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School of Law

Research and PhD projects

LEAD postgraduate students

  • Vanessa Ho, thesis title: Leveraging data to challenge inequalities at work (working title)
  • Deborah Lawunmi, thesis title: What is the career experience of Black lawyers in City Law Firms?
  • Jenny Knox, thesis title: Public Interest Law in the United Kingdom
  • Sarah Court-Brown, thesis title: Mapping equality in the UK constitution
  • Ksenia Bakina was awarded her PhD on 31 July 2019 for her thesis 'Legal Responses to Online Revenge Pornography: A Feminist Perspective,' supervised by Professors Barmes and Malleson.
  • Camille Joly was awarded her PhD on 31 May 2019 for her thesis on 'The Over Representation of Men at the Top of City Law Firms: Power, Culture, Structure and the Paradox of Time,' supervised by Professors Barmes and Malleson.
  • Stuart Goosey was awarded his PhD on 31 December 2017 for his thesis on ‘A Pluralist Theory of Age Discrimination’, supervised by Professors Barmes and Malleson.


Improving access to equality rights

We are hosting a project aiming to improve workplace equality for people with a disfigurement in the UK. Funded by the VTCT Foundation, the research is being carried out by Research Fellow Dr Hannah Saunders with direction from Professor Kate Malleson, Professor Lizzie Barmes and colleagues in the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England. It also involves working closely with a number of charities in this area. The research has three streams:

  1. Finding out how employers approach issues of disfigurement in the workplace and identifying factors which either help or hinder inclusion and equality. Using these findings, the research has produced guidance for employers on how to create appearance-inclusive workplace environments and processes. Read the model of good practice [PDF 789KB].
  2. Making information about challenging visible difference discrimination more accessible to affected people, their legal advisers and representative organisations.
  3. Seeking to increase awareness of, and engagement with, the topic of visible difference equality at legislative and policy level. This has included two submissions to the United Nations.

This project offers real impact in an area of law which has, until recently, remained invisible.

British Academy funded project on judicial diversity

Kate Malleson is collaborating with Graham Gee and Erika Rackley on a two year BA-funded project entitled ‘How can the Judicial Appointments Commission make a difference to judicial diversity?’

Award of ESRC London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship

Sarah Court-Brown received a LISS DTP award to pursue a MRes in 2017/2018 followed by a PhD under the supervision of Professors Barmes, Malleson and Dr Mario Mendes. Sarah’s research interests concern the influence in the political and legislative fields in modern Britain of ideas and principles about equality.

Research into Positive Action under the Equality Act 2010

Lizzie Barmes and Kate Malleson, with Saphié Ashtiany, are investigating: (a) the genesis of the general positive action provisions in the Equality Act 2010, sections 158 and 159 and (b) how these measures have operated in practice. Both aspects involve semi structured interview studies with a range of participants, the latter particularly in the legal sector. The overall aim is to extract learning about the use of law to promote equality.

Sexual harassment and the role of non-disclosure agreements: Do they undermine justice and equality in the workplace?

This is a project being undertaken by Lizzie Barmes and Kate Malleson, with Saphié Ashtiany. In light of the recent controversy over the use of nondisclosure agreements (‘gagging orders’) in high-profile cases of sexual harassment, the project seeks to identify when and how NDA's are currently used, what problems they give rise to and what reforms might be required.

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