Research Groups (an explanation)

With effect from 1 October 2020, the current 'Subject Groups' in the Law Faculty have been grouped together into Research Groups, with a Research Group Chair appointed to head each group.

The Teaching Groups continue to exist, and continue to take responsibility for reading lists and teaching.  Graduate Discussion Groups will also continue to run as before.  Unless they choose to opt out of the scheme, each Teaching Group and Discussion Group is explicitly aligned with one appropriate Research Group (see below).  Teaching Groups and Discussion Groups can change their allocation if they wish.  

Research Groups will complement, not detract from, the work of existing institutions and groupings within the Faculty.  They will provide a new way to promote and facilitate the research culture of the Faculty through the creation of a new structure for interaction that supports projects and encourages interaction between scholars.  In particular, the Research Groups will provide support for early-career academics and those new to the Faculty.  They groups will also provide a new system for the processing of research student applications.  


Each Teaching Group and Graduate Discussion Group in the Faculty will be assigned to one of the new Research Groups, and the members of each Teaching or Discussion Group will automatically become members of that Research Group.  In addition, Faculty members and research students may opt to become a member of any other Research Group they wish to join. 

The Research Groups

The following 14 Research Groups have been created, and Chairs appointed. For the academic year starting October 2023 these are:

Research Group Chair
Business Law John Armour
Computers and Law Rebecca Williams
Family and Medical Law Imogen Goold
Health, Law and Emerging Technologies Jane Kaye and Justine Pila
International Law (PIL) Lavanya Rajamani
Legal Philosophy Adam Perry and James Edwards 
Private Law Ben McFarlane
Public Law Timothy Endicott
Taxation Tsilly Dagan

In addition, our five Centres/Institutes each have an associated Research Group:

Centre/Institute Research Group Chair
Comparative and European Law

Matthew Dyson

Criminology Carolyn Hoyle
Human Rights Kate O'Regan
Intellectual Property Robert Burrell
Socio-Legal Studies Linda Mulcahy

Teaching and Discussion Groups

Our existing teaching and discussion groups have been allocated to these new Research Groups as follows:

Business Law

Commercial Law 

Company Law 

Comparative Corporate Law

Competition Law 

Corporate Finance 

Corporate Insolvency Law 

Law and Finance 

Principles of Financial Regulation

Transnational Commercial Law 

Business and Human Rights Discussion Group

European Business Regulation 

Computers and Law 

Law and Computer Science 

Family and Medical Law 

Medical Law and Ethics Discussion Group

Family Law 

Medical Law and Ethics 

Health, Law and Emerging Technologies

Future of Technology and Society Discussion Group

Law and Technology


International Law 

Public International Law 

PIL Discussion Group

PIL Research Seminars

Legal Philosophy 

Feminist Jurisprudence Discussion Group

Philosophy of Law 

Jurisprudence Discussion Group

Private Law

Roman Law 

Advanced Property and Trusts 


Land Law

Personal Property 

Private Law and Fundamental Rights




Obligations Discussion Group

Property Law Discussion Group

Legal History

Oxford Legal History Forum

Public Law

Civil Procedure 

Constitutional and Administrative Law 

Environmental Law 

Environmental Law Discussion Group


Procedural Justice and Evidence Discussion Group



Criminal Law


Criminology and Criminal Justice 

Criminology Discussion Group

Police and Policing Research Discussion Group

Sentencing Discussion Group

Criminal Law Discussion Group

Socio-Legal Studies 

Indigenous, Interdisciplinary Discussion Group

Law in Society -

CSLS Islamic Law and Society Discussion Group

CSLS Regulation Discussion Group

Socio-Legal Discussion Group

Empirical Legal Studies Discussion Group

Media Law

Human Rights 

Human Rights Law 

Labour/Employment Law 

Bonavero Discussion Group

Decolonising the Law

Refugee and Migration Law Discussion Group

Comparative and European Law 

Comparative Law Discussion Group

Comparative Private Law 

Competition Law and Policy Discussion Group

Institute of European and Comparative Law Lunchtime Seminar Series

European Union Law 

EU Law Discussion Group

Chinese Law Discussion Group

South Asian Law Discussion Group

Intellectual Property 

Intellectual Property 

Intellectual Property Discussion Group


Role of Research Group Chairs

Research Group Chairs will:

  • Have responsibility for co-ordinating the input of members of their Research Group in the review of graduate research applications falling within the Group’s collective field of expertise.

  • Act as a first point of contact for members of the Research Group who are interested in applying for internal or external funding, and may provide an initial review of grant and CUREC applications (though colleagues may still approach the Faculty Research team directly if they prefer).

  • Organise seminars and other events within the Research Group and a regular (at least annual) meeting of the Research Group to review activities.

  • Ensure that support is provided for newly arrived members of the Research Group and for post-doctoral researchers working in the area;

  • Think strategically about the development of research activity in their sector, and provide informal guidance to colleagues within it accordingly.   

  • Take an over-view of the teaching and courses offered within the Research Group in order to ensure that research insights filter through into teaching.  Also take a broad overview of the courses on offer under the aegis of their Research Group (though not themselves alter course offerings)

  • Where appropriate, seek to foster interdisciplinary work between those within their Research Group; and enourage interaction between Research Groups and with colleagues in other University Departments. 

New Research Group Chairs are expected to attend induction sessions relating to grant applications, ethics approval, data protection, and unconscious bias.

Research Group Chairs are ex officio members of the Faculty Research Committee, which meets twice a term.

Research Group Chairs will have a budget assigned to them for events, though due to budget constraints this will not take effect in 2020-21.

If a Teaching Group does not wish its graduate applications to be processed through the Research Group structure, it can opt out of this part of the proposal, and continue to assess graduate applications autonomously.

After three years the operation and delineation of the Research Groups will be reviewed (i.e. in Michaelmas Term 2023).  It is likely that the scheme will need to be revised at this point, with the delineation of the groupings reassessed.

Nick Barber and John Armour, August 2020