Dr Alison Dunn
Senior Lecturer in Law

  • Email: alison.dunn@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7560
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 8990
  • Address: Newcastle Law School
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 7RU


Alison read law at the University of Leicester, where she was awarded LLB (Hons) and PhD degrees. Her PhD thesis examined the role of equity in providing for the legal conscience of society.

Roles and Responsibilities

Director of Excellence in Learning and Teaching  (2013-2015)


Member of the Law School Research Committee (2001-2012)

Postgraduate Research Degree Programme Director (2009-2012)

Postgraduate Research Selector (2009-2010)

LLB Degree Programme Director (2005-2007)
Chair of the Law School Undergraduate Board of Studies (2005-2007)
Chair of the Law School Teaching and Learning Committee (2005-2007, 2013- )
Member of the HASS Faculty Teaching and Learning Committee (2005-2007, 2013 - )
Deputy Degree Programme Director for the Law School's LLM degrees (2002-2005)
Law School's Third Strand Co-ordinator (2004-2005)


PhD, Faculty of Law, University of Leicester
LLB (Hons), Faculty of Law, University of Leicester
Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Previous Positions

Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Voluntary Organizations & Service, Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA
Visiting Scholar at Independent University, Lisbon


Society of Legal Scholars, member of Council (2000-2013), member of Executive Committee (2011-2014)  www.legalscholars.ac.uk/text/index.cfm

Socio-Legal Studies Association, member of Executive committee (2002-2009) www.slsa.ac.uk

Charity Law Association (UK) www.charitylawassociation.org.uk/

Voluntary Sector Studies Network (UK) www.vssn.org.uk/

Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) www.arnova.org/

International Society for Third-Sector Research (ISTR) www.istr.org/

Honours and Awards

Recipient of the Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Teacher Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013) 

Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) www.rsa.org.uk/

Research Interests

Alison's research interests are in charity law and the law relating to the voluntary and community sector, particularly governance and the regulation of political activities of charities and other voluntary and community sector organisations. Equity, trusts and land law.

Current Work

1. Legal Prohibition on charitable political activities - content, procedure and reform (under contract with Hart Publishing)

This research project examines the content, development, application, rationale and reform of the legal prohibition that prevents charities from undertaking or pursuing political activities which are more than subsidiary to their charitable purpose. In so doing, it develops a theoretical framework to analyse the content and procedure of this aspect of charity law. The project analyses the regulation in English charity law against regulation of political activities in other areas of English law, and compares the approach of the English jurisdiction with the approach to the same issues in the jurisdictions of Australia, Canada and the USA.

2. The Governance of Not-for-Profit Companies (co-authored project with C.A Riley, University of Durham)(under contract with Cambridge University Press)

This project attempts to develop understanding of the appropriate governance regime for third sector organisations, and then to measure existing governance provisions against a ‘model’ regime. It is both a theoretical work, drawing on the insights offered by other disciplines into the governance needs of third sector organisations, and a doctrinal work, attempting to evaluate the state of existing governance regimes.

Esteem Indicators

Member of the editorial board of King’s Law Journal.

CharityNews-UK Editor (appointed 2002). This online journal is administered by the USA group CharityChannel.com. CharityChannel.com fosters interdisciplinary work and debate between the international charity/voluntary sector professional communities.


British Academy, £500, May 2009, sole investigator, overseas conference grant, to attend and present paper at the Anser 2nd Annual conference, Ottawa Canada 27th-29th May 2009.

Society of Legal Scholars, £445, November 2008, sole investigator, research grant to attend and present paper at the ARNOVA Annual Conference, Philadelphia, USA.

AHRC matched leave fellowship 2007-8

Society of Legal Scholars, £1,000, July 2004, sole investigator, research grant to attend and present paper at the International Society for Third-Sector Research Sixth International Conference, Toronto, Canada.

British Academy, £500, November 2003, sole investigator, overseas conference grant, to attend and present paper at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action 32nd Annual Conference, Denver Colorado, USA.

Law Commission of England and Wales, £40,000, February 2002-May 2002, Sole Investigator. This grant was to undertake commissioned socio-economic research on trustee exemption clauses to inform the policy for the Law Commission’s Consultation Paper No 171 on Trustee Exemption Clauses, published January 2003.

Undergraduate Teaching

Land Law (Lecturer, seminarist) (LLB stage 1)

Equity (Module Co-ordinator, lecturer, seminarist) (LLB stage 2)


Teaching Awards

Alison was awarded the Vice Chancellor's Distinguished Teacher Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013.  She was nominated for the Teaching Excellence Awards (TEA) run by Newcastle University Students’ Union in the ‘Innovative Teaching ’ category in 2013 and 2014 and shortlisted in 2014. Alison was also nominated for the Oxford University Press Lecturer of the Year in 2013.