Established in 2021, the Constitutions, Rights and Justice special interest group seeks to foster a collaborative approach regarding how to talk about and conduct research on the nature of constitutions, different categories of rights (i.e., social, political, legal and employment) and the importance of justice in its many forms. 

Constitutions, Rights and Justice is based within the School of Humanities at the University of Worcester. This innovative group brings together academics at the University of Worcester, external academics, legal practitioners and active and retired judges to work together on a myriad of issues and seek scope for collaboration within the wider academy and legal practice. The group builds upon five years of research and scholarly activity within the School of Law at the University of Worcester that has focused on issues such as the application of the Fraud Act 2006, the Miller litigation, the rule of law and access to justice.    


The aims of the group are to:

  1. Engage with the public, the academy and legal practice through the dissemination of research and scholarship, the hosting of Public Lectures, workshops and research seminars.
  2. Foster collaboration between ordinary members, associate members and the wider academy and legal practice.
  3. Produce innovative research and other scholarly work that advance the work of the group.

The group’s director is Dr Chris Monaghan. If you have any questions, please contact Chris at


The group consists of ordinary members and associate members. Prospective members are welcome to get in contact to enquire about joining. 

Ordinary members

Michelle Clarke

Michelle Clarke joined the University of Worcester after serving as an officer with West Mercia Police, achieving the rank of Detective Sergeant with a career predominantly based within CID. As the Professional Policing Course Lead and Lecturer in Policing at the University of Worcester, Michelle is the point of contact for the College of Policing and leads on the development of University qualifications to support the National Policing Education Qualifications Framework.

Her teaching and research interests include the investigation of serious and complex crime, emotional intelligence in investigative interviewing, public protection and ethical policing. She is a member of the West Mercia Police Ethics Committee and also sits on the University of Worcester and West Mercia Police Working Group; securing and strengthening collaborative and community partnership opportunities for both institutions.  

Angi Hart

Angi Hart is a Lecturer in Policing at the University of Worcester, specialising in Criminal Investigation, Investigative Interviewing and Policing Vulnerability. Her research interests include Domestic Abuse, Improving the Police Response to Vulnerability and Adverse Childhood Experiences and their effects on vulnerability and criminality in later life.

Stephen Hurley

Stephen Hurley is a solicitor and a Principal Lecturer in Employment and Equality Law. He has published in the areas of disability harassment and misconduct in the workplace and teaches Contract Law, Disability Law and Employment Law.  He is currently researching the issue of the protection of non-religious philosophical belief in the workplace in support of his ongoing PhD studies with Oxford Brookes University. Before entering the ivory towers of academia, Stephen worked for over a decade in private practice as an Employment Solicitor, becoming a partner in a large commercial law firm. 

Felicity Miles

Felicity Miles is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Worcester, contributing to various LLB modules and specialising in Family Law. Her research interests include the promotion of children’s rights in Family Law and exploring the effectiveness of holistic and restorative approaches to family disputes, as alternatives to litigation.

Dr Chris Monaghan

Dr Chris Monaghan is the Director of the Constitutions, Rights and Justice special interest research group. He is a Principal Lecturer in Law and specialises in Constitutional Law and accountability, with a particular emphasis on the accountability of the executive and the use of impeachment. Chris holds a PhD in law from King’s College London and has published on constitutional law, human rights and discrimination law. He is the co-editor of the Routledge Frontiers in Accountability Studies book series and is the author of Public Law (Routledge 2021). His book, Accountability, Impeachment and Constitution: The Case for a Modernised Process for the United Kingdom will be published by Routledge in 2022.

Nicola Monaghan

Nicola Monaghan is a Principal Lecturer in Law specialising in Criminal Law and the Law of Evidence. She is the author of Criminal Law Directions, now in its 7th edition (OUP). She has published on criminal procedure and evidence, including issues relating to jury misconduct. Her research has been cited by the Law Commission.

Dr Aisha Shah

Dr Aisha Shah is a Lecturer in Law. Her research interests lie in the field of English Private Law, and in particular claims for restitution in equity, property, trusts and unjust enrichment. 

 During her undergraduate studies, Aisha was awarded the Dean’s Law Scholarship to pursue her doctoral studies. She completed her PhD in 2020. Her doctoral research is titled ‘Proprietary Claims and Unjust Enrichment’. It focuses on the availability of proprietary responses in the law of unjust enrichment. Her research uses the classic example of the mistaken payment as the basis for developing her approach and builds upon the work of the late Professor Peter Birks.  Aisha published a paper in the Trust Law International journal in 2017 titled ‘Proprietary Restitution and Receipt by Insolvent Agents: Angove’s Pty Ltd v Bailey’. She has presented papers in the Restitution Section of the Society of Legal Scholars Conference at the University of Oxford in 2016 and the University of Exeter in 2020. Aisha also presented her research at the Modern Studies in Property Law Conference (postgraduate stream) at UCL in 2018.

Josie Welsh

Josie Welsh is a Lecturer in Law and her research interests cover constitutional law and theory, political jurisprudence, political science and judicial studies. Josie is a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield and is currently undertaking research into the changing patterns of judicial power in the United Kingdom.

Doug Wotherspoon

Doug Wotherspoon after practising as a solicitor for 20 years specialising in company and commercial law (with a particular niche in insolvency law) has now been lecturing for 12 years. He was initially assigned to teach on various law modules at Worcester Business School at University of Worcester and, after teaching on other modules in the Business School such as Business Skills and Business Ethics and a couple of years as Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Business portfolio, he moved to the Law School at University of Worcester shortly after its inception. He now teaches on various modules including Professional Legal Skills and Ethics, Law of Torts, Commercial Law and Company Law. He also oversees the Work-based Placement module for final year students. He has presented at conferences at home and abroad and in May 2020 he secured for University of Worcester the ASET Summer Project Bursary Award which involved supervision of a student research project on the gap between academic qualifications and the skills demanded of graduates by employers and making an online presentation on that subject to the annual ASET conference.


Associate Members


HH Toby Hooper QC

HH Toby Hooper QC graduated in Law from Durham University in 1972. From 1973 he practised as a Barrister in London (latterly as a QC) in civil liability claims and employment and discrimination claims until he was appointed a Circuit Judge for the Cities of Hereford and Worcester in 2007. He retired in 2016. He was a member of the Parole Board 2010–13.  He is a Bencher (Governor) of his Inn of Court (Inner Temple), Vice-Chair of Heart of Mercia Multi-Academy Trust (the Sixth Form Colleges at Hereford, Stourbridge and Worcester), an Honorary Fellow of the University of Worcester, and an Honorary Freeman of the City of Hereford. 

David Mason QC, Deputy Head of Chambers, No 5 Chambers

David Mason QC, Deputy Head of Chambers, No 5 Chambers

HHJ Jim Tindal

HHJ Jim Tindal was appointed the Designated Civil Judge for Worcestershire and Herefordshire in January 2020 having been appointed a Circuit Judge in 2016. He is a former barrister at St Philips Chambers in Birmingham and at that time used to sit as a part-time employment and immigration judge.



Research and Scholarly Activity

  • In May 2022 Dr Chris Monaghan and Professor Matthew Flinders (University of Sheffield) had a book commissioned by Hart Publishing. The book, Questions of Accountability: Prerogatives, Power and Politics, will feature essays from leading academics, politicians and practitioners and will be published in late 2023.
  • Josie Welsh and Dr Chris Monaghan presented on their research ‘Power and the Constitution’ at the ICON Great Britain and Ireland Chapter Conference, who was hosted by Trinity College Dublin in April 2022.
  • Dr Chris Monaghan delivered a paper, ‘Checking Executive Power: The Possible Role for Impeachment and the Constitution’ at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference, University of York, April 2022. 
  • The Constitutions, Rights and Justice special interest group will be co-hosting the book launch for Dr Chris Monaghan’s book, Accountability, Impeachment and the Constitution: The Case for a Modernised Process in the United Kingdom (Routledge 2022), at 2pm on 8 June 2022. The event is co-hosted with the PSA Parliaments Specialist Group and speakers include Professor Alison Young (University of Cambridge), Professor Matthew Flinders (University of Sheffield), Dr Stephen Holden Bates (University of Birmingham), and Dr Chris Monaghan.
  • On 23 February 2022 was the launch event for the Constitutions, Rights and Justice special interest group. Professor Lucy Vickers (Oxford Brookes University) delivered the lecture to mark the launch. Her lecture explored ‘Religious rights at work – finding the “best answer”’.
  • The 7th edition of Nicola Monaghan’s textbook, Criminal Law Directions (Oxford University Press), was published in February.
  • The Constitutions, Rights and Justice special interest group is co-hosting the School of Law Research Seminar Series in Spring 2022. Speakers include Susan Wright (Director at the Court of Justice of the European Union, Stephen Hurley (a member of the group), Professor Darren Oldridge (University of Worcester), and Jay De Santi (Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto).
  • HHJ Jim Tindall and Doug Wotherspoon organised a Practical Research Workshop that took place in February 2022. The speakers included Danielle Jones and John Aldis (St Philips Chambers, Birmingham).
  • Doug Wotherspoon delivered a research paper at the School of Law’s Winter Research Workshop in December 2021. Doug’s paper looked at ‘Rehabilitating Saloman’.
  • December saw the publication of Dr Chris Monaghan’s textbook Public Law (Routledge). It was reported in Worcester Observer.
  • Doug Wotherspoon delivered a paper at the Questions of Accountability conference. Doug’s paper looked at ‘Corporate Accountability Reappraised and Reinvigorated’.
  • Dr Chris Monaghan and Josie Welsh delivered a paper at the Questions of Accountability conference. Chris and Josie’s paper looked at ‘Questions of Control: Accountability in the Shadow of Prorogation’.
  • Toby Hooper QC delivered a paper at the Questions of Accountability conference. Toby’s paper looked at ‘The accountability of the Office for Students (OfS) as the statutory regulator of Higher Education Institutions under the Higher Education Act 2017’.
  • The Constitutions, Rights and Justice special interest research group hosted a paper session at the Questions of Accountability: Prerogatives, Power and Politics conference on 5 November 2021. This session saw several members of the group and academics from other universities explored pertinent issues relating to the constitution and accountability. For more information please visit the conference webpages.

 Humanities at Worcester