At The University of Manchester, we are committed to research that makes a contribution to addressing some of the major legal challenges facing societies in the twenty-first century.

With stories about social crime, government policy, and international disputes in our news every day, informing the legal processes that govern these areas is a huge responsibility.

Our current projects address the issues of domestic violence, discrimination, border control, and the use of human organs and tissues, and continue to make an impact on today’s biggest social and legal debates. Recent examples of the difference that our research is making include:

  • Professor Søren Holm was appointed to an expert ethics group in Norway to advise the Norwegian Institute of Public Health on COVID-19 vaccine prioritisation. The panel’s report, Advice on Priority Groups for Coronanvirus Vaccination in Norway, suggested a change in approach from conventional health prioritisation policies in Norway. The report recommended that the vaccination of older people be prioritised, even though they are likely to enjoy fewer quality-of-life years than younger members of the population. It also recommended that critical workers ought to be prioritised in the event of adverse changes in the course of the pandemic. The report’s recommendations were adopted by the Norwegian Government in December 2020, resulting in highest priority being given to those aged 85 and older and those in nursing homes or supported living arrangements. In January 2020, as the pandemic trajectory shifted, critical workers were also prioritised in line with the report’s recommendations.
  • In 2020, the International Labour Office commissioned Dr Aristea Koukiadaki to draft a report 'Individual and collective labour dispute settlement systems: a comparative review' for the purpose of the EC-funded project on Supporting the Implementation of the Roadmap on Tackling Undeclared Work in Greece. The report has shaped the ILO Policy Recommendations on Individual and Collective Labour Dispute Settlement Systems. Both the report and the policy recommendations were presented and discussed in a series of workshops and a tripartite technical workshop with government officials and social partners in Greece and will feed into the process of preparing the draft legislation on labour dispute resolution and engaging in public consultation and social dialogue on this during 2021. 
  • Nathan Smith’s research on extreme environments was recently covered in a Guardian podcast on what astronauts teach us about coping in lockdown.  
  • Nick Lord and Cecilia Flores Elizondo contributed evidence on the dynamics of food fraud to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology that was subsequently cited in the POSTNote on ‘Food Fraud’.
  • Dave Gadd was cited in a January 2021 House of Lords debate on the Domestic Abuse Bill.
  • Rose Broad and Dave Gadd provided written evidence to the UK Government’s Modern Slavery Inquiry in 2018 and in 2019 provided written evidence to the Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into Prostitution.
  • Caroline Miles sits on a Home Office working group for developing response to adolescent to parent violence. Read her blog post for policy@manchester on the Domestic Abuse Bill.

Our research has shaped policy-making and practice in diverse areas, from national healthcare guidelines to influencing police procedures in countries such as Norway, Australia, and Brazil. Some of the outcomes of this research include: 

Our researchers have also highlighted issues of migrants' rights through collaborating with campaign groups.