Research Seminars

The School of Law operates a research seminar series, which is open to the public by arrangement. Our three research centres put on regular events throughout term time, featuring not only our own academics, but visiting academics as well.

Upcoming seminars shall appear here as they are confirmed.

Next Seminar

28 November 2017, 3pm - 4pm

Dr Nkem Adeleye (Birmingham City University)
The European Convention on Human Rights and the Duty of Care in Negligence 

Dr Adeleye will be presenting her tort law-based research, which she was invited to present at the Annual Society of Legal Scholars Conference earlier this year.


The Supreme Court maintains its explicit stance in Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2015] UKSC 2, that the police do not owe a duty of care to save potential victims of crime from harm. The European Convention on Human Rights imposes positive obligations on a state to protect an individual whose life is at risk from criminal acts. This includes an obligation on the police to do all that could be reasonably expected of them to avoid a real and immediate risk of life of which they have or ought to have knowledge.

This positive duty of action upon a state is one which reflects a discrepancy between English law, common law and provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. The determination of whether a duty of care could be owed by the police is reliant on prevailing principles in the law of negligence established in Michael; that a duty of care to prevent from harm cannot be owed unless there is an assumed responsibility to protect from danger, the existence of a special level of control over the source of danger and an obligation to protect from danger arising from the status of a police officer.

This paper will critically consider the manner in which the omissions principle has been applied to the conduct of police officers allegedly in breach of owing a duty of care. While these decisions provide a context for discussion on the rationale that the common law does not impose liability for pure omissions, this paper proposes that the position not to impose a duty of care on the police for negligent failures to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm to sufficiently proximate victims possibly defeats the spirit and purpose of human rights and tort law.

Previous Seminars

Previous seminars

Professor Julian Killingley: Professor of American Public Law, School of Law, Birmingham City University
Help for Heroes: Ex-Military Offenders in the Criminal Justice System

Anne Richardson-Oakes: School of Law, Birmingham City University
Legitimacy and The Court Expert: Narratives of Impropriety in a Schools Desegregation Suit

Timothy James: Senior Lecturer, Birmingham City University
Models of autonomy and their impact on rights regarding medical treatment

Professor Jon Yorke: Senior Lecturer, School of Law, Birmingham City University
Neutralising the Phenomenon of the ‘Public Enemy’ and the Capital Judicial Process: European and American Perspectives

Professor Rosemary Auchmuty: School of Law, Reading University
Whatever happened to Miss Bebb? (the woman who did not become England's first woman barrister)

Dr Haydn Davies and Professor Jon Yorke, School of Law, Birmingham City University
The Kramer v Dysenhaus Debate: Positivism, Morality and Semantics

Michael Edwards, Public Defender for the State of Georgia
Gideon's Trumpet Heard: Judging Georgia's Public Defender System

Professor Robert Blecker, New York Law School
Emotive Retribution and the Death Penalty