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Our research

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Interdisciplinary, transnational legal research

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), research in the School was rated as number one in the UK. 100% of Law impact case studies were rated 4-3* and 84% of outputs were rated 3-4*, where 4* represents world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour. 

The School’s vision for its research culture is to create a focal point for interdisciplinary, transnational legal research that encourages cross-fertilisation of ideas within existing areas of strength while incorporating a new global perspective. The School is one of a handful of Law Schools around the world pioneering a transnational approach. Our aim is to foster innovative research that yields new insights for global challenges relating to personal responsibility, health, wealth, justice, communication and governance.

We have integrated dispersed subject areas into a smaller number of problem-based research centres and initiatives which focus on issues of global legal significance:

The Centre of British Constitutional Law & History which concentrates on Public Law & Governance; the Centre for Medical Law & Ethics (CMLE); the Centre for European Law (CEL); the Centre of Construction Law; the Transnational Law Institute; the Yeo Tiong Lay Centre of Politics, Philosophy & Law and KJURIS (Jurisprudence at King’s).

These centres and groups provide a framework for researchers to work across both the School and the wider university.


The School collaborates with colleagues across the university, particularly in areas such as philosophy, political economy, war and conflict, and psychiatry. Outside the university, the School has collaborated with other UK HE institutions including Lancaster University (on the Wellcome Trust-funded project “The Donation and Transfer of Human Reproductive Materials”).

School staff collaborate on smaller research projects with colleagues across the globe, including for examples researchers at New York University, Columbia University, University of California at Berkeley; University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Monash University and the Australian National University; Renmin and HKU; EUI Florence and University of Bologna; and McGill University.


Donations from the Dickson Poon fund (£40 million) and the Yeoh Tiong Lay family (£7 million)  enabled a range of initiatives, including most significantly the founding of research centres for Transnational Law, and Politics, Philosophy and Law. 

Impact on society

The Dickson Poon School of Law is distinguished by its problem-based approach, exploring the role of law in solving today’s global problems. Currently we work closely and have greatest impact in:

  • Shaping legislative change and legal principle: School research has shaped legislation and case law around the world.
  • Developing best practice in public and private institutions and shaping governmental and quasi-governmental policy: our staff engage with organisations in fields including medical law and ethics, criminal justice, trade and investment, and human rights to develop best practice.
  • Building partnerships with civil society and business: in keeping with the School’s transnational focus international partnerships have been particularly encouraged.
  • Informing public debate: our staff regularly contribute articles and interviews to print media, blogs and websites, radio, and television, as well as giving prestigious public lectures.

Research funding

See King's Research Portal for details of our research funding.

Our research students

The doctoral research community of around 90 students is a core component of the School. We see these students as the foundation of future national and international research networks and for transmitting the School’s vision and standards into the wider community. Our students are both accomplished and fully committed to research. See our researcher profiles.

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