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Ensuring that the interests of the UK are considered when courts affect the law of a British Overseas Territory

Summary of the impact

Professor John Finnis has been engaged in a programme of research in legal and constitutional theory. His work on the legal and political responsibilities of UK ministers when acting to affect the law of a British Overseas Territory played a pivotal role in the decision of the House of Lords to reverse the Court of Appeal`s interpretation of the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 (CVLA). The Court of Appeal had held that UK ministers could not properly legislate in the interests of the UK as a whole (including its dependent territories), but only in the interests of the particular territory itself. Relying on Finnis`s arguments, the House of Lords changed that precept. Finnis`s work also persuaded members of the House of Lords to express doubts about a central holding of an earlier decision, which concerned the capacity in which ministers acted in legislating in dependent territories. Finnis`s arguments have been relied on in legal argument in later cases, and have been recognised and reaffirmed in subsequent Court of Appeal and Supreme Court judgments. In this way, they have helped to change fundamental constitutional principles affecting not only all citizens in the UK, but also those in its Overseas Territories around the world.

Submitting Institution

University of Oxford

Unit of Assessment

Law

Summary Impact Type

Legal

Research Subject Area(s)

Studies In Human Society: Political Science
Law and Legal Studies: Law
Philosophy and Religious Studies: History and Philosophy of Specific Fields

Common Land Past and Present: historical research and contemporary debates on the sustainable use of commons in England and Wales

Summary of the impact

Research at Lancaster has reconstructed the governance systems on common land since the medieval period, informing stakeholders and the wider public about the history of the 554,000ha of surviving commons, mostly in upland terrains in England and Wales treasured for their natural beauty and heritage. By engaging with contemporary users of commons through the Foundation for Common Land, The National Trust, and local commoners' groups, the research has enabled hill farmers to reclaim a sense of ownership over their commons, enhancing the cultural life of upland communities and informing debates about conservation and sustainable use of common land in the shifting legal landscape following the Commons Act 2006.

Submitting Institution

Lancaster University

Unit of Assessment

History

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Studies In Human Society: Policy and Administration
Law and Legal Studies: Law
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Promoting the knowledge of Jainism around the world (Peter Fl├╝gel)

Summary of the impact

Founded and chaired by Dr Peter Flügel, the Centre of Jaina Studies is the only academic institution outside India dedicated to the research and teaching of Jainism and as such is a significant node in the various global networks of those interested in this ancient, globalising, minority religion. Through its teaching, research and dissemination of new research in Jainism, it has attracted the participation of lay and monastic Jain communities from all over the world as well as individuals and organisations generally interested in the distinctive features of Jainism's philosophical and cultural traditions and, for example, their application to art historical and aesthetic interpretations, yogic practice and current debates in environmental and animal rights activism.

Submitting Institution

School of Oriental & African Studies

Unit of Assessment

Theology and Religious Studies

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Law and Legal Studies: Law
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

Blasphemy Laws and their repeal

Summary of the impact

Professor David Nash defines blasphemy as the `attacking, wounding and damaging of religious beliefs'. His research into the history of blasphemy has been widely consulted and has highlighted the significant importance of the subject in the contemporary world. This has led to the re- examining of the law and arguments for repeal. He has been pro-actively involved in the debate about blasphemy repeal in England for some time prior to 2008 and also as an active consultant in the Irish Republic, advising NGO's and speaking on their behalf to members of Parliament, international bodies after this date. He also liaised with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and was nominated to sit on the Irish Government's constitutional convention to consider the matter.

Submitting Institution

Oxford Brookes University

Unit of Assessment

History

Summary Impact Type

Cultural

Research Subject Area(s)

Law and Legal Studies: Law
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Promoting the role of land law in economic and social development and changing law and practice in developing and post-conflict countries.

Summary of the impact

Professor Patrick McAuslan's research changed the international development community's view about the role of land law reform in sustainable development and poverty alleviation. Until his research identified how policy-makers should and could use land law reform to achieve their development aims, international agencies did not consider that land law reform had a significant role in furthering economic and social development.

McAuslan disseminated and continued his research during many consultancy assignments for the World Bank (WB), the EU, UN agencies, DFID and other international development bodies. He also reviewed planning and land law in many countries, often significantly shaping the resulting legislation.

Submitting Institution

Birkbeck College

Unit of Assessment

Law

Summary Impact Type

Political

Research Subject Area(s)

Law and Legal Studies: Law, Other Law and Legal Studies

Improving the governance of common land in England and Wales

Summary of the impact

Research at Newcastle has been used to improve the governance of common land both locally and nationally. Locally: (i) by landowners to develop new models for community management of common land; and (ii) by the Foundation for Common Land and its constituent stakeholder groups to inform the development of self-regulatory commons councils under Part 2 Commons Act 2006. Nationally: (i) by the National Trust to develop new models for community management of its extensive common land holdings across England and Wales; and (ii) the research has influenced the development of policy by the Government Office for Science, and by the UK statutory conservation bodies, for the improvement of the environmental governance of common land.

Submitting Institution

Newcastle University

Unit of Assessment

Law

Summary Impact Type

Environmental

Research Subject Area(s)

Environmental Sciences: Environmental Science and Management
Studies In Human Society: Policy and Administration

Incorporating Socio-Economic Group Rights Within Global Development Goals

Summary of the impact

Emerging from investigations of social exclusion during the 1990s, the Unit's research into minority rights has led to outputs and consultancy ranging across political participation, identity, rights protection and international criminal law. The impact claimed here falls in two main channels. Firstly, research on socio-economic group rights, amplified by Castellino's work as co-chair of the relevant UN delegated group, has made a significant input into the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2015-30. Secondly, research has been incorporated into practice and capacity- building through projects involving judiciaries, advocates, statutory bodies, and NGOs. Beneficiaries include the public across 194 states who will benefit from implementation of SDGs over their 15 years lifespan; and civil society bodies and their users.

Submitting Institution

Middlesex University

Unit of Assessment

Law

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Studies In Human Society: Political Science
Law and Legal Studies: Law

'I'll fight you for it'

Summary of the impact

With national and international impact, Home's research on land titling and Islamic land law has helped develop donor aid policy, through UN-Habitat initiatives on post-disaster issues and Islamic land law, and World Bank initiatives on the rule of law in Africa. Impacts of his research within the UK include his contribution to the UK Government's Foresight Land Use Futures Project (2010), and to current policy discussions on future new housing provision. The case study title comes from a well-known story illustrating the legally dubious origins of land ownership in land-grabbing.

Submitting Institution

Anglia Ruskin University

Unit of Assessment

Law

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Law and Legal Studies: Law
History and Archaeology: Historical Studies

Case Study 2: Overhauling the Scottish land registration system

Summary of the impact

Research underpinning this case study — translated into policy and legislation through service by Reid and Gretton at the Scottish Law Commission — has contributed to the transformation of an outdated system of land law in Scotland and its replacement with a coherent and principled framework for land-ownership. In the census period this has been achieved above all by the Land Registration etc (Scotland) 2012. The impact claimed is the legislative change and its result: the introduction of a new law of land registration in Scotland.

Submitting Institution

University of Edinburgh

Unit of Assessment

Law

Summary Impact Type

Legal

Research Subject Area(s)

Law and Legal Studies: Law, Other Law and Legal Studies

Strengthening land rights and gender equality in the Muslim world

Summary of the impact

Research conducted at UEL has been instrumental in efforts to strengthen land and property rights and gender equality in Muslim countries. These impacts arise particularly from its influence on the incorporation by the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) of a much stronger emphasis on Islamic issues in the implementation of land tools. The research has also contributed to UN-Habitat policies; enhanced the capacity of over 200 officials and representatives from dozens of Muslim countries; and contributed to the development of land laws, particularly in the Benadir Region of Somalia. Beneficiaries include United Nations agencies, governments, GLTN members, professionals and members of civil society working on pro-poor land governance as well, ultimately, as the many millions of people whose land and property rights have been enhanced.

Submitting Institution

University of East London

Unit of Assessment

Law

Summary Impact Type

Societal

Research Subject Area(s)

Law and Legal Studies: Law
Philosophy and Religious Studies: Religion and Religious Studies

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