Laura Downey

Colleges, School and Institutes


Before joining Birmingham Law School in 2020 Laura completed her PhD in law from the University of Edinburgh. Her thesis, entitled “Emerging Legal Concepts at the Nexus of Law, Technology and Society: A Case Study in Identity” drew on interdisciplinary perspectives to analyse the dynamics of legal change and its relationship to the sociotechnical environment. Whilst at Edinburgh she taught seminars on Medical Jurisprudence at Honours and Masters level. She has also previously held positions as Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief of SCRIPTed-A Journal of Law Technology and Society.

Research interests

Laura’s work focuses on understanding the interaction between law and regulation, and the broader sociotechnical environment. In particular, she is interested in developing an understanding of how law and specific legal concepts develop in this environment with a view to aiding practical questions as to how law and regulation can effectively intervene in innovation, and normative questions as to how law and technology should be guided. She also draws on the concept of identity in law in relation to health research and biotechnological advances. Her broader interests include the regulation of technology in general and medical law. She is currently working in the Everyday Cyborgs 2.0 Wellcome Trust funded project, looking in particular at the regulation of medical implants.