PPLE

Professions, practice and legal education

Using inter-disciplinary methodologies (including sociological, anthropological, historical and philosophical work), PPLE scholars have produced leading theoretical work that has led to direct engagement with key policy-makers, such as the Ministry of Justice, the Law Society, the Law Commission, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Bar Standards Board, The Quality Assurance Agency and the Nuffield Foundation.

Researchers in this field have published on, or are undertaking research about, the role and purpose of legal education (Anthony Bradney and Fiona Cownie), the history of Society of Legal Scholars (Ray Cocks and Fiona Cownie) and early women law professors (Fiona Cownie); sentencing guidelines (Martin Wasik), prisoner governance (Fabienne Emmerich), decriminalisation in the youth justice system (Sotirios Santatzouglou); safeguarding adults and interprofessional work between solicitors and social worker (Alison Brammer); and professional ethics in relation to healthcare and policing (Jonathan Hughes and Anthony Wrigley). Marie Jacob’s award winning work on legality and kinship in transplants (2009 SLSA Best Article Prize) is now followed by research into research integrity in medical sciences which has been funded by AHRC and Leverhulme Fellowships.   Jonathan Hughes and Anthony Wrigley edit and co-author the European Textbook on Ethics in Research for the European Commission. Zach Richards researches public officials’ attitudes to law and justice. She uses socio-legal legal consciousness and administrative justice frameworks to explore the relationships between street level and appeal level bureaucratic attitudes to legality and fairness.

Anthony Bradney and Fiona Cownie organise panels on legal education at the annual Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference.  Anthony Bradney organises panels on the judiciary and Fiona Cownie organises panels on legal education at the bi-annual conference of the Research Committee on the Sociology of Law’s Working Party on the Legal Professions.  Fiona Cownie is the Chair of the Society of Legal Scholar’s Legal Education Committee.  Anthony Bradney is a member of the Society’s Legal Education Committee and was a member of the Quality Assurance Agency’s recent Subject Benchmark Statement Review of Law.

Alison Brammer has been awarded £28, 410 as principal investigator of an ESRC seminar series grant entitled, The Care Act 2014: a new legal framework for Safeguarding Adults in Civil Society'.  The aim of the proposed seminar series is to explore how the new legal rules emerged through a policy process, the challenges of interpretation that emerge and how practitioners and their organisations can be supported to deliver the intentions and requirements of the Care Act 2014 and keep people safe from abuse and harm. 

Alison Brammer has also received funding from the British Academy /Leverhulme with Dr Jane Boylan for a qualitative study to examine the experiences of mothers whose children have been subject to a care order under the Children Act 1989.

Dr Jane Krishnadas  has been selected  in the HEA/UUK publication “Innovative Teachers” which showcases innovative pedagogies and practices in UK higher education and has been identified by the Higher Education Academy as an Impact Case-Study, forthcoming publication designed to provide national showcase of best practice and innovation for the sector.

“A feature which differentiates the project from traditional clinical programmes is that the students … provide information, to assist and to signpost.... the CLOCK project is an innovative means of responding to the increasing number of individuals who have been left to navigate their own way through a complex Court system since cuts to legal aid... collecting data via its Court desks to inform the ongoing debate” (L. Thomas, University of Birmingham, CEPLER Working Paper Series, Paper 04/2015)

Recent PPLE events include the Social Work Law Invited Speakers Series, the 'Justice, documents and affects' seminar and external events through the Legal Education Research Network (LERN)

PPLE provides postgraduate education and research training through PhD supervision, the LLM in Law and Society and the MA Medical Ethics and Law and the MA Medical Ethics and Palliative Care, as well as through contributions to other PGT programmes.

  • Leena Al-Qasem is completing a thesis on research ethics in developing countries,
  • Diane Atherton is studying Muslim women solicitors,
  • Elaine Freer is looking at social mobility amongst barristers,
  • Lucy Floyd is working on the LPC and identity formation for women solicitors,
  • Emma Jones is looking at emotional intelligence in legal education,
  • Abigail Pearson is working on a thesis about access for students with a disability to university legal education,
  • Elaine Quinn is just starting a thesis on mindfulness mediation and legal education,
  • Stephen Meachem is looking at neo-liberalism and lawyers.
  • Recent successful doctoral students include Thalia Arawi’s thesis on medical schools and the virtuous physician and Alan Green’s thesis on particularism and medical ethics.