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Barnard: ESRC Senior Fellowship, ‘Honeypot Britain’, researching the law, practice and experience of EU Migrants in the UK.

Cheffins: Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, ‘Transformation of the Public Company’, analysing the transformation of the public company since the mid-twentieth-century.

Deakin: EPSRC Research Grant, ‘Interdisciplinary Centre for Finding, Understanding and Countering Crime in the Cloud’ (led by the Computer Laboratory), a data-driven analysis of cybercrime.

Erdos:  ESRC Research Grant, ‘Human Rights and Information Technology in the Era of Big Data’ (led by the University of Essex), investigation into the diverse and complex rights implications (positive and negative) of the use of ICT and big data.

Fikfak: ESRC Future Leaders with Isaac Newton Trust matched funding, ‘What price for human rights? Compensating human rights violations’, research into the international and national compensation of human rights violations.

Fikfak: British Academy Rising Stars, ‘The Future of Human Rights in the United Kingdom: New Voices’, to host a workshop for young scholars to share their work in the area of human rights in the UK.

Hinarejos: BA  Rising Stars ‘New Challenges to European Solidarity: Immigration, Social Policy, and the Euro’, to mentor and bring together UK young scholars working in these areas.

Liddell & Dyson: ESRC IAA ‘Legal Regulations of Transplanting Sub-Optimal Organs’, to improve the policy-impact of a workshop on the topic.   

Liddell & Waibel: ESRC IAA ‘Protecting National Patent Law Flexibilities through an Amicus Curiae Brief in the case of Eli Lilly v Canada’.           

Liddell & Liddicoat: ESRC IAA with matched funding from the CHRGS ‘Impact of Changes in DNA-related Patent Protection: Survey research with European Genetic Testing Labs’.

Miles: Nuffield Open Door (led by the BPRS) ‘Data we have - and data we need - to understand the lives of separated families’, to research current and data infrastructure and to map out what the ideal data infrastructure.

Moore: Philip Leverhulme Prize, ‘Anglo-American Corporate Law and Governance: Capital Markets and Theory of the Firm’.   

Nouwen: ESRC Future Leaders with Isaac Newton Trust matched funding  ‘Peacemaking -What's Law Got To Do With It?’, this project aims to make a fundamental contribution to the future course of proposals on a law of peacemaking.

Nouwen: Philip Leverhulme Prize, ‘Law and Negotiations’, conducting ground-breaking field-based research into international criminal law, setting precedents in ethical research practices, guaranteeing relevance and impact in areas of conflict.

Nouwen: BA Rising Stars, ‘Making and Breaking Peace in Sudan and South Sudan: Ten Years after the “Comprehensive” Peace Agreement’, this project will bring together early career scholars, senior academics, policymakers and a BBC journalist to evaluate together, from a multidisciplinary perspective, peacemaking in Sudan and South Sudan since the conclusion of the CPA.

Waibel: BA Rising Stars, ‘Empirical International Law’, to mentor young academics (PhDs and postdocs) based at UK institutions who carry out empirical research in international law.

Waibel: Philip Leverhulme Prize, ‘Model Treaties in International Law-Making’, researching bilateral treaties, which are typically concluded on the basis of model treaties, with little negotiation, and govern diverse areas such as tax, extradition, civil aviation and investment.

Weller: ESRC Research Grant, ‘Tools for Peacemaking - Concepts & Practice’, This project aims to give coherence to the burgeoning practice of internationalised peace-making, offering practice-relevant guidance for mediators, while gaining important conceptual insights into the nature of this rapidly developing area of law and its influence on the social and political realities on the ground and vice-versa.

The Faculty and its Centres have also been successful in obtaining financial support from the private sector (including Allen & Overy, Cambridge University Press, Google, and Herbert Smith Freehills) for conferences, seminars and other events.

Featured funded research

Transformation of the Public Company

Under the auspices of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship Brian Cheffins is analyzing how and why the U.S. public company has been transformed since an era of “managerial capitalism” that prevailed in the 1950s and 1960s. He is focusing particularly on how changing market conditions, a reconfiguration of corporate governance arrangements and legal reforms altered the manner in which publicly traded companies are run.

The U.S. public company has long been a dominant force in the American economy. Despite this and despite the massive changes affecting this type of business enterprise since the mid-20th century, a systematic historical analysis of the relevant trends and developments is currently lacking. Cheffins, with his research, will address this substantial gap in the literature. His findings should attract a multidisciplinary audience comprising academics and market practitioners interested in corporate governance, students of business history and those engaged in management studies, particularly from an economic or sociological perspective.

Cheffins’ project is scheduled to culminate in the publication of a book with Oxford University Press, provisionally titled Transformation of the Public Company. He is aiming to conclude his research in 2018, coinciding with the finish of his Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship.

Enforcement of employment rights by EU-8 migrant workers in the UK

Catherine Barnard and Amy Ludlow’s funding from by the Cambridge Humanities Research Grant Scheme will be used to consider what happens when EU-8 migrant workers are denied their employment rights. In particular, the project aims to determine:

  • how many EU-8 migrant workers are bringing cases before Employment Tribunals (ETs), what those cases are about, and how successful they are before tribunals; and
  • if ETs are not being used by migrant workers, to explore some of the obstacles facing migrants bringing claims, and consider how migrant workers understand and interact with their labour law rights using other channels (e.g. the Pay and Work Helpline)

This is ground-breaking research: there are no data on how many ET claims have been brought by EU-8 nationals, let alone data on the subject matter of those claims or their outcome. By contrast, most Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decisions are reported, and in earlier work (C. Barnard, 'Enforcement of employment rights by migrant workers in the UK: the case of EU-8 nationals', in C. Costello and M. Freedland (eds), Migrants at Work (Oxford: OUP, 2014 forthcoming).) Barnard identified only 13 appeals in the period 2005-2012, about two a year (as compared to the 2000 or so appeals the EAT receives annually). From this, she suggested that few migrant workers are actually enforcing their rights through the tribunal system, albeit that she recognised that further empirical research needs to be undertaken to verify that finding. This is the subject of this current research project.

Examining Financial Settlements on Divorce

Joanna Miles, together with Dr Emma Hitchings of the University of Bristol, is currently researching financial settlements on divorce with a grant from the Nuffield Foundation.  This mixed methods study involves analysis of data from court files and interviews with family justice system professionals.

The first report on the financial settlements study – Assembling the Jigsaw Puzzle: understanding financial settlement on divorce – was published in November 2013, and the research team presented their findings at a number of events in early 2014, including at the Family Justice Council’s inter-disciplinary conference, at a specialist seminar at the Nuffield Foundation, and at the Socio-Legal Studies Association conference.

This mixed-methods study involved a survey of court files in c. 400 cases from 4 courts around England and semi-structured interviews with 32 family solicitors and mediators working in this field. This area of law and practice has been the subject of relatively little empirical research in the last decade, in particular since the advent of new procedures for the conduct of these cases in 2000, and so this study aims to help fill a research gap identified in 2011 by the Norgrove Family Justice Review, providing some baseline data ahead of the legal aid reforms in 2013 and the arrival of the Single Family Court in 2014.

This first report examines the “how, when and why” questions: how is settlement achieved, particularly in those cases that settle out of court – what dispute resolution mechanisms do parties who apply for consent orders use; when is settlement achieved in those cases where contested court proceedings are commenced but which result in a consent order; and why is settlement achieved or not – what factors promote, delay or entirely preclude settlement being reached.

The next phase of the project will be examining the content of the settlements reached, casting valuable light on the outcomes being reached in low-value cases of the sort that rarely reach the law reports.

Child Support: How Much Does the British Public Think the Government Should Require Non-Resident Parents to Pay

Joanna Miles is a member of an international inter-disciplinary team, with Caroline Bryson (Bryson Purdon Social Research), Professor Ira M Ellman (Arizona State University) and Professor Steve McKay (University of Lincoln), using British Social Attitudes survey data on public attitudes towards child support payments.  The project is funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

The headline findings from the British Social Attitudes 2012 survey on child support were published in summer 2013, and the research team are currently working on more in-depth analysis of the data. The study used an innovative methodology in public surveying, successfully used by one member of the research team in the US in a series of recent studies, in which members of the public are not simply presented with standard agree/disagree attitudinal questions (as is usual for the BSA), but instead invited to suggest specific amount of support that should be payable in concrete cases, given basic information – including income details – about the family set-up.

The team presented its analysis of several areas of the study at an international, ESRC sponsored seminar held at the Nuffield Foundation in March, highlighting the ways in which the public’s policy on setting child support amounts diverges from current public policy in this area, for example, in having regard to the incomes of both parents and in adjusting the amounts payable where the non-resident parent has no contact with the child in light of the reasons for that lack of contact.

The first detailed publication from the project is due to appear in the International Journal of Law, Policy & the Family this summer, with further papers to follow later this year.