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Research Spotlight

Research Spotlight

Discover Newcastle Law School's research into the latest global issues.

Research excellence to tackle COVID-19

Our community has engaged with research and academic engagement surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. We've used our diverse research excellence to tackle COVID-19. We've responded to this major global challenge.

Contact tracing app

Professor Lilian Edwards is a leading academic in the field of Internet law. Lilian is a member of the NHS COVID-19 App Data Ethics Advisory Board.

She leads a team of authors of the draft Coronavirus (Safeguards) Bill 2020: Proposed protections for digital interventions and in relation to immunity certificates.

The authors are Lilian Edwards, Michael Veale, Orla Lynskey, Rachel Coldicutt, Nóra Loideain, Frederike Kaltheuner, Marion Oswald, Rossana Ducato, Burkhard Schafer, Aileen McHarg, and Elizabeth Renieris.

This Bill looks at safeguards for symptom tracking and contact tracing apps in the UK. It anticipates minimum safeguards for roll out of “immunity certificates” (passports) in future.

A visual representation of COVID-19.

Wills and gifting property

The coronavirus pandemic will no doubt prompt many into writing, or rewriting, wills. The perception is that the prices charged by solicitors is high. Many can take the cheaper option of getting an online will. 

Dr Derek Whayman has published a research briefing on Bargain Wills? The Rectification of Computer Generated Documents (PDF: 1.28MB).

It discusses how the courts have tended to interpret the law of rectification of wills flexibly. They may continue to do so in these novel circumstances. The explanation of the process of computer-generation of wills and application of it to the law will assist the litigator and advisor.

In his latest research, Dr Whayman has identified some problems with this route. He considers how the courts and legislators might respond to them. He published ‘The Rectification (and Construction) of Computer-Generated Documents’ (2019).

Sue Farran recently published 'A new lease of life for Donatio Mortis Causa in a time of Coronavirus?' (PDF: 555KB). Sue's article on this will be in Trusts and Trustees.

Representation of online will.

Human rights

Dr Conall Mallory has researched human rights law during the coronavirus outbreak.

Watch 'The State's Positive Obligations under International Human Rights Law during the coronavirus outbreak' 5th May 2020

'The Right to Life and Personal Protective Equipment' (UK Constitutional Law Association)

International borders

The UK and Ireland went into varying states of lockdown to combat the pandemic.

The Common Travel Area (CTA) and cross-border co-operation in Ireland came under renewed strain.

Colin Murray has published in The UK in a Changing Europe on the Covid-19 crisis across the Irish border.

COVID and our environment

Re-imagining environmental justice in post-pandemic Ireland

Dr Ciara Brennan is founder of the Environmental Justice Network Ireland. EJNI have asked individuals from a range of backgrounds to contribute their thoughts. They've made a series of short films on environmental justice in post-pandemic Ireland. They show the different ways people describe their experiences of environmental justice. They engage with the biggest questions decision-makers and society must contend with post-Covid. You can watch the videos online.

COVID and urban green spaces

Professor Chris Rodgers has published in the Environmental Law Review. His paper is 'Nourishing and Protecting our Urban “Green” Space in a post-pandemic world'.

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