The purpose of the Law Foundation is to promote and develop the study of the theory and practice of law in all its branches, whether at the University or elsewhere, by staff of the University, by those holding visiting appointments at the University, or by students pursuing courses of study approved by the University.

The Trustees meet annually in Oxford at around the start of the academic year, to consider proposals for funding, and monitor the financial position of, the fund.  The Trustees will support items of expenditure that are both exceptional and will add value to the whole of Law in Oxford. 

An Annual Report of the activities of the Law Foundation is produced once the minutes of the meeting from the previous year have been approved by the Trustees at the next meeting.  Links to the reports are listed below. 

Proposals to the Law Foundation must be made on the recommendation of the Law Board, having first been considered by the Faculty’s Planning and Resources Committee.

The Trustees for 2019-20 are:

David P. Ryan (Chair)

Susan Bright (appointed by the Board of the Faculty of Law)

Andrew Mackie (representing the Vice-Chancellor)

Anne Davies, ex officio as Dean of the Faculty of Law and Associate Dean for Development 2019-20

Tina Cook, QC

Rachel Brandenburger

Secretary to the Board of Trustees is the Development Assistant in the Law Faculty, e-mail alumni@law.ox.ac.uk.

Annual reports

Law Foundation Scholars

  • Eleni Methymaki, DPhil in Law

Provisional Title: Domestic Law as a Multi-Dimensional Concept Before International Courts and Tribunals

Supervisors: Professor Catherine Redgwell and Dr Antonios Tzanakopoulos

Research Summary

My research examines the relationship between international and domestic law through the caselaw of international courts and tribunals. More specifically, I investigate how certain international courts and tribunals, namely the International Court of Justice (and its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice), the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation, the European and Inter-American Courts of Human Rights, and investor-state arbitral tribunals engage with domestic law in cases before them. The long-standing debate concerning the relationship between the domestic and the international legal orders—one of the foundational and most contested topics of international law—revolves around the binary distinction between the monist and the dualist theories. However, taking into consideration that in practice different legal orders and systems may relate to each other in a variety of ways, it is ultimately the jurisdictional framework of each court or tribunal that affects how they will deal with domestic law in cases before them. This explains why domestic law presents multiple dimensions in international adjudication. Overall, my research seeks to appraise the status of domestic law in international adjudication and its multiple dimensions through the mandate of the selected international courts and tribunals and the jurisdictional framework set by their constitutive instruments.

  • Jingzhi Chen, DPhil in Law

Jingzhi Chen is a research student at the Oxford Law Faculty. She holds a master degree in legal theory from China University of Political Science and Law, and an LLB from Beijing Institute Technology with distinction. Her research interest lies in political and legal philosophy.

Research Summary

My doctoral research aims to explore a classic problem in liberal tradition: in a society with plural and incompatible comprehensive religious, philosophical and moral doctrines, how to justify a political action to illiberal citizens without disrespecting their comprehensive doctrines? I examine two kinds of liberal approaches on this problem: political liberalism and comprehensive liberalism. The former holds that we need to appeal to what reasonable citizens can be expected to endorse rather than any metaphysical claims about truth. And the second one holds a truth-dependent account that the principles of legitimacy should be based on a true comprehensive doctrine which is consistent with other doctrines. In my research, I plan to re-interpret the idea of respect for person to ground political legitimacy, providing a different truth-dependent account of legitimacy without committing to a particular conception of the good. I hope my research could ease the tension between these two approaches and also keep their insights.