Studying for a PhD at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

The School of Advanced Study is the UK's national research hub in the humanities and offers a world-class research environment to our research students. We run a range of research training programmes, open to all postgraduate students, as well as an active public engagement calendar. The School is part of the AHRC-funded London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP), through which we are able to offer a number of studentships in humanities disciplines. Our institutes also offer a range of bursaries and studentships for applicants on our programmes.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies is a unique institution, which has as its mission the promotion and support of legal research in its widest sense. At the heart of the Institute is the IALS Library – the national research library for law and one of the largest law research libraries in Europe. Doctoral researchers will therefore benefit from a rich collection of materials on the law of the UK, Commonwealth and European countries, the USA and EU, as well as other national jurisdictions, international and comparative law. The IALS Library also manages several legal archive collections, and is at the forefront of providing digital resources and online legal research tools.

More about the INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED LEGAL STUDIES

How to Apply

Before agreeing to accept you, the School will require you to submit a research proposal, so it is worthwhile having this drafted ahead of a formal application. Guidelines on drafting your research proposal.

Once you have contacted the School, you will be put in touch with a potential supervisor. It is important that you discuss your outline research proposal with them, and that you feel you can work together. Your supervisor will discuss any further development or re-focusing of your proposal before the formal application is taken to the relevant Research Degrees Committee for approval.

Please apply by clicking the links to the appropriate online application form for the January 2020 session. 

Location Mode Duration Apply
London Full Time 3 years Apply
London Part Time 6 years Apply
Distance Learning Full Time 3 years Apply
Distance Learning Part Time 6 years Apply

 

Distance Learning

From autumn 2017, the School of Advanced Study will offer students with an appropriate topic and level of local resource the opportunity to undertake a PhD by distance learning. These students are required to attend our London campus at set intervals to complete an intensive research training module, for upgrade, and for the viva but will otherwise study at their own location. This option is available to UK, EU and international students on the same basis as our on-campus PhD programmes (three years full time, six years part time). Fees are the same as for our on-campus PhD programmes. Please note that not all institutes and supervisors offer this option, and that some topics are not appropriate to be studied this way.

If you would like to be considered for our Research Degree programme via Distance Learning, please download and fill out the Research Degrees by Distance Learning form, to attach to your online application.

 

Subject Areas

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies offers PhD supervision across a wide range of legal fields. For details of research strengths at IALS, see the Institute’s ‘Areas of Research’.

For an up-to-date list of current staff and Associate Fellows, and their research areas, see: https://ials.sas.ac.uk/study/courses/mphil-phd-studies/ials-academic-staff

    Supervisors

    Professor Alexandra Xanthaki

    Senior Associate Research Fellow at IALS

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    Email | Research Profile

    Topics:

    • International human rights law
    • Minority and indigenous rights 
    • Cultural rights 

    See more... 

    Bio

    Dr Xanthaki is Reader in Law at Brunel Law School, Brunel University, London.

    Alexandra is a leading expert on minority and indigenous rights as well as cultural rights in international law. She works at brunel University London and is also member of the Human Rights faculty of Oxford University. Her monograph Indigenous Rights and United Nations Standards: Self-determination, Culture and Land (Cambridge University Press) is considered a reference source on the topic, while her co-edited Reflections on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Hart) and the 2017 Indigenous Peoples' Cultural Heritage (Martinus Nijhoff/ Brill) are cited widely. Her work has been cited repeatedly in United Nations documents and she has given keynote speeches around the world, including the Arctic Centre, Rovaniemi; the KL Bar, Malaysia; Trento, Italy; and London. She has worked closely with the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Issues, and the ILO. Currently she is working with the local Latin traders and Minority Rights Group International on the rights of the Latin American community in the 7sisters re-development in Haringey, London. She has taught civil servants, indigenous leaders and activities in Vietnam, Pretoria, Kyiv, and London.  

    Since October 2015, Alexandra leads the Athens Refugee Project, where she takes Brunel law students to Athens to volunteer in migrant and refugee sites, provide assistance and learn more on the refugee crisis in Europe from discussions with state authorities, NGOs and IGOs. She has been the recipient of the 2018 Darby-Dowman Award for exceptional teaching and students support. 

    Currently Alexandra is involved in several projects involving minorities, migrant and refugee rights, while supervising PhD candidates on aspects of indigenous and cultural rights in international law. 

    View Dr Xanthaki's profile at at Brunel University.

     

    Professor Avrom Sherr

    Emeritus Professor

    Avrom Sherr

    Email | Research Profile

    Topics:

    • Development of legal education
    • Sociology of the legal profession
    • Ethics in professional work 
    • Provision of legal services
    • Human rights law

    Bio

    Professor Sherr graduated in Law from the London School of Economics in 1971 and qualified as a solicitor in commercial litigation with the then firm of Coward (now Clifford) Chance. From 1974 to 1990 he taught at Warwick University where he was a pioneer

    Professor Sherr's main areas of interest have been the development of legal education, the sociology of the legal profession, ethics in professional work and the provision of legal services. He has also been involved in human rights generally and has written in the area of freedom of protest. Work on discrimination relating to AIDS/HIV and the issues of welfare rights provision within health care.

    Avrom Sherr has been the principal architect of the concept and system of competence assessment in publicly funded legal aid work. He is the founding editor of the International Journal of the Legal Profession, was the project leader producing the seminal report "Willing Blindness" on regulation of the legal profession, and has coordinated a number of trans-European projects on legal ethics, money laundering, legal and accountancy practitioner defaults and discrimination.

    He also acts as a consultant to government and professional bodies in relation to access to justice and professional training and discipline and is a member of Legal Services Complaints Commissioner's Legal Services Consumer Board.

    Professor Barry Rider

    Honorary Senior Research Fellow

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    Email | Research Profile

    Topics:

    • International law
    • Corporate law
    • Comparative law
    • Development studies
    • Financial law

    Bio

    LL.B. (Hons) University of London; M.A., University of Cambridge; Ph.D., University of London; Ph.D., University of Cambridge; Barrister at Law (England and Wales). Honorary LL.D., (Dickinson Law School) Penn State University, USA; Honorary LL.D., University of the Free State, South Africa

     

    Dr Chizu Nakajima

    Senior Associate Research Fellow

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    Email | Research Profile

    Topics:

    • Corporate law and governance
    • Corporate social responsibility
    • Financial services law
    • International law 
    • Business ethics
    • Control of financial crime

    Bio

    Dr Nakajima is Director of the Centre for Financial Regulation and Crime at Cass Business School, City University London.

    Chizu Nakajima specialises in corporate law and governance, corporate social responsibility, financial services law, international law, business ethics and the control of financial crime, and teaches and researches in these areas. Chizu is on the editorial board of a number of leading law journals and regularly reviews papers for leading management and law journals. She has served for many years as co-director of the annual Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime.

    She has published widely on legal issues, including corporate law and governance, conflicts of interest in financial services and the control of financial crime and money laundering, from an international comparative perspective, and has lead numerous interdisciplinary research projects in the relevant areas.

    Before joining City University, Chizu worked for a number of financial institutions in the City. Chizu chairs the British Japanese Law Association - a Law Society bilateral law association, and is a Fellow and member of the Advisory Council of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies, a freeman of the City of London and a liveryman. 

     

    Dr Constantin Stefanou

    Director of Taught Programmes

    Constantin Stefanou

    Email | Research Profile

    Topics:

    • Legislative drafting
    • Legislative drafting and the policy process
    • EU politics & law
    • EU criminal law
    • EU enlargement
    • International relations theory

    Bio

    BA (NEC) (Summa Cum Laude), MA (Essex), MPhil. (Essex), PhD (Kent).

    Summary of research interests and expertise:

    Legislative Drafting; Legislative Drafting and the Policy Process; EU Politics & Law; EU Criminal Law; EU Enlargement; International Relations Theory. 

     

    Professor Ilias Bantekas

    Senior Associate Research Fellow

    Dr Ilias Bantekas

    Email | Research Profile

    Topics:

    • Sovereign debt law and finance

    • Transnational law as an alternative to international and private law

    • International development law and finance

    • International commercial and investment arbitration
       

    Bio

    LLB (Athens); LLM, PhD (Liverpool); Dip Theology (Cantab)

    Ilias was a Reader at Westminster Law School from 1998-2006, at which time he took up a Chair in International Law at Brunel University. He has held visiting positions at Harvard, Miami, Cleveland-State, SOAS, Yeditepe, Kadir Has (both in Istanbul), Rosario (Bogota), Trier and elsewhere. He is an active member of the Athens Bar and is currently Off-Counsel to Mourgelas and Associates Law Firm in Athens, having advised widely on international law and foreign investment.

    Professor Kern Alexander

    Senior Research Fellow in Financial Services Law and Regulation

    Kern Alexander

    Email | Research Profile

    Topics:

    • UK and European bannking and financial services law and regulation 
    • Corporate governance of financial institutions 
    • The history of globalisation of financial markets
    • The development of legal and economic theories of financial regulation 
    • Economic/financial sanctions regulation and policy
    • Principles v. rules in financial regulation

      Bio

      Kern Alexander is Professor of Banking and Financial Market Regulation at the University of Zurich and is Senior Research Fellow in Financial Regulation at the Centre for Risk Studies, University of Cambridge. He is a lawyer and economist with a research focus on the regulation of systemic risk in financial markets. His academic publications include co-author of the first book to analyse critically the international and European regulation of systemic risk in financial markets (Global Governance of Financial Systems (OUP 2006) with Dhumale and Eatwell). He is also the author of Economic Sanctions: Law and Public Policy (Macmillan, 2009) providing a comprehensive analysis of the regulatory and governance aspects of economic and financial sanctions. He has written extensively on UK market abuse and insider law and regulation, and is co-editor of the Research Handbook on International Financial Regulation (Elgar, 2012 with Dhumale) and co-editor with N. Moloney of Law Reform and Financial Markets (2011, Elgar).

      He has authored many academic articles on EU and UK banking law and regulation.

      In addition, he has authored or co-authored twelve commissioned reports for the European Parliament on EU financial regulation and the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. He was a Member of the Expert Panel on Financial Services for the European Parliament (2009-2014). He was Specialist Advisor to the British Parliament's Joint Select Committee on the Financial Services 2012 (2011-2012).

      Professor Mads Andenas

      Senior Research Fellow in Company and Commercial Law

      Professor Mads Andenas

      Email | Research Profile

      Topics:

      • Relationships between national law and European and international law
      • Comparative constitutional and human rights law
      • Constitutional aspects of the EU and the WTO
      • Procedures in international and national courts and administrative bodies

      Bio

      Mads Andenas holds a Chair in the Faculty of Law, the University of Oslo (from 2008). He is a barrister (England and Wales, Middle Temple); an Advokat in Norway. Bencher of Inner Temple and QC (Hon).

      Professor Andenas is also an ICSID arbitrator.

      He was, for a time, the Director of the Norwegian Human Rights Centre, which is the National Human Rights Institution of Norway, and with functions of a human rights ombudsman as well as one of the UN Human Rights Mandate Holders under the Human Rights Council, and Head of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.


      Professor Andenas has been a Senior Research Fellow at the IALS since 1993 and held a Chair in Law at the University of Leicester. He is a Honorary Fellow of the Society of Advanced Legal Studies and a Member of the SALS Advisory Council. He is also a Senior Teaching Fellow in European Community Law at the Institute of European and Comparative Law, University of Oxford, and a Supernumerary Fellow of Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford.

      He was the Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London (1999-2005). Previously, he had been at King's College, University of London (since 1991), where he was the Director of the Centre of European Law and where he continues as a Visiting Professor. In 2002-3 he held the Chaire W J Ganshof van der Meersch under the Fondation Philippe Wiener-Maurice Anspach at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and has been a Visiting Professor at a number of European and US universities, including the University of Rome La Sapienza (2005-2010), University of Paris I La Sorbonne (2006) and Ecole normale superieure Paris (2008-9).

      The supervision of postgraduate research students has been Professor Andenas' main contribution at the IALS, and most of his former PhD students today hold academic posts in the UK and abroad, whereas some work in the legal profession or international organizations.

      Professor Andenas was General Editor of the International and Comparative Law Quarterly (Oxford University Press) and currently of the European Business Law Review (Kluwer Law International) and is on the editorial boards of some ten other law journals and book series.

       

      Dr Mahmood Bagheri

      Course Director: LLM In International Corporate Governance, Financial Regulation And Economic Law And Senior Associate Research Fellow

      Mahmood Bagheri

      Email | Research Profile

      Topics:

      • International financial law
      • Internationalisation of securities markets and regulatory challenges
      • Private international law of securities transactions
      • Competition and integration among stock exchanges
      • Role of informational intermediaries in financial regulation

      Bio

      Dr. Bagheri is currently a Senior Associate Research Fellow and teaches the International Trade and Finance module on the LLM programme.  His previous academic appointments include Lecturer in International Trade and Finance Law, School of Law, Brunel University; Research Fellow, Centre for Financial regulation, Cass Business School, City University; Visiting Senior Fellow and Lecturer in Banking and Finance Law, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary College; Visiting Professor of law at the National University of Malaysia; Visiting Lecturer in Commercial Law, Birkbeck College School of Law, University of London; Visiting Lecturer in Contract Law, Open University; Visiting academic, School of Law, Doshisha University, Japan; Visiting scholar, Max Planck Institute, Germany.  Dr. Bagheri is also an assistant Professor of Banking and Financial Regulation at the University of Tehran.

      Dr Maren Heidemann

      Associate Research Fellow

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      Email | Research Profile

      Topics:

      • Comparative corporate law
      • European company law
      • EU law
      • EU and UK competition law
      • EU financial regulation
      • EU private international law
      • International finance law
      • International sales law
      • International trade law
      • International arbitration law
      • Investment arbitration law
      • Interdisciplinary aspects of law reform
      • Legal research methods

      Bio

      Maren Heidemann’s academic interest is in transnational commercial law, comparative private law, the relationship between public and private law and international taxation. She currently leads a research project at the IALS Centre for Corporate and Financial Law entitled “The Future of the Commercial Contract in Scholarship and Law Reform” where she has organised a series of conferences since 2016. 

      After completing her legal qualifications at the Albert Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg (1991) and the Higher Regional Court Stuttgart (1994) Maren Heidemann obtained a master’s degree (1994) and a PhD (2005) in international commercial law from the University of Nottingham. Her case work as legal practitioner has included cross-border corporate and contract law, international taxation, landlord and tenant as well as administrative and heritage law matters. Dr Heidemann has held a number of full time and visiting academic appointments in the UK since 2007 including a Senior Lectureship at the University of Westminster and a Lectureship in Commercial Law at the University of Glasgow. She also lectures regularly abroad including at the HTW Berlin (Germany) and the University of Oslo (Norway). Dr Heidemann has been supervising doctoral students at IALS since 2010 in the areas of international sales, comparative corporate and data protection law and currently accepts new applications to study on the IALS postgraduate research degree courses in her fields of interest.

      Maren Heidemann is chairing the Maren Heidemann-Foundation (Frankfurt/Main, Germany) which she set up in 1999. Maren has also worked in music management and performance in the UK.

      Professor Maria Gavounelli

      Associate Research Fellow

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      Email | Research Profile

      Topics:

      • Public International Law
      • Law of the Sea
      • International Environmental Law
      • Energy Law
      • International Law of Human Rights

      Bio

      Dr Gavounelli is a Lecturer in International Law. She is also a contributor to Oxford Reports on International Law.

      Dr Mazhar Ilahi

      Associate Research Fellow

      Mazhar Ilahi

      Email | Research Profile

      Topics:

      • International law
      • Constitutional law
      • Immigration law
      • Statutory interpretation
      • Legislative policy analysis

      Bio

      Researcher, Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies

       

      Professor Philip Baker

      Senior Associate Research Fellow

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      Email | Research Profile

      Topics:

      • International aspects of taxation 
      • European convention on human rights 

      Bio

      Richard Alexander

      Lecturer in Financial Law, SOAS

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      Email | Research Profile

      Topics:

      • Financial services law and regulation
      • Financial crime.

      Bio

      Dr Richard Alexander is a lecturer in Financial Law at the School of Finance and Management within SOAS. 

       

      Professor Terence Daintith

      Professorial Fellow

      Terence Daintith

      Email | Research Profile

      Topics:

      • Constitutional law (UK and comparative)

      • Regulation: law, policy and practice

      • History of resources law

      • Energy, petroleum and mineral law and policy

      Bio

      Terence Daintith is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, where he was Director from 1988 to 1995.  Before that he taught at the Universities of California (Berkeley), Edinburgh and Dundee, and was a research professor at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.   His main research interests are in the fields of oil and gas law, energy law, regulation, and constitutional law.  He is co-editor of Daintith, Willoughby and Hill’s multi-volume United Kingdom Oil and Gas Law, the basic reference in the field, and was founding editor of the Journal of Energy and Natural Resources Law.  His most recent book is Finders Keepers? How the Law of Capture Shaped the World Oil Industry (2010).  He is currently working on the use of government-owned companies as a vehicle for policy implementation.  From 1994 until 2002 he was Dean of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, grouping its research institutes in the humanities and social sciences, and he now teaches oil and gas law, and energy law, in several Australian universities.  He holds honorary doctorates in law from De Montfort University and the University of Aberdeen.   

      Dr Maria Mousmouti

      Lecturer in Law

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      Email | Research Profile

      Topics:

      • Legislative effectiveness
      • Legislative quality and legislative drafting
      • Better Regulation policies
      • Legislative evaluation
      • Equality and non-discrimination Law

      Bio

      Maria's work throughout the years essentially consists in supporting, documenting and assisting reform initiatives through research and capacity-building in areas related to judicial independence, public administration reform, constitutional reform, human rights, quality of regulatory systems and legislation and facilitating of access to justice.

      She has actively worked in more than 20 countries in Southern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. Her most recent projects include identifying obstacles to the exercise of the rights of people with disabilities (Greece, 2014), coordinating data collection for monitoring the respect of fundamental rights (FRA, since 2007), providing assistance to the Serbian Parliament (EU, ongoing), assessing the effectiveness of the Victims Directive (EU, ongoing), consolidating the legislation on gender equality in Greece (Greece 2012-2013), designing a system for assessing the impacts of legislation on gender (Greece 2013), reducing bureaucracy and measuring administrative burdens to the Greek legal order (Greece, 2010), drafting legislation to support the education reforms of the Ministry of Education (Greece, 2011), mapping the legislative drafting process in Syria (Damascus, 2010), conducting research to document reforms to enhance judicial independence in Azerbaijan (Baku, 2011), assessing the compliance of Greek legislation with the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and drafting a bill to ensure its effective transposition (Greece, 2012).

      Maria is fluent in Greek, English, French, Spanish and has basic knowledge of German.

      Helen Xanthaki

      Senior Associate Research Fellow

      Helen Xanthaki

      Email | Research Profile

      Topics:

      • Legislative drafting, especially in the common law, civil law, and the EU
      • Comparative Law and Research Methods, especially legal transplants in the legislative process
      • EU law, especially legislation and legislative process

      Bio

      LLB (Athens), MJur (Dunelm), PhD (Dunelm), DipComLaw (UoL), SFHEA

      Summary of research interests and expertise:

      Legislative drafting, especially drafting in the common law, drafting in the civil law and drafting in the EU focusing on transposition, harmonisation and approximation; Law reform and law reform agencies; Comparative Law and Research Methods, especially legal transplants in the legislative process; EU law, especially legislation and legislative process.

      Recent books include Legislation in Europe: A Country by Country Handbook for Scholars and Practitioners (forthcoming, Hart and Nomos, Oxford); Better Legislation and the EU (forthcoming, Elgar Publishers, London); and Legislation in Europe: A Handbook for Scholars and Practitioners, 2017, Hart Publishers, Oxford). Her book Drafting Legislation: Art and Technology of Rules for Regulation (2014, Hart Publishers, Oxford) is a reference book in legislative drafting and has been reviewed in Public Law, Legal Studies, The Loophole, the Statute Law Review, Theory and Practice of Legislation, European Journal of Law Reform, Rassegna Parlamentare, Zeitschift fur Gesetzgeburg, LesGez: Legislation and Evaluation; and the European Journal of Risk Regulation. Helen is the editor of the last edition of Thornton's Legislative Drafting (2013). Her publications include chapters in books and articles published in The Theory and Practice of Legislation, the Statute Law Review, and the European Journal of Law Reform.

      Helen offers consultancy services in the field of legislative drafting; law reform; approximation, harmonisation, transposition; EU criminal law. Recent research projects include the AHRC funded project on big data in legislation; and the evaluation of the Victims' Rights Directive and its transposition. Recent consultancies include services in Vietnam, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Rwanda.

      Helen is a member of the editorial board of Theory and Practice of Legislation, the European Journal of Law Reform, NovaLogos. She is the President of the International Association for Legislation. She is based in UCL where she directs the PGLaws programmes of the University of London. She is also a Visiting Professor at QMUL.

       

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