Dr Rachael Dickson

Dr Rachael Dickson

Birmingham Law School
Research Fellow

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Rachael is a Research Fellow specialising in socio-legal research working with Professor Muireann Quigley on the Wellcome Trust funded ‘Everyday Cyborg’s 2.0: law’s boundary work and alternative legal futures’ project. The project analyses the moral and normative issues of law that relate to the development of smart attached and implanted medical devices and how this impacts on persons involved in their use.

More generally, Rachael’s research interests relate to the theoretical and practical implications of multi-level governance on the construction and maintenance of legal subjects,


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Law (PhD) – Queen’s University Belfast
  • LLM in Criminal Justice and Human Rights Law (LLM) – Queen’s University Belfast
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Modern History (BA Hons) – Queen’s University Belfast


Rachael obtained her PhD from Queen’s University Belfast in 2018. Her thesis was entitled ‘Holism, solidarity and domopolitics: The EU as a rights actor in its approach to the migrant crisis’ and was passed with no corrections. Prior to joining Birmingham, Rachael worked at the University of Strathclyde with Professor Paul James Cardwell on his project ‘Migration and New Governance’.

Rachael is currently the Chair of the Graduate Forum Committee of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies.


Rachael’s work focuses on the governance and regulation of legal subjects and the impact of law on ideas of personhood, bodily autonomy and agency. She is interested in exploring the impact of medical devices on persons involved in their use, from the patient and clinicians, to manufacturers and family members. She is also interested in the legal subjectivity of irregular migrants, ideas of health as a tool of governance, the use of data in the criminal justice system, the potential impact of Brexit on human rights, and the evolution of legal frameworks and non-legal mechanisms in international migration cooperation.


Recent publications


Dickson, R, Bell, J, Dar, A, Downey, L, Quigley, M & Moore, V 2021, '#WeAreNotWaiting: DIY artificial pancreas systems and challenges for the law', Diabetic Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1111/dme.14715

Kramer, A & Dickson, R 2020, 'The Changing Landscape of UK-EU Policing and Justice Cooperation', European Integration - Online Papers, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 479-492. https://doi.org/10.15166/2499-8249/360

Dickson, R 2019, 'Understanding EU solidarity and migration in crisis: narratives of health as tools of governance', European Journal of Risk Regulation. https://doi.org/10.1017/err.2019.59

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Dickson, R 2020, The politics of EU migration law. in PJ Cardwell & M-P Granger (eds), Research Handbook on the Politics of EU law. Edward Elgar.

Commissioned report

Kramer, A, Dickson, R & Pues, A 2019, Evolving justice arrangements post-Brexit. Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. <https://www.ihrec.ie/documents/evolving-justice-arrangements-post-brexit/>

Other contribution

Quigley, M, McHale, J, Dickson, R & Downey, L 2020, Medicines and Medical Devices Bill 2019-20 Briefing Note. University of Birmingham. <https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-artslaw/law/news/UoB-Briefing-Feb2020-MMDB-Quigley-et-al.pdf>

View all publications in research portal


Migration, European Union law, human rights law, medical devices and law

Media experience

Rachael has had her work used in pieces by the BBC and an editorial in The Irish Times. She has been interviewed on local radio about research activities and took part in a television discussion on the impact of Brexit on human rights on the freeview channel NVTV.


Human rights assessment of policies, Brexit and the criminal justice system.

Policy experience

Submission of written evidence to the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee for their inquiry into Home Office preparations for Brexit in August 2019.