Skip to main content
Dr Bharat Malkani

Dr Bharat Malkani

Senior Lecturer

School of Law and Politics

+44 (0)29 2087 5454
Room 3.02A, Law Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX


I research and teach in the fields of human rights and criminal justice, with a particular focus on the death penalty. My latest book, 'Slavery and the Death Penalty: A Study in Abolition', was published by Routledge in 2018, and a review of the book is available in the March 2020 issue of the Journal of Law and Society (see here). I have also published articles in leading national and international journals, including Public Law, Criminal Law Review, European Human Rights Law Review, and International & Comparative Law Quarterly.

My research has led to engagements with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the issue of foreign nationals, including migrant workers, who face the death penalty abroad; the Australian Parliament on the issue of Australia's role in promoting abolition of capital punishment worldwide; and the charity Amicus, which provides assistance to attorneys in America defending people facing execution. I have a particular interest in the myriad ways in which abolitionist countries are complicit in executions abroad, and in my journal article on this topic in the International & Comparative Law Quarterly was awarded the Young Scholar Award in 2014. My research on this topic was used by lawyers who successfully challenged the UK Home Secretary's decision to offer assistance to US prosecutors in a potential capital case (see Elgizouli v SSHD [2020] UKSC 10). The UK Supreme Court also referred to an article of mine on the place of human rights treaties in the English legal system (see R (SG) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2015] UKSC 16)

Prior to joining academia I was a legal researcher at the American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center from 2002 - 2004, where I assisted with a nationwide effort to abolish the death penalty for offenders under the age of 18. I helped lawyers representing death-eligible juveniles, and I co-authored an Amicus Curiae Brief on the role of international human rights law in interpreting the Eighth Amendment, which was cited with approval by the US Supreme Court in Roper v Simmons 543 US 551 (2005), in which the Court outlawed the juvenile death penalty.

I also have a keen interest in clinical legal education, which involves (a) providing legal assistance to those in need, and (b) enhancing students' learning experience by enabling them to put their academic studies into practice. To this extent, I work with various pro bono projects in the School of Law and Politics in Cardiff, including the Innocence Project. In 2008, I founded  Birmingham Law School's Pro Bono Group, whcih I led until I left Birmingham Law School in 2017. The Group was awarded the prize for Best Contribution by a Law School in the LawWorks & Attorney General Student Awards 2017.

I am active on Twitter, and you can follow me @bharatmalkani


Education and qualifications

  • 2009: PhD University of Bristol
  • 2002: LLM University of Nottingham (with Distinction)
  • 2000: LLB University of Bristol (Class 2:1)

Academic career:

  • 2017 - present: Senior Lecturer, School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University
  • 2008 - 2017: Lecturer, Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham


  • International Academic Network for the Abolition of Capital Punishment

Other awards and achievements:

  • 2017: LawWorks & Attorney General Student Awards 2017: Best Contribution by a Law School Awarded for Birmingham Law School's Pro Bono Group
  • 2013: Young Scholar Prize Awarded by the Editorial Board of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly for the most outstanding article by an author under the age of 35
  • 2010:Post-Graduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education



  • Malkani, B. 2019. Extradition and non-refoulement. In: Steiker, C. S. and Steiker, J. M. eds. Comparative Capital Punishment. Research Handbooks in Comparative Law Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 76-95.










Courses currently taught:

  • Criminal Law LLB
  • Human Rights Law LLB
  • Miscarriages of Justice: The Cardiff Innocence Project LLB

Courses previously taught

  • Human Rights and Criminal Justice LLB
  • Public International Law LLB
  • Human Rights and Criminal Justice LLM
  • Sentencing and Penal Policy LLM
  • International Human Rights Law LLM
  • The Death Penalty in Law and Practice LLM



Edited Collections:

Journal articles:

  • Beastly Humans: The Welfare Model of Executions [2017] Law Cultures and the Humanities 1-21 (online first version) (with Imogen Jones)
  • The Death Penalty's Dark Side (2017) 74 Washington & Lee Law Review Online Edition 184 (with Kevin Barry)
  • Dignity and the Death Penalty in the United States Supreme Court (2017) 44(2) Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 145-201
  • Voices of the Condemned: A Comparative Study of Slave Narratives and the Testimonies of Death Row Exonerees [2014] Law, Culture and the Humanities 1-21 (online first version)
  • The Obligation to Refrain from Assisting the Use of the Death Penalty (2013) 62(3) International and Comparative Law Quarterly 523-556 (winner of Young Scholar Award 2013)
  • Sentencing Children who Kill: One Giant Leap for the US Supreme Court, One Small Step for International Human Rights Law (2012) 12 Human Rights Law Review 801-813
  • A rights-specific approach to section 2 of the Human Rights Act (2012) 5 European Human Rights Law Review 516-528
  • Human rights treaties in the English legal system [2011] Public Law 554-577 (translated into Japanese by Junâchi Satoh. See (2013) 18 Journal of Osaka Sangyo University 225)
  • Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the decision to prosecute [2011] Criminal Law Review 943-956

Chapters in edited collections:

  • 'Race and Law: W.E.B. Du Bois and The Souls of Black Folk' in Daniel Newman and Faith Gordon (eds) Leading Works in Social Justice and Law (forthcoming, Routledge 2021)
  • 'Extradition and non-refoulement' in Carol Steiker and Jordan Steiker (eds) Comparative Capital Punishment Law (Elgar Edwards, 2019)
  • 'Clinical Legal Education Reimagined' in Linden Thomas, Steven Vaughan, Bharat Malkani, and Theresa Lynch (eds) Reimagining Clinical Legal Education (forthcoming, Hart Publishing 2018)
  • 'Law schools and Pro Bono initiatives: Student motivations, perceptions, and experiences at the University of Birmingham' in Paul McKeown and Chris Ashford (eds), Social Justice and Legal Education (Cambridge Scholars 2018) (with Linden Thomas) pp.111-127
  • 'Language and Superdiversity: An Interdisciplinary Perspective' in Angela Creese and Adrian Blackledge (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Language and Superdiversity (Routledge 2018) pp.xxi-xlv (with Adrian Blackledge et al)
  • 'The judicial use of international and foreign law in death penalty cases: A poisoned chalice?' in Austin Sarat (ed) Is the Death Penalty Dying? (Studies in Law, Politics and Society) (Elsevier 2008) pp.161-194

Book Reviews:



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

  • Capital punishment
  • Other harsh punishments, such as solitary confinement and life sentences
  • Human rights and criminal justice

Areas of expertise

External profiles