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Dr Bharat Malkani

Dr Bharat Malkani

Senior Lecturer

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


My research and teaching lie at the intersection of human rights and criminal justice, with a 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). I am currently under contract with Bristol University Press to publish a second monograph title 'The Law of Racial Injustice', due to be published in 2024. 

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. 

I am 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.

In 2022, I was appointed Deputy Chair of the Independent Oversight and Advisory Panel to the Criminal Justice Board of Wales, with a view to overseeing the implementation of the Anti-Racism Action Plan. You can read more about this here

I am also on the editorial board for the Journal of Law and Society

Outside academia, I volunteer with the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Eastwood Park, ensuring that imprisoned people are treated in accordance with their rights under domestic and international law.  


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:

  • 2022 - present: Reader, School of Law and Politics, Cardiff University
  • 2017 - 2022: 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:

  • 2022 - present: Member of the Independent Monitoring Board for HMP Eastwood Park
  • 2002-2004: Legal researcher at the American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center, 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

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

Past projects