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Dr Rachel Cahill-O'Callaghan

Dr Rachel Cahill-O'Callaghan

Senior Lecturer in Law

School of Law and Politics

Email:
cahill-ocallaghanr@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0)29 2087 4479
Location:
2.07, Law Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Available for postgraduate supervision

I moved into the study of Law from a successful career in academic science in the area of cancer biology and bacterial genetics. I completed a PhD in Science in 1994 at Trinity College (Dublin) and moved to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston) and then to Imperial College (London). This work is widely published and won several international prizes.

I then changed discipline and completed an LLB in Cardiff in 2007 and was awarded a PhD in law in 2016. My legal research, which combines theories and techniques from psychology and law, has also won awards including  the SLS Best Paper Prize (2014)  with  "Reframing the Judicial Diversity Debate: Personal Values and Tacit Diversity." which is published in  Legal Studies</em.>40.4 (2013): 596-623 .  Other prizes include the SLS Poster Prize 2012 with " Do Personal Values Tip the Scales of Justice?"  and the SLSA Poster Prize 2012 for her work entitled "Personal Values:  An Important Element in the Diversity Debate."  This work underpins my collaborative comparative work on the High Court of Australia.

My interests lie in decision making and facets of personality that influence decision making.  I collaorate with academics in the UK and US to examine decision making with law students in an international study examining the influence of values and other indicators of professionalism on ethical decision making.

Dr. Cahil-O'Callaghan also has research interests in judicial appointments, conceptions of merit,

Funding

External Funding

  • 2016  Co-applicant  "Single persons in publically funded fertility treatment in the UK - Should we care? British Academy Awarded Value: £4,907. Principle applicant: Dr. Atina Krajewska, (Birmingham University).
  • 2014 – 2015 Co-applicant " Do Values and Professionalism Change During Law School?”" Legal Education Foundation: Robust Evidence Awarded Value: £21,000.  Principle applicant: Prof. Richard Moorhead (Centre of Professional Ethics, University College London, QS 7)Co-applicant:   Dr. Maryam Kouchaki, (Kellog School of Management, Northwestern University, QS 26)Co-applicant:  Dr. Stephen Galoob ( College of Law, University of Tulsa, QS 701)
  • 2014 – 2015 Co-applicant “Do Values and Professionalism Change During Law School?”  SAFRA Foundation Harvard University (US) Awarded Value: $10,000. Principle applicant:   Dr. Maryam Kouchaki, (Kellog School of Management, Northwestern University QS 26) Co-applicant: Prof. Richard Moorhead (Centre of Professional Ethics, University College London, QS 7)Co-applicant:  Dr. Stephen Galoob ( College of Law, University of Tulsa, QS701))

Institutional Grant Funding

  • 2018 Joint application with Dr. Bernadette Rainey – Finding work: An exploration of low paid work in Cardiff – Cardiff University Research Opportunities Programme. Awarded Value £1,600
  • 2016 Sole Applicant “ The Judiciary in Wales : A Unique Diversity Concern.”  Cardiff  University Research Opportunities Programme. Awarded Value: £1,600
  • 2013 Sole Applicant “The Cases the Supreme Court Reject.”  Cardiff University Research Opportunities Programme Awarded Value: £1,460

The paper Cahill-O'Callaghan, Rachel J. "Reframing the judicial diversity debate: personal values and tacit diversity"' Legal Studies 35.1 (2015): 1-29 won the SLS Best Paper Prize (2014).

The paper Cahill-O'Callaghan, Rachel J. "The Influence of Personal Values on Legal Judgments."Journal of Law and Society 40.4 (2013): 596-623 "The Influence of Personal Values on Legal Judgments."Journal of Law and Society 40.4 (2013): 596-623 was one of three papers short listed for the SLSA Best Paper Prize (2015).

Honours and awards

Best Paper (2014) Society of Legal Scholars (SLS)

Short list final three Best Paper Prize (2014) Socio-Legal Scholars Association (SLSA)

Winner Best Poster Prize (2013) Society of Legal Scholars (SLS)

Winner Best Poster Prize (2012) Socio-Legal Scholars Association

Prior to my change of discipline, I received ten European awards and one American award, including the best presentation at the American Gastroenterology Society.

Professional memberships

Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Member of Socio-Legal Studies Association

Member of Society of Legal Scholars

Member of Society of Empirical Legal Scholars (US)

Member of the Law and Society Association (US)

Member of the American Association of Advancement of Science (US)

Academic positions

2017 – to date: Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University

2012- 2017:Lecturer in Law , Cardiff University

2010 - 2012 : Cardiff Law School PhD Scholarship

2000-2003: Lecturer (Part-time), Molecular Microbiology, Birkbeck University, London

1999 - 2003: Post - Doctoral Fellow, Centre of Molecular Microbiology, Imperial College

1994-1998: Post- Doctoral Fellow, Comparative Medicine, MIT (USA)

1990 – 1994: PhD Scholarship, Trinity College, Dublin

Speaking engagements

DateTitleConference
October 2017Resistance and BiasJudicial Diversity Initiative Workshop, Leeds
May 2017Judicial Values in the US Supreme Court: Bridges and Borders.Law and Society Association, Mexico City
October 2016

Values and Agreement in the High Court

Society of Legal Scholars, Oxford
September 2014Reframing the Judicial Diversity DebateSociety of Legal Scholars, Nottingham
May 2013Do Personal Values Influence Decisions in the Supreme Court?Law and Society Association, Annual Conference, Boston
March 2013Personal Values: A Method for Identifying Extra-Legal Influences in Judicial OpinionsSocio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference, York Law School
March 2013Personal Values: An Important Element in the Diversity Debate (Poster)Socio-Legal Scholars Association Annual Conference, York Law School
September 2012Do personal values tip the scales of justice?Society of Legal Scholars Conference 2012, Bristol

Committees and reviewing

Council Member,  Society of Legal Scholars (SLS)

 Reviewer: Modern Law Review, Journal of Law and Society, UNSW Law Journal, Law & Society Review, Legal Studies

2019

2016

2015

2013

I am the module leader for undergraduate module Research Project and postgraduate Empirical Studies in Law.  I also teach Land Law and was module leader from 2014 - 2016.  I have taught Tort Law.

My research explores the influence of facets of personality on legal decision making.   My primary focus is on the influence of personal values in legal judgments and the implications for decision making and diversity.  This work draws on theories and techniques from psychology to examine decision making in cases which divide judicial opinion in the UK Supreme Court.  The work has won several prizes including winning the Society of Legal Scholars best paper prize 2014 with Cahill-O'Callaghan, R. (2015). Reframing the judicial diversity debate: personal values and tacit diversity. Legal Studies 35(1) 1-29.   The content analysis technique I developed to identify values in legal judgments is detailed in Cahill-O'Callaghan, R. (2013). The influence of personal values on legal judgments. Journal of Law and Society 40(4) 596-623.   This paper was one of three papers short-listed for the Socio-Legal Scholars Association Best Paper Prize 2014.

Another strand of my work centres on comparative judicial studies, examining judicial decision making  in two other ultimate courts, the  US Supreme Court and the High Court of Australia. I have used the value methodology to examine the values that underpin political decision making in the US Supreme Court, in the paper Beneath Politics: Values in the US Supreme Court.  I also work with Heather Roberts (ANU) to examine the values and facets of judicial personality which are revealed in swearing-in speeches of the judiciary of the High Court of Australia.

I also work with Richard Moorhead (UCL), Stephen Galoob (Tulsa), Maryam Kouchaki (Kellog) on law student ethical decision making. This research " Values, ethics and professionalism in Law School"  was funded by the Legal Education Foundation (£26,000) and the SAFRA Foundation Harvard University ($10,000). This collaborative multidisciplinary project explores the relationship between values, professionalism and ethical decision making in law students from both the UK and US.   The first publication from this work is Moorhead, R; Denvir, C; Cahill-O'Callaghan, R; Kouchaki, M; Galoob, S (2016) The Ethical Identity of Law Students. International Journal of the Legal Profession 6; 1 – 41.

My work on policy decision making centres on judicial appointments, and the role of single persons in artificial reproductive technology in work with Dr. Atina Krajewska (Birmingham University) which  is funded by British Academy.  My work on judicial appointments centres on judicial appointments in the Welsh context.

Other judicial studies interests include implicit bias,  decisions on case selection in the Supreme Court, conceptions of merit and the role of dissent.

Judicial Decision Making

Implict Bias

Legal Decision Making