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Research in the Birkbeck Law School

Our school is internationally renowned for its critical and interdisciplinary research on legal and socio-legal theory. The pursuit of innovative research lies at the heart of our activities, feeding into our teaching programmes and informing our interactions with policy-makers, public bodies, the legal profession and criminal justice practitioners, NGOs, campaign and pressure groups, and the wider public. We are committed to critically studying the production and enforcement of law, taking into account its political and social contexts, as a means of effecting social change and promoting social justice.

Our research pivots around a number of key thematic clusters. We have burgeoning strengths in research on law and technologies, environmental law, critical commercial studies (consumer law and banking), law and political economy, law and postcolonialism, and criminal justice and intersectionality (race, gender and sexuality).

The Law School's strong critical approach to legal and criminological issues was recognised by REF2021, with the majority of our research publications deemed of world leading, or international, standing.

We also host a number of high-profile research centres and participate in Birkbeck-wide centres, institutes and networks, which support and promote the cross-fertilisation of scholarship across the College.




Our staff undertake a wide range of research projects, among them the following:


Current and recent external funders of some of our research include the ESRC and AHRC; the British Academy; and charitable foundations (including the Leverhulme Trust, and the Nuffield Foundation).

Research staff often work directly with users of their research, for example our Centre for the Critical Study of European Law aims to bring insight and new perspectives to policy-makers and practitioners. Our Visiting Judge, Visiting Professor and Research Fellowship initiatives have led to substantive relationships with eminent practitioners such as Justice Cameron, South African Supreme Court; and former Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton.  

Many research staff are affiliated with international research networks, including Professor Macmillan (member of the executive committee of the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property (ISHTIP)) and Professor Everson (The Academic Research Network on the Agencification of EU Executive Governance (TARN)).

Our school encourages visits from distinguished scholars, artists, authors and activists, for example the author events and the Artist in Residence hosted by our Centre for Law and the Humanities. Research collaborations include Dr Başak Ertur and Goldsmiths College and Professor Macmillan and Warwick University. Several of our initiatives benefit from the involvement of international academics, such as the advisory board for our Centre for Law and the Humanities includes members from institutions in the USA, Australia and Finland; and the editorial committee of the school's in-house journal Law and Critique includes scholars from Brazil, South Africa, Hong Kong and Australia.

The Law School is a member of the UCL, Bloomsbury and East London (UBEL) Doctoral Training Partnership, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC); and the AHRC funded Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) Doctoral Training Partnership.