Lecturer in Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool

I was appointed as a Lecturer at the School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool in 2015. My PhD research focussed on the legal framework for citizen participation through instruments of direct democracy, particularly the European Citizens Initiative and UK referenda. I continue to develop my research in the area of EU participatory democracy. I organised a major conference on 5th May 2016 titled ''Democratic Participation in a Citizen’s Europe: What Next for the EU?', which has led to an edited collection of the same title. I am currently lead investigator for an EU wide Citizens Assembly project funded by Europe for Citizens (EACEA). I have published on the legal admissibility of European Citizen's Initiative proposals in the EU Constitutional Law Review, and on EU citizen participation and openness during the TTIP negotiations in the Common Market Law Review.

I work extensively with civil society organisations in the area of participatory democracy, such as the ECI Association and Democracy International. The Europe for Citizens (EACEA) funded project to hold citizens assemblies on the future of EU democratic participation in four EU member states, and to run online deliberation, is a partnership with several civil society organisations, such as WeMove. The project concludes with a conference in Liverpool in December 2018. I worked as special adviser to the European Economic and Social Committee during this year's revision of the legislation relating to the European Citizens Initiative.

Prior to starting his PhD I worked for over a decade for Citizens Advice and have developed an academic interest in the area of Access to Justice. I published in an edited collection on the impact of legal aid and other funding cuts on the provision of legal advice in the Liverpool City Region in 2017. In December 2017, I successfully bid for funding from the EHRC as co-PI for a research project investigating the impact of legal aid cuts on access and routes to justice. The final report "Routes to Justice?" is published June 2018 and will feed in to the Government review of access to justice.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Law and Social Justice, University of liverpool


  • 2015 
    University of Liverpool, PhD


  • 2017
    Sigafoos and Organ, 'What if there is nowhere to get advice?'. In A. Flynn, & J. Hodgson (Eds.), Legal Aid and Access to Justice: Comparative Perspectives of Unmet Legal Need, Hart
  • 2017
  • 2014
    Decommissioning Direct Democracy? A Critical Analysis of Commission Decision-Making on the Legal Admissibility of European Citizens Initiative Proposals., European Constitutional Law Review

Grants and Contracts

  • 2018
    Impact of LASPO on Routes to Justice
    Co- Priniciple Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • 2018
    Citizens Assemblies for the Renewal of Europe
    Lead Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency