Newcastle Law School

Staff Profile

Dr Jane Ball

Guest Member of Staff




Dr. Jane Ball retired as a senior lecturer at Newcastle Law School in 2017.  She is now attached to the Law School as guest member of staff. She is an international and comparative housing and property lawyer, but also a sociologist, economist, and linguist (specializing in France). These disciplines help to obtain an overview of other legal systems. They also help explain national differences in their historical and institutional context  She hopes to contribute to university life by research and writing up projects. 

One of these projects particularly concerns the development of tenures and rights in England and France in the seminal period between 1800 and 1850. Farmers and coal miners were initial examples for study, but this was a particularly turbulent period. Events then caused divergence between the French and English legal systems.  A great deal of new French historical material has become available outside Paris bringing new perspectives.

Dr Ball also seeks to help others' research, including connecting people within the university and outside.


Trust and Estates Practitioner (Academic) 2010

PhD (Sheffield) 2008

Final diploma of the Institute of Linguists (French) 2000

Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education in 1998

Solicitor of the Supreme Court 1978

LLB (Liverpool) 1975

Previous Positions

Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University School of Law 2011-17

Visiting Professor, University of Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, 2010 

Graduate teaching assistant and then lecturer, University of Sheffield, 1997-2003 and 2003-2011

Associate lecturer, Manchester Metropolitan University, 1994-1998  

Solicitor in Private Practice between 1978 and 1993


Law Society

Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners

Society of Legal Scholars

Socio-legal Studies Association

European Network for Housing Research

Housing Studies Association


French, German, with some Spanish and Latin 





Research Interests 

My particular interest in French law and other European property and tenure systems in: comparative law, property, equity and trusts, housing, tenures, special contracts, EU harmonization, Human and Social Rights, housing finance and economics, planning and construction, social housing, mortgages and security, eviction, multiple-ownership, homelessness, sociology, legal history and linguistics. At some time in her career, each of these disciplines have helped explain other countries' ways of doing things. 

Current and Future Work 

I am currently working on the history of tenures and the impact of these on the legal system as a whole. Tenures in the European sense of rights of lawful occupancy should be regarded as new terminology, the product of 50 years of comparative housing scholarship by the interdisciplinary housing community, particularly the European Network for Housing Research (ENHR) from about 1980. European tenures are not necessarily proprietary and their varieties are not particularly apparent in the European statistics.

I expected the study of miners and farmers for the period from 1804-1848  to see improved housing status in England and France, but this was not the case for most categories. Things got worse until England and France started to compete to provide the best model of social housing for the working classes after 1850. 

 My unpublished papers and some projects are listed at: