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Research Groups

Our Research Groups act as enablers of intellectual innovation in both current and future research. Every member of the Law School is a member of one or more groups, enabling individuals to trial ideas and build research collaborations, with researchers and stakeholders both within and beyond Durham.

Our Research Groups run an active and vibrant programme of international conferences, seminars and workshops, make submissions to consultations, co-ordinate and support bids for funding, host visiting academics and play a leading role in integrating our post-graduate research students into the life of the Law School.

The Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (CCLCJ)

The Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice (CCLCJ) provides an international forum for research and postgraduate education drawing together doctrinal, socio-legal, criminological, sociological and psychological approaches to crime, criminal law and criminal justice.

It is a collaborative research centre, with academics drawn from the Law School and the School of Applied Social Sciences (SASS), who work alongside others, with the express aim of providing an environment to foster interdisciplinary research and links with practitioners across criminal law and criminal justice.

As well as fostering a vibrant research environment, the centre regularly organises themed conferences and seminars and promotes the creation of long-term research projects, links and publications.

Centre for Chinese Law and Policy (CCLP)

The Centre for Chinese Law and Policy (CCLP) is officially established in February 2019. It is an interdisciplinary centre that aims to become a leading research institution for Chinese law and policy outside of China. Members of the CCLP are committed to conducting original researches on Chinese law and policy issues that are of contemporary significance and disseminating the research results via leading publishers. The centre also brings together advanced scholars and practitioners around the world to study Chinese law and policy in the form of conferences, regular seminars, workshops, dialogues, etc.

The CCLP dedicates itself to the teaching of Chinese law in prominent ways. Apart from offering high-calibre modules of Chinese law within Durham Law School’s curriculum, the centre will develop intriguing extra-curricular activities for students and scholars who are interested in studying Chinese law. Starting in 2019, the CCLP will host an annual summer school for Chinese law and policy in cooperation with the European China Law Studies Association.

The CCLP also seeks to expand the impact of its research and teaching through cooperation and by maintaining a wide range of academic, social, and political contacts with various academic institutions, think tanks, and government agencies within and beyond the UK.

Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (Durham CELLS)

The Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences) was established as a university research centre in December 2011. It brings together scholars who conduct research on the relationship between biosciences, law and ethics.

This field invites collaborative research from a wide range of academic disciplines. Durham CELLS has facilitated such collaboration, both within and beyond the university, through a series of workshops, conferences, funding applications, and papers presented by academics from outside of the university.

Durham CELLS has both junior and senior academic members from the Departments of Anthropology, Philosophy, and Theology and Religion, and the Schools of Applied Social Sciences, Biological and Biomedical Science, and Law. It also organises an annual postgraduate research conference.


The Durham European Law Institute (DELI)

The Durham European Law Institute (DELI) acts as a focus for the dissemination of European Law at regional, national and international levels. It has expanded significantly in recent years, following the appointment of several members of staff interested in DELI's activities: European Constitutional Law, European Free Movement Law, EU Consumer Law, EU Intellectual and Biotechnology Law, EU Company Law, EU Competition Law, Fundamental Rights, EU External Relations Law, European co-operation in the criminal sphere and European responses to terrorism.

DELI organises an Annual Lecture and hosts regular conferences, workshops and seminars. It also collaborates with other members of the University interested in European affairs, using RIG Europe as a Platform for the development of multi-disciplinary synergies.


Gender and Law at Durham (GLAD)

The research group Gender and Law at Durham (GLAD) brings together scholars researching law, gender and sexuality across a number of legal boundaries, particularly criminal law and justice, diversity in the legal profession and judiciary and LGBT legal issues.

Members of GLAD have secured externally funded projects facilitating effective knowledge transfer between academic and legal, statutory and third-sector communities, for instance, on the operation of hate crime scrutiny panels, reforming pornography law, women in the judiciary and feminist judgments.

GLAD also hosts a series of high-profile events aimed at bringing together academic, student and activist communities and disseminating research to diverse user-groups.


The Human Rights and Public Law Centre (HRPLC)

The Human Rights and Public Law Centre (HRPLC) is the largest research grouping in the Law School. Research interests include domestic protections, European and comparative dimensions, international human rights and socio-legal approaches.

In detail, several members of the Centre are engaged in research concerning the human rights and international implications of legal responses to terrorism, taking account of the security service response. A number of members are working on aspects of the Human Rights Act and the Bill of Rights question.

Significant contributions to the policy-making and deliberative processes have been made in both areas. The HRPLC has a strong track record of securing grant funding in these core areas. It organises an annual postgraduate conference on human rights issues.


The Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law (ICCL)

The Law School has international-class research strength in commercial and corporate law. The Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law (ICCL) supports and gives a formal focus for this work.

Its members engage collaboratively and individually in a variety of work in the field ranging from aspects of law and finance, to corporate governance, to takeovers and mergers, to law of credit and security, to comparative and international commercial law, to arbitration, to competition law, to aspects of property law.

The ICCL collaborates with the law firm Bond Dickinson sponsoring a range of mutually beneficial activities and events including an annual lecture, seminars and prizes.


Law and Global Justice at Durham (LGJD)

Law and Global Justice at Durham (LGJD) provides a forum for the development and dissemination of research in the field of international law and justice. We support the work of academic and postgraduate researchers within Durham Law School and of colleagues in other departments throughout the University.

Law and Global Justice at Durham is an inclusive research group that accommodates those with research interests in diverse subject from the law of armed conflict, international terrorism, globalisation and development, global constitutionalism and broad questions of international human rights. The group provides a forum for cultivating research ideas and projects and encouraging collaborative research and funding applications.


Durham Centre for Law and Philosophy (DCLP)

The centre for law and philosophy was formally established in March 2020 and builds on the Law School's history of research in this area. It provides a space to discuss ideas and develop research projects in legal theory broadly conceived, such as in general jurisprudence, critical legal theory, feminist legal theory, private law theory, international law theory, etc. – as well as associated subjects within moral and political philosophy. It is inclusive in the approaches it supports and is open to new directions in legal theory. It welcomes scholars within and beyond the university to participate in regular lectures, paper presentations, and pre-read work-in-progress sessions. Our annual Durham Lecture in Legal Philosophy invites established and influential speakers who write in this area, is open to all, and serves as our closing session for the academic year. Please e-mail us to subscribe to our mailing list.


The Centre for Sustainable Development Law and Policy (CSDLP)

The Centre for Sustainable Development Law and Policy aims at advancing sustainable development through research across intersecting thematic areas. Our mission is to support the achievement of sustainable development in all its dimensions: environmental, economic, social. The Sustainable Development Goals serve as cross-cutting themes in our research projects, policy work and collaborative initiatives, including education and training, gender, health and wellbeing. We work on various projects and with countries as well as with academic partners.


Durham International Dispute Resolution Institute (DIDRI)

Launched in October 2022, The Durham International Dispute Resolution Institute links research to education and practice on arbitration, mediation and commercial litigation. We are keen to strengthen our academic connections with all the involved stakeholders.


Durham Centre for Indian Law and Policy (DCILP) 

The Durham Centre for Indian Law and Policy (DCILP) was established in 2023.  It is the first academic research centre focusing on India’s law to be established in Europe and only the second outside of India.  Recognising the central role which India plays in the global economy and legal order of the twenty-first century, the Centre’s purpose is to conduct original and interdisciplinary research on Indian law and policy without being bound by doctrinal, methodological, or sub-disciplinary constraints.  It promotes research in topics including Indian public and private law (whether in e.g. a doctrinal, comparative or historical perspective), Indian law in the international legal order, India’s role in the international economic order, and India’s role as a legal model for other jurisdictions.

As the Centre is interdisciplinary in nature, the research conducted under its auspices is not bound by methodological or disciplinary constraints.  Those affiliated with the Centre seek to examine Indian law, legal institutions and legal policy through various methodological lenses of legal scholarship, including (but not limited to) doctrinal, historical, comparative, socio-legal and economic perspectives.

The centre also brings together scholars and practitioners around the world to study Indian law and policy in the form of conferences, regular seminars, workshops, dialogues, and symposia.