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Funded Research in the School of Law

Funded Research Projects

Several major externally-funded projects are currently under way in the School of Law, for example:

EU Action to Fight Environmental Crime (EFFACE)

Professor Valsamis Mitseligas is the Queen Mary Principal Investigator on a multinational interdisciplinary research project on EU Action to Fight Environmental Crime (EFFACE) funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme for Research. This 40-month project (2012-2016) aims to assess the impact of environmental crime and develop effective and feasible policy options for combating it at EU level.

The Politics of Judicial Independence in Britain's Changing Constitution

In the light of the far-reaching constitutional changes which have affected the judiciary over the last decade, this project aims to provide a comprehensive and authoritative account of the current meaning and application of judicial independence and judicial accountability in the UK. It seeks to explain the rationale for both concepts, their proper limits and their practical requirements. The general objective is to develop a better understanding of the respective roles of government, parliament and the judiciary in upholding judicial independence, in principle and in day-to-day practice and their respective roles in upholding and implementing judicial accountability. The three year (2011-2014) research project is supported by a £480,000 grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It is a joint project between colleagues at Queen Mary, University College London and Birmingham University. Professor Kate Malleson is the Queen Mary member of the research team. For more details see the Judicial Independence project website.

The Peace Process: Layers of Meaning

Professor Seán McConville and Dr Anna Bryson, both at Queen Mary, University of London, have successfully won a €1m funding pot from the EU's PEACE III programme for a three-year (2010-2013) project on the Peace Process. Capturing testimony of the most traumatic and significant events in Anglo-Irish history, the project aims to avert a loss to national heritage. The award will partly fund three oral history projects in the Northern and Southern border regions of Ireland. As peace-making extends beyond top-level ministerial negotiations to communities themselves, project participants will be individuals from all religions and political persuasions from both sides of the border, working together to recount and archive their experiences and views of the Troubles and peace times - neighbours creating 'historical time capsules' for local archives and a dedicated project website (a central hub for Peace Process interviews and publications). Working with Trinity College Dublin and Dundalk Institute of Technology, a project team of four will oversee the training of local participants in oral history research and interview skills. For more details see Peace Process Research on the School of Law website or the project microsite

EVERREST - Maternal VEGF Gene Therapy to Improve Fetal Growth

Professor Richard Ashcroft, Professor of Bioethics in the Law Department, is involved in EVERREST, a collaborative research programme funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework, which includes partners from the UK, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Spain. The aim of the programme is to investigate whether growth factor gene therapy improves the outcome in severe early-onset fetal growth restriction, a condition in pregnancy which carries a significant risk of stillbirth or a very low birthweight baby. The treatment has the intended benefit of (a) avoiding miscarriage, stillbirth or medical/surgical termination of the pregnancy and (b) to improve babies’ chances of survival and reduce the burden of disease and disability after birth by increasing their growth rate during pregnancy, gestational age at birth and birthweight. Read an article about the project '€6 million for research in to fetal growth restriction'. Professor Ashcroft’s responsibility is to evaluate the ethical, legal, regulatory and social issues relevant to the conduct of the EVERREST clinical trial and the ethical and social acceptability of the trial to affected couples and stakeholder groups across the partner member states and the EU.

Neil MacCormick: Philosophy, Law and Politics

Dr Maks Del Mar is writing an intellectual biography of the late Sir Neil MacCormick funded by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 2013-2014. For more than thirty five years, Professor Sir Neil MacCormick (1941-2009) was Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh. He was also a leading figure in the Scottish National Party, including serving as a Member of the European Parliament. This project explores the relationship between MacCormick’s intellectual life as a legal philosopher of world-renown and his political life within both Scottish and European politics. Drawing, for the first time, on MacCormick’s private and Parliamentary papers, this project will examine the development of MacCormick’s philosophy of law alongside his political involvement. The project website provides a digital archive of multmedia material. The project will culminate in the publication of a book, currently under contract with Stanford University Press, in their Jurists: Profiles in Legal Theory series.

Religare Project

The RELIGARE project, of which Dr Prakash Shah in the School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London is a participating member, is a three-year research project funded by the FP7 Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities Programme of the Directorate-General for Research of the European Commission. RELIGARE explores increasing diversity of religions and other convictions that are transforming Europe into a new type of entity. The purpose is to identify which normative frameworks, case-law, and policies are best capable of holding together the countries’ diverse inhabitants in a democratic structure and, in so doing, the frameworks that should underpin and anchor Europe’s task to remain, across the Union, a zone of social peace, while maintaining respect for the rule of law and ensuring social justice for all. Further details about the RELIGARE project can be found at:

Promoting Equality and Diversity through Economic Crisis (PEDEC)

Promoting Equality and Diversity through Economic Crisis (PEDEC) is a three year (2010-2013) AHRC funded project which brings together scholars, practitioners and activists from the UK, Europe and the US through a series of workshops to explore the implications of the economic downturn, and coming cuts in public spending, for maintaining and progressing equality and diversity standards and for including marginalised groups in economic recovery. The project is run jointly by the School of Law, the Geography Department and the Centre for Research into Equality and Diversity in the School of Business and Management. Professors Lizzie Barmes and Kate Malleson are the Law members of the PEDEC team.

Evaluation of the project ‘The Asylum Seeker Perspective: Access to Information and Effective Remedies’

The aim of the project, which is funded by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency from January-June 2012, is to evaluate the impact of the work of the Agency on the development of European Asylum law. Research, which is led by Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas (principal investigator) and Professor Elspeth Guild, examines the extent to which the work of the Fundamental Rights Agency has provided key stakeholders at the international, EU and national level with assistance and expertise relating to their work. Research covers a wide range of stakeholders, including international organisations, EU institutions and national actors such as the judiciary, asylum authorities and NGOs and focuses in particular on the impact of the Agency’s approach to draft the Reports from the perspective of the asylum seeker. The project is innovative in that it constitutes a major, systematic evaluation exercise of the work of an EU Agency in the field of immigration and asylum law and policy and the protection of fundamental rights.

Queen Mary and the Criminal Justice Centre selected as a Framework Partner to the European Commission on Crime Prevention

On the strength of research in the Criminal Justice Centre, Queen Mary has been selected under the 2012 ISEC call for Framework Partners as a partner to the European Commission for the Programme ‘Prevention of and Fight Against Crime’ (lead applicant: Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas, Director of the Criminal Justice Centre).

Centre for the study of incentives in health

Wellcome Trust - Professor Richard Ashcroft (with Professor Theresa Marteau, KCL, and Dr Adam Oliver, LSE) has been awarded £850 000. The five-year project (2009-2014) is a study of the ethical, economic and psychological dimensions of the use of personal financial incentives to encourage healthy behaviour for improving personal and public health. The project includes a PhD studentship and a two year postdoctoral fellowship in the School of Law. There will also be a series of seminars and international conferences.

Patent non-assertion within an open source context

Comparative study of the different approaches that have emerged in recent times towards patent non-assertion within an open source context, in order to better understand their legal nature, scope and implications, with £50,000 funding by the Open Invention Network. The objective is to examine and analyse current practices in this burgeoning area in terms of the commitment being entered into by the offering party, as well as an effective means of infringement risk reduction for relying parties, with the possibility of identifying some industry ‘best’ practices.


Commission FP7 project funding of  £500,000 for iLinc. FP7 funding to research and develop models and supporting tools for the provision of legal support as a professional service, including outlining the service delivery models of operation for all elements in the professional services value chain; establishing a portfolio of tools and templates to support the undertaking of each of these elements and building a library of resources.


Professor Guido Westkamp is part of a multi-institutional project Enhancing Intellectual Property Capacities for Agricultural Development - IP4Growth project, co-financed by the European Commission through the ACP Edulink programme. The program aims to provide assistance to beneficiary universities in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Senegal, in order to contribute to the agricultural and socio-economic development in West African countries and to strengthen their competences in Intellectual Property (IP) management.

Open Invention Network

The Open Invention Network has given the Centre for Commercial Law Studies $50,000 to carry a comparative study of the different approaches that have emerged in recent times towards patent non-assertion within an open source context, in order to better understand their legal nature, scope and implications. The objective is to examine and analyse current practices in this burgeoning area in terms of the commitment being entered into by the offering party, as well as an effective means of infringement risk reduction for relying parties, with the possibility of identifying some industry ‘best’ practices. 

International Arbitration

School of International Arbitration

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