Research that reflects life, law in the real world
Our research interests and areas are constantly evolving based on what’s happening in the world at any given moment.
Studying law has a very strong real-life dimension which is reflected in the research that we pursue, which engages with the pressing issues of today, including access to justice, the ongoing climate crisis, discrimination and human rights, family law, the regulation of new and emerging technologies, financial crime and key questions of international law in times of armed conflict.
Nothing is static in the world of research but we’ve grouped together some of the areas we’re currently asking pertinent questions about and seeking to find out more.
Criminal justice under threat
Dr Rob Jones has worked extensively on issues related to criminal justice and prisoners’ rights.
His recent book, The Welsh Criminal Justice System: On the Jagged Edge, co-authored with Professor of Welsh Politics, Richard Wyn Jones has provided the first in-depth analysis of the parlous state of criminal justice in Wales. The book has attracted considerable attention from the legislative authorities, having been debated in Parliament and with Dr Jones also providing expert evidence to the Senedd on these issues.
Dr Sara Drake is part of a team exploring consumer rights, tourism and air transport.
The team has conducted focus groups to find out how much consumers knew about their air passenger rights when their flights were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team has also gathered data on how participants felt about their experience with airlines and whether this would affect their travel behaviour in the future. Drake’s research on EU air passenger rights and their enforcement was recently cited in the European Union’s Court of Justice by Advocate General Pikamäe. Drake is currently writing a book on EU air passenger rights and their enforcement due to be published by Hart in 2024.
Dr Alison Tarrant has explored the concept of independent living devised by the disabled people’s movement and how it has been absorbed and deployed in Welsh policy and social care law.
Dr Tarrant was invited to be a member of Welsh Government’s newly formed Disability Rights Taskforce. The purpose of the taskforce is to respond to the findings and recommendations of the report into the impact of COVID-19 on disabled people in Wales, and to oversee the development of an action plan to ensure that disabled people’s rights are upheld in Wales.
The long road to equality
Dr Sharon Thompson’s ground-breaking work on the history of marital equality has recently been awarded the highly prestigious Dillwyn Medal for excellence in the Humanities.
Dr Thompson’s recent book, Quiet Revolutionaries: The Married Women’s Association and Family Law, brings to life the story of the feminist trailblazers who sought and fought to change the legal rights of housewives. This acclaimed book is accompanied by a podcast series and is essential reading and listening for everybody with an interest in family law and equality, and celebrates the previously unheralded contribution of an extraordinary group of campaigners to modern family relationships.
Hate speech, disinformation and the Internet
Dr Sejal Parmar works extensively on the implications of international law for the regulation of harmful content.
From 2020 to 2021, she was Co-Rapporteur and an independent member of the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on Combating Hate Speech, which drafted the Council of Europe Recommendation on combating hate speech which was adopted by the Committee of Ministers. Having previously advised a number of major international organisations, NGOs and companies on online hate speech, she is currently working as a policy fellow within the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office providing advice on how to respond to disinformation and information threats through UK foreign policy.
Law and the final frontier
Dr PJ Blount’s work explores the international law of outer space, with a particular focus on space security and cyberspace law and governance.
He has published and presented widely on the topic of space law and has given expert testimony on Space Traffic Management before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Space. As the executive secretary of the International Institute of Space Law, he serves as an observer to the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He has recently co-edited the Oxford Handbook on Space Security Oxford University Press), which will be published later this year.