Latest News & Announcements

Associates on Tour AgainTuesday, July 23, 2019 - 13:05

Following some touring activity during May, Senior Service research associates Christopher Harding, Richard Ireland and John Williams have been on the road again this month, peddling ideas and research findings in diverse directions. Richard attended the annual British Legal History Conference in St Andrews, and also lectured in deepest Cheshire. Earlier in the month I travelled to Boulder in Colorado to take part in the Applied Legal Storytelling Conference (see below in the News Box). Now John, along with other colleagues from the Dewis/Choice Research Project (Sarah Wydall and Alan Clarke) have gone to Rome to display their wares at the International Academy of Law and Mental Health Conference taking place there. Never a dull moment.

Legal Story-Telling in BoulderFriday, July 19, 2019 - 14:12

I headed for the edge of the Rocky Mountains to take samples of the Harding-Tudberry legal stories for the younger age group to the Applied Legal Story-Telling Conference at Boulder. Boulder was hot and high up, but all was comfortable at the Wolf Law Building (an impressive sandstone structure at the University of Colorado) and the 100 or so participants at the conference (almost entirely American) were sociable and receptive. It was all very interesting, from stories through maps to stories in the courtroom process, and I benefited from an especially interactive session in my case. Lively and useful discussion, and good ideas regarding our development of the stories. Probably the funniest remark addressed to myself was the comment by Todd Stafford of the University of Colorado: 'You would do for English Bob in the Clint Eastwood film Unforgiven'. Well, yes - so long as I don't suffer the same fate.

Meetings in WarsawTuesday, May 28, 2019 - 16:10

The seminar at the Faculty of Law at Warsaw University, 'Changing Cultures in Criminal Law and Penal Policy in Europe', took place on 21 May, and carried out its stock-taking. I spoke about the messy convergence of penal policy and regulatory practice (too much deterrence rhetoric) and Wojciech Zalewski from the University of Gdansk reported on a depressing 'penal populism'. All rather wry, in the end. But it was also a good opportunity to catch up with a number of research associates - co-author Joanna Banach-Gutierrez, Raimo Lahti from Helsinki, and Anna Blachnio-Parzych from Warsaw, all of which proved stimulating. Anna was able to take Raimo and myself to the Supreme Court, where we took in the ambience (very calm) and had some lunch.

Research for the Law School History progressesThursday, May 16, 2019 - 15:55

Work is now well under way in relation to the history of the Aberystwyth Law School (Christopher Harding, Richard Ireland and John Williams) and a contract has been signed with University of Wales Press for a book publication, hopefully in 2021, the 120th anniversary of the Law School's foundation. Some revealing and thought-provoking material has been found in the archives and elsewhere, which should provide instructive argument regarding both continuity and change. In tandem, an exhibition is now planned of 'One hundred Years and More of Legal Scholarship in Aberystwyth', to be located in the Old College building in October 2019, in collaboration with Bill Hines, former Law Librarian. In the meantime if any readers of this site who have any kind of former involvement with the Law School have material or recollections that they think may be of interest, please contact the researchers at either or See the page on this site, 'Aberystwyth Law School History'. 

Associates on TourThursday, May 16, 2019 - 15:23

As well as progressing with their joint research into the history of the Aberystwyth Law School, myself, Richard Ireland and John Williams will be separately on tour around Europe in the week beginning 20 May. I shall be performing at the University of Warsaw Centre for Penological Studies, at a seminar on Changing Cultures in Criminal Law and Penal Policy in Europe, on 21 May. During that week Richard will be active at a conference on Criminal Justice and the Archive, at Oxford Brookes University. Meanwhile John will be in Lund at the University's Faculty of Law, attending the inaugural meeting for ELAN, the European Law and Ageing Network, from which it is hoped to establish a Centre for research and study  in the field of law and ageing. A spread of specialist activity and a strong signal of continuing vitality among the ranks of Senior Service.

New PublicationsMonday, April 15, 2019 - 16:40

Two of my papers have just been published in edited collections - 'The Biology and Psychology of Atrocity and the Erasure of Memory', as Chapter Two in Aksenova, van Sliedregt and Parmentier (eds), Breaking the Cycle of Mass Atrocities (Hart Publishing), and (with Joanna Banach-Gutierrez) 'The Search for Evidence Relating to the Application and Impact of EU Legislation', as Chapter Three in Ouwerkerk, Oberg, Altena and Miettinen (eds), EU Criminal Justice - Policy and Practice (Brill). So - international criminal law, then EU criminal law. The first of these notably incorporates some discussion of Kazuo Ishiguro's 'The Buried Giant' as a fictional representation of erasure of collective memory. The second paper began life as a joint presentation with Joanna at a conference in Leiden in June 2017. A short while ago, another paper, 'Popular Justice and the Regulation of Trade: Muckraking, Rough Music, Political Cartoons and the Vilification of Entrepreneurial Heroes', had been published in volume 12 of 'Law and Humanities'. The band plays on !

Gavin Dingwall Aberystwyth VisitMonday, March 18, 2019 - 16:44

Gavin, a former colleague in the Aberystwyth Law Department and now Professor of Criminal Justice Policy at De Montfort University, will be revisiting Aberystwyth on 27 March to give a lecture to students and present at a staff research seminar. He will be joined by his colleague Jessica Gallagher, a Lecturer in the Law School at De Montfort University. Their subject will be: 'Horrible Histories: Exploring the Roots of the Prison Crisis in England and Wales'. The lecture and seminar will take place in the Hugh Owen Building on Penglais Campus. As may be seen from other pages on this site, Gavin and I have researched and published together. We also appeared together recently at the site of the intriguing five-holed stocks under the Butter Cross at Oakham, Rutland, speculating whether that penal instrument was designed to accommodate one-legged offenders.

Choice Project gains extra fundingTuesday, February 12, 2019 - 15:34

Over the last few weeks the Dewis/Choice Research Project relating to abuse of older persons has gained substantial external funding to take its work into some important new areas, totalling just over £440,000, for work to be carried out over the next eighteen months. The first tranche of funding has been provided by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales, in relation to care homes and hospices. Secondly, Comic Relief has provided support for new work on the coincidence of dementia and situations involving abuse. The final and largest tranche of funding has again been agreed with the UK Portfolio of Lottery funding, to take some initial steps in extending the present research to other parts of the UK, in England and Northern Ireland. On 14 February Sarah Wydall and John Williams will attend an event at Comic Relief in London where they will provide details of the existing and proposed research. The new research will also involve the welcome return of former colleagues Ann Sherlock and Melanie Williams, to contribute to some of these activities.