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Dr Roxanna Dehaghani

Dr Roxanna Dehaghani

Senior Lecturer in Law

School of Law and Politics

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Media commentator
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

I joined Cardiff in September 2017 as a Lecturer and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in August 2020. I was awarded my PhD by the University of Leicester in January 2018, having previously studied at Maastricht University, the Netherlands (2011-12) and Queen's University, Belfast (2007-10). I have also done stints at Emory (2018), KU-Leuven (2019), and QUB (2016) as a Visiting Fellow/Scholar, thus providing me space to closely interact with scholars outside of my (current or then) institution.

I entered academia with a determination to improve the criminal process for all of those involved and with a particular concern for how faulty decisions and policies may result in miscarriages of justice. To this end, I have worked with the Home Office, the National Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN), the Independent Custody Visiting Association, and the Independent Office for Police Conduct; my work with the Home Office and NAAN culiminated in a sole-authored Impact Case Study for REF2021 and my research informed the ICVA  'Appropriate Adult Briefing' and provided the basis for training Independent Custody Visitors and Scheme Managers/Co-ordinators (funded by the ESRC Impact Accelerator Account).

I am predominantly interested in vulnerability in the criminal process and criminal justice in crisis, and have written on topics such as the vulnerability of suspects, the appropriate adult safeguard, criminal defence, criminal legal aid, experiences of criminal justice in crisis in (England and) Wales, and guilty plea decision-making. What particularly captivates my interest is how legal rules and procedural safeguards are interpreted, implemented, and/or ignored, and what this means for the criminal accused. My research is also set in the context of austerity and neo-liberalism (and related developments such as privatisation), often making use of Fineman's vulnerability theory to illuminate the depletion of resilience through individual decisions and structural factors. Crucially, my research takes a social constructivist approach, yet employs a range of qualitative (and sometimes quantitative) methodologies. On vulnerable suspects, police decision-making, and the appropriate adult safeguard, I have published a monograph (taking a constructivist grounded theory approach, I examine how police custody officers make decisions on vulnerability and the appropriate adult safeguard) and a number of articles; I am currently editing a book on the vulnerability of the accused (with Fairclough (Birmingham) and Mergaerts (Leuven)). On criminal defence and criminal legal aid, I have published a series of articles; my forthcoming monograph (with Newman) details Welsh experiences of criminal justice in crisis. Within many of these outputs, the themes of austerity, neoliberalism, and vulnerability appear time and time again.

I am also passionate about improving regulation of safeguarding and welfare and, to this end, have collaborated with colleagues in Social Sciences on safeguarding reviews (including an award-winning article on adult death reviews) funded by the National Independent Safeguarding Board Wales via Welsh Government. I am also Co-Investigator on a European Research Council funded project on the regulation of criminal justice detention (with Tomczak PI).

I thoroughly enjoy exchanging ideas and working collaboratively across disiplines and sectors to solve contemporary legal problems. I have presented my research to academic audiences, as well as policy-makers and practitioners (across the public, private, and third sectors) and in June 2020 I established a work in progress series to fill the interaction lacuna thrust upon us by the pandemic. If you'd like to join the mailing list of the sessions, please drop me an email. More generally, I like to give of my time to support the academic community; in addition to serving on the Editorial Boards of the Howard Journal of Crime and Justice and the Journal of Adult Protection, I have contributed through significant involvement in learned societies (including arranging numerous events) in my (current or recent) roles as Board Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association (2018-21), Organising Committee Member of the Cardiff 2021 Socio-Legal Studies Association conference (2019-21), Co-Chair of the Vulnerability Research Network (2019-) and Co-Convenor of the Wales Branch (2019-21) for the British Society of Criminology, and Co-organiser of Mental Diversity Law Network's Criminal Law/Justice events (funded by the Wellcome Trust) (2020-). I have served as Deputy Director for the Centre for Crime, Law and Justice (2020/21) and I am actively involved in various research centres at Cardiff (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, and the Centre for Human Rights and Public Law). Upon invitation, I recently became an Associate Member of the Criminal Justice Research Centre at the University of Nottingham. I am also Global Affiliate of the Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative at Emory University, Atlanta, USA, having been a Visiting Fellow there in 2018. Additionally, I am External Examiner on a range of Law, Crime, and Human Rights LLB and LLM modules at  York Law School, University of York.

Alongside my research, I also teach Miscarriages of Justice and teach and lead on Criminal Law. Keen to support the future generation of researchers, I supervise research at UG, PGT, and PGR levels and regularly provide training on research methods and research ethics to PGRs. I am fortunate enough to supervise Riedel (Vulnerability to Radicalisation under the PREVENT strategy) and O'Shea (on how to define sex work and provide subsequent support to sex workers). If you are a passionate, determined, and intellectually curious individual who wishes to pursue a PhD in any of my areas of expertise, please get in touch.

I tweet fairly regularly on problems facing the criminal justice system (and the individuals therein) and on the problems facing academia (and the individuals therein). If this appeals to you, follow me at: @roxanna_law.

Biography

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 APRs - National Independent Safeguarding Board Wales (CO-I with Rees (PI), Swann, and Slater) (£24,991)
  • European Research Council - RECEDE: Regulating Criminal Justice Detention (CO-I) with Tomczak (PI) - (€1.3 million) (2020-)
  • 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)
  • 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

  • Founder and Organiser - Work in Progress - The Vulnerable Accused (05/2020-)
  • Co-convenor - Wales Branch, British Society of Criminology (02/2019-)
  • Co-Chair and Founder - Vulnerability Research Network, British Society of Criminology (12/2019-)
  • Board Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association (04/2018-04/2021)
  • Publisher Liaison - SLSA (05/2019-04/2021)
  • Seminar Committee Member - SLSA (05/2019-04/2021)
  • Ethics Working Group Member - SLSA (05/2019-04/2021)
  • Global Affiliate - Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative (06/2018-)
  • 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 Criminal Justice Research Centre (Nottingham)
  • 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 Early Career Academic Network – Howard League for Penal Reform

Academic positions

  • 2017-20 - Lecturer in Law - Cardiff University
  • 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

  • ‘Conceptualising vulnerability’ – Faculty of Law, Maastricht University (Maastricht, 2021 (forthcoming))
  • ‘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

  • Editorial Board Member: Howard Journal of Crime and Justice (2021-)
  • Research Advisory Group: The Impact of PACE on Young Suspects (funded by Nuffield Foundation) (2020-) (PI: Dr Vicky Kemp); Young Suspects and Policing (funded by Policing Authority Ireland) (2019-21) (PI: Prof Ursula Kilkelly, UCC)
  • Article reviewer: Modern Law Review (2021); International Journal of Law in Context (2021); Howard Journal of Crime and Justice (2021); European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research (2021); International Journal of Law in Context (2021);  European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research (2020), Oñati Socio-Legal Series (2020); Journal of Law and Society (2020); Howard Journal of Crime and Justice (2018; 2020 - three times); Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (2019)
  • Textbook reviewer: Oxford University Press (2018; 2020)
  • Monograph reviewer: Palgrave Macmillan (2020 - twice); Policy Press (2017; 2020 - twice); Routledge (2020 - three times)
  • Grant reviewer: Independent Social Research Foundation (2020); Economic and Social Research Council - Research Centre and Standard;
  • Seminar grants reviewer: SLSA (2020-21)

Publications

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

I am incredibly grateful for financial support for my research and impact and engagement activities from British Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council, the European Research Council, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and the National Independent Safeguarding Board. These various bodies have funded my work on procedural safeguards for the accused, particularly my work on appropriate adults, criminal justice detention, and criminal justice in Wales.

My work is socio-legal and (somewhat) interdisciplinary in nature; I am a qualitative researcher by background (but use quantitative methods where necessary). For my doctoral studies, I conducted an ethnography in police custody (detention), examining the myriad barriers to the implementation of the appropriate adult safeguard. This culminated in my first monograph (deemed a 'major contribution to the field' by Prof Emeritus Gisli Gudjonsson CBE) and a sole-authored Impact Case Study for REF2021. I have written on topics such as the vulnerability of suspects, the appropriate adult safeguard, criminal defence, criminal legal aid, experiences of criminal justice in crisis in (England and) Wales, and guilty plea decision-making. The backdrop of austerity and neo-liberalism also represent major themes in my research, as does the call for a responsive state (drawing upon Fineman's vulnerability theory). My particular interest is in how rules are interpreted, implemented, and/or ignored, and what this means for the criminal accused. I am also interested the factors influencing criminal justice decision-making and experiences (policy-makers, practitioners, and those with lived experience). A number of these issues emerge in my forthcoming monograph on criminal justice in Wales. Whilst I am a legal academic, I am interested in and have studied legal psychology. sociology, and criminology, and I draw on concepts and frameworks from those disciplines in my work. Being an academic magpie of sorts, I am also interested in disability studies (as it interacts with criminal justice), youth justice, and the interaction (or lack thereof) between different areas of the law (family, social care, mental health and capacity, criminal, immigration, etc). My expertise relates to vulnerability, crisis, and resilience in the criminal justice process, specifically the vulnerable suspect, the appropriate adult safeguard, criminal defence, criminal legal aid, and Fineman's vulnerability theory.

Supervision

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

  • Mental health, disability, and vulnerability in criminal process
  • (Barriers to) the accused's participation in the criminal process
  • Vulnerability theory
  • Suspect/defendant rights and procedural safeguards, such as, but not limited to, the right to legal advice and representation and the right to silence
  • Austerity, neoliberalism, managerialism, securitisation and risk in the criminal process