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Past projects and publications

Previously funded research and publications are listed below by research cluster.

1. Critical corporate and financial law

Past projects

Visible lessons from invisible crimes: respectability, criminality, and enterprise, and the Victorian origins of modern financial crime

As the UK comes to terms with the devastating aftermath of the global financial crisis, and bankers’ conduct during this time comes under the ‘spotlight’, this monograph project of Sarah Wilson's looked at the occurrence of financial white collar crime in Britain since 1850, focusing particularly on the way that British society responded to this “crime of ambivalence” (Aubert 1952), and what the lasting implications of these attitudinal patterns might be.

2. Regulation, decision and scrutiny 

Past projects

The Use of Medical Evidence in Homelessness Decision-Making

Funded by the ESRC, this interdisciplinary project involved Caroline Hunter, YLS, Jo Bretherton, Centre for Housing Policy, University of York and Sarah Johnsen, Herriot Watt University. It explored how local authority officers understand and use different medical evidence when making decisions whether applicants are vulnerable for the purposes of the Housing Act 1996, Part 7. The overall aim of the study was to provide a rigorous, theoretically informed account of the basis on which homelessness officers make such decisions. A summary of the research findings is available:

A Compensation Culture? Investigating the Risk Management of Legal Liability in UK and Irish Public Services

Funded jointly by the UK’s ESRC and the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and led by Simon Halliday and Colin Scott of UCD, the project explored the management of liability risks by public authorities and considered their significance for public service delivery. It used the delivery of road maintenance services as its case study and compared practices in Ireland and Scotland. See Halliday, S, Ilan, J and Scott, C ‘The Public Management of Liability Risks’, (2011) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 31(3) 527-550; and ‘Street-Level Tort Law: The Bureaucratic Justice of Liability Decision-Making’ (2012) Modern Law Review 75(3), pp. 647-67

Managing Contaminated Marine Sediments

Led by Laurence Etherington and Stuart Bell, this project explored liability issues arising from the management of historically contaminated sediments in and around the UK’s ports and harbours, together with the application of the Polluter Pays Principle in this context. This was part of a larger project (conducted with a team of experts from government and other disciplines) funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Crown Estate: Developing a UK Strategy for Managing Contaminated Marine Sediments. The Marine Management Organisation is producing guidance to assist in the implementation of the decision framework.

The Reform of the EU Competition Policy and the European Competition Network

Kathryn Wright with Hussein Kassim, Political Science, University of East Anglia, undertook this interdisciplinary ESRC-funded project which investigated the evolution of reforms in EU competition policy through empirical research involving elite interviews with EU and national civil servants. A second strand of the project explored the origins, role and operation of the European Competition Network, challenging the conventional wisdom about European networks in other policy areas

Past publications

There were three publications from The Reform of the EU Competition Policy and the European Competition Network project:

  • Conference paper for the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Standing Group on Regulatory Governance, Dublin, June 2010.
  • C​entre for Competition Policy ​research bulletin article issue May 2010, pp. 6-7 Read article.
  • 'Bringing Regulatory Processes Back In: The Reform of EU Antitrust and Merger Control' (2009) 32(4) West European Politics 738-755 Read article.

3. Private law in context

Past projects

Liability, Insurance and Society: the Politics and Economy of Private Law

Jenny Steele was awarded a three year Major Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust. The project produced a conceptual analysis of liability insurance, which is unique in giving as much attention to insurance - and its role in economy and society - as it does to liability. The research reflected on the relationship between law, primarily what is called ‘private’ law, and the needs of the society and economy it serves.

Past publications

  • Nolan, R., ‘”The Execution of a Trust Shall be Under the Control of the Court”: A Maxim in Modern Times’ (2016) 2 Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law 469-496
  • Morgan, P., Vicarious Liability for Group Companies: the Final Frontier of Vicarious Liability?’ 2015 31 Journal of Professional Negligence 276-299
  • Waring, E., Douglas, S., and Hickey, R. (eds), Landmark Cases in Property Law (2015, Hart Publishing)

4. Rights, equality, citizenship and empowerment

Past publications

  • Jones, M., ‘Protecting Human Rights Defenders at Risk: Asylum and Temporary International Relocation’ (2015) International Journal of Human Rights, 935-960
  • Cismas, I, Religious Actors and International Law (Oxford University Press, 2014)

5. Health and well-being

Past projects

Chronic Disorders of Consciousness

Simon Halliday was part of a team with Stephen Holland (Department of Philosophy) and Sarah Nettleton (Department of Sociology), being led by Celia Kitzinger (Department of Sociology), which was awarded pump priming funding from the University of York's Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders. The team explored, from various disciplinary perspectives, decision-making around individuals suffering a chronic disorder of consciousness (including: coma, post-coma unresponsiveness, the vegetative state and the minimally conscious state).

6. Law, justice and power

Past projects

Making the Company fit for Social Purpose (October 2015 - September 2017)

Lorraine Talbot was awarded a two year Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust to discover the conditions under which the company may become fit for social purpose. The study examined how corporate legal mechanisms were used to sidestep rather that confront an entrenched recession, while still enabling capital owners to massively increase their personal wealth. It shows how companies have enabled capital to capture the value created by the labour force. This is executed by obfuscating the relationship between capital and labour through the commodification of capital’s claims.

In the recent neoliberal period, marked by substantial crises, this has created a class of the super-rich, the super-poor and a diminishing middle class. The study claims that companies increase economic inequality, assert unwarranted political power and stymy growth and innovation. The study examined these claims through case studies of multinational companies.

The study concluded with developing reforms in respect of companies which have ceased in making sufficient profits but still have a social function. It shows they may continue through devolved ownership to its labour force and why that is morally defensible. In the alternative the study sets out policies on how innovation may be encouraged in companies and how the public can have a direct claim on these progressions.