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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 at the intersection of human rights and criminal justice, with particular focus on the death penalty, racism, and miscarriages of justice. My interest in these topics coalesced into my monograph, Slavery and the Death Penalty (Routledge, 2018)

My research has led to engagements with lawyers, charities, policy-makers, and international organizations outside academia, including 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. You can find more information about my publications and, how my experiences outside academic have influenced my research, by clicking on the “Publications” and "Research" tabs.

I am also actively engaged with various pro bono projects that the School runs, including the Cardiff University Innocence Project which provides assistance to people who claim to have been wrongly convicted of a crime.

Since 2019, I have been the Director for Teaching and Learning for undergraduate law students.


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

Other awards and achievements:

  • 2017: LawWorks & Attorney General Student Awards: Best Contribution by a Law School Awarded for Birmingham Law School's Pro Bono Group, which I founded in 2010 and led until 2017.
  • 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

Other work:

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




  • 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: 2020-21

  • Miscarriages of Justice: The Cardiff Innocence Project LLB
  • I am Director of Teaching and Learning, which involves leading all teaching staff through the changes enforced by Covid-19 and the switch to a system of blended on-campus and online teaching and learning.

Courses previously taught:

  • Criminal Law LLB
  • Human Rights Law LLB
  • 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

Current research projects: 

"Reforming British law and policy on the global death penalty" (funded by the British Academy "Tackling the UK's International Challenges" programme)

This inter-disciplinary project considers how UK law, policy, and practice has historically and contermporaneously shaped the use of the death penalty worldwide. My co-researchers are Dr Lizzie Seal (University of Sussex); Dr Lynsey Black (Maynooth University); Dr Florence Seemungal (University of the West Indies); and Dr Roger Ball (University of Sussex). Expected outputs include:

  • A guest-edited Special Issue of the journal Punishment & Society
  • A journal article which explores how the history of colonialism continues to shape British law, policy, and practice on the use of the death penalty today
  • A briefing document for policy-makers, NGOs, and lawyers on how to most effectively advance abolition abroad

Impact and public engagement:

I also regularly contribute to online publications, so that my research is accessible to a wider, non-academic audience. Recent publications include:

Ongoing contributions to the reseach community:

  • Journal of Law and Society: member of Editorial Board
  • International Academic Network for the Abolition of Capital Punishment: member
  • Amicus ALJ: member


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