Gender Rules: Research Methods Conference

We are delighted to be able to welcome three exceptionally talented academics to Cardiff to showcase their recently published work and discuss their research methods at our 20th June conference – Gender Rules: Research Methods in Law

Professor Joanne Conaghan – Approaching common law as gendered heritage

Joanne Conaghan is the author of Law and Gender, OUP (2013).  She combines a comprehensiveconaghan historical, doctrinal, and jurisprudential account of the complex relationship between law and gender; its contradictions,  its promise, and its flaws. This work has been commended as ‘a compelling read‘; ‘thought-provoking and well executed‘; ‘a strong contribution to socio-legal literature at the level of methodology as well as legal theory‘ and ‘a great book!‘.  Joanne has made a rich and distinctive contribution to law and gender scholarship throughout her distinguished career and we are thrilled that she will be speaking about her passion to interrogate common law as gendered heritage and the methods she has used to do so.

“So manyjoanne conaghan aspects of social life are structured around gender, and law is so deeply invested in that social order that the idea that gender should not be equally visible in law as part of the social ordering seemed very strange” (Joanne Conaghan on her motivations to write Law and Gender)

Joanne is head of Bristol Law School and was previously with the Universities of Kent, Exeter and San Diego, California.  She is a graduate and postgraduate of St Hugh’s College Oxford, and has written so extensively about issues relating to gender and law that she is recognised internationally as a leading scholar in the field. Her research standing is not only evidenced by the publication of Law and Gender in the prestigious Clarendon Law Series (OUP), but also by her appointment as a Fellow of The Academy of Social Sciences (2011). Joanne is co-editor of The New Oxford Companion to Law (with Peter Cane) (OUP, 2008) and served as Deputy Chair of the 2014 REF law sub-panel.

 Professor Lizzie Barmes – The qualitative analysis of judgments

lizzie barmesLizzie Barmes is director of the Centre of Law, Equality and Diversity at Queen Mary London University.  She joined the Department of Law in 2007, having previously taught at UCL and was a Government Lawyer in the Common Law Team of the Law Commission of England and Wales. Prior to that she practised as a solicitor, specializing in employment, equality and personal injury litigation.

Lizzie’s research interests are in the fields of equality and employment law; she has a long-standing interest in inter-disciplinarity and empirical research. Her monograph Bullying and Behavioural Conflict at Work (2016) breaks new methodological ground in the study of individual rights.  It takes a qualitative reading ofbullying and behavioural conflict judgments from 1995-2010 and sets this body of knowledge alongside semi-structured interviews with senior managers and lawyers about the impact of this body of law on organizational life.

“I have recently completed a research project that experimented with new means of documenting the operation of individual workplace rights in the UK … [my] methods enabled me to find out if there were recurrent themes [in case law], not in the sense of underlying fact patterns but about the way ‘stories’ about behavioural conflict at work were presented to courts and retold by judges.” (Lizzie Barmes on her research for Bullying and Behavioural Conflict at Work)

Lizzie is a leading voice in the academic labour law community calling for greater engagement with empirical methods as well as for a stronger concern for understanding how law and adjudication relates to lived experience and to the meaning of justice in society.  We are delighted she is joining us on 20th June to share her enthusiasm as well as her knowledge.

Lizzie specialises in the common law of the contract of employment.  She is co-editor, with Professor Anne Davies, of the Recent Cases section of the Industrial Law Journal and is on the Executive Committee of the Industrial Law Society.  Lizzie works with others in academia and legal practice to promote gender diversity in the judiciary.  Information about her inaugural lecture “Law and other stories about behavioural conflict at work” is available at

 Dr Ania Zbyszewska – Discourse analysis and regulatory design

Ania photoAnia won the prestigious 2013 PhD thesis prize of the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES) for her work on gender and the regulation of working time.  With a post-doctoral fellowship at Warwick Law School, Ania has been able to further craft and refine the study.  The result: Gendering European Working Time Regimes is now published by Cambridge University Press (June 2016).  It is an exemplary account of how regulation and policy articulates social understandings of gender.  Ania will be showcasing her work at our conference on 20th June and we are eager to learn more about her approach to discourse analysis, which she used to identify the gendered assumptions which underpin regulatory form, purpose and impact.  In Gendering European Working Time Regimes, Ania takes a feminist, socio-legal approach to ezbszewska bookvaluate whether contemporary European working time regimes can support a more equal sharing of paid and unpaid work. Focusing on the legal and political developments surrounding the EU’s Working Time Directive and the reforms of Poland’s Labour Code, her work reveals that both regimes retain a traditional gender bias, and her analysis points to the reasons for its persistence.

Ania has employed a wide range of data sources and the book combines legal analysis with social and political science concepts to highlight law’s constitutive role and relational dimensions, and to reflect on the relationship between discursive politics and legal action.  She is a member of a select group of early-career European labour lawyers invited to participate in a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (BARSEA).


More information about the conference is below and you can book here:

Eventbrite - Gender Rules: Research methods in law


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