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Research Funding and Partnerships

One of the Faculty's distinctive features is its close and enduring working relationships with the users of our research. Whether judges, lawyers, NGOs, government departments or industry in the UK or abroad, these research partners play an active role in our research, helping to develop research agendas, facilitate research, provide feedback on work in progress and disseminate and debate results. Our research partnerships include directly commissioned research, research collaborations and user participation.

November 2013

Double award cements UCL Law research reputationLeverhulme

The reputation of UCL Laws as a centre of elite research has been further cemented following the announcement that Dr Ioannis Lianos and Dr Marc Moore have both been awarded prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prizes. The double achievement means UCL Laws were awarded two out of only five available law awards, a feat unmatched in the category.

The prizes are awarded to outstanding scholars who have made a substantial and acknowledged contribution to their particular field of study, recognised at an international level, and where the expectation is that their greatest achievement is yet to come. Each award, designed to be used over a two or three year period can be used for any purpose which can advance the Prize holder's research, with the exception of enhancing the Prize holder's salary.

Dr Lianos' prize acknowledged his work on the interaction of economic thought with the legal system, whilst Dr Moore's award comes on the back of hid work on Anglo-American corporate law and governance; capital markets and theory of the firm.

For more information:
More on Dr Lianos' research
More on Dr Moore's research

July 2012

Mellon Foundation Funding Enables UCL/British Library Partnership on Transcribe BenthamBentham

UCL’s Bentham Project has received a grant of $538,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, for a project entitled The Consolidated Bentham Papers Repository (CBPR). This funding is effective from 1 October 2012 for a period of two years. It will continue the success of the award-winning crowdsourced manuscript transcription project, Transcribe Bentham, which is digitising and making available UCL’s vast Bentham Papers collection, which runs to some 60,000 manuscript folios (c. 30 million words).

Transcribe Bentham is a collaboration between the Bentham Project, various UCL departments, and volunteer transcribers from around the world. Under this new funding, a new partner will be added to the group: the British Library. In the CBPR, much of the remainder of the UCL Bentham Papers will be digitised, along with the entirety of the British Library’s own Bentham collection, which runs to 12,500 folios (c. 6 million words). The material will reunite the collection (digitally) for the first time since Bentham’s death in 1832.

For more information:
Transcribe Bentham Transcription Desk
UCL Bentham Project
UCL Library’s digital Bentham Papers repository

June 2012

Ben Milligan Awarded Fellowship with the AXA Research FundBen Milligan

Ben Milligan, who recently joined UCL's Centre for Law and the Environment, has been awarded a Fellowship with the AXA Research Fund. The Fellowship is for 2 years (commencing in 2013) to conduct Post-Doctoral research into 'Binding blue carbon: developing global legal and policy responses to an emerging risk of climate change'. The research funding is for €120,000 over two years. There are only 30 such awards, awarded to European citizens or researchers hosted by a European institution.

The term ‘blue carbon’ refers to carbon stored, sequestered and released from the ocean’s vegetated habitats, including mangroves, tidal marshes, and sea-grass beds. Recent scientific studies have drawn attention to the critical role played by these ecosystems in regulating climate change. Ben's research will: (1) map the extent to which blue carbon management activities are consistent with, or already enabled by, international legal and institutional governance frameworks of relevance to nature-based climate change mitigation; and (2) develop detailed recommendations for enabling blue carbon management activities at a national level through progressive development and implementation of these international frameworks.


Colm O'Cinneide receives Nuffield Grant to study Equality and Human Rights Integration in the EU

Colm O'CinneideColm O’Cinneide has been awarded £86,163 from the Nuffield Foundation as principal investigator in a research project to study the integration of equality and human rights institutions in the EU. The title of the project is ‘ Bridging the divide - Matters to be taken into account in relation to the integration of national equality bodies and human rights institutions in the European Union’, and it will involve a comparative study of the regulatory, legal and political issues involved in the merger of institutions charged with promoting respect for human rights and non-discrimination into single integrated bodies such as the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Colm’s co-investigator on this project will be Neil Crowther, former Director of Human Rights at the EHRC and now an independent consultant.

For more information:
Colm O'Cinneide

May 2012

Catherine Redgwell receives Funding for Climate Geoengineering Governance ProjectCatherine Redgwell

Catherine Redgwell, Professor of International Law at UCL, has been awarded £143,708 as co-investigator in a £1.3m two year research project on Climate Geoengineering Governance (CGG) funded by the ESRC and AHRC.

The CGG project will be led from the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, University of Oxford, and will also involve the Institute for Science and Ethics at Oxford together with the Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Sussex and UCL Faculty of Laws. Work is grouped around three sets of understandings required to inform decisions on geoengineering governance: framings of geoengineering;  dilemmas of control of geoengineering technologies; and choosing governance and regulatory requirements. The project builds on the “Oxford Principles on Geoengineering Governance” (2009) which were endorsed by the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology report on The Regulation of Geoengineering (House of Commons 2010) and also by the UK Government in its Response to the Select Committee report. Professors Redgwell (UCL Laws), Rayner and Savulescu (Oxford) were amongst the co-authors of the Principles and are leading researchers on this CGG project. 

For more information:
Catherine Redgwell


European Commission gives BEAMING project an 'Excellent' review

A European Commission Technical Review Report recently assessed a UCL Laws publication as a “significant” and “very high quality piece of work”. The report, entitled 'Legal Impacts of BEAMING Technologies; was prepared by Ray Purdy, Senior Research Fellow, under a major research project (BEAMING) awarded to UCL Laws under the European Framework Programme 7. The report was refereed by one European Commission official and three external experts who also commented that it contained “excellent analysis of the legal issues at play”.

The BEAMING project is building a new sophisticated method of virtual transportation via the internet, which allows for augmented reality interactions, giving  users a real-life experience, but also enabling physical interaction in the above process. A users actions in one place can, therefore, have physical consequences to another user in another place thousands of kilometres away (using advanced robotics and haptic technologies). Communicating and interacting via BEAMING could become as mainstream as other communication tools, such as skype, but it raises a number of new and distinct legal questions and undoubtedly create challenges to some existing legal structures. Ray has written the first report internationally examining some of the most important legal issues that could be raised by the commercial use of BEAMING technologies within the EU.

For more information:
Beaming website
Ray Purdy

Apr 2012

Douglas Guilfoyle of UCL Laws awarded British Academy Mid-Career Research Fellowship Ioannis Lianos

Douglas Gulifoyle has been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Research Fellowship for the 2012-13 academic year. His research proposal, 'Governing the Oceans: The Law of the Sea and Contemporary Challenges', was one of 46 selected from 313 applications. These fellowships support "outstanding individual researchers and outstanding communicators who will promote public engagement and understanding of the humanities and social sciences."

Douglas's project will examine the emergence of new mechanisms of international cooperation and governance dealing with novel maritime security threats or challenges across a range of case studies. Such threats often involve a combination of weak states and asymmetrical non-state actors (i.e. organised groups able to cause great harm with limited resources). For example: illegal fishing thrives through states which do not regulate their vessels; piracy thrives in disordered Somalia; irregular migration by sea is exacerbated by state failure and porous borders. The overall argument will suggest that the key problem is not the law, but the weak ability of many States to exert their jurisdiction and the nature of new threats posed by non-State actors (especially transnational organised crime). The project will also explore whether the fragmented regime of international governance institutions dealing with the maritime domain may actually facilitate experimentation and adaptive responses to novel challenges.

Part of Douglas's public communication strategy for the project is to create a series of YouTube ‘screencasts’ (where a speech track is laid over slides, diagrams and images) to create an accessible introduction to both basic concepts in the law of the sea and case studies in specialist problems in maritime security.

For more information:
Douglas Guilfoyle
British Academy website


Research Council judges UCL Project on Satellites and Environmental Law as 'Outstanding'satellite image

The Arts and Humanities Research Council has recently assessed the major three-year research project awarded to UCL Laws between 2005 and 2008 on the use of satellite technology as a compliance tool for environmental enforcement, and given it its highest rating of Outstanding. The project was directed in Laws by Professor Richard Macrory, with Ray Purdy, Senior Research Fellow, as the lead researcher.

The project, with collaboration from the Dept of Geography, explored the potential and significance of employing satellite monitoring data as a compliance tool, in the context of current step changes in resolution capabilities, geographical coverage, and costs of the technology. The AHRC Assessment commented that the research was clearly valuable, with high impact, and was very complimentary about the degree of "very significant" collaborations and interaction, both formal and informal, that had been carried out during the research. It concluded that the project was "excellent value for money".

Details of the project and its conclusions can be found on:
Centre for Law and the Environment website

Feb 2012

UCL’s Centre for Ethics and Law receives Impact award for PhD scholarship

The Centre for Ethics and Law (CEL) has recently received Impact funding to provide support for a PhD studentship at UCL’s Faculty of Laws. Impact awards support collaborative studentship projects with organisations such as charities, companies, government institutions and social enterprises. UCL part funds the studentships, contributing £32,535 towards the cost of a 3 or 4 year PhD. To qualify for an Impact award, the applicant must identify an organisational partner to match the UCL contribution. In this case, sponsors of the Centre for Ethics and Law have generously provided match funding to support  50% of this new PhD studentship.

For more information:
CEL Scholarship details
Centre for Ethics and Law

Jan 2012

Joanne Scott Awarded Leverhulme Trust Major Research FellowshipJoanne Scott

Joanne Scott, Professor of European Law at UCL, has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship for 24 months, effective 1 September 2012. These awards enable well-established and distinguished researchers in the disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences to devote themselves to a single research project of outstanding originality and significance, capable of completion within two or three years; and are particularly aimed at those who are or have been prevented by routine duties from completing a programme of original research. The Leverhulme Trust will fund a replacement lecturer at UCL Laws for the term of Professor Scott's research. Her project details are as follows:

The Global Reach of EU Climate Change Law: A Game-Changing Strategy?
The European Union (EU) has placed itself at the heart of the drive to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. It not only pursues this aim internally but also externally through the ‘global reach’ of its climate change law. It is this extra-territorial ambition of EU law that forms the heart of this research. Joanne Scott argues that the EU is pursuing an innovative strategy that she calls ‘contingent unilateralism’. Her project assesses the legality, equity and effectiveness of this strategy and argues that a new mode of global leadership is emerging that challenges both unilateralist and multilateralist interpretations of global governance.

Fore more information:
The Leverhulme Trust
Joanne Scott

Nov 2011

Dr Ioannis Lianos Awarded Gutenberg Research Chair

Ioannis LianosIoannis Lianos of UCL Laws has been awarded the Gutenberg Research Chair at the Ecole National d'Administration (ENA), the elite public policy and administration school of the French Republic. Gutenberg Chairs are programmes organised by the local authorities of the French “Alsace” region on the suggestion of the Cercle Gutenberg. The duration of the Chair is approximately one year and its recipients receive the following: a) The Gutenberg Prize, worth 10,000 euros, given personally; and b) specific financial help of 50,000 euros attributed to the host institution and reserved entirely for the execution of their research project. The ENA and the French government have also made a financial contribution to this project.

Dr Lianos’s research will focus on the analysis of national experiences of EU countries, looking at their various Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs). Its objective will be to understand the wider political context that might influence impact assessment methodology and its implementation. A second angle will explore the impact of RIAs in the decision-making process. A third angle will look at the implementation of impact assessments at the local level and, in particular, their role in the devolution or decentralisation process in select EU Member States.

The research will be completed in the next 18 months at the ENA and University College London.

For more info:
Ioannis Lianos

Oct 2011

Fiona Smith awarded Research Grant to study Food Security as a Human Rightfiona smith

UCL Laws Senior Lecturer Fiona Smith has been awarded a grant from the Swiss Government to work on a two year project with the World Trade Institute, Switzerland, on 'Food Security as a Human Right.' The grant is for SF10,000 over two years and will run from Oct 2011 to end Sept 2013. Fiona is the lead researcher. She will be working with Dr Christian Haberler and Professor Christine Kauffman at the World Trade Institute.

This project explores the normative impact of human rights, in particular the right to food on the concept of food security. Its objective is to prepare the ground and contribute to a regulatory framework that integrates social and economic rights into trade and investment rules together with an appropriate mix of policy space. It will provide insights necessary so that a new conceptual framework for appropriate tools to implement food security respecting the right to food can be developed. Congratulations to Fiona.

For more information:
Fiona Smith

Sept 2011

Professor Cheryl Thomas awarded Research Grant from ESRC Follow on Fundcheryl thomas

Cheryl Thomas, UCL Professor of Judicial Studies, has been awarded a research grant from the new ESRC Follow on Fund for a one year project entitled Preventing Improper Juror Conduct and Ensuring Effective Jury Deliberations. This research, following on from the findings of her 2010 study Are Juries Fair? is designed to answer two crucial questions:

1. How can jurors be prevented from improperly using the internet during trials?
2. How can jurors be provided with guidance that will ensure effective jury deliberations?

Working exclusively with real juries at Crown Courts, this project will establish new tools to be used in jury trials to ensure proper conduct and effective deliberations. This will ensure that trial by jury can survive the digital age and continue to play a crucial role in a 21st century criminal justice system. This ESRC grant starts from Sept 2011 and is funded at just over £110,430. Many congratulations to Cheryl.

For more information:
Professor Cheryl Thomas

July 2011

Professor Pascoe Pleasence awarded Research Grant from Nuffield Foundation

guilfoyle imagePascoe Pleasence, co-director of the Centre for Empirical Legal Studies at UCL Laws, has recently been awarded a research grant from the Nuffield Foundation. The grant, of almost £53,000, will be directed towards a review of the international experience of 'legal needs' surveys. It will also cover the production of technical guidance for future surveys and analyse the best course for such survey to take in order to add to our growing knowledge in this area of empirical legal studies. Congratulations to Pascoe on this achievement.

For more information:
Pascoe Pleasence
Centre for Empirical Legal Studies

Dec 2010

Douglas Guilfoyle awarded Leverhulme Trust international network grantguilfoyle image

Dr Douglas Guilfoyle of UCL Laws has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust international network grant of £16,000 for a project entitled “The modern laws of high seas piracy project.” The aim of the project is to bring together a small international team of scholars to write a closely coordinated book on the legal challenges encountered in combating Somali piracy. Congratulations to Douglas on this achievement.

In addition, Dr Guilfoyle was recently interviewed on the subject of Somali piracy on the English language service of China Central Television, the Chinese State broadcaster. He appeared as part of a panel of three experts on the World Insight programme, debating responses and solutions to the Somali piracy crisis.

Related links:
CNTV Video interview
Douglas Guilfoyle

Nov 2010

Faculty of Laws wins European Funding for New 'BEAMING' Project

The new BEAMING ('Being in Augmented Multi-Modal Naturally-Networked Gatherings') project will bring together leading research and development groups, companies and universities from eight European countries. The aim is to bring today's networking, computer vision, computer graphics, virtual reality, haptics, robotics and user interface technology together in a way that has never been tried before thereby transcending what is possible today. The goal is to produce a new kind of virtual transportation, where a person can be physically embodied interacting with life-sized people who may be thousands of kilometres away. Moreover, this is underpinned by the practical utilisation of recent advances in cognitive neuroscience in understanding the process whereby the brain represents our own body.

Ray Purdy at UCL laws is leading the research on the legal/ethical issues of instantaneously transporting people from one physical place in the world to another. This project will run until the end of 2013.

For more information:
BEAMING project
Ray Purdy


Dr Sylvie Delacroix and Dr Ralph Wilde awarded Philip Leverhulme Prizes

We are delighted to announce that Dr Ralph Wilde and Dr Sylvie Delacroix of UCL Laws have each been awarded a prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize 2010. These Prizes commemorate contributions to the work of the Leverhulme Trust made by Philip Leverhulme, the Third Viscount Leverhulme and grandson of the Founder.

The Leverhulme Board offered up to 25 Philip Leverhulme Prizes for 2010. These Prizes are awarded to outstanding scholars who have made a substantial and recognised contribution to their particular field of study, at an international level, and where the expectation is that their greatest achievement is yet to come. Two of just five Prizes in the field of Law awarded this year were won by faculty members at UCL Laws.

Each Leverhulme Prize has a value of £70,000. Prizes can be used for any purpose which will advance the Prize holder's research (over a two or three year period). Many congratulations to Sylvie and Ralph for their significant achievements.

A description of Ralph Wilde’s research can be found on p. 3 of the Jan 2011 Leverhulme newsletter.

Read more about:
Dr Sylvie Delacroix
Dr Ralph Wilde
The Leverhulme Trust

Sept 2010

Dr Ralph Wilde appointed to a Research Fellowship at NYU

Dr Ralph Wilde has been appointed Senior Global Research Fellow at NYU Law School for the first two terms of the 2010-11 academic year. Each year, NYU Law selects a few individuals from around the world as Global Research Fellows, enabling them to join the Law School to conduct research and participate in the intellectual life of the School, without any teaching requirements. Dr Wilde will be spending a period of research leave at NYU, working on the legal issues arising out of Kosovo's independence declaration, and the extraterritorial application of human rights law.

Read more about:
NYU Law Global Fellows
Dr Ralph Wilde

Apr 2010

Professor Maria Lee has been awarded an UK Arts and Humanities Council ( AHRC) Fellowship

maria leeMaria Lee has been awarded an UK Arts and Humanities Council ( AHRC) Fellowship for 9 months from 1 October 2010. The project is about the relationship between tort and regulation. 

Environmental protection is a public interest dominated by a complex and more or less comprehensive system of state and supranational regulation. But this is also the realm of private law, since individual rights or interests (eg property, physical integrity, amenity) may be affected by the regulation itself or by a regulated activity (eg by an airport, by a wind farm, by industrial air pollution). What happens when these areas of law meet is unclear, particularly how the regulatory decision should feed into the determination and protection of rights and interests in private law. One of the primary aims of this fellowship is to achieve some descriptive and normative clarity on the relationship between tort and regulation. 

Many congratulations to Maria.

Read more about:
Professor Maria Lee 

Previous Laws Research Projects include: