Listen to a podcast of Professor Lizzie Barmes' inaugural lecture (mp3 approx. 45 minutes) chaired by the internationally recognised employment and equality lawyer, Ms Sue Ashtiany.
Law ‘in the books’ never tells the whole story of law’s impacts and of its wider significance. But neither can these be perceived by looking only from the outside. Professor Barmes’ lecture explores the potential for methodological innovation to paint a rich, nuanced picture of how law functions, taking behavioural conflict at work as a case study. She has experimented with combining internal and external qualitative analysis of primary legal sources, together with interview studies of law’s influence within organizations. The result is a layered account of how law in this area is working, its broader ramifications and the scope for purposeful change.
Lizzie Barmes’ research interests are in the areas of employment and equality law. Her over-arching concerns are with the pursuit of social justice through law, the role of judges in making, developing and applying the law and the relationship of group identity to judicial power. This has resulted in work on the common law about damages and the contract of employment, the relevance of public attitudes to adjudication, organizational measures to pursue diversity and equality, especially positive action, and the pursuit of judicial diversity. Her current work uses the study of behavioural conflict at work to examine the meaning and effect of individualization over recent decades of labour rights.