Professor Lauren Devine

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  • Qualifications:LL.B. (Hons), M.Phil (Law, Bristol), M.A. (Research Methods, Bham), Ph.D.(Law, Bham), Barrister of the Inner Temple (ICSL, London); P.G.Cert.H.E., FHEA
  • Department:FBL - Law
  • Telephone:+44 (0)117 32 82338
  • Email:Lauren.Devine@uwe.ac.uk

About me

I studied law and research methods at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham, and qualified at the Bar at the Inns of Court School of Law in London.  I was a University of Birmingham teaching assistant and research associate before joining the University of the West of England, Bristol in 2009.  Now Professor of Law, I Chair the University’s Research Ethics Committee and teach Law and Expert Evidence, and Law Experts and Justice.  In 2016 I was awarded a Teaching and Learning Fellowship for my threshold learning concepts pedagogy.  I am the Director of the Social Justice Research Group, the Interdisciplinary & Expert Evidence Network (IEEN) and Solutions for Safeguarding CIC.  My research is mixed methods, combining doctrinal, legal analysis with empirical work and secondary data analysis. I lead multi-disciplinary research teams investigating contemporary social issues in public family law.  My work has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Nuffield Foundation, and my book ‘The Limits of State Power and Private Rights’ was published by Routledge in 2017.​

Area of expertise

My research focuses on the legal and ethical balance between State power and private rights, particularly in public law processes, identifying hidden vulnerabilities and unintended consequences in welfare systems.  I empirically evaluate the impact of consensual and non-consensual State welfare interventions using quantitative and qualitative methods, contextual socio-legal analysis and doctrinal methods.  I have completed major projects on various aspects of safeguarding and child protection systems, including referrals, assessments and care order applications.  My current research focuses on trends in the child protection system, the consequences of rises in referrals, assessments and care order applications, risk, ‘big data’ and artificial intelligence in child protection, and the creation of an ethical charter where big data and AI is used in public decision making.  ​​​

Funded projects 

2018-2020 – Co Investigator of ‘The Risk of Risk’ funded by a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council for 'genuinely transformative research at the frontiers of social science', Grant number ES/R00983X/1, £250,000
2017-2020 - Principal Investigator of 'The Care Cases Crisis' funded by a grant from the Nuffield Foundation, Grant number JUS/43090, £350,544
2014 - 2016 Principal Investigator of ‘Rethinking child protection strategy’ funded by a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council for 'genuinely transformative research at the frontiers of social science', Grant number ES/M000990/1 £202,487 
2012 - 2014 Principal Investigator of 'Safer Children?’ funded by a University of the West of England Vice Chancellor's Early Career Researcher Award of £15,224

Consultancy & impact

2016 - Ministry of Justice commissioned Report for a policy and process analysis around identification of safeguarding issues in private family law proceedings & design of screening materials
2015 – Director and principal award holder of Solutions for Safeguarding CIC funded by a grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and UnLtd of £3,000)
2014 -2015 Consultant to 'Crime Scene to Court in Virtual Worlds' funded by a grant from the University of the West of England Teaching & Learning Fellowship Scheme Award of £11,400)

Fellowships & Awards 

 2017 - Awarded a UWE Learning and Teaching Fellowship

2016 - Shortlisted for the Vice Chancellor's Outstanding Researcher of the Year Award

2015 - Winner of the Faculty of Business & Law Academic Personal Tutor award

2015 - Nominated for the UWE INSPIRE award

2014 - Awarded a UWE Learning and Teaching Associate Fellowship

2014 – Winner of the UWE Assessment and Feedback Award

2014 - Nominated for the UWE INSPIRE Award

2012 – Nominated for the UWE INSPIRE Award

Publications

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