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Lauren Cooper

Research student

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

I graduated from Cardiff University with First Class Honours in LLB Law in 2016. Having been awarded an ESRC funded Studentship, I completed a MSc in Social Science Research Methods (Socio-Legal) in 2017.

From there, I started my PhD on access to justice for asylum seekers and the role of structure and agency in asylum appeals. I am interested in access to justice, structuration theory and administrative justice. I am also a tutor for Sports Law 

Research interests

I am interested in:

-Access to justice

-Structuration theory

-Agency

-Immigration and Asylum Law

-Administrative Law 

Teaching

- Sports Law

- Immigration and Asylum Law

Thesis

Access to Justice for Asylum Seekers: How the duality of structure operates to constrain and enable asylum seekers.

The concept of Justice has frequently been discussed, yet never adequately defined. Dictionary definitions indicate ‘just’ or ‘reasonable’ behaviour, and ‘fairness’, yet these terms fail to clear up the ambiguity behind the concept. Authors adopt different frameworks of Justice, such as Rawls’ 2 main principles of Liberty and Equality. This project will consider what Justice should mean for asylum seekers including access to the legal system, due process, and success for valid cases. I plan to ask asylum seekers what their idea of Justice is, and compare it to that of other stakeholders as this may be the area of disconnect.


The project will consider whether there is a relationship between structures and the agency of asylum seekers, citizens and other relevant actors; and access to justice. Structuration theory will be used as a conceptual framework to examine how the duality of structure operates to constrain and enable asylum seekers. This theory explores the relationship between structure and agency, giving primacy to neither. Anthony Giddens defines structure as patterns of rules and resources, which exist virtually. For Giddens, society is constructed through the ongoing activity of actors as they draw upon these structures (agency). Structure is therefore the medium through which agents act, and the outcome of these acts.


It is well recognised that the form and function of structure/agency is a product of context and this thesis will explore the structure/agency debate in the context of access to justice for the asylum seeker population. This will be achieved through analysis of courtroom observations and semi-structured interviews with key players within the asylum system.

Funding source

ESRC