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Justice, values and rights

Research into new and emerging topics

Our work covers human rights law, criminal justice, crime, migration, and employee voice and comes with a commitment to investigating issues of social justice, vulnerable groups and questions of equality, diversity and inclusion.

We develop close partnerships with other universities, research centres, non-governmental organisations, government departments and practitioners.

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Making care homes more LGBT-inclusive

We worked with older members of the LGBT community to understand how care environments, staff training and recruitment can be made more inclusive for them. Then we trained and supported staff from across six Anchor care homes in London to put our findings into practice, funded by Comic Relief.

Our research shows that many older LGBT people undergo traumatic experiences when going into a care home with some even going back into the closet after living openly. This can be because they’re unsure of how fellow residents and staff will react to their sexuality.

Demonstrating best practice for all care homes

As part of this project, staff from our Centre for Co-production in Mental Health and Social Work worked with academics from the University of Bristol, the University of Manchester and the University of Hertfordshire. They've developed a pioneering evidence-based assessment and development tool that has been cited by the Care Quality Commission as an example of best practice in enabling more care homes to become LGBT-inclusive.

Community advisors discussing issues with Care Home Managers

Shaping democracy and law in Europe

Our research shows how people-focused policies can bridge the divide between the European Union and its citizens, improving individual, social and political welfare. Our work shows how this can counter the recent rise in distrust of European institutions and concerns that they don’t respond appropriately to the needs of citizens.

Reconciling the European Union with its citizens

Led by Professor Laurent Pech, Head of the Department of Law, this work demonstrates how the European Union can become more attuned to the expectations of its citizens. It also looks at any inconsistencies in democracy and the rule of law across the European Union and how this might affect the legitimacy of the Union. Professor Pech is engaged in public communication of his research on these themes so that citizens have a better understanding of constitutional and legal changes taking place around them across Europe.

Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and the Rule of Law is a four year project funded by Horizon 2020 and brings together 18 academic partner institutions from across 14 countries.

More about this project

Professor Laurent Pech

Professor Laurent Pech is a Professor of European Law and Head of the Law and Politics Department. His most recent publications focusing on the rule of law include Judicial independence under threat: The Court of Justice to the rescue (2018) and 55 Common Market Law Review 1827-1854 (co-authored with Professor Platon).

Professor Pech was recently named one of the top 40 European Union digital influencers by EURACTIV. He was awarded The Good Lobby Academic of the Year 2018 Award for his impact on the ongoing threats to the rule of law in the European Union.

Moving away from the death penalty

Our research investigates the use of capital punishment across the world and explores the worldwide decline in using the death penalty.

Professor William Schabas, Professor of International Law, has found that it is virtually disappearing in Europe and South America as well as in much of Africa and parts of Asia. Even countries that retain the death penalty are manifesting a growing reluctance to using it, with a few exceptions.

Impact on the death penalty worldwide

This research combines empirical analysis of trends in the practice with study of the legal features of the debate, particularly in international human rights law. By increasing our understanding of trends in the reduction and abolition of capital punishment, our work supports the development of strategies that can promote an end to it. Legal analysis work is also important for work to establish limits on the practice.

Professor William Schabas and his work

Professor William Schabas is Professor of International Law at Middlesex. He is also a Professor of International Human Law and Human Rights at Leiden University, distinguished visiting faculty at Sciences Po in Paris and Honorary Chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights.

He is the author of more than 20 books in the fields of human rights and international criminal law. Professor Schabas drafted the 2010 and 2015 United Nations quinquennial reports on the death penalty. He was a member of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Extending maternity protection and reproductive rights for decent work

The link between reproduction and employment is key to achieving sustainable development in terms of gender equality, health and well-being and decent work,. Our research has addressed understanding on maternity protections and sexual and reproductive health rights at work, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and informal economy workplaces within low- and middle-income countries.

Shaping policy strategies globally

Findings in this research have demonstrated the affordability and benefits of maternity and sexual and reproductive health protection to businesses, the need for context sensitive solutions and a lack of awareness of employee rights and employer duties. These results are now informing debate within key international organisations (ILO, WHO, UN) and shaping policy strategies, firm practices and public awareness in Ghana, South Africa and Malaysia.

Dr Bianca Stumbitz and her work

Dr Bianca Stumbitz is Research Fellow in the Centre for Economic Development Research in the Business School. Bianca's research interests include small businesses, (social) entrepreneurship and equality issues in the labour market. She has specialist knowledge on the subject of maternity and paternity at work across the world and has undertaken related research in Ghana, South Africa and Malaysia.

Bianca is an academic advisor to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and the Global Breastfeeding Collective, the world’s leading networks of maternity protection and breastfeeding advocates. She is also a member of the Maternity Protection Committee of the German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

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