Birmingham Law School has a long and distinguished tradition of jurisprudential reflection upon permanent questions of the nature of law. Encompassing all areas of legal and political thought, scholars at Birmingham are at the forefront of research into the political and historical significance of law and justice, and public morality.

Our Primary Areas of Interest:

Gender and Identity Theory

  • Elena Kapardis is a third year PhD student whose research concerns judicial studies, gender and identity theory. She explores these themes, primarily, in the context of judicial diversity and the jurisprudence of judicial behaviour.
  • Natasa Mavronicola examines issues surrounding LGBT rights.

Theory of Law

  • Gavin Byrne’s major research interest is in Jurisprudence, in particular the application of mainstream philosophy to issues in legal theory. He has particular expertise in the perceived split between the Anglo- American and Continental traditions in relation to legal philosophy and in the writings of Martin Heidegger and their application to legal philosophy. His current work explores the relationship between the work of Nazi philosophers (such as Heidegger) and their relationship to far right concepts of law, both in a contemporary and a historical context.
  • Haifeng Chen is a second year PhD student whose project aims philosophically to reconstruct Confucianism through Kantian interpretation, and explore to what degree Confucianism is compatible with modern democratic politics.
  • Natasa Mavronicola examines the relationship between human dignity and human rights, especially in the context of criminal justice.
  • Najmadeen Muhamad is a doctoral student whose research interest focuses on the idea of human dignity as a minimum foundation for featuring the concept of law and its normativity, with reference to Lon Fuller’s jurisprudence and Kant’s legal and moral philosophy.

Natural Law Theory

  • Sean Coyle’s research is into the legal and moral philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, Francisco Suarez and Hugo Grotius. He is currently writing a book that aims to demonstrate the relevance and importance of Thomistic ethics for the legal and moral philosophy of the present day.
  • Gavin Byrne’s work critically examines the work of Nazi jurists and philosophers from a natural law perspective.

Judicial Review

  • Bosko Tripkovic’s research primarily focuses on the philosophical foundations of judicial review. His current research explores the legitimacy of post-national judicial review.

Theory of Punishment

  • Anil Matoo’s research is on prolonged solitary confinement, Nietzsche and the psychological death of prisoners. His approach to jurisprudence draws from the ancient Greeks to the Nietzsche, Heidegger and Wittgenstein.
  • Natasa Mavronicola’s work examines the right to be free from torture and from inhuman and degrading treatment, and the right to life.

Theory of International Law

  • Mohammad Shahabuddin’s research is into international legal theory and history. His area of specialisation is postcolonial/third world approaches to international law.
  • Seb Eskauriatza is a doctoral student currently exploring theoretical approaches to international law, especially post-conflict law.

The Jurisprudence Research Group organises its activities between the Jurisprudence Discussion Group and the Forum for the Study of Natural Law.

Discussion Group

The Jurisprudence Discussion Group is informal and flexible in structure. Some sessions take the form of ‘work in progress’ presentations, involving projects at various stages of completion. Others take the form of a colleague simply wishing to discuss an idea (which may or may not lead to plans for published work). We also welcome suggestions for sessions wherein colleagues may wish to discuss someone else’s work (whether recently published or not). The only rigid criterion for inclusion is that the topic in question must have a strong theoretical element.

For inquiries please contact Gavin Byrne: G.D.Byrne@bham.ac.uk