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Dr Se-shauna Wheatle has dark hair and is wearing a grey shirt. She is smiling and is wearing glasses

Dr Se-shauna Wheatle is the Principal Investigator for an international research project that has collectively been granted funding of over £1 million pounds. Together with UCL Laws’ Dr Silvia Suteu as Co-investigator, Dr Wheatle will also lead the UK branch of the comparative study entitled “Unwritten Constitutional Norms and Principles: A Comparative Study”.

International research

The project will examine three jurisdictions: Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany, countries that have each recently dealt with institutional and political questions about the scope of their constitutions and the role of courts in the enforcement of constitutional principles. By comparing each nation’s approach to unwritten constitutional norms and principles, the researchers will explore common issues faced by all constitutional orders, identify the factors that influence the recognition, definition and enforcement of unwritten constitutional rules, and investigate the role of judicial enforcement of a constitutiol`en’s unwritten rules in an era of democratic backsliding.

Funding Social Sciences

The project is funded by the Open Research Area (ORA) 7, a special agreement for social sciences research between the French National Research Agency (ANR), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) of Germany; the Economic and Social Research Council of UK Research and Innovation (ESRC) from the UK, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) in Canada. The ESRC has awarded the UK group £487, 871. Professor Vanessa MacDonnell of the University of Ottawa will lead the project’s Canada team and the project’s German team will be led by Professor Florian Meinel of Georg-August-Universität Göttingen.

Esteemed UK team

The UK research team also includes Prof Alison Young (Cambridge), Prof Roger Masterman (Durham), Dr Hayley Hooper (Oxford), Dr Ruth Houghton (Newcastle) and, Dr Harshan Kumarasingham (Edinburgh).

Post-Doc Research Associate Opportunity

We are advertising for a Post-Doc Research Associate for the funded project on Unwritten Constitutional Norms and Principles. Anyone who might be interested in applying for this role may contact Dr Wheatle for more information or read more about the role on our Careers page.

Further Reading