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School of Law

Department of Law Staff Seminars

Please see the nearly complete schedule for this term below.

Imprisoned at Work: The Impact of Employee Monitoring on Physical Privacy and Individual Liberty

Jeevan Hariharan, Lecturer in Private Law, Law, QMUL

  • Date: 18 October 2023
  • Times: 1-2PM
  • Venue: in person, room 313
  • Chaired by John Adenitire

There are now a wide range of tools available to monitor employees, boasting sophisticated features like keystroke logging, geolocational tracking, and video surveillance. From a legal perspective, employee monitoring is most commonly analysed in terms of the impact it has on an employee’s control over information and data i.e. their ‘informational privacy’. This article argues that monitoring is a more complex and layered issue, requiring the consideration of other values which come to the fore when it is appreciated that employers exert constraints on individual freedom in a manner typically associated with the state. Specifically, we argue that there are two (but by no means exhaustive) reasons why employee monitoring is concerning which go beyond the use of information and data. First, monitoring affects physical and spatial, not just informational, components of privacy. Second, monitoring can be so severe in extreme cases that it curtails individual liberty and constitutes a form of imprisonment. After exploring these issues and addressing counterarguments to our claims based on employee consent and the idea that work has always involved significant constraints on freedom, we explain why our revised approach to the wrongness of employee monitoring has important legal implications.

AI and Assessment: how can we respond?

Staff discussion led by Sanmeet Kaur Dua, Reader in Contract Law, Queen Mary

  • Date: 1 November 2023
  • Times: 12:45-2PM
  • Venue: in person, room 313
  • Chaired by David Whyte

Abstract TBC

(Un)Credible Citizen: Citizenship Dispossession and the Politics of the Rule of Law in India

Mohsin Bhat, Lecturer in Law, Queen Mary

  • Date: 15 November 2023
  • Times: 12:45-2PM
  • Venue: in person, room 313
  • Chaired by David Whyte

There is today a global pattern of states using ostensibly legal means to undermine security of citizenship status of vulnerable minorities. States have particularly relied on the regimes of documentary citizenship as the legal face of citizenship deprivation. This paper explores the entanglement in national contexts of the ideologies of the rule of law and legal identity documents, with the politics of citizenship deprivation. It empirically focusses on the everyday bureaucratic practices of citizenship adjudication in India’s north-eastern state of Assam that have threatened the citizenship status of more than 3 million people. The paper shows that despite being centred around them, the administrators of documentary citizenship routinely disregard identity documents in their everyday functioning. It argues that India’s ethnicised politics towards immigration constitutes contradictory attitudes towards identity documents. Officials imagine legal identity documents as legitimate and viable, and simultaneously compromised due administrative corruption and complicity. This documentary doublethink, which resonates with several contexts around the world, has engendered grave instability of citizenship status. The paper illuminates how the rule of law—like the documentary regimes it sustains—is Janus-faced by producing and obscuring precarious citizenship.

How Do We Deliver Research-led Teaching?

Panel: Tanzil Chowdhury (Law, Queen Mary), Christina Perry (Law, Queen Mary), Isobel Roele (Law, Queen Mary)

  • Date: 29 November 2023
  • Time: 1-2PM
  • Venue: in person, room 313
  • Chaired by David Whyte

The view is widely held that what sets studying law in a research-led university apart from doing this in other places is that our teaching is research-led. But many questions arise about what this really means:

  • How does this approach alter what is taught (in terms of both substance and skills) and the way that teaching is designed and delivered; and does it affect more nebulous things like the ethos, culture or purpose of our teaching?
  • How much awareness do our students have of this dimension of their education and are they sufficiently brought into conversations about its implications for their learning?
  • Is there more we should or could be doing to make research-led teaching work across all of our module and law degrees?

In this session we bring together colleagues to talk about and reflect on these questions in relation to their own practice and experience. For this session we have chosen to focus on core UG modules since that may be where the challenges are greatest. But we would be very open to arranging further sessions on this topic if there is an appetite for this.

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