I retired from full-time work at De Montfort University on 1st September 2016 and was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor from that date.
I am still involved in some academic and professional activities, in particular:
External examinership of PhD theses;
REF output assessment work for Law;
Some writing projects in my fields of interests;
Reviewing books, articles and research grant applications in my fields of interest
Over the course of my career I have pursued three related research fields: administrative justice; international child law and social security law.
My work on administrative justice has received external recognition. I have been invited to undertake research work on several occasions for the Ministry of Justice (and its predecessors Departments) and have conducted research projects with the assistance of external funding from the ESRC, the Nuffield Foundation, National Audit and other government departments in relation to mediation, judicial review, tribunals and ombudsmen. I have held External Examinerships at various Universities in Public Law and other LLB modules. I currently serve as External Examiner for the Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies at Trinity College Dublin.
An ESRC-funded project that examined Ombudsmen in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand resulted in a number of publications and invitations to provide keynote presentations. The key ouput, a monograph, co-authored with two colleagues The Ombudsman Enterprise and Administrative Justice, has received many positive reviews in a number of scholarly journals and continues to be cited by parliamentary Select Committees and the Law Commission.
I have contributed an ‘expert commentary’ on Public Inquiries in chapter x of Elliot M and Thomas R (eds) (forthcoming 2017) Public Law, 3rd ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press. I also delivered a public lecture in the Professorial Law Lecture series at De Montfort University on 9 February 2017.
My work on international child law is underpinned by my textbook International Child Law (3rd ed., 2014) which has been used for specialist undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK and internationally and appears in the bibliography of the Hague Conference on Private International Law. I have also published some journal articles in the area of international children's rights. One of my previous doctoral students, Dr Michael Wabwile, a Kenyan academic, won a Commonwealth Academic Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral work on international child law hosted at DMU (October to December 2012). I completed a research report that evaluates the Long-term effects of mediation in international parental child abduction cases in collaboration with Reunite, a Leicester-based charity. More recently I was commissioned to write an article on ‘Children’s Rights’ for the International Law section of Oxford Bibliographies, published by Oxford University Press in March 2017. I have contributed to the Children’s Rights Judgments project and have authored a revised judgment of the International Criminal Court’s Lubanga judgment in Hollingsworth K, Stalford H & Gilmore S (eds) (forthcoming 2017) Rewriting Children’s Rights Judgments: from academic vision to new practice, Oxford: Hart Publishing.
My work on social security law. I was also seconded from my previous post at the University of Leicester for three years (1993-96) to serve as the national legal adviser to the Social Fund Commissioner and Social Fund Inspectors of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. I have been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Social Security Law for many years. My book, The Social Fund: Law & Practice (3rd edition, 2009) was the key legal reference work on the social fund in the UK for both Department for Work and Pensions officials and welfare advice advocates prior to the abolition of the discretionary Social Fund in April 2013. I led a Nuffield Foundation funded research project that examined the work of the Social Security and Child Support Commissioners (now ‘Upper Tribunal Judges’), a project that involved interviewing all Commissioners and resulted in a number of publications including a monograph (Making Social Security Law, 2005), co-authored with Professors Roy Sainsbury (SPRU, York) and David Bonner (Law, Leicester).