Some of our current projects

Socio-legal research: Family law, step-parents, divorce and recent chances in legal practice

Penelope Russell

Penny Russell carries out socio-legal research in the field of family law. Her recent projects have included empirical work exploring the experiences of step-parents, as well as historical research into the availability of divorce in Victorian England. She is currently carrying out qualitative interviews with family law solicitors to assess the impact of recent changes on practice

Research projectResearch led teaching: the Family Law Project

Penelope Russell

Traditional forms of assessment can be an uninspiring experience for students. The social context of the law, the views and experiences of the public, may rarely get a look-in in the learning and assessment process. This led the lecturers in Family Law to examine alternative ways of both engaging the students in order to enhance the student learning experience and also introducing a way in which student work could be harnessed by the academic for socio-legal research.

Delegates on the walking tour on SheffieldSocio-legal research: Property law

Professor Sarah Blandy

Sarah Blandy is a leading socio-legal property law scholar, with a particular interest in collective and individual property rights. Her research is interdisciplinary and empirical, focusing on spatial aspects of real property law including gated communities, multi-owned housing developments, and the urban public realm. She convenes a research group, Shaping Our Public / Private Space (ShOPPS) with members from the departments of Architecture, Landscape and Planning at the university of Sheffield, which investigates the privatisation of public space. ShOPPS held a two day workshop in April 2014'Integrating interests:future-proofing city centre retail economies', at which speakers from academic, public, private and third sectors outlined their views and provoked discussions amongst over one hundred delegates. In October 2014 Sarah organised a two day workshop on 'Co-ops and Commons' attended by invited international speakers.

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Time crime in England and the United States: Improving legal protection of archaeological sites

Carolyn Shelbourn

Illegal excavation and looting of archaeological sites is a worldwide problem. Federal authorities in the US estimate that two thirds of sites on public land have been looted. Considerable profit may be made by those who loot and sell objects from archaeological sites and links can often be made to organised crime. Improving knowledge of the law and introducing specific sentencing guidelines for heritage crime could raise awareness of the full impact of criminal offences on our historic heritage

Ombudsman projectThe Ombudsman Knowledge Exchange Project

Dr Richard Kirkham

The project involved direct access through 60+ interviews with top people in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, including Public and Private Sector Ombudsmen from areas like the financial services industry. Richard Kirkham is a leading scholar on the role of ombudsmen within the Administrative Justice system, publishing widely and contributing to official reports. His work on the ombudsman has helped shape policy on the ombudsman in the UK and abroad. REF case study: Transforming the role of ombudsmen in the UK