Rosie Harding

Prof

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Professor Harding is happy to supervise postgraduate research students in any of the following areas:

- Mental Capacity and Disability Law, especially research involving questions of everyday decision-making, dementia, intellectual disability, powers of attorney, advance directives and end of life decision making.
- Gender, Sexuality and Law, particularly issues to do with care, family law, discrimination, equality and human rights.
- Older persons rights, especially research focused on older person’s attitudes to human rights, and the arguments for and against a new international convention on the rights of older persons.

She is especially interested in supervising research involving empirical socio-legal methods. Potential research students are welcome to contact her by email to discuss their research proposals prior to submitting a formal application.

Current PhD Students:
- Alex Cisneros ‘Vulnerability, Deprivation of Liberty and the Liberty Protection Safeguards’
- Magdalena Furgalska ‘Capabilities and Supported Decision-Making in Mental Health Law’ (ESRC Funded)
- Dhanishka Seneviratne ‘Vulnerability, Relationality, and Disability-Selective Abortions: Assessing the effects of responsive state action in the conflict between disability rights and reproductive choice’ (ESRC Funded)
- Sumaiyah Kholwadia ‘Legal and Policy Barriers Impeding Muslim Women's Right to Spiritual Equality’ (AHRC funded)
- Chloe Waterman ‘Legal Decision-Making in Dementia: A Conversation Analytic Study’ (ESRC Funded)

20042022

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Personal profile

Biography

Professor Harding completed her LLB at the University of Edinburgh, her LLM at Keele and her PhD at the University of Kent. Prior to joining Birmingham Law School in 2012, she taught at Keele Law School from 2004-2012. She has held visiting positions at Lund University (Sweden), University of Adelaide (Australia), Flinders University (Australia) and the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Harding is a Fellow of the ESRC Peer Review College, and also regularly reviews proposals for other national and international funding bodies. She is also a member of the Society of Legal Scholars, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Professor Harding was a member of the SLSA executive committee from 2013-2022, serving as Vice Chair from 2015-2017, and Chair from 2017-2022. 

Professor Harding has undertaken many academic leadership roles, including: Acting Head of School (2014-15); Director of Research (2015-2016); Deputy Director of Research (2012 – 2014); Head of Postgraduate Research (2012-2014); PGT Director (2011-12). She has reviewed for over 30 peer-reviewed journals, including leading journals in socio-legal studies, healthcare law, and gender, sexuality and law. She is general editor of a new book series published by Bristol University Press: Law, Society, Policy. 

In 2017, Professor Harding was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize for Law, and is currently focused on undertaking research supported by this prize.

Research interests

Professor Harding’s main research interests are in how law operates in everyday life. She is interested in how people experience legal frameworks and how they make decisions about whether or not to use law to solve problems. Much of her research to date has focused on the recognition and regulation of intimate and caring relationships. Her work straddles areas of equality law, family law, healthcare law, human rights and jurisprudence.

Her current research seeks to understand the ways that ideas of capacity operate in everyday legally relevant decision making. Her Everyday Decisions project (www.legalcapacity.org.uk) explored the place of law in the everyday lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Using qualitative research methods, this project interrogates how socio-legal understandings of ‘legal’ and ‘mental’ capacity interact in the everyday lives of people with intellectual disabilities, in order to generate new approaches to better support their everyday legally-relevant decision making. This research was funded by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship award.

In 2018 she undertook a follow-up project building on her findings from the Everyday Decisions project to explore socio-legal dimensions of supported will-making. This work was funded by the University of Birmingham ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, and was in collaboration with the Law Commission. More information is available on the Everyday Decisions project website.

Professor Harding became a charity trustee of Changing our Lives in January 2019.

Her most recent monograph, Duties to Care: Dementia, Relationality and Law (2017, Cambridge University Press) explores how carers of people with dementia experience the regulatory frameworks surrounding accessing help with and financial assistance for care, and the sources of formal and informal support utilised by carers of people with dementia, through topics including recent changes to powers of attorney, and the personalisation of care budgets. This work was funded by the British Academy. For more information see the Birmingham Law School Research Spotlight 'Duties to Care: Why we all have a duty to care about Dementia'.
She was principal investigator of the AHRC Research Network ‘ReValuing Care: Perspectives from Gender, Sexuality and Law’ from 2011 – 2014, a partnership with the Universities of Adelaide, Keele and Queen Mary University of London. An edited collection of academic essays ReValuing Care in Theory, Law and Policy: Cycles and Connections (2017, Routledge, with Ruth Fletcher and Chris Beasley) has been published, drawing on work presented at the network events.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

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