Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Yr Athro Russell Sandberg

Yr Athro Russell Sandberg

Head of Law Department and Reader in Law

Ysgol y Gyfraith a Gwleidyddiaeth

+44(0)29 2087 5483
3.09, Adeilad y Gyfraith, Rhodfa'r Amgueddfa, Caerdydd, CF10 3AX
Sylwebydd y cyfryngau

Dr Russell Sandberg is Head of Law and Reader in Law at the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University where he specialises in Law and Religion, Legal History, Family Law and interdisciplinary approaches to Law.  Russell is a Cardiff graduate, obtaining First Class Honours in his LLB in Law and Sociology in 2005 and a doctorate examining the relationship between religion, law and society in 2010.

He is the author of Law and Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Religion, Law and Society (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Russell is co-author of Religion and Law in the United Kingdom (Kluwer Law International, 2011; 2nd ed 2014) which forms part of the International Encyclopaedia of Laws Series.  He is editor or co-editor of Law and Religion: New Horizons (Peeters, 2010), Religion and Legal Pluralism (Ashgate, 2015), The Confluence of Law and Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2016), Law and History: Critical Concepts in Law (Routledge, 2017) and Law and Religion: Critical Concepts in Law (Routledge, 2017).  He is also the author or co-author of over 60 articles and book chapters addressed to legal, sociological and general readerships.

Researching at Cardiff's Centre for Law and Religion, he convenes the Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) and serves as the Managing Editor of the ICLARS Series on Law and Religion, published by Routledge. He is also a contributor to Westlaw UK Insight and was a specialist Contributing Editor for Jowitt’s Dictionary of English Law (Sweet & Maxwell 2010). His research, which has been cited by the UK Supreme Court and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has included an empirical study, Social Cohesion and Civil Law, into the operation of religious tribunals in Britain funded by the AHRC / ESRC Religion and Society programme. He is co-founder and co-coordinator of the Law and History Research Group.

Russell is currently writing a book on English Legal History for Cambridge University Press and is co-editing a number of collections of essays.

Education and Qualifications

2002 to 2005. LLB in Law and Sociology, First Class Honours, Cardiff  University

2005 to 2010. PhD: Religion, Law and Society - An Analysis of the Interface between the Law on Religion and the Sociology of Religion (Supervised by Professor Norman Doe), Cardiff University

Current Roles

  • Head of Law and Reader in Law, Cardiff University
  • Convenor of the Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) & Co-Convenor of the Interfaith Legal Advisers Network, Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University
  • Co-Founder and Co-Coordinator of the Law and History Research Group, Cardiff University

Editorial Board Memberships

  • Brill Research Perspectives in Law and Religion
  • Anthem Law and Society Series
  • European Journal of Law and Religion
  • Law and Justice

Previous Roles

  • Specialist Contributing Editor, Jowitt’s Dictionary of English Law (Ecclesiastical Law)
  • European representative on the editorial board of the Routledge Series on Law and Religion
  • Elected member of the General Committee of the Ecclesiastical Law Society

Safleoedd academaidd blaenorol

2013 to 2016. Senior Lecturer in Law, Cardiff University

2008 to 2013. Lecturer in Law, Cardiff University

Ymrwymiadau siarad cyhoeddus

Date Title Event
June 2017

Religious Tribunals and their Wider Legal Ramifications 

Law and Religion Workshop on Courts, University of Edinburgh
June 2017

(With S Thompson) Relational Autonomy and Religious Tribunals

 Marriage, Religion and Belief, Humanist Studies Hub and the Law Reform and Public Policy Group in Collaboration with Humanist Society Scotland, University of Glasgow 

May 2017

The Perils of Periodization: Reflections from the Interface of Church and State

The Law and Politics of Temporality and Periodization Conference, Cardiff University
March 2017

The Study of Comparative Religious Law: Reflections on the UK Experience

I Diritti Religiosity Nel Prisma Della Comparazione, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
Feb 2017

Judicial Retcons

Law and History Research Group, Cardiff University
Dec 2016

The Wider Issues Raised by Religious Tribunals (co-authored with S Thompson)

Zutshi-Smith Symposium on the Commission on Religion or Belief in British Public Life (CORAB), Bristol University
Oct 2016

Women's Legal History: The Future of Legal History

Full text

'Doing Women's Legal History Conference, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies London 
Sept 2016

Why Must Legal ideas be Interpreted Historically

PowerPoint slides

Staff Seminar, Cardiff School of Law and Politics
May 2016 Relational Autonomy and Religious Tribunals Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) 2016 Conference, Cardiff School of Law and Politics
April 2016 Church-State Relations in Europe Regent's Park College, Oxford
February 2016 Two Associational Interests: A Legal Response 'Can Religious Groups Discriminate?' (Political Theory Research Seminar), Cardiff School for Law and Politics
October 2015 The Domestic Case Law on Article 9 ECHR and the "Juridification" of Religion Interfaith Legal Advisers Network meeting , Farrer & Co, London
September 2015 Conclusion Workshop on 'Natural Law and Christianity', Trinity College, Oxford
September 2015 F W Maitland Workshop on 'Great Christian Jurists in English Law', Emmanuel College, Cambridge
May 2015 The Eweida Enigma Workshop on Religious Accommodation: From Theory to Practice, Royal Holloway, University of London
January 2015 Avoiding Bias Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) Review of the Interpretation and Effectiveness of Equality and Human Rights Law relating to Religion or Belief Workshop for Stakeholders, King's College London
May 2014 The Navel Treaty Law and Religion Teaching and Research Conference, Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University
May 2012 The Juridification of Religion Staff Seminar, Reading Law School
March 2012

The Adventures of Religious Freedom: Do Judges Understand Religion

Full text

Staff Seminar, Keele University
February 2012 The Legal Status of the Church of England Law School, University of Westminster
October 2011 Accommodating Religion in the UK and France: Some Reflections Interfaith Legal Advisers Network Meeting, the Office of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
May 2011 The Organisation and Operation of the Courts in the Study Symposium on 'Britain’s Religious Courts: Marriage, Divorce and Civil Law', Cardiff Law School
May 2011 Three Cases, An Ex-Archbishop and the Downgrading of Religious Freedom? Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) Conference , Cardiff Law School
October 2010 Religious Symbols in UK Schools: Teachers and Other Staff Law, Religion & Education Conference organised by Institute of Global Law at UCL, Oxford
May 2010 The Two Pillars of Religion Law Law and Religion Scholars Network, Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff University
March 2010

The Implications of the Court of Appeal Decision in Ladele and Other Case Law Developments

Full text

Interfaith Legal Advisers Network Meeting , Lambeth Palace, London
February 2010

Islam and English Law


Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK Public Lecture, Cardiff University
June 2009 Lamenting Academic Isolationism: The Strange Death of Blasphemy Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) Doctoral Students Conference, Oxford Brookes University
June 2009 The Right to Discriminate? Religious Believers and the New Law on Sexual Orientation Ecclesiastical Law Society London Lecture, Serle Court, Lincoln's Inn
May 2009 What is Law and Religion? Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) Annual Conference, Cardiff Law School
April 2009 Tensions Between Equality Strands: When can Religious Believers Discriminate on Grounds of Sexual Orientation? Equality and Human Rights Commission Seminar, 'The Role of Religion and Belief in a "Secular" Society' , Lancaster House Hotel
February 2009 Religion and Law: Concessions and Exemptions (with N Doe) ‘Religion or Belief’ and Equality and Human Rights Conference run by the British Humanist Association, Cardiff International Arena
September 2008 Why Was Blasphemy Abolished? LLM in Canon Law Annual Reunion, Magdalen College, Oxford
June 2008 Religion and Discrimination Law: An Introduction Interfaith Legal Advisers Network Second Meeting , Cardiff
June 2008 The Right to Discriminate? Religious Believers and the Law on Sexual Orientation Religion, Discrimination and Accommodation Workshop , Newcastle
September 2007 Defining "Religion": A Socio-Legal Approach Religion, Law, Culture Interdisciplinary Symposium , Lancaster
July 2007 Drawing a Veil on Human Rights? Islamic Dress and English Law Legal Practice and Cultural Diversity Conference, London
July 2007 Defining "Religion": A Socio-Legal Approach Theory Faith Culture Conference, Cardiff
June 2007 Church-State Relations in Europe: Towards a New Legal Model Religion and Politics in the Construction of the European Union Conference , London School of Economics
April 2007 Defining "Religion": A Socio-Legal Approach British Sociological Association Annual Sociology Conference 2007 ‘Beliefs and Disenchantment’ Stream , East London
April 2007 Defining "Religion": A Socio-Legal Approach Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference 2007 ‘Law and Religion’ Stream , Canterbury
September 2006 Religion and Morality: A Socio-Legal Approach British Association for the Study of Religions Annual Conference, ‘The Ethical Dimension’, Bath Spa
May 2006 Religious Identities in the European Media: A Legal Perspective Media in the Enlarged Europe Conference , Luton
April 2006 Religion, Society and Law: Towards A Multidisciplinary Approach Humanities Graduate School, ‘Voice of Humanities Conference 2006’ , Cardiff
April 2006 Religion and the Individual: A Socio-Legal Perspective British Sociological Association, Sociology of Religion Study Group 2006 Annual Conference, ‘Religion and the Individual’ , Manchester

















I am currently Co-Module Leader and teach on the undergraduate LLB module on Legal History.

I ‎have also previously served as Module Leader for the undergraduate LLB module on Law and Religion and as Course Director for the LLM in Canon Law and as Module Leader for the LLM modules Conceptual Foundations and Historical Development of Canon Law; Doctrine, Liturgy and Rites in Canon Law; Government and Ministry in Canon Law; and The Interface of Canon Law and Civil Law.

I have previously taught on the Criminal Law and Legal Foundations LLB modules.

I am currently the Joint supervisor of AHRC-funded PhD student under the DTP programme (with Professor Malcolm Evans at Bristol University) and have served as the secondary supervisor for four PhD students.

Previous administrative roles have included: Senior Admissions Tutor for Law (2013-2016); Director of Year 1 Teaching (2011-12); Staff Member, Cardiff Law School Staff-Student Panel (2011-2012); Coordinator of Undergraduate Mooting Programme (2010-12); Acting Director, Centre for Law and Religion (2010-11); Admissions Tutor for the LLM in Canon Law (2010-11); Member, Cardiff Law School Research Committee (2010-2011); Member, Postgraduate Extenuating Circumstances committee (2010-11); Member, Cardiff Law School C&IT Committee (2009-12); and Modern Working Environment Champion (2009).

My research has four main directions:

Law and Religion

First, my research has focused upon the study of Law and Religion, working at Cardiff's Centre for Law and Religion. This has included exploring the emerging legal framework concerning religion examining how human rights, discrimination and criminal laws interact with religion. My work has also analysed how religion is defined legally and constitutional laws governing Church-State relations throughout Europe. My work has contended that the significant legal changes that have occurred in the twenty-first century means that Law and Religion now exists as ‎as an academic sub-discipline like Family Law or Sports Law. This was the focus of my book Law and Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and the edited work Law and Religion: Critical Concepts in Law (Routledge, 2017). I am convenor of the Law and Religion Scholars Network (LARSN) and Managing Editor of the ICLARS Series on Law and Religion, published by Routledge.


Family Law

Second, the interaction between religion, law and the family has emerged as particular focus in my work. This has included research on the interaction between religion and marriage / divorce law particularly exploring the legal recognition of religious tribunals. Building upon the Social Cohesion and Civil Law empirical project funded by the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme, my recent work has included an edited work on Religion and Legal Pluralism (Ashgate, 2015) within the interdisciplinary Religion and Society series and a range of publications that have sought to understand the place of religious tribunals using a range of theoretical approaches including Ayelet Shachar's work on Joint Governance, Niklas Luhmann's Systems Theory and Sharon Thompson's Feminist Relational Contract Theory. Recent work has sought to place the Sharia debate within the wider Family Law context and has argued for Family Law reform.


Interdisciplinary Approaches to Law

Third, my work has explored the relationship between the legal and sociological study of religion. This was the focus of my monograph Religion, Law and Society (Cambridge University Press, 2014) within the Cambridge Studies of Law and Society. This argued for increased collaboration between legal and sociological approaches to religion provided that the unique contributions of each discipline is preserved. My recent publications have built upon this by focusing on the systems theory of Niklas Luhmann, bringing together for the first time his work on law and religion. Recent work has focused upon the merits and possibilities of interdisciplinary work generally in Law. This has included the edited work The Confluence of Law and Religion and forthcoming publications on Law and Religion that focus on philosophical approaches and a forthcoming Handbook of the Interdisciplinary Study of Law and Religion which includes historical, sociological, political and theological perspectives.


Law and History

Fourth, my interest in interdisciplinary approaches to Law has resulted in research on relationship between Law and History. This has included the edited work Law and History: Critical Concepts in Law which includes an introductory essay 'Textual and Contextual Legal History' which explores how divisions within Legal History has resulted in the marginalisation of historical approaches in UK Law Schools. The essay proposes a new way of understanding the subject as including at least the study of Textual and Contextual Legal History before contending that the study of Law and History must be an interdisciplinary endeavour. This will be developed in forthcoming work including a book on English Legal History for Cambridge University Press. With Dr Sharon Thompson, I am the Co-Founder and Co-Coordinator of the Law and History Research Group.



2005 - 2010:   PhD funded by Cardiff Law School, James Pantyfedwyn Foundation and Sidney Perry Foundation.

April 2010 - May 2011:  Co-Investigator, ‘Social Cohesion and Civil Law: Marriage, Divorce and Religious Courts' project. Funded by the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme with an award of £79,862.