Law and Theory
This research cluster considers all aspects of theory underlying law, the legal system and justice.
We are academics interested in, and carrying out extensive research into, the nature, purpose or framework of law and its role in regulating human behaviour. We are interested in analysing, investigating and critiquing the law widely conceived. Often the work is critical of law’s role in our lives, in our societies, locally, nationally and globally. Our research areas include, but are not limited to: race, religion, gender, sexuality, criminal justice, language and narratives, identity, migration, citizenship and multiculturalism; liberal political theory, including theories of freedom, equality, rights. The objective of the cluster is to provide a supportive atmosphere in which to present our research findings, explore ideas for further research, develop funding applications and work together. We circulate legal developments of common interest and support each other in commenting on work in progress. Presentations are also made by invited external speakers.
Stefano Bertea was recently based at the Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, where, as a part of a project funded by the EU under the Marie-Curie Intra-European Fellowship Scheme, undertaking research on the normative dimension of the law. His ambition consists in arriving at an account of legal obligation capable of explaining both the concept of legal obligation (what enables the law to hold us bound to do anything) and the grounds of the obligatory dimension of the law (why legal requirements should be taken to provide us with obligation).
Stephen Riley has written extensively on the concept of human dignity and its relationship with law and legal institutions. His present research focuses on law and future generations. It is concerned with how the future functions within general jurisprudence, how human rights law should accommodate the rights of future generations, and how legal institutions should adapt to a ‘broken’ future.