The Global Legal Studies group was formed in September 2015 to provide support for the growing concentration on global legal studies in Birmingham Law School. It supports work that takes a ‘global’ approach to questions of law and legal regulation, and includes comparative research with both national and international case studies.

To this end, ‘global’ can be taken to mean an approach that considers questions of law without an exclusive focus on ‘the local’, placing phenomena and enquiries within their broader contexts. To date we have discussed everything from migration, to human rights, insolvency, and constitutional law. The GLS group maintains a dynamic and communal nature, provides leadership opportunities to all, and continues to operate as a fluid and egalitarian group brought together by shared intellectual interests and endeavours.

Our Primary Areas of Interest:

Global Comparative Studies

  • Aleksandra Cavoski’s research in the area of environmental law focuses on the intersection of environmental law and other disciplines, in particular the intersection between law, science, politics and language.
  • Sophie Boyron’s interests lie mainly in public law and European law. She adopts a comparative approach to all her work.
  • Fiona de Londras is the Professor of Global Legal Studies and takes a human rights and comparative law approach to questions of state power in times of (terroristic, political, ‘moral’ and other) crisis. Her comparative work to date has primarily focused on abortion law reform, and counter-terrorism law and policy.
  • Rilka Dragneva-Lewers works on regional integration, EU external policy, legal reform and international diffusion of norms with a special reference to Eastern Europe. Rilka’s work has strong comparative and interdisciplinary elements.
  • Gulara Guliyeva researches regional protection of marginalised groups (for example, minorities and Internally Displaced Persons), with a focus on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Maureen Mapp researches the application of non-state ethno cultural norms and processes to policy and legal frameworks in contextual sentencing. Her focus is on close-knit kinship communities that have a decentralised system of governance.
  • Natasa Mavronicola is interested in comparative and philosophical perspectives on human dignity, especially as they relate to the interpretation of human rights law.
  • Kieren McGuffin is primarily a human rights lawyer, and his research focusses on the rights of irregular migrants.
  • Katharina Möser is interested in personal insolvency law and consumer debt. Her approach is comparative and interdisciplinary.
  • Olga Pleshkova’s research interests are in the fields of police studies, human rights and comparative criminal justice.
  • Viola Teubert’s research interests lie in the field of international human rights law and its neighbouring disciplines international humanitarian law and refugee law.
  • Bosko Tripkovic’s research examines the theoretical underpinnings of judicial review in comparative constitutional law.
  • Hakeem Yusuf is Reader in Global Legal Studies and his research interest is at the  intersections of rights, law and governance particularly in transitional societies. His research is in the areas of transitional justice, economic, social and cultural rights, judicial constitutionalism as well as business and human rights.
  • Walters Nsoh researches on the intersection between land law and environmental law, and the legal and policy challenges to nature conservation and the sustainable management of natural resources in developed and developing countries.

International and Regional Laws

  • Maria Anna Corvaglia’s main research primarily concerns fragmentation and coherence in international economic governance. More specifically, most of her research to date has focused on international trade law, the international regulation of public procurement and the protection of socio-environmental concerns in international economic law.
  • Fiona de Londras is the Professor of Global Legal Studies and takes a human rights and comparative law approach to questions of state power in times of (terroristic, political, ‘moral’ and other) crisis. Her work on international and regional laws so far has primarily focused on (EU) counter-terrorism law, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the resilience of international human rights law in the ‘War on Terror’.
  • Rilka Dragneva-Lewers works on regional integration, EU external policy, legal reform and international diffusion of norms with a special reference to Eastern Europe. Rilka’s work has strong comparative and interdisciplinary elements.
  • Gulara Guliyeva researches regional protection of marginalised groups (for example, minorities and Internally Displaced Persons), with a focus on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights.
  • Natasa Mavronicola’s research interests lie chiefly in the theory and interpretation of human rights on the regional (especially the European) and international plane. Her research has explored a number of facets of human rights law, with special focus on the absolute right not to be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and on the right to life.
  • Kieren McGuffin is primarily a human rights lawyer, and his research focusses on the rights of irregular migrants.
  • Olga Pleshkova’s research interests are in the fields of police studies, human rights and comparative criminal justice.
  • Mohammad Shahabuddin researches in international law with special focus on history and theory of international law, ethnicity and nationalism, and human rights. His research is informed by postcolonial and Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) scholarship.
  • Ben Warwick researches the international human rights system, with a particular focus on economic, social and cultural rights. One strand of his work examines how economic and other constraints affect the realisation of those rights.

Global Legal Theory

  • Natasa Mavronicola explores the principles that (ought to) inform the supranational interpretation of human rights.
  • Bosko Tripkovic’s research focuses on the philosophical foundations of post-national judicial review.

Reading Group

Our main activities currently revolve around our reading group which meets monthly during term. The meetings are formulated to allow everyone to speak on their research activities, with questions and discussion arising and suggestions welcomed. Within each group meeting, we concentrate engagement with two pre-circulated research outputs in draft form. The range of outputs varies from research proposals, to book chapters, bullet points of research ideas and full draft articles.

Published Works and Projects

The following works and projects were presented in early form at the GLS reading group.

  • Fiona de Londras (with Jessie Blackbourn), ‘Counter-Terrorism Review’, a project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (October 2017-March 2019)