Teaching & Research
Chris has been teaching law at UK universities since 2009 and has taught students on the LLB, Graduate Diploma in Law and LLM degrees. Chris is the module leader for Public Law, Human Rights, Commercial Law and the Law Project (Dissertation) on the LLB course. He is also the module leader for the Dissertation and Legal Research Methods modules on the LLM in Professional Practice course. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (since 2012) and was nominated for the University of Worcester’s Student Union’s Students’ Choice Award – Outstanding Lecturer Award in 2017 and 2020 and was shortlisted for the Student Union’s Students’ Choice Award – Exceptional Personal Academic Tutor in 2020.
Chris enjoys teaching Public Law and has recently published a textbook Public Law (Routledge 2021) which is designed to cover the Public Law and Constitutional and Administrative Law curriculum. He has previously presented on the teaching of Public Law at the Association of Law Teachers’ Annual Conference in 2015.
Chris has been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2012.
Chris has a keen interest in constitutional law, the role of parliament (with an emphasis on accountability), broader notions of executive accountability, and the global use of impeachment.
He is very happy to supervise PhD students in any of these areas.
Chris’ two main on-going research projects are:
Accountability and impeachment
Chris is interested in the accountability of the executive within the United Kingdom’s Westminster system of government and the use of impeachment as an accountability mechanism. He has been writing on various aspects of executive accountability for the past decade.
He holds a PhD from King’s College London and his thesis provided a balanced and independent examination of the case for a new impeachment process for the United Kingdom, arguing that it would have a valuable role to play in the future development of the United Kingdom’s system of politics and government. He argued that a modernised impeachment process would buttress the existing political accountability mechanism, serve as a way for the House of Commons to undertake the role as guardian of the constitution, and enhance the accountability of the executive. As part of his research Chris interviewed leading public figures including Lord David Owen, Lord Phillips, Sir Ross Cranston and Chris Bryant MP. His doctoral research will be published as Accountability, Impeachment and the Constitution: The Case for a Modernised Process in the United Kingdom (Routledge 2022).
Chris has recently presented on his research at the Society of Legal Scholars’ Annual Conference (University of Exeter), the Global Summit (University of Texas), the PSA Parliaments’ Annual Conference, the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom’s Annual Conference, the Study of Parliament Group’s Annual Weekend, and at the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History. He also took part in a keynote panel discussion on impeachment with Professor Richard Albert (University of Texas, Joshua Matz (Georgetown University), Karen Popp (former Associate White House Counsel) and Professor Frank Bowman (University of Missouri).
Chris is currently co-editing two books that explore the role played by impeachment. The first book British Origins and American Practice of Impeachment is co-edited with Professor Matthew Flinders and will be published by Routledge in 2023. The second book Impeachment in a Global Context: Law, Politics and Comparative Practice is co-edited with Professor Matthew Flinders and Professor Aziz Huq and will be published by Routledge in 2023.
Chris co-organised an international conference on accountability ‘Questions of Accountability: Politics, Prerogative and Power’ that took place in November 2021. The conference was a collaboration between the University of Worcester and the University of Sheffield and was supported by the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom. Keynote speakers included Lord Blunkett, Baroness Manningham-Buller, Professor Bruce Ackerman, Baroness Hale, Lord Neuberger, Professor Alison Young, Professor Tom Ginsburg, Professor John Keane, Professor Conor Gearty and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC. Over 300 delegates registered to attend the conference and the Law Society Gazette reported on the proceedings. Recordings of the sessions are available to view.
Finally, Chris has a particular interest in the use of the prerogative powers by the executive and has written on the judicial control of the prerogative. He has previously proposed a bill to reform the use of the prerogative power to enact colonial legislation (‘An imperfect legacy: the significance of the Bancoult litigation on the development of domestic constitutional jurisprudence’, 2018). This statutory reform would strengthen Parliament’s accountability of the executive and remedy the clear defects in using the prerogative to enact colonial legislation.
Chris has been researching and writing on the Bancoult/Chagos litigation since 2011.
Chris has contributed a chapter on the United Kingdom’s assertion of sovereignty over the Chagos Islands to T Burri and J Trinidad (eds), The International Court of Justice and Decolonization: New Directions from the Chagos Advisory Opinion (Cambridge University Press, 2021). Chris has also published an article in Judicial Review (2021) on the Court of Appeal’s decision in R (on the application of Hoareau). He is currently undertaking an oral history of the Bancoult (No.2) litigation and is interviewing those involved with the litigation, which is being funded by the School of Humanities Research Investment Fund. Chris presented on his research at the School of Law’s Summer Research Workshop in July 2021 and will presenting at a School of Humanities research seminar in 2022.
In 2019 he convened a panel discussion on the Chagos Litigation which featured Dr Sue Farran, Dr Jamie Trinidad and Mr David Snoxell (the former UK High Commissioner to Mauritius). Chris has co-edited (with Dr Stephen Allen) a collection of essays, Fifty Years of the British Indian Ocean Territory: Legal Perspectives (Springer, 2018), which includes contributions from leading scholars, a former senior diplomat and legal practitioners. Chris contributed an essay to this collection that explored the constitutional implications of the litigation before the domestic courts and included a proposed bill to reform the use of the prerogative power to enact colonial legislation.
Chris has published on various aspects of the Chagossians’ legal challenges in Judicial Review and European Human Rights Law Review and contributed a chapter to Dissenting Judgments in the Law (Wildy, Simmonds and Hill, 2012). In 2015, Chris convened a conference, The Chagos Litigation: A Socio-Legal Dialogue, at the University of Greenwich, which brought together legal academics from across the globe, former civil servants and members of the diplomatic service. Professor Philippe Sands QC delivered the keynote address.
Previous research projects:
Fraud and Criminalisation: with particular reference to School Application Forms
Between 2009-2018 Chris researched and wrote on the use of the Fraud Act 2006 (and now also the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981) by local authorities in England to bring prosecutions against parents who provide ‘false’ information on their child’s school application form. In January 2017, Chris co-organised a workshop, The Fraud Act 2006: Ten Years On that explored the impact of the Act. The workshop proceedings have been published as an edited collection: Financial Crime and Corporate Misconduct: A Critical Evaluation of Fraud Legislation (Routledge, 2018). Chris has published on this topic in the Criminal Law Review, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminal Law and Justice Weekly.
Chris is the Course Leader for the LLM (Professional Practice) and Deputy Course Leader for the LLB Programme, the First Year Tutor and the School of Law’s Research Lead. He is currently leading the development of the new LLM in Legal Practice course.
He is the module leader for Public Law, Human Rights Law, Commercial Law and the Law Project (Dissertation) on the LLB. He is the module leader for the Dissertation and Legal Research Methods on the LLM.
Chris is Deputy Chair of the College of Arts, Humanities and Education Research Ethics Panel and a member of the university’s Research, Integrity & Governance Committee. He is also the convenor of the School of Law’s Research Seminar Series.
He is also the Director of Constitutions, Rights and Justice Special Interest Group at the University of Worcester.
Chris co-led the Women’s Legal History project (2016-2020) with Professor Sarah Greer which enables law students to proactively engage with the significance of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919.
He has been a member of the Research Committee for the School of Humanities.
Chris is an external examiner at the University of Wolverhampton. He has been an external examiner at Birmingham City University and a critical reviewer for the Open University. He has undertaken external consultancy work for King’s College London as part of the creation of a new postgraduate master’s programme. Chris has also acted as an external for the validation of degree programmes for Birmingham City University and the University of Greenwich.
He is the co-editor of the book series Routledge Frontiers in Accountability Studies, the other co-editors being Professor Matthew Flinders, Dr Ellen Rock and Professor Thomas Schillemans.
He is also the Communications Officer for the PSA Parliaments Specialist Group.
Chris was an external consultant for the British Library’s National Life Stories: Legal Lives project and produced an in-dept scoping study. Further details of the project can be found here.
Chris has been a reviewer for Hart Publishing, Oxford University Press, University of Kansas Press, International Relations, and Routledge. He has also provided feedback on a new edition to Edinburgh University Press.