QUB Law has a vibrant, active research community, and one that is committed to producing impactful, world-leading research. Our research environment- underpinned by core values of vitality, collegiality and sustainability- strives for high-quality, ambitious outputs across all areas of scholarship. We achieve this by maximising collaborative networks and opportunities for cutting-edge research; sustained engagement and collaboration with the academic community and an array of non-academic audiences; and nurturing and supporting our research talent- across all career stages- to foster individual and collective success.
Our core mission is to maintain research excellence, enhance internationalisation, strengthen interdisciplinarity and deliver on strategic investments in new and emerging areas, as part of an engaged and outward-looking research environment.
Research Income and Projects
QUB Law continues to build on a strong and impressive track record of securing external funding.
In keeping with our strategic objective of increasing the intellectual scale and scope of our research bids, the School has generated research income of £5.83M (including UKRI income of £2.77M) since 2014.
Explore our Research Projects
The Institute for Criminology and Criminal Justice acts as interdisciplinary hubs that bring together researchers from across the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. At an institutional level, QUB Law has played a key role in the establishment and development of the University’s flagship interdisciplinary Global Research Institute, the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. Around a third of our staff are Fellows/Associated Fellows of the Mitchell Institute, while two senior colleagues from QUB Law lead on two of its four interdisciplinary themes. Some of our researchers have also secured research funding as part of successful cross-Faculty grant applications, in collaboration with sociology and social policy, political science, history and education.
Our strong links with the University’s Pioneer Research Programmes, designed to stimulate novel interdisciplinary collaborations around tackling global challenges, have resulted in major funding awards. A team led by QUB Law secured £1.35M for the Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Algorithmic Solutions (LINAS) Doctoral Training Programme. Our researchers were also a key component of the £1.6M award for the Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Cyber Security (LINCS).
Contributions to Society and the Community
QUB Law has a culture of sustained engagement and collaboration with the academic community and an array of non-academic audiences, including the legal profession, government, NGOs and the public sector. Driven and maintained by our staff as world-leading experts in their fields these external connections showcase the importance of our research and impact at the local, national and international levels, substantially enriching our research environment.
Support for Researchers
QUB Law has a strong, supportive and collegiate staff development strategy, and one that recognises the importance of researcher development across all career stages. For example, senior staff provide dedicated support for career development through peer-review and collaborative projects. Our dedicated research mentoring also supports the publication of internationally excellent research outputs and applications for research funding with notable successes for our early career researchers.
Promoting Equality and Diversity
QUB Law has a strong track record of promoting equality and diversity within NI, and our commitment to these core values permeates all activities in the School.
A bronze Athena SWAN Award- awarded in 2018, and the first on the island of Ireland- recognises our work on identifying and addressing gender equality challenges. Within the University, QUB Law staff both lead and contribute to a number of key initiatives including the QUB Gender Network, iRise, the Equality Working Group and Queen’s Gender Initiative Executive.
Our vibrant postgraduate culture, with its large and diverse international student community, is a key feature of our research environment. Outstanding students from across the world carry out research on a range of topics and are supervised by world-leading scholars, spanning doctrinal, socio-legal, comparative and critical approaches.
QUB Law invests significant staff resources in providing dedicated support, mentoring and training for PGRs throughout their studies. As part of our commitment to fostering a dynamic and supportive research culture for our students, with an open and inclusive ethos, PGRs participate in School conferences/seminars and training workshops, and in strategic decision-making through membership of internal committees in the School and our research centres.
We have excellent doctoral completion rates, and are proud of our track record in equipping our graduating students for research careers at QUB and around the world.
QUB Law moved to a new Law School building in August 2016. Located at the heart of the University campus, this state-of-the-art building with its world-leading facilities has creates a vibrant hub for our research activities.
Academic, Societal and Community Outreach
Academic contributions and collaborations highlight the breadth and depth of our scholarship, as well as the international and interdisciplinary reach of our work through publications, keynotes and plenaries, hosting major conferences, research networks, and collaborative projects and partnerships with other Law Schools and institutions.
The School also hosts and edits the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, a leading legal journal since its foundation in 1936, and numerous seminars and lectures take place each year including two major annual public lectures: the MacDermott Lecture and the Stephen Livingstone Lecture. The School also hosted the prestigious Hamlyn Lecture in 2014, 2018, 2020 and 2022.
QUB Law has excellent links with the legal profession in NI, and our research impacts on the judiciary at local, national and international levels with our researchers cited in the NI High Court and Court of Appeal; the UK Supreme Court; the Irish Supreme Court; the International Criminal Court; and the South African Constitutional Court. The Human Rights Centre (HRC) has been running for over 30 years in the School, bringing together local and international scholars to research and teach on a broad range of human rights issues. The HRC runs a number of events and conferences throughout the year, some past ones can be found on the School's YouTube page. The Centre also responds to consultations at the local and national level, as well as amici curiae to international courts, some of the reports can be found here.
QUB Law staff have provided specialist advice to government, and government-appointed commissions. Notable examples include the House of Commons and House of Lords Constitutional Committees on the implications of Brexit; the Independent Hate Crime Review for NI; the Gillen Review into Serious Sexual Offences in NI; the Dáil Committee on Equality and Justice on the human rights and constitutional implications of Brexit; and the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Our impact strategy has resulted in a sustained and profound range of impacts in diverse local, national and international communities. Funded research projects have generated numerous policy-facing outputs, produced in conjunction with local stakeholders and used to bring about changes ‘on the ground’. QUB Law researchers have also engaged in high-level impact work, working with or on behalf of the UN, governments and government commissions.
In bringing our research to the public, our researchers also contribute to debates on contemporary issues through writing for The Conversation, TEDx events and providing expert commentaries for a range of national and international media.