Section: Research


Research areas 

Centre members' work focuses on four main research areas:

  • Electoral law and the law of referendums
  • Federalism and multinational states
  • Constitutional theory
  • Constitutionalism beyond (and below) the state

Electoral law and the law of referendums

Electoral Law

Navraj Singh Ghaleigh has written on the Electoral Commission and the Political Parties & Elections Act 2009 ('A Model For Party Finance Supervision?', in Ewing, Tham & Rowbottom (eds.) (Palgrave, 2011)) and the funding of referendum campaigns in the UK (Financing Referendum Campaigns, S Hug & K Gilland (eds.) (Palgrave, 2009)). In November 2010, he gave evidence to the Committee on Standards in Public Life as part of its inquiry into party political finance.

Referendum law

In 2012 Stephen Tierney published Constitutional Referendums: The Theory and Practice of Republican Deliberation (Oxford University Press, 2012). For other related publications see here.

Cormac Mac Amhlaigh has written in this area, see ‘Revolt by Referendum? In Search of a European Constitutional Narrative’ (2009) European Law Journal, pp. 552-563.

Scottish Independence Referendum

Stephen Tierney serves as Constitutional Adviser to the Scottish Parliament Referendum Bill Committee and has advised the House of Lords Constitution Committee on Referendums. 

Tierney was awarded an ESRC Senior Research Fellowship 2013-2014 to study the independence referendum in Scotland scheduled for 2014. This followed a British Academy/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship 2008-09 to pursue the project: ‘Let the People Decide: Referendums in a Post-Sovereign Age’.

See the website of the project ‘The Scottish Independence Referendum: A Democratic Audit’ here.

Federalism and multinational states

Elisenda Casanas Adam conducts comparative analysis of public law, focusing on the legal accommodation of national identity, the courts and human rights. She has a special interest in the public law of Scotland and the United Kingdom, and of Catalonia and Spain.

Stephen Tierney also conducts comparative analysis of federal and multinational states, see his book Constitutional Law and National Pluralism (Oxford University Press, 2004).

Constitutional theory 

Neil Walker has published widely in this field. Cormac Mac Amhlaigh and Claudio Michelon together with Neil Walker published After Public Law (Oxford University Press, 2013).

Stephen Tierney is Professor of Constitutional Theory within the School and works on the interface between public law and politics, see his book Public Law and Politics (Ashgate, 2008).

Constitutionalism beyond (and below) the state

Christine Bell addresses the growing internationalisation of human rights law in particular in the areas of peace-building and constitution-building, see her books On the Law of Peace: Peace Agreements and the Lex Pacificatoria (Oxford University Press, 2008) and Peace Agreements and Human Rights (Oxford University Press, 2000) and ‘Power-sharing and Human Rights Law’ (2013) The International Journal of Human Rights 17, pp. 204-37.

European Union

Centre members explore the relationship between post-state law and constitutionalism and the concept of sovereignty. Neil Walker works extensively on the European Union and a recent Centre publication with Stephen Tierney and Jo Shaw is Europe’s Constitutional Mosaic (Hart Publishing, 2011). Cormac Mac Amlaigh also publishes widely in this area.

Global Constitutionalism

Centre members working in this area include Christine Bell, Cormac Mac Amhlaigh, Stephen Tierney and Neil Walker. See also After Public Law (Oxford University Press, 2013).

National Pluralism and Globalisation

Stephen Tierney works in this area, see his article 'Reframing Sovereignty: Sub-state national societies and contemporary challenges to the nation-state' (2005) International and Comparative Law Quarterly, pp. 161-83. 

The Centre hosted an international symposium on this subject on 23-24 May 2013. For details of the event, see here.

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