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Professor Karen Yeung

Karen YeungContact details


Tel: (0)20 7848 2465

Room: SW3.03






After completing a combined Law/Commerce degree at the University of Melbourne, Karen Yeung came to the United Kingdom in 1993 to read for the Bachelor of Civil Law at Oxford University where she also completed her D Phil. Following this, she spent ten years as a University Lecturer at Oxford University and as a Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. Professor Yeung joined the Dickson Poon School of Law as a Chair in Law in September 2006 . She joined the School to help establish the Centre for Technology, Law & Society (‘TELOS’), of which she is now Director, which aims to deepen scholarly and public understanding of the benefits, risks and regulatory challenges associated with modern technologies.

Research interests and PhD supervision

Professor Yeung’s expertise lies in the field of regulation and governance, with a particular interest in the design and operation of institutions and policy instruments for shaping and constraining behaviour, with a particular emphasis on the use of technological design to shape social outcomes. Her work is distinctive in its interdisciplinary orientation, drawing on a range of social-scientific disciplines (including politics, economics and sociology) whilst giving prominence to law and underlying constitutional principles.

Karen’s first book, Securing Compliance Hart Publishing, Oxford 2004) critically examines the use of bargaining and punishment as regulatory compliance techniques, seeking to flesh out whether there are any principled limits to their legitimate use. Building on her experience of teaching Regulation at Oxford University, she later co-authored (with Bronwen Morgan) An Introduction to Law and Regulation (Law in Context Series, Cambridge University Press, 2007). It sets out to provide a conceptual map to those who are new to the field of regulation as well as a helpful resource for established scholars, drawing from a range of perspectives in law and the social sciences. She is currently editing the Oxford Handbook on the Law and Regulation of Technology (with Roger Brownsword and Eloise Scotford) which seeks to explore the implications for law and regulation of new technologies, provoking reflection on law’s nature, role and the challenges it faces in light of technological development (including the use of technology in regulation) and to explore the implications for regulation and governance of technological development.

She has acted as advisor to the Health Service Research Network, the National Audit Office, the Australian competition regulator (the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) and has contributed to several governmental reform projects in the area of regulatory enforcement.  She is admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria (Australia), having completed a brief stint in professional legal practice. 

Karen’s current research seeks to explore the legal and social implications of employing technologies that operate on the human mental and/or physiological functioning in order to shape human behaviour.  She is currently embarking upon a critical interrogation of the use of legal and other techniques for promoting public health, in which public health is understood as concrete site for exploring both regulatory techniques and the employment of technology in pursuit of collective ends. 

PhD students & topics

Karen supervises research for LLB, LLM, MA and MPhil/PhD students.

Karen welcomes research students interested in undertaking research on particular aspects of Regulation and Governance, particularly the regulation of new and emerging technologies, and the use of architecture or 'design' as a regulatory instrument.

  • Gertrude Mae Prescott, MPhil: 'Cross private/Public Sector Investigation of Fraud and Financial Crime within the context of the Law and Ethics'.
Selected publications


  • Oxford Handbook on the Law and Regulation of Technology Oxford University Press, Oxford (with Roger Brownsword and Eloise Scotford), 2015, forthcoming
  • An Introduction to Law and Regulation, Cambridge University Press, Law In Context series (with Bronwen Morgan), April 2007. 
  • Securing Compliance, Hart Publishing (Oxford, 2004)


View full list of Professor Yeung’s publications.



  •  Public Law


  •  Regulatory Policy and Practice
  •  Understanding Regulation


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