The School of Law seeks to identify external users who can benefit from the results of our research. We have a strong, though not exclusive focus, on developing links with policy-making bodies, at both governmental and non-governmental (NGO) level, as well as developing links with commerce and industry. We identify opportunities to engage with a wide range of external users in specific areas of expertise that are particularly relevant to influencing policy as well as in areas where our research can have an influence on a wider community. Our researchers influence the legislative process where there is a current programme of reform in place, such as the reform of criminal law (both domestic and European) and the reform of civil procedure. Our researchers also have an influence in the development of new approaches to policy in fast-moving areas of modern law with a cross-border or international dimension, such as banking, computer and intellectual property law.
As part of the UK Government's evaluation of research excellence across UK universities (the 2014 Research Excellence Framework or REF2014) each research discipline in each university was asked to provide a number of Impact Case Studies describing impacts that have provided benefits to one or more areas of culture, the economy, the environment , health, public policy and services, quality of life, or society, whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.
During our preparation for REF2014 we identified five cases studies, which reflect the targeted, policy-oriented strategy behind much of our research agenda. All of the case studies aim to inform policy, whether in the immediate 'short term' of current legislative programmes (as with Mulheron’s work on class actions and Alldridge’s work on bribery) or in the more medium-term work of developing policies in light of complex evolving problems (as with Malleson and Barmes’s work in equalities, and Lastra’s work on international finance) or in the even longer-term work of changing the shape of the judiciary. The policy makers whose choices we seek to inform include both those in the public sector, and in the private sector (as with Hörnle’s work on computing).