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Dr Roxanna Dehaghani

Dr Roxanna Dehaghani

Lecturer

School of Law and Politics

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Media commentator
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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 has been a Visiting Scholar at Queen's University Belfast (2016), Emory University, Atlanta, GA (2018), and KU-Leuven (2019). She is also an Academic Fellow at the Crime and Security Research Institute, and a Member of the Wales Governance Centre, the Centre for Health and Social Care Law, the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice, and the Centre for Human Rights and Public Law (all at Cardiff University).

Roxanna is principally interested in the intersection(s) between the criminal justice/process and inequality, and is particularly interested in criminal justice matters in Wales. Her first book, with Routledge, examined the implementation of the appropriate adult safeguard in police custody. She is writing a second book with Dr Dan Newman (Cardiff) on 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 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 has previously worked with colleagues in Social Sciences (Robinson, Rees, Slater and Swann) on safeguarding reviews (funded by the National Independent Safeguarding Board Wales via Welsh Government). This latter work led to the establishment of a Wales Safeguarding Repository.

Roxanna's work has a strong impact focus - she was a member of 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 led to the establishment of an 'Evidence-base' for the NAAN National Standards, and has been cited 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 is also actively involved in learned societies and thoroughly enjoys supporting the academic community. For the Socio-Legal Studies Association, Roxanna is an Executive Committee Member, Publisher Liaison, Seminar Committee Member, and Ethics Working Group Member. For the British Society of Criminology, Roxanna is the co-convenor of the Wales branch and the Co-Chair of the Vulnerability Research Network (which she established with Dr Harriet Pierpoint of the University of South Wales and Chris Bath of the National Appropriate Adult Network). She is always keen to engage practitioners and policymakers in her work and in academic debate. She is also keen to inform her academic work from policy and practice perspectives.

Roxanna currently teaches Criminal Law and Crime, Law and Society (also co-convenor of the latter).  

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

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission – ‘Conditions of Detention in Wales’ (£1500 with R.D. Jones and L. Series) (2019/20)
  • ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (£4000 for training event for ICV Scheme Managers/ICVs on the appropriate adult safeguard (2019/20))
  • 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

  • Convenor - Wales Branch, British Society of Criminology (02/2019-)
  • Co-Chair and Founder - Vulnerability Research Network, British Society of Criminology (12/2019-)
  • Executive Committee Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association (04/2018-)
  • Publisher Liaison - SLSA (05/2019-)
  • Seminar Committee Member - SLSA (05/2019-)
  • Ethics Working Group Member - SLSA (05/2019-)
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2017-)
  • National Appropriate Adult Network – Academic lead on National Standards (05/2017-03/2018); Research dissemination co-ordinator (05/2017-09/2019)
  • Resources co-co-ordinator - The Advocate's Gateway (05/2018-09/2019)
  • Home Office Working Group on Vulnerable Adults (11/2016-11/2017)
  • British Society of Criminology Postgraduate Committee – Events Manager (07/2016-07/2017)
  • 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

  • 2019 - Visiting Scholar - KU-Leuven
  • 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

‘Challenging the ‘individual’ through a vulnerability paradigm’ – LSA (Denver, 2020)

  • ‘Conceptualising vulnerability’ – Faculty of Law, Maastricht University (Maastricht, 2020)
  • ‘Risky Business? Risk Assessments and Responsibilisation in Police Custodial Detention’ – LSA (Denver, 2020)
  • ‘Conceptualising the appropriate adult safeguard’ – SLSA (Portsmouth, 2020)
  • ‘Vulnerability and criminal justice practitioners’ – Workshop on Vulnerability and the Organisation of Academic Labour (Nottingham, 2019)
  • ‘Vulnerability in police custody: police decision-making and the appropriate adult safeguard’ – Centre for Crime, Law and Justice (Cardiff, 2019)
  • ‘Vulnerability in police custody: the English and Welsh perspective’ – Faculty of Law, Maastricht University (Maastricht, 2019)
  • ‘The Experiences of criminal justice in Wales’ – Criminal Law, Criminal Justice and Criminology, Leicester Law School (Leicester, 2019)
  • ‘The experiences of criminal justice in south Wales’ – LSA (Washington, 2019); ESC (Ghent, 2019)
  • ‘European perspectives on vulnerability in criminal proceedings: vulnerability in England and Wales’ – ESC (Ghent, 2019)
  • ‘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)
  • ‘Interrogating vulnerability: conceptualising and reconceptualising vulnerability under Code C to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984’ – Law Staff Seminar (Cardiff, 2018)
  • ‘Vulnerability in police custody: police decision-making and the appropriate adult safeguard’ – Centre for Crime, Law and Justice (Cardiff, 2018)
  • ‘Is the law still failing ‘vulnerable’ suspects?’ – PublicUni, Cardiff University (Cardiff, 2018)
  • ‘Who – and what – is the ‘appropriate’ appropriate adult?’ – Centre for Crime, Law and Justice (Cardiff, 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

  • Article reviewer: Oñati Socio-Legal Series (2020); Journal of Law and Society (2020); Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (2019); Howard Journal of Crime and Justice (2018)
  • Textbook reviewer: Oxford University Press (2018; 2020)
  • Monograph reviewer: Palgrave Macmillan (2020); Policy Press (2017)
  • Seminar grants reviewer: SLSA (2020)

2019

2018

2017

2016

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