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Professor Nicolette Priaulx

Professor of Law

School of Law and Politics

+44 (0)29 2087 5869
1.10, Law Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX


Research orientation and focus: Working collaboratively with actors across a range of fields, including the health sciences, science communication, bioethics and science and technology studies, what binds my work together is an enduring fascination with the acquisition and formation of knowledge, the meta-cognitive skills required to appreciate what we know (and what we don't), and the challenges of working across disciplines. These themes, translated into the world(s) of 'law and society', are central to the monograph that I am supposed to be currently writing, Dangerous Unknowledge in Law and Society (due to be published with Glasshouse Press in 2021). 

In the last five years in particular, I have enjoyed the opportunity to lead a large range of research initiatives at Cardiff University and beyond. I was the lead Director of the WG Hart 2016 Workshop 'Valuing Expertise: Legal, Normative and Social Dimensions' at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, co-led the Law, Experience and Practice Network (funded by Cardiff University's College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) and in 2018/19 completed a British Academy funded project entitled, 'Multidisciplinary Understandings of Legal Academia', undertaken with Dr Martin Weinel and Willow Leonard-Clarke in the School of Social Sciences and Dr Tom Hayes in the School of Law and Politics. I have also co-led the LawLab Research Centre at Cardiff which used a range of experimental techniques to enhance (and learn the ‘know how’ of) collaborative cross-disciplinary practice. A number of exciting cross-disciplinary collaborative intiatives have sprung out of the LabLaw as a result. These include a project co-led with Dr Katy Greenland (School of Social Sciences) entitled, ‘Does Gender Matter? The Experiences of being a female academic in Higher Education’ (funded by Cardiff College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences), the SPARC project (a socio-technical initiative designed to create novel connections between researchers), with academics from the School of Computer Sciences and Engineering, and more recently a project with Professor Harry Collins and others, entitled 'Remote versus face-to-face communication'. 

Broader (Collaborative) Work: I am also active in broader work designed to use what skills I have, to best effect (and if only in small ways, to fight for equality) - and it is far more activist in orientation. 

Reproductive rights: I am fortunate to be part of wonderful networks in the UK and internationally that bring together a large number of scholars (from multiple disciplines) who possess expertise around reproduction, policy and the law. As a result, I have had the opportunity to feed into a series of consultations with the aim of enhancing women's access to safe and effective reproductive services. 

Workers' Rights: In addition, I am also strongly engaged in trade union activities and pan-sector networks in higher education - and use my legal and networking abilities to identify how we collectively transform higher education into a sector that is worth having: one where students receive the attention and education they deserve, and one where staff (PS and academic) are seen as valuable and whose health and wellbeing is protected. I am one of the Academics for Pensions Justice which was involved in casebuilding in respect of the USS Ltd, I am a member of the Cardiff UCU Executive, and am a negotiator for the Cardiff UCU. Engagement in this work has also led to me extending my research gaze to the Higher Education sector in a more direct way - including the investigation of how universities are run, and the labour/working conditions of staff in Higher Education. See my recent USS Brief piece with Gail Davies and my work with Liz Morris for HEPI






















At Cardiff School of Law and Politics I am a proud member of a number of vibrant and committed teaching teams that deliver  modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I have extensive experience of programme and module leadership, and the substantive areas of my teaching delivery include torts, healthcare, ethics and the law (of which we offer a wide provision of modules across undergraduate and postgraduate level), postgraduate skills and the dissertation module. I also provide guest lectures on Legal Foundations and make contributions to modules running in other schools.  


Principal Investigator, BA Small Grants application for £9,883 for project ‘Multidisciplinary Understandings of Legal Academia’ (awarded July 2015).

Principal Investigator (with Dr Lydia Hayes, co-investigator) of Cardiff University College for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Network Initiator Funding (Law, Experience and Practice: A network for interdisciplinarity in care research) £25,000 (awarded June 2015).

Academic Director (with Matthew Weait, Portsmouth) of the WG Hart 2016 Workshop at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, £3,000.

Principal Investigator for Cardiff University’s contribution to FP7 European Commission Science in Society Consortium Grant, ETHICSWEB (with Consortium of 11 Universities); total Cardiff grant, £25,000 (Project concluded 2012).


Multidisciplinary Understandings of Legal Academia

September 2015 – September 2017 - Funded by BA/Leverhulme Small Grant 

Building upon earlier work in respect of barriers to interdisciplinary understanding, but the critical importance of collaborative work for justice and effective regulation, this project forms the first part of a capacity building exercise in opening up key opportunities for lawyers to engage and collaborate with other disciplines. Funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grants Scheme, this project seeks to gain an understanding of how non-legal academics understand the variety of skill sets and expertise that lawyers have to bring, as well as their understandings of what legal academics do. The hypothesis is that in the absence of interdisciplinary engagement with lawyers or familiarity with legal studies, non-legal academics are likely to draw upon stereotypical ideas of lawyers and lawyering. The project involves a web-based survey, working with focus groups, and a strong dissemination programme in exploring with different groups the results of our survey. While useful as a potential tool for highlighting connections and disconnections between disciplines generally, my hope is to use the results as a foundation for better communicating the range of skills, interests and project work that goes on within the legal academy and creating opportunities for collaborative interdisciplinary work.

LEAP: Law, Experience and Practice: A network for interdisciplinarity in care research

September 2015 – April 2017 – Funded by Cardiff University College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Drawing in a broad range of scholars from across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, with engagement from the healthcare sciences, the LEAP network constitutes a reflexive learning forum. Interdisciplinary practice raises fundamental epistemic challenges which must be addressed in order to tackle complex social and regulatory needs. The LEAP network brings together different skills and know-how from across AHSS to develop collective expertise. Our aim is the future design of research which addresses questions of how to embed care within communities that are characterized by inequality, yet are increasingly deprived of caring resources in the context of demographic change and austerity. These communities may be spatially constituted, for example in de-industrialised towns or in private domestic households. They may be communities of occupational care providers/care-givers; or they may be communities characterized by individual disadvantage on the basis of age, race, disability or gender. The overarching aim of the network is to develop an interdisciplinary capability to enable research around care to translate into practice, capable of reaching and engaging intermediaries and end-users.

Led by Nicky Priaulx and Lydia Hayes, the LEAP network constitutes a strategic investment on the part of the Cardiff University College for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and will run across a two year period commencing in September 2015.

Event Organisation 

In conjunction with my role as Director of LawLab, PI for the LEAP network and my portfolio as Chair of Curriculum Review (Law) I have led a large number of workshops and events at Cardiff and beyond. These include, 

  • Cross-disciplinary Collaboration Workshop, SEESHOP 2018, Cardiff University (2018).
  • Valuing Expertise: Legal, Normative and Social Dimensions, 2016 W G Hart Legal Workshop (co-organised with Professor Matthew Weait, Portsmouth University), Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, London (2016)
  • Exploring Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity – Public Engagement Event sciSCREEN – showing of ‘Arrival’, Cardiff University (2017).
  • The Future of Legal Academia: Transformations and Innovations (June 2017) (co-organised with Dr Lydia Hayes and Professor Russell Sandberg) – Two Day, Cardiff (2017).
  • Theory Informing Practice – Practice Informing Theory – Exploring the Everyday of Medical Decision-Making, Cardiff (2017).
  • Gender Matters: Exploring the Experience(s) of being a Female Academic in Higher Education (co-organised with Dr Katy Greenland), Caridff (2017).
  • Building Interdisciplinarity: Project Plans and Ideas (February 2017) (lead organiser, with Dr Lydia Hayes, Dr Steve Smith and Professor Rob Evans).
  • Connecting Research with Policy in Wales: Health, Disability & Social Care (November 2016) (lead organiser, with Dr Lydia Hayes).
  • Practicing Collaborative Interdisciplinarity: Ways and Means, LawLab, 21 April 2016.
  • Regulatory narratives around New and Emerging Technologies, LawLab, 19 February 2016.
  • Choosing to Care and Caring to Choose: An Interdisciplinary Conversation (lead organiser with co-organisers, Dr Lydia Hayes (school of law and politics, Cardiff University) and Dr Dikiaos Sakellariou (school of healthcare sciences, Cardiff University), June 2015.
  • Interdisciplinary Approaches to Regulating Innovation (co-organised with A Krajewska), Cardiff University, Senate Chamber, February 2015.


I welcome enquiries from prospective students who are interested in the intersection between legal studies and theories of expertise/knowledge, and interdisciplinarity and law. 

Past projects

I have successfully supervised hundreds of projects at undergraduate and master's level, as well as successfully supervising three PhD students to completion, 2 in law (Dr Tom Hayes, 2016 and Dr Hephzibah Egede, 2016) and one co-supervised PhD student from the School of Social Sciences (Chris Goldsworthy, 2017). All three PhD students have successfully secured full-time work in Higher Education (Cardiff University, University of Buckingham, Oxford University).