About our Research

The Institute has a small core academic staff, engaged in high-quality research across a wide range of legal topics. The Institute’s core expertise is enhanced and supported by our Associate Research Fellows and a competitive Visiting Fellows Scheme.

Our research strengths are particularly evident in leading research centres on Information Law and Policy and on Legislative Studies.

The Institute offers MPhil/PhD supervision across a broad range of topics.
Recent graduates have completed theses on: legal education reform; financial compliance; tax avoidance; financial regulation; legal history; international anti-money laundering regimes; energy law; alternative dispute resolution; securities regulation; and banking law, to give just a few examples.  

Research-led teaching is a central aspect of our LLM programme on legislative drafting.

IALS - the International Crossroads for Legal Research

The Institute brings together academic researchers, students, judges and legal practitioners from diverse backgrounds, enabling important opportunities for cross-fertilisation of research and practice. The Institute plays a leading role in national and international networks, both discipline-based as well as spanning geographic and jurisdictional differences. 

Situated at the heart of legal London, the Institute provides a base for many law-related organisations to host workshops, conferences, colloquia, or meetings. 

The Library is one of the world's great comparative law libraries in providing a national shared resource for UK legal researchers - with a specific agreement with the British Library to act as the national law library - attracting expertise from UK and overseas for collaborative research and knowledge exchange.

The IALS, as a national centre for research, is concerned to promote research by its own academic staff and various research fellows and associates. Legal research conducted at the Institute also furthers our national role in legal research promotion and facilitation - providing a legal research hub (both through our central London venue and online through our web legal research resources).

For example:

  • The annual W. G. Hart Legal Workshop is organised and hosted by IALS. In recent years, the Workshops have focused on a wide range of comparative and international legal issues, led by different Directors each year, and with a high level of international scholars, judiciary, practitioners etc.
  • For many years, the Institute has chaired the Hamlyn Trust, with its highly distinguished annual lectures and seminar. The Hamlyn Lectures are published by Cambridge University Press
  • Each year, the Institute hosts eminent visiting fellows, as well as an Inns of Court Fellow nominated by Chief Justices of their home country. 
  • Expertise at IALS is enhanced and supported by Associate Research Fellows, who are leading figures in their respective fields and/or early career researchers building their research expertise and reputation. Associate Research Fellowships are awarded to individuals who can demonstrate an active commitment to furthering IALS’ agenda of promoting and facilitating research, legal education, and advancing and bridging relationships between academia and legal practice.
  • Every year the Institute hosts a wide variety of engaging, informative research events, attracting legal scholars and professionals. 
  • The Institute collaborates with a wide range of external networks, such as the Legal Education Research Network (LERN); the Statute Law Society; the London Legal History Seminar; the Socio-Legal Studies Association; the Society of Legal Scholars; the European Criminal Law Association; and the Cambridge Economic Crime Symposium. 
  • IALS participates in a number of legal information networks, such as: an Agreement with the British Library; FLARE, which aims to improve coverage and accessibility of foreign legal materials and their use; and NELLCO, the New England Law Library Consortium, which is an international consortium of law libraries.
  • IALS plays a prominent role in ongoing development of both BAILII and WorldLII. The Annual Academic Law Library Survey is conducted by experts at the Institute.



Page last updated: 23rd June 2020