests lie broadly in Public Law and Family Law, with an emphasis on critical interdisciplinary approaches. 

From 2012 to 2015 Ed undertook an ESRC (SEDTC) funded PhD in Socio-Legal Studies at KLS, and was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Law in November 2015.  His thesis was entitled ‘Looking for justice: the family and the inquest’ and was an interdisciplinary examination of the family and the contemporary inquest system, drawing on empirical, historical and jurisprudential approaches.  Before undertaking this research, Ed practised as a solicitor in the Civil Liberties team at Hodge, Jones & Allen (2009-2012), where he also trained to be a solicitor (2007-2009), and he worked as a Research Assistant in the Public Law team at the Law Commission from 2004-2006.  Ed undertook an LL.B at Leeds in 2000-2003, before completing an LL.M in Human Rights at UCL in 2004, and the Legal Practice Course at the University of Westminster in 2007.


Conference Papers:

  • Plenary Address: ‘Think of it like a pizza: the promise and pitfalls of telephone advice’ UCL International Conference on Access to Justice 2014 (with Prof. Caroline Hunter)
  • The demise of the deodand, the rise of the family and the tame death made savage’ Law, Culture and Humanities conference in Virginia in 2014
  • Exploring the Inquest, Finding the Family’ Joint Canadian Law and Society Association Conference/Law and Society Australian/New Zealand conference Law on the Edge conference in Vancouver in 2013
  • SLSA conferences in 2013: ‘Constructing the Family: Investigations into deaths involving state responsibility’, 2014: ‘Decision making in the inquest system: framing the family’ and 2015 “Anyone can register a death, well, within reason”
  • The tame death made savage’ Critical Legal Conference in 2014
back to top


Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Kirton-Darling, E. et al. (2018). Health and Safety at Home and paying for fire safety. Journal of Housing Law 21.
Kirton-Darling, E. (2017). Fire in the High Rise: Governance, Ownership and Safety. Journal of Housing Law 20:121.
Kirton-Darling, E. (2014). Searching for Pigeons in the Belfry: The Inquest, the Abolition of the Deodand and the Rise of the Family. Law, Culture, and the Humanities [Online]. Available at:
Kirton-Darling, E. (2013). Book Review: Matching Organs with Donors: Legality and Kinship in Transplants. Legal Studies [Online] 33:503-506. Available at:
Confidential report
Kirton-Darling, E. et al. (2017). Closing the Gaps: Health and Safety in Housing. Shelter.
Kirton-Darling, E. and Carr, H. (2016). Homeless Veterans in London: Investigating Housing Responsibilities. Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee, London region.
Kirton-Darling, E. (2018). Safe and Sound: precariousness, compartmentation and death at home. in: Carr, H., Edgeworth, B. and Hunter, C. eds. Law and the Precarious Home: Socio-Legal Perspectives on the Home in Insecure Times. Hart Publishing. Available at:
Total publications in KAR: 7 [See all in KAR]
back to top

Research Interests

Ed has a broad range of research interests, including his work in relation to inquests, which focuses on UK and international inquiries and investigations into sudden death and the role of kin in those investigations (Inquests; Coroners; Coroners Officers; Death and Society; Legal History; Social, Legal, Cultural Constructions of the Family and Kin; Human Rights Law; Constitutional and Administrative Law; Legal History). Ed is further developing his work on the ‘social welfare inquest’ and is working on this as part of the KLS/UFMG Inclusionary Practices research project.

Ed also has wideranging interests across public law, including social welfare, housing/homelessness and family law, with a particular interest in the role of registration in law.  He co-convenes the ‘Registering Registration’ theme at the SLSA Annual Conference (2015 and 2016) with Dr Julie McCandless (LSE). 

back to top


Ed teaches Family Law (LW505) and also contributes lectures on Inquiries to Public Law I (LW588). 

Ed taught as part of the Public Law team in KLS from 2012-15, leading seminar groups in 2012/13 and 2013/14, and giving lectures on Inquiries in 2013 and 2014. 

Ed has held previous teaching roles at London School of Economics (Housing Law) and London Metropolitan University (an Introduction to Law; Civil Liberties and Human Rights).

back to top

Professional Societies

Law Society (solicitor, non-practising)
Social Legal Studies Association
The Association for the Study of Death and Society
The UK Constitutional Law Association
The Coroners Officers and Staff Association
The Human Rights Lawyers Association
Quaker Homeless Action (Trustee and Clerk)
Legal Action Group (former Trustee)


back to top


Kent Law School - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 827636

Last Updated: 27/05/2016