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  1. Law
  2. Research
  3. Research ethics
About City

Research ethics

Please note, this guidance only holds information relevant to research ethics in The City Law School. For all other information about research ethics at City, including information about how to apply, participant information sheets, consent form templates, and general guidance please see City’s guidance on research ethics.

The City Law School seeks to foster and support appropriate research into law and legal practice, including that carried out as part of postgraduate and doctoral level education. Research must be carried out in accordance with the law, and in the light of current good practice, particularly the Institution Governance Framework for Good Practice in Research and the UK Socio-Legal Studies Association Statement of Principles of Ethical Research Practice.

Before commencement, all new research proposals involving human participants and/or personal data must undergo formal ethical peer review. Whilst many of these research projects represent very minimal risks, others require more ethical scrutiny.

The City Law School Research Ethics Committee will consider low risk ethics applications on an ad-hoc basis by a proportionate review process. Applications will be independently reviewed by two members of the Committee. There is a target time of 3 working weeks for an initial response to low risk applications

Medium risk applications are considered by the full Committee, again on an ad hoc basis. There is a target time of four working weeks for an initial response.

Applicants should bear in mind that the target times for responses to low and medium risk applications may not be achievable during holiday periods or busy times of year and plan for this when making their submission. They should also note that the target times are not the time for final approval as re-submission may be required during the review process if the City Law School Research Ethics Committee requires modifications to the proposed research.

Research Ethics Committee terms of reference

The CLS Research Ethics Committee has delegated power of authority from the Senate Research Ethics Committee(SREC). Its terms of reference align with the delegated authority conferred by SREC:

  1. To consider the ethical implications of research carried out in the CLS. Specifically, to consider research involving human participants, research involving identifiable personal data and research that may entail risk to the researcher.
  2. To review and approve low-risk and medium-risk research ethics applications through a proportionate review process.
  3. The CLS Research Ethics Committee is not responsible for considering the ethics of research that falls within the categories considered to be of ‘potential higher risk’ by the Senate Research Ethics Committee (SREC) Framework for Delegated Authority. This includes, but is not limited to: research that falls under the auspices of the NHS Research Ethics Service; research that involves participants who fall under the auspices of the Mental Capacity Act; research that involves participants who fall under the auspices of the Criminal Justice System; research involving animals, obscene or illegal material, sensitive subjects, intrusive procedures, the administration of drugs or other substances, participants who are unable to provide informed consent, the researcher travelling to countries where there is an active travel warning from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
  4. To consider and approve amendments to research previously approved by the CLS Research Ethics Committee.
  5. To make available access to the online application system, guidelines and background documentation to staff and students in the Department.
  6. To advise staff and students in the departments on research ethics and the process for obtaining ethical approval for research.
  7. To report to the SREC on the activities of the CLS Research Ethics Committee as required. Minutes of all decisions and any meetings will be submitted to SREC.

Current members of the committee

  • Maggie Cunningham, Lay Committee Member
  • Dr Jesse Elvin, Senior Lecturer - City Law School Ethics Director
  • Sarah Gale, Lecturer
  • Dr Sabrina Germain, Senior Lecturer
  • Peter Hungerford-Welch, Professor
  • Dr Jed Odermatt, Lecturer
  • Anthony Rogers, Senior Lecturer
  • Jeffrey Thomson, Lecturer
  • Nikki Walsh, Senior Lecturer