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Dr Roxanna Dehaghani

Dr Roxanna Dehaghani

Lecturer

School of Law and Politics

Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision

Roxanna holds an LLB from Queen’s University, Belfast (2010), an LLM from Maastricht University (2012), and a PhD from the University of Leicester (2018). Prior to entering academia, Roxanna worked at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Citizen’s Advice. Before joining Cardiff in September 2017, Roxanna worked at the Universities of Leicester and Birmingham.

Roxanna currently teaches and co-convenes Criminal Law and Crime, Law and Society. Roxanna's research focuses on vulnerability in the criminal process and she has published her first book with Routledge on the implementation of the appropriate adult safeguard in police custody. Roxanna has also written on the decision to detain in police custody, perceptions of child and youth vulnerability in police custody, domestic violence and abuse (with A. Carline) and the vulnerablity of criminal justice practitioners (with D. Newman).

Roxanna was a Visiting Scholar at QUB School of Law in 2016 and in May 2018 she was a Visiting Scholar at the Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative (VHCI) at Emory University, Atlanta, GA. In August 2019, Roxanna will be visiting KU-Leuven, Belgium to work with Prof Dr Michele Panzavolta and Ms Lore Mergaerts (funded by a KU-Leuven Cardiff exchange). 

Roxanna is currently working with Profs Jackie Hodgson and Vanessa Munro (Warwick), Dr Layla Skinns (Sheffield) and Katie  Kempen (ICVA) on a project seeking to understand the experiences of female detainees in police custody. She is also currently working Dan Newman (Cardiff) on a project that examines the experiences of criminal justice in Wales (funded by the British Academy). As part of this work, Dan and Roxanna have submitted to the Justice in Wales Commission. Their work was also cited in a UK parliament debate on court closures by Richard Burgon.

Roxanna's work has a strong impact focus - she was involved in the Home Office Working Group on Vulnerable Adults and has conducted research for the National Appropriate Adult Network’s (NAAN) review of National Standards. Her research has been cited in the 'Evidence-base' for the NAAN National Standards, as well as in JUSTICE's report on 'Mental Health and Fair Trial' and Revolving Doors' Report 10 Years Post-Bradley. Roxanna has also been awarded ESRC Impact Accelerator funding to train Independent Custody Visitors on the use of the appropriate adult safeguard.

Roxanna (CO-I) has recently completed a thematic review of domestic homicide reviews, adult practice reviews, and mental health homicide reviews for the National Independent Safeguarding Board Wales with Prof Amanda Robinson (PI) and Dr Alyson Rees (CO-I) of Cardiff School of Social Sciences. This latter work has led to the establishment of a Wales Safeguarding Repository. In continuation of this work, Roxanna (as CO-I) has reviewed Child Practice Reviews, funded by the National Independent Safeguarding Board Wales via Welsh Government (with Drs Alyson Rees (PI), Rachel Swann (CO-I), Tom Slater (CO-I) and Prof Amanda Robinson (CO-I)).

Roxanna is currently an Executive Committe Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association and the South Wales co-convenor (along with Prof Mike Levi, Cardiff SOCSCI) of the British Society of Criminology Wales Branch. Roxanna is also the Publisher Liaison for the SLSA. 

Roxanna can be found on twitter on @roxanna_law

Roxanna and Dan's BA funded project can be found @CardiffCriminal

Education

  • 2014-18 - Ph.D. in Law - Leicester Law School, University of Leicester
  • 2011-12 - L.L.M., Forensics, Criminology & Administration of Justice, cum laude - Faculty of Law, Maastricht University
  • 2007-10 - L.L.B. (Hons.), Law, Second Class, First Division - School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast

Honours and awards

  • Thematic Review of CPRs - National Independent Safeguarding Board Wales (CO-I with Rees (PI), Swann, Slater, and Robinson (CO-I)) (£26,000)
  • Cardiff University Research Opportunities Placement (CUROP) – funding for project ‘The experiences of the suspect and defendant in the criminal process’ (£2100 awarded to fund undergraduate research assistance with Dr Dan Newman (PI))
  • British Academy Small Research Grant – ‘Suspect and Defendant Experiences of the Criminal Process’ (£8543 awarded; PI, with Dr Dan Newman (CO-I))
  • Thematic Review of DHRs and APRs - National Independent Safeguarding Board Wales (CO-I with Prof Amanda Robinson (PI) and Dr Alyson Rees (CO-I)) (£20,000)
  • REF-Research Impact Development Fund – University of Leicester (£3623.60, awarded but declined)
  • Graduate Teaching Assistantship (Fully funded PhD) – University of Leicester (£57,204)
  • Postgraduate Bursaries – British Society of Criminology 2016; 10th North-South Irish Criminology Conference 2016; Socio-Legal Studies Association 2016
  • Postgraduate Development Fund – College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, University of Leicester, 2016 (£500); College of Arts, Humanities and Law, University of Leicester, 2016 (£500)
  • Top 3% Scholarship – Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, 2012 (Full tuition fee for L.L.M.)

Professional memberships

  • South Wales Co-convenor - British Society of Criminology, Wales Branch (02-2019-)
  • Resources co-co-ordinator - The Advocate's Gateway (05/2018-)
  • Executive Committee Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association
  • National Appropriate Adult Network – Academic lead on National Standards (05/2017-03/2018); Research dissemination co-ordinator (05/2017-)
  • Home Office Working Group on Vulnerable Adults (11/2016-11/2017)
  • British Society of Criminology Postgraduate Committee – Events Manager (07/2016-07/2017)
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2017-)
  • Member of the European Society of Criminology
  • Member of the Northumbria Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies
  • Member of the British Society of Criminology
  • Member of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control
  • Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association
  • Member of the Society of Legal Scholars
  • Member of the Early Career Academic Network – Howard League for Penal Reform

Academic positions

  • 2018 - Visiting Scholar - Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative, Emory University
  • 2016-17 - Lecturer in Law - University of Leicester
  • 2014-16 - Graduate Teaching Assistant - University of Leicester
  • 2016 - Visiting Scholar - Queen's University Belfast
  • 2015-16 - Teaching Associate - University of Birmingham

Speaking engagements

  • ‘The experiences of criminal justice in Wales’ – LSA (Washington, 2019)
  • ‘Vulnerability and access to justice: lawyers and legal aid in south Wales’ – SLSA (Leeds, 2019)
  • ‘Experiences of Criminal Justice in South Wales’ – SLSA (Leeds, 2019)
  • ‘Vulnerability and the Subjects and Objects of Law’ (Roundtable discussion) – LSA (Washington, 2019)
    ‘Housing and the responses to domestic violence: a review of Domestic Homicide Reviews’ – Making a Stand Cymru (Cardiff, 2019)
  • ‘Conceptualising vulnerability in police custody’ – Criminal Justice Research Centre (Nottingham, 2019)
  • ‘Young People and Police Custody’ – School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, QUB (Belfast, 2019)
  • ‘Roundtable – Quality of Criminal Defence’ – Transform Justice (London, 2019)
  • ‘Thematic Roundtable – Mental Health’ – Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) (London, 2019)
  • ‘Implementing Vulnerability Theory in Legislative or Judicial Contexts’ (Roundtable discussion) – A Workshop on Vulnerability Theory and the Human Condition: Celebrating a Decade of Innovation (Leeds, 2018)
  • 'Constructing the case for the defence: ineffective lawyering, police impropriety and the efficacy of legal protections’ - LSA (Toronto, 2018)
  • ‘Professionalism and ethics’ (Roundtable discussion) – Workshop on Vulnerability and the Social Reproduction of Resilient Societies (Atlanta, 2018)
  • ‘Interrogating vulnerability: conceptualising and reconceptualising vulnerability under Code C to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984’ - Workshop on Vulnerability and the Social Reproduction of Resilient Societies (Atlanta, 2018)
  • ‘Vulnerability in police custody: reflections from the field’ – Independent Office for Police Conduct (London, 2018)
  • ‘What is known about the experiences of vulnerable court users?’ – ESRC-HMCTS workshop on vulnerable court users (London, 2018)
  • 'Who is the 'vulnerable adult'?: reflections on the Home Office's proposed changes to Code C to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984’ - SLSA (Bristol, 2018)
  • 'The appropriate adult safeguard: exploring the descriptive and the normative' - SLSA (Bristol, 2018)
  • 'PACE, suspects’ rights and the case for the defence: ineffective lawyering, police impropriety and the efficacy of legal protections’ – Howard League for Penal Reform (Oxford, 2018)
  • 'Professional Vulnerability in the Context of the Criminal Justice Process in England and Wales' - Workshop on Professionalism and Vulnerability (Leeds, 2017)
  • ‘Invisibility of disability in the Criminal Justice System: vulnerability and the appropriate adult safeguard’ – LSESU Penal Reform Society (Panel Contribution) (London, 2017)
  • ‘Barriers to implementing the appropriate adult safeguard’– National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN) Professional Development Day (Bristol, 2017)
  • ‘Can practitioners and institutions be ‘vulnerable’?: examining the effect of neo-liberalism and austerity on police custody and criminal legal aid’ – British Society of Criminology Annual Conference (Sheffield, 2017)
  • ‘Constructions of ‘mental disorder’ and ‘mental vulnerability’ in police custody: more than just ‘understanding’ and ‘capacity’?’ – Mental Disability PGR and ECR Conference (Nottingham, 2017)
  • ‘Conceptualising practitioners and institutions as ‘vulnerable’: examining Fineman’s vulnerability thesis in the context of the criminal justice system’ – DMU-Leicester-Modena Conference: A Dialogue on Law and Rights (Modena, 2017)
  • ‘“We’re vulnerable too”: an (alternative) analysis of vulnerability within criminal legal aid and police custody’ – SLSA (Newcastle, 2017)
  • ‘Vulnerable by law but not by nature: exploring child and youth vulnerability in the context of police custody’ - Third Leicester-Modena Conference: A Dialogue on Law and Rights (Leicester, 2016); 10th North-South Irish Criminology Conference (Maynooth, 2016); British Society of Criminology Annual Conference (Nottingham, 2016); European Society of Criminology (Muenster, Germany, 2016)
  • ‘Vulnerability in police custody:  custody officers’ constructions of ‘vulnerability’ for the appropriate adult safeguard’ - Inaugural UK Mental Disability Law Conference (Nottingham, 2016)
  • ‘Automatic authorisation: assessing necessity to detain under PACE 1984’ – SLSA (Lancaster, 2016)
  • ‘Interrogating Vulnerability: a critical analysis of vulnerability under Code C to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984’ - SLSA (Lancaster, 2016); Human Rights Centre (Belfast, 2016); Socio-Legal Seminar (Leicester, 2016)
  • ‘Automatic authorisation: an exploration of the decision to detain in police custody’ – Criminal Law, Criminal Justice and Criminology Seminar (Leicester, 2016)
  • ‘Identifying and defining vulnerability in police custody: assessing impact’ - Annual Summer PGR Conference (Birmingham, 2015)
  • ‘Implementing the appropriate adult safeguard – custody officers’ responses’ - Midlands Postgraduate Conference in Law (Leicester, 2015)
  • ‘Identifying Vulnerability and Risk in Police Custody: An Exploration of Themes’ - SLSA (Warwick, 2015)
  • ‘A Miscarriage of Justice at the Custody Suite?’ - Miscarriages of Justice Project (Leicester, 2015)
  • ‘The appropriate adult safeguard in police custody’ - Miscarriages of Justice Project (Leicester, 2014)

Committees and reviewing

  • Howard Journal of Crime and Justice - Article reviewer (2018)
  • Oxford University Press - Textbook reviewer (2018)
  • Policy Press - Monograph reviewer (2017)
We are currently unable to retrieve the list of publications. Visit our institutional repository.

Roxanna is passionate about using socio-legal approaches to interrogate various aspects of the criminal justice process. Her first book critically appraises the operationalisation of the appropriate adult safeguard for adult suspects in police custody. This research, focusing predominantly on how and why custody officers implement the safeguard, provides the first in-depth examination of the appropriate adult safeguard in the 30 years post-PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984) and has been deemed a 'major contribution to the field' by Prof Emeritus Gisli Gudjonsson CBE.

In addition to research on the appropriate adult safeguard for adult suspects (Howard Journal of Crime and Justice; Policing; Criminal Law Review), Roxanna has published on the decision to detain in police custody (Criminal Law Review), the vulnerability of young suspects in police custody (Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law), with Anna Carline (Leicester) on domestic violence and abuse (OUP), and on domestic homicide, adult practice and mental health homicide reviews with Amanda Robinson and Alyson Rees (Journal of Adult Protection; NISB). Roxanna works closely with Dan Newman; with Dan she has written on the vulnerability of criminal justice practitioners and institutions (Onati Socio-Legal Series) and whether lawyers can be considered 'appropriate' appropriate adults (Howard Journal of Crime and Justice). She has also written on the use of age assessments for asylum seekers and refugees and on the experiences of immigration detainees in police custody (both Border Criminologies).

Roxanna’s primary interests are on the treatment of 'vulnerable' people in the criminal justice process, the police custody process and environment, police decision-making, police discretion, vulnerability theories, the operation of the criminal justice process,  comparative criminal justice, and suspect/defendant rights in Europe. She is also interested in access to justice, youth justice, mental health and disability, the criminalisation of immigration, and qualitative methodologies.

I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Mental health in the criminal justice system
  • Police discretion
  • Police custody
  • Vulnerability in the criminal justice system
  • Vulnerability theory
  • Suspect/defendant rights