Socio-legal news

Welcome to the news section of the SLSA website. This area is divided into the following categories:

If you would like an item added to the news section, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New for week ending 16 April 2021

SLSA events and co-sponsored events

Decolonising the Criminal Question: Colonial legacies, contemporary problems, Warwick

Law Commission 14th Programme of Law Reform Academic Conference – online organised by the Law Commission, SLS, SLSA and ALT

Other events

Chro­no­topes of Law and Multi-scalar Governance: New con­texts – with Mariana Valverde, online from University of Helsinki

International Law Association Spring Conference 2021 - online from QMUL

Book Launch Webinar: The Routledge Handbook of Law and Society – hosted by the Law and Society Association

Food Insecurity in International Law and Governance: Critical discourses of technology, modernisation and indigeneity in law and policy relating to food security – online from De Montfort University: call for papers

Fourth Annual Conference of the Partnership, LLP and LLC Law Forum: call for papers – Nottingham Trent University

International State Crime Initiative Event: Looting the North, Looting the South – investigating transnational corruption – online from QMUL 

International State Crime Initiative Book Launch: Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide – Identity, history and hate speech – online from QMUL

Leaders in SHAPE: Tristram Hunt – in conversation with Conor Gearty: online from the British Academy


JUSTICE: response to Independent Human Rights Act Review

Criminal Justice Alliance: Open letter on Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

JUSTICE Working Party Report: When things go wrong

JUSTICE Working Party Report: Tackling Racial Injustice – Children and the youth justice system

Research and funding

Nuffield Foundation: Understanding communities fund – register your interest

Nuffield Foundation: Exploring the effects of COVID-19 on society – deadline extended

BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants 2021: call for applications


Four vacancies at University of Sheffield, School of Law

ESRC Grant Assessment Panel: vacancies for a chair and academic and user members

Digital (virtual) fellowships, Kate Hamburger Kolleg

Lecturer in criminal law, York Law School

Chair in mental health and society, School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham


Four vacancies at University of Sheffield, School of Law

Applications are invited for the following vacancies:

ESRC Grant Assessment Panel: vacancies for a chair and academic and user members

The ESRC is now advertising for a chair and academic and user members of the Grant Assessment Panels. Closing date for applications: 17:00 on Friday 7 May 2021. See website for details.

Digital (virtual) fellowships, Kate Hamburger Kolleg

Applications are invited for the above fellowships. Closing date: 30 April 2021. See announcement for details.

Lecturer in criminal law, York Law School 

Applications are invited for the above full-time, fixed-term post. See website for details. Closing date: 10 May 2021.

Chair in mental health and society, School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham

Applications are invited for this full-time, permanent position. See website for details. Closing date: 11 May 2021.

Lecturer/senior lecturer in quantitative methods and lecturer in criminal justice, University of Birmingham  

Applications are invited for these two permanent posts:

Closing date for applications for both positions: 20 April 2021.

Sociological review fellowship, Keele University

Applications are invited for this one-year fixed term post at the Keele Institute for Social Inclusion. Please see website for details. Closing date: 23 April 2021.

Seven research vacancies for a research project on human rights accountability: based at different Flemish universities 

Applications are invited for the above positions on this interdisciplinary research project. See announcement for details. Please note that closing dates for these positions vary. 

Virtual Knowledge Frontiers Symposium: call for participants

The British Academy and the Polish Academy of Sciences are inviting applications for early career researchers in the humanities and social sciences to participate in a virtual Knowledge Frontiers Symposium on the broad theme of 'Just Transitions'. See announcement for details. Closing date: 21 July 2021.

Two PhD opportunities, Centre for Access to Justice and Inclusion, Anglia Ruskin University

Applications are invited for the following openings.

Both can be undertaken on either a part-time or full-time basis. Closing date: September 2021.


Online resources

Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School Podcast

The IILAH podcast is the online home of lectures and conversations hosted by the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at Melbourne Law School. Please see website for details.

KG Kannabiran Lectures on Law, Justice and Human Rights

A series of lectures organised by the family of K G Kannabiran (1929–2010) to remember him 10 years after his death: jurists, lawyers and judges who knew and worked with KG Kannabiran recall and celebrate his life, his work, and his futures. Details can be found on the YouTube Channel.

The Countersign Podcast hosted by Professor Stewart Motha

Countersign is a podcast hosted by Stewart Motha, Professor of Law at Birkbeck. Stewart and guests discuss books, films, and other materials from across disciplines which open new perspectives on law, difference, and plural existence.

The Oxford Putney Debates: All five of this year's debates now available online

This year these events livestreamed as webinar debates on 'The Sovereignty of Parliament'. The entire series, featuring Sir Adam Roberts, AC Grayling, Helen Mountfield QC, and a host of other panellists, is now available online.

Criminal Justice Natters: new YouTube channel

Dr Ed Johnston, University of the West of England, has launched a new videocast channel which will feature interviews with individuals wth an interest in criminal justice. In the first episode, Ed will be speaking to Liam Allan who was accused of rape in 2016 and took two years to clear his name. The second episode will US lawyer David Rudolf of The Staircase documentary series. See Criminal Jusice Natters on YouTube for details.

Catch-Up Webinar: Populism and the law, by Prof Daniel Smilov, hosted by the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, Oxford

Catch up on FLJS Fellow Prof Daniel Smilov's webinar exploring the link between the rise of populism and the rule of law in liberal democracies. Prof Smilov challenges prevailing wisdom on populist regimes in Eastern Europe, offering instead a provocative 'anti-paternalist' thesis to argue that populism in fact fits well with many liberal constitutional principles. See website for details.

Catch-Up Webinar: The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty, hosted by the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, Oxford

A panel of experts discuss The Narrow Corridor: States, Societies, and the Fate of Liberty, a crucial new big-picture framework that answers the question of how liberty flourishes in some states but falls to authoritarianism or anarchy in others, by Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson, the authors of the international bestseller Why Nations Fail. See website for details.

Doing Ethnography Remotely: Stanford Centre for Global Ethnography – six video interviews with researchers 

In this video series, the Center's co-directors Sharika Thiranagama (Anthropology) and Sylvia Yanagisako (Anthropology) interview six ethnographers who have conducted research remotely. See website for details.

IEL Collective: call for contriutions to IEL Pop-up Collection

The IEL (international economic law) Collective invites contributions for its online pop-up collection of artefacts (objects or images). Please see website for details. 



Queer Lawyers of Tomorrow: Breaking barriers to assist the next generation of LGBTQIA+ lawyers

This new network's key aim is is to support the queer aspiring lawyer community across the UK with the creation of an inclusive, informative network. It seeks to support the development of professional relationships enabling likeminded people to connect. Queer Lawyers of Tomorrow is also planning to create a calendar of events that are of particular interest to queer aspiring lawyers whilst holding a few annual events of its own. Social mobility will also be put at the forefront of the network's activities with all its events and opportunities being accessible to all. For further information, please see announcement and website for details.

Pracademia Network: new network for UK and international pracademics

The new Pracademia Network aims to:

  • inform the development of training programmes
  • encourage and share best practice and
  • facilitate internal/external collaborations

for the benefit of a much wider group of local, national and international stakeholders; including academics, students, Higher Education Institutions, and other organisations. The network has been set up with the help of Advance HE following research at Sheffield Hallam University around former/current practitioners who now lecture/research in HE. See the website for further details.

Network: New AHRC humanities-led network will put social justice at the heart of AI research

The Ada Lovelace Institute and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have today launched JUST AI, a network of researchers and practitioners, led by Dr Alison Powell from LSE, that will establish a multidisciplinary research base around ‘just AI’ – AI that is ethical, works for the common good and is effectively governed and regulated. The humanities-led network will build on research in AI ethics, orienting it around practical issues of social justice, distribution, governance and design, and seek to inform the development of policy and practice. See website for full details.

European Reproductive Justice network: call for interest

This is a call to anyone interested in being part of a European Reproductive Justice network. The aim of the network is to share knowledge of law, society and culture across Europe in relation to reproductive justice. The network recognises reproductive justice as a core element of human rights, particularly, but not exclusively for women. As such, the focus is upon, but is not limited to:

  • ability and means to become pregnant
  • ability and means to prevent pregnancy
  • support around and for decision to remain pregnant
  • support around and for decision to discontinue a pregnancy
  • obstetric healthcare
  • gynaecological healthcare
  • obstetric violence
  • economic and social support for parents or those wishing to become parents

This is an interdisciplinary network for academics, professionals and activists. If you are interested in being part of the network then please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Invitation to Join the Global Research Network

Expressions of interest are invited for SLSA members to the Global Research Network, a meeting place for doctoral and early career scholars in law and the humanities.

Network members support one another by, for example, arranging visits to their university to speak, sharing useful information about the newest developments in the field, and participating in regular webinars on key topics of interest (publication strategies, career planning, etc). There are PhD and early career writing groups that meet monthly. There is a members’ forum that includes tips and resources, job and fellowship opportunities, and conference calls and publication opportunities. We are also establishing a Think Tank (with programmes in various field of law), and inviting established scholars to act as mentors.

Please contact our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. via email if you have any questions or fill in the sign-up form online, where you will find more information. 

The Legal Cultures of the Subsoil Database – new database launched by the Institute of Latin American Studies

The Legal Cultures of the Subsoil Database compiles legal actions and documentation (artefacts) devised in the context of mining conflicts. It has resulted from an ESRC-funded anthropological project led by ILAS lecturer, Dr Ainhoa Montoya, that explored how legal languages, instruments and institutions are employed by different actors within the field of environmental politics, specifically in the context of mining conflicts. It currently contains information on six mining projects in Central America, with plans to expand to other Latin American regions in the future. 

To learn more about the database and the wider 'Legal Cultures of the Subsoil' project please consult the following blog contributions:

The database will continue to be developed and expanded during 2020, as part of a British Academy–GCRF sponsored project, ‘The Juridification of Resource Conflicts: Legal Cultures, Moralities and Environmental Politics in Central America’. A Spanish-language version will be available by the end of 2020. If you have any questions or comments about the database or the wider research projects, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The IEL Collective: launch of a new international economic law initiative

The IEL Collective was launched on Thursday 23 May 2019. It is an initiative started by research centres based at seven law schools around the UK and we are hoping to include more partners from around the world shortly. The IEL Collective provides a space for critical reflection on the complex interactions in the growing field of international economic law and exploring how epistemological and methodological diversity in the discipline can contribute towards the development of a more holistic landscape of scholarship on law and the governance of the global economy. The Collective aims to stimulate conversations about plurality, representation and, criticality, in researching, teaching and practising international economic law and spark new conversations about the future of the discipline. Visit the website for more information

Current partners include: Cardiff Law and Global Justice, University of Cardiff; Centre for Critical International Law, University of Kent; Centre for Law, Regulation and Governance of the Global Economy, University of Warwick; Human Rights Centre, University of Essex; Human Rights Law Centre, University of Nottingham; Liverpool Economic Governance Unit, University of Liverpool; School of Law, University of Bristol; Social Critiques of Law, University of Kent.

To receive more information and get involved, please sign up here.


Consultations, inquiries and surveys

Law Commission’s Consultation Paper on Devolved Tribunals in Wales

The Law Commission is reviewing the structure of devolved tribunals in Wales to create a modern, flexible tribunal system. See website for details. Consultations closes: 19 March 2021

Law Commission: Call for evidence on smart contracts

The Law Commission invites submissions of evidence on the subject of smart contracts. Please see website for details. Closing date: 31 March 2021.

Law Commission: Third consultation on automated vehicles

Responses are invited to the Law Commission's third and final consultation on automated vehicles. Please see website for details. Closing date: 18 March 2021.


Other announcements

AHRC PhD Alumni Survey

The AHRC is running a survey to understand the achievements of its previously funded students. See website for details. Closing date: 2 April 2021.

Queer Lawyers of Tomorrow: essay competition

Entries are invited for the QLT essay competition (in association with Matrix Chambers). Entrants have a choice of three questions and entries should be no more than 1000 words. See announcement for details. Closing date: 15 March 2021.

British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding: open for nominations

The British Academy’s £25,000 non-fiction book prize is awarded annually for a book that contributes to public understanding of world cultures. It is designed to illuminate the interconnections and divisions that shape cultural identity worldwide. See website for details. Closing date: 31 March 2021.

BIICL Short Courses: Public International Law in Practice; the Law of the Sea; Business and Human Rights; and Climate Change Law – all online

Offered by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), the virtual courses will be led by the Institute's leading researchers, together with external experts and distinguished practitioners. The course format will consist of a series of sessions in which live teaching is offered via Zoom. Participants will be able to interact with the tutors and amongst themselves on screen replicating the authentic feel of an in-person course.

Please note there are discounts for groups and those whose employment has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The BIICL is also able to offer discounts for individuals from groups which are under-represented in the legal profession and student members of BIICL. Please follow links for further details and booking.

Professor Chris Hodges from the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours

Professor Chris Hodges from the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours for services to Business and Law. He warmly recognises the support over many years of many friends and colleagues, not least his team of research colleagues. The award recognises many years researching regulatory and dispute resolution systems, and working with officials, judges, ombuds, businesses, consumers and others on reforms aimed at producing outcomes and systems that are ethical, fair, safe, effective and cooperative. Professor Hodges has chaired committees in the pharmacy, medical devices, medicines, consumer law, product safety and liability, housing and opera sectors. He has advised governments, regulators and ombuds across the world. He has sat on committees redesigning regulation of property agents, and served on various boards including of the UK Research Integrity Office. Professor Hodges is regarded as the leading European expert on consumer dispute resolution, ombuds and ADR, with deep knowledge founded on extensive research, and has advised almost all the UK consumer Ombudsmen. He co-founded the International Network for Delivery of Regulation in 2017 at the invitation of UK government, which has links with experts in regulatory delivery worldwide. His research into public and private enforcement cast doubt on the efficacy of deterrence in most circumstances, and led to the 'no blame' open culture idea of Ethical Business Practice and Regulation. These concepts are now being piloted widely, from financial services to care homes to water pricing. He has held chairs at Oxford and Erasmus Universities, and visiting chairs in China, Australia and Belgium.

Call for nominations for the LSA's annual prizes and awards

The Law and Society Association offers awards for scholarship in the field of law and society. The awards are presented at the Annual Meeting. Each award is funded by individual contributions. Nominations for 2021 are now open. The deadline is 10 January 2021. See website for details.

Professor Linda Mulcahy elected to LSA board of trustees

Linda Mulcahy, Director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at Oxford has recently been elected to the board of trustees of the Law and Society Association for three years. Each year, the LSA membership elects a class of eight individuals to serve on the Board of Trustees. The class of 2023 Trustees will also include: Shaun Ossei-Owusu (University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School) as the Class Representative, Fabio de Sa e Silva (University of Oklahoma), Rachel Moran (University of California-Irvine School of Law Ayobami Laniyonu (University of Toronto), Jeffrey Omari (Northern Illinois University College of Law), Matthew Shaw (Vanderbilt Law School) and Alison Renteln (University of Southern California). Aware of the unpredictability of elections Linda would like to thank any members of the SLSA who voted for her.

Tribute to Don Harris, former director of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford University

Staff at the Law Faculty at Oxford University were saddened to hear of the death of Donald Harris on 10 August 2020. One of his many achievements was the centre role he played in establishing the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at Oxford in 1972. He was the centre's director for 21 years. The current director, Professor Linda Mulcahy, commemorates his work and legacy on behalf of her colleagues at the centre. 

Tribute to Reza Banakar, Professor of Legal Sociology, Lund University

Following the recent death of Professor Reza Banakar, the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, has published a tribute to its former colleague. Reza held the Paul Dodyk Resarch Fellowship at the centre from 1997 to 2002. He was also Professor of Law at the University of Westminster before moving to a Chair in Legal Sociology at Lund University. He was also a lifelong member of the SLSA.

Law and Society Association commemorates the life of its former president, Professor Sally Engle Merry

The Law and Society Association is inviting expressions of condolences following the recent death of Professor Sally Engle Merry. Sally was a pre-eminent law and society scholar, who won many prestigious awards during her career and whose work was hugely influential. Those who knew her either personally or through her work are invited to contribute to the condolences page


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