Our research - Our expertise - University of Derby

Our research

Law tutor Joel Klaff, in front of shelves of books “My research focuses on the injustice and unfairness of law. Why, despite all our laws, is there still discrimination, gender inequality and poverty?" Joel Klaff, Senior Lecturer

Recent research projects

Human trafficking and modern slavery

For a number of years, our academics have been working with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA), which is part of the Home Office, to tackle the abhorrent crime of human trafficking, forced labour and exploitation. 

The GLA are now supporting new research by one of our MSc Criminal Investigation students, Dr Ruth McAllister, which should help us learn more about human traffickers.

She is using data mining techniques to gather information from recruitment websites, linked to a database of human traffickers. This is one of the first public uses of big data techniques to inform intelligence investigation work.

New food and energy technologies

Researchers based in Derby Law School are undertaking a number of projects focused on the legal issues of sustainability.

One area of research is around bioethics and food technology. As we harness scientific innovations such as GM food to try to provide a sustainable food supply for the world’s ever increasing population, new legal and policy issues are raised.

Dr Yog Upadhyay, our lead researcher in this field, is investigating the regulations, policies and laws for food sustainability in the UK and Europe, and he hopes this work will contribute to a global food sustainability policy. Dr Upadhyay has recently written a book chapter, ‘Food Sustainability and the Law: Regulation of GM food in the EU’ due to be published in International Food Law and Policy (Springer, 2015).

Other areas of work include the regulation of science and innovation – particularly nano, bio and nuclear energy – and the issue of fairness in international economic relationships. 

Medical law

One of our lead researchers in medical law, Lisa Cherkassky, has recently published a book – Medical Law by Pearson – and is also the Chief Editor of The Journal of Medical Law and Ethics. Her research into organ donation and saviour siblings in particular, has been widely published. 

Interviewing witnesses

Dr David Walsh is an international figure in research and training into the reliability of witness testimony in interview contexts. He was recently invited to return to provide further training for investigators at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

David has also co-authored a book entitled Preventing Corruption (Palgrave Macmillan) and has recently presented papers at the American Psychology and Law Society Conference and at the 7th Conference of the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group in Switzerland.

Criminal law

Dr Karen Cooper recently attended Harvard Law School’s, International Association of Constitutional Law conference, delivering Constitutionalism Across Borders in the Struggle Against Terrorism with co-author, Professor Clive Walker (University of Leeds).

Commercial law and consumer law

Larry Mead recently presented at the European Business and Management Conference a paper entitled Minority shareholder protection in the U.K. Does it work fairly for all?

He also presented at the International Sustainability, Ethics and Governance Conference, a paper entitled Harmonisation of auditing requirements that address the importance of their being reliance in the Audit Report content.

Also on the topic of consumer law, Karen Cooper's article, Consumer Law - Will proposed legislation improve consumer rights? was published in the New Law Journal.