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Dr Lucy Series


School of Law and Politics

Media commentator


I am a lecturer in law and Wellcome Trust Society and Ethics Research Fellow at the School of Law and Politics.  I am interested in how the law shapes and structures caregiving relationships with adults with mental disabilities.  My research particularly focuses on questions of legal capacity, adult social care law and disability rights.  I have particular expertise on the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the deprivation of liberty safeguards, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  I use a range of qualitative and quantitative socio-legal research methods, and am interested in inclusive methods for public engagement with people directly affected by mental capacity, social care and disability law.

My current research project, funded by Wellcome, looks a 'problems of empowerment' under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.  It uses genealogical methods to explore the Act's evolving relationship with the concept of empowerment, to help understand current critiques of the Act as failing to live up to its much vaunted 'empowering ethos'.  I am currently writing a monograph exploring this historical and global context of a Supreme Court decision which ruled that hundreds of thousands of people living in 'community care' settings are deprived of their liberty.

Prior to my fellowship I worked with Professor Phil Fennell, Dr Julie Doughty and Professor Luke Clements on a project funded by th Nuffield Foundation looking at welfare cases in the Court of Protection.  I have also worked at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway.  I hold a PhD in law from Exeter University, a BA in Psychology and Philosophy (Oxford University) and a MSc in Psychology Research Methods (Bristol University).  Prior to my PhD in law, I worked in a range of roles in health and social care.

I write a blog about my research, The Small Places.  My research on the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the Court of Protection and disability rights has featured in the national media, and I am available for comment on these issues.






  • Series, L. and Nilsson, A. 2018. Article 12 CRPD: Equal recognition before the law. In: Bantekas, I., Stein, M. A. and Anastasiou, D. eds. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: A Commentary. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 339-382.








I currently teach on specialist masters programs concerning health and social care law. I co-lead two modules on Consent to Treatment and contribute to courses on Social Care Law.  I have also taught Tort law.


I supervise PhD students in law and on social work doctoral programs, on topics including mental capacity, disability rights and social care law.

Past projects

Areas of expertise