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Law Research

Institute for the Study of European Laws (ISEL)

The Institute for the Study of European laws (ISEL) is a leading centre for research and teaching on European law and policy.

About us

nullISEL provides an expert insight into the latest EU law developments and is proud to house a team of internationally renowned researchers and doctoral researchers, including Professor Panos Koutrakos, Professor Elaine Fahey and Emeritus Professor Sir Alan Dashwood.

ISEL researchers are the authors of leading research and they actively contribute to excellent scholarship, practice, Government and professional activities by making high-level contributions as to the legal, political and economic development of the EU and the relationship of the UK with the EU.

ISEL researchers also teach across a range of programmes at The City Law School’s undergraduate, postgraduate and professional practice programmes.

Our aims:

  • To shape cutting-edge research in European law
  • To convene an engaging public events programme to debate European law and policy
  • To provide expert analysis for practitioners and policy-makers across Europe
  • To develop the next generation of researchers in European law through research led teaching and PhD supervision

Our experts specialise in:

  • EU constitutional and administrative law
  • Brexit
  • EU trade law
  • Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ)
  • EU competition law and policy
  • EU external relations
  • EU law and global governance
  • European human rights law
  • Laws of migration
  • Law of the EU common market
  • Media and intellectual property law
  • Transport law and regulation
  • EU citizenship law

Our scholars are interested in interdisciplinary collaborations and welcome opportunities for co-operation with experts in the academy and in practice.

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Dr Tawhida Ahmed

Dr Tawhida Ahmed is a Reader in Law and Associate Dean (Research) at The City Law School. Her research interests are in EU law and human rights, specializing in minority rights protection.

Dr Enrico Bonadio

Dr Enrico Bonadio is Lecturer in Law. He currently researches the field of European intellectual property law. He is Associate Editor and Intellectual Property Correspondent of the European Journal of Risk Regulation.

Professor Jason Chuah


Professor Jason Chuah is Head of Academic Law at The City Law School. He has published widely on international company, commercial and maritime law. His latest book is on Hardships in transnational commercial contracts: a critique of the legal, judicial and contractual remedies (Uitgeverij Paris BV).

Dr Marios Costa


Dr Marios Costa is Lecturer in Law at The City Law School. He is currently investigating legal accountability and the rules on standing of private parties seeking judicial review in the light of the Court's of Justice restrictive jurisprudence.

Professor Sir Alan Dashwood


Professor Sir Alan Dashwood is Professor of Law at City. He specialises in the law of the European Union, and appears regularly in proceedings before the Court of Justice of the EU. He was the founding Editor of European Law Review.

Dr Carmen Draghici

Dr Carmen Draghici is a Senior Lecturer in Law and the School's Visiting Scholars Programme Director. She specializes in International Human Rights Law and Family and Child Law. Her research focuses in particular on the development of the law of the European Convention on Human Rights. Her most important recent project was a book titled The Legitimacy of Family Rights in Strasbourg Case Law: ‘Living Instrument’ or Extinguished Sovereignty? (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2017).

Dr Elaine Fahey

Dr Elaine Fahey is a Senior Lecturer in Law. Her research interests are EU law, Global Governance, the EU's Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ), post-national rule-making, security, crime and criminalisation.

Sarah Gale

Dr Sarah Gale is a Reader in Law and Associate Dean (International) at The City Law School. She is a contributor to the Butterworths Annual European Law Review and is cases editor for Current European Law.

Nick Hatzis

Nick Hatzis is Lecturer in Law at The City Law School.

Dr Ioannis Kalpouzos

Dr Ioannis Kalpouzos is Lecturer in Law at The City Law School. His research focuses on the areas of the Law of Armed Conflict and International Criminal Law but also includes various aspects of General Public International Law.

Professor Panos Koutrakos

Professor Panos Koutrakos is Professor of European Law at The City Law School. In addition to EU external relations, Panos writes on the law of the single market, with emphasis on the free movement of goods and services. He is the joint editor of the European Law Review.

Anna Labedzka

Anna Labedzka is working on a thesis entitled 'The European Union and shaping of its neighbourhood: in pursuit of stability, security and prosperity'.

Isabella Mancini

Isabella Mancini is a research student under the Horizon 2020 project on Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Innovative Training Network (TTIP-ITN). The working title of her thesis is “On Global Law: the Democratisation of Global Governance”.

Joanne Moss


Joanne Moss is Lecturer in Law at The City Law School. Her research interests include mega-cities,EU select regulation, agriculture, fisheries and marine protection.

Katherine Reece-Thomas

Katherine Reece-Thomas is Reader in Law at The City Law School. Her research interests include public international law and company law. She is an expert on the law of state immunity.

Dr Steven Truxal


Dr Steven Truxal is Lecturer in Law at The City Law School. His specialist research focuses on the issues surrounding competition and environmental regulation of air transport. Steven is particularly interested in how 'regulation' and multilevel decision-making impacts on and implicates airlines, air cargo carriers and firms in industries complementary to air transport.

Eugenio Vaccari

Eugenio Vaccari is a research student researching corporate and insolvency law. The working title of his thesis is "Insolvency Statutory Rules and Contractual Freedom: Two Sides of the Same Coin". This is a comparative thesis that will delve into some common and civil law countries, including some EU Member States.

Professor Philippa Watson

Professor Philippa Watson is Professor in Law at The City Law School. Her research interests lie in the sphere of EU social & employment law and competition law. She has recently published (with Evelyn Ellis) EU Antidiscrimination Law (OUP, November 2012). The second edition of her monograph EU Social and Employment law (OUP) will be published in March 2014. She is Secretary to the UK Association for European Lawy (UKAEL)

Professor Daniel Wilsher

Professor Daniel Wilsher is Professor in Law at The City Law School. He researches in the fields of public, competition, energy, EU and immigration law. His book Immigration Detention: Law, History, Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2011) was the first study of this important issue. He is currently engaged in a project looking at the interaction of competition and climate policies in European Law.

Dr Adrienne Yong

Dr Adrienne Yong is Lecturer in Law at The City Law School. She researches EU citizenship law and European human rights, and is interested in the human rights effects of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU. She is on the Editorial Board of the European Human Rights Law Review, to which she contributes a Bulletin on the Charter of Fundamental Rights.


Upcoming events

Details to be confirmed when available

  • Conference in October 2018 on ‘Brexit; Justice, Injustice: framing the methodological lens
  • Conference in Autumn 2018 on ‘Modelling Divergence(s) and Convergence(s) of the EU in the World - Part II
  • Dissemination roundtable in Autumn 2018 on ‘The Brexit effect on the private and family lives of EU citizens in the UK’.

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The 2nd Cross-Border Corporate Insolvency & Commercial Law Research Group Conference

27th April, 2018

University Building, City University of London

This event brings together senior and promising junior scholars who wish to present their research to a multinational specialist audience in the field of corporate insolvency and commercial law.

The event is structured as follow:

  • Senior Scholars’ Session, where scholars and practitioners will have a 30’ time slot to present their papers on current issues in corporate insolvency law at national, European and international level;
  • Young Scholars’ Session, where young researchers, PhD Candidates and postgraduate students will have the opportunity to present their work for 15’, followed by a Q&A discussion.

The event aims to promote fruitful research collaboration between its participants and to encourage their integration in a community of legal scholars.

Scala Civium: Citizenship Templates Post-Brexit & the EU's Duty to Protect the EU

11th April, 2018

Rhind Building, City University of London

Speaker: Professor Dora Kostakopoulou, University of Warwick

Seminar Series: Institute for the Study of European Laws (ISEL)

Brexit opened the way for the ‘restoration’ of British sovereignty and, if an EEA model (or an EEA-like model) is not chosen following the activation of Article 50 TEU, EU citizens settled in the UK will be requested to apply for either UK nationality or permanent leave to remain. The same applies to UK nationals residing in other Member States who will lose their EU citizenship status. Unexpectedly, 3.9 million EU citizens have been transformed into ‘guests’ or ‘foreigners’ in communities they call ‘their own’. Although naturalisation in the state of residence might be seen to furnish a secure and fully recognised status for EU citizens, I argue that it is not an adequate policy option. The conceptual differences between national and EU citizenships are immense. In this article I explore the advantages and disadvantages of possible citizenship templates and propose an ‘EU protected citizen’ status for EU citizens.

Beyond Uber: The sharing economy as a challenge for EU law

21st March, 2018

Tait Building, City, University of London

Speaker: Professor Vassilis Hatzopoulos

The sharing, collaborative, peer (P2P), access, gig or on-demand economy has been termed as the absolute social, economic and legal disruption. An idea which started off as a communitarian, non-monetized, sharing project has grown into a fully monetized, vibrant and, occasionally, wildly capitalistic marketplace. Τhe sharing economy is based on a tri-partite relationship, whereby an electronic platform matches consumers’ demand for specific services (or goods) with the offer of its affiliated ‘prosumers’ (producing consumers).

Traditional legal categories are being disrupted by the sharing economy. Three-party contracts for distinct-but-interdependent services sit uneasily between traditional contract and tort law, while at the same time push for fresh legal categories under employment law. The fact that prosumers are non-professionals renders consumer protection law inapplicable, while the power hidden in algorithms and the possibilities they offer for market parallelism may be calling for a revision of basic competition law principles and instruments. At the same time, the manipulation of big data, the ensuing ‘profiling’ of users and the commercial exploitation thereof make the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) look already outdated.

Learning from the TTIP Negotiations: Looking Backwards and Forwards at Global Trade

19th March, 2018

College Building, City, University of London


This event takes a range of perspectives in reflecting upon trade, global governance and future of international economic law. David Henig reflects upon his experiences in negotiating TTIP for the United Kingdom, as part of the negotiations talks for the largest trade deal ever negotiated between the EU and US. It is currently on hold without a future direction of any clarity. Yet important lessons can be garnered from this outcome. Elaine Fahey considers the benefits of the TTIP negotiations and what the EU has learned from negotiating with the US in a new era of hostility to globalisation and awareness and resonance for the voice of civil society. Are institutional or contextual innovations of TTIP to be found in newer EU negotiations or agreements e.g.EU-Singapore, Japan, Australia, what innovations are possible? What is the place of Brexit in this? David Collins considers the future of the global trading order, looking at ongoing difficulties in NAFTA’s re-negotiation, the potential for a US-UK FTA and the highly-anticipated TPP11.

The Principal/Agency Model: Pitfalls, Law and Lessons from Energy

14th February, 2018

College Building, City, University of London

Guest Speaker: Dr Oana Stefan, King's College London

This paper explores the limits of the principal/agent model for European integration in a post-Lisbon context, taking a legal perspective on the phenomenon of centralization and (re)-delegation of powers seen in the EU 2009 third energy package. The discussion is placed against the background of the ongoing discussion concerning the Energy Union and the proposals to upgrade EU’s energy agency.

Fundamental Rights and Copyright Law in the EU

7th February 2018

College Building, City, University of London

Speaker: Professor Tuomas Mylly’

In addition to giving copyright holders the right to prohibit reproductions, transmissions and performances of the protected works, European copyright law now regulates issues such as linking to content in the internet, blocking internet sites and providing open WiFi networks, among others. The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has addressed these and other important questions related to copyright and fundamental rights in its recent case law. Professor Mylly will discuss this significant development and how the CJEU has used fundamental rights in its judgments, in particular.

Professor Tuomas Mylly’s research analyses informational and communicative power from the perspective of intellectual property, fundamental rights and competition law. His current research addresses the copyright case law of the CJEU from a fundamental rights perspective. He is the principal investigator in a research project funded by the Academy of Finland, Constitutional Hedges of Intellectual Property. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at Mansfield College. He is attached to the Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre and Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at Oxford.  More information, links to his publications and research projects can be found from his profile page at the University of Turku.

Fundamental Rights and Brexit

6th December 2017, 1-3pm

Room C103, Tait Building, City, University of London

Withdrawal from the EU (‘Brexit’) will mark an important step towards a dis-entrenchment of human rights in the UK’s constitutional order opening the door to far-reaching and potentially regressive human rights reform. It is argued that Brexit is likely to result in an overall weakening of fundamental rights protection in the UK in substantive terms with the loss of rights protected by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Charter or CFR) and their unrealised potential; as well as in procedural terms with a loss of remedies against human rights infringements originating both in domestic and in EU law. This reduction in the level of protection is not compensated for by a possibly continuing indirect influence of EU fundamental rights standards on domestic protections – through continued adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and from future cooperation between the EU and the UK, in particular in the field of data protection.

Speaker: Dr Tobias Lock, University of Edinburgh

Modelling Divergence(s) and Convergence(s) of the EU in the World

24th November 2017, 8:30 am

Room AG01, College Building, City, University of London

This conference aims to explore overall the concept of convergence(s) and divergence(s) of the EU in the world to frame the actions, law-making and practice of the EU as an actor in the global legal order.  It has an explicitly dynamic, active and methodological ‘twist’: it seeks to reflect upon some of the most changing dimensions of current global affairs. The conference overall reflects upon convergence and divergence as a framing device, a lexicon and a methodology. Convergence and divergence is approached as an explicit or express phenomenon which is both normative and descriptive. It seeks to reflect upon perceived divergences of EU law from public international law, modelling chasms, gaps (most notably as to migration), where the UN, Council of Europe and European Court on Human Rights have initiated an institutionalised series of rebukes, often extra-judicial, to the EU’s management of its difficult crises. Other fields of enquiry yield considerably different results. How should be understand the legal and political content of the EU as good global governance actor? The conference seeks to frame convergence and practices as knowledge-based ones, focusing in part also upon the role of transparency in law-making and practice and its place in understanding links between internal and external action.

Modelling EU Convergence and Divergence in the Global Legal Order

8th November 2017, 3pm

Room D113, Rhind Building, City, University of London

What is the Potential Impact of Brexit on EU and UK Employment Law?

1st February 2017, 1pm - 3pm

Room AG01, College Building, City, University of London, St John Street EC1R 4PB

Britain's prospective withdrawal from the EU has the potential to have a profound impact on the future development of employment law both in the EU and the UK. In no other area has British Euroscepticism been more evident. From its opposition to the Maastricht Social Chapter to resistance to the Working Time Directive, Britain has established a reputation as the "awkward partner". The UK was also at the forefront in backing the Barroso Commission's highly contested push for more flexible labour markets and deregulation.  How might EU social and employment policies develop without the UK's participation? Is there potential for a strengthening of EU employment law and a more protective approach or will Brexit make little difference? In the UK, statutory protection of employment rights relies on EU minimum standards in areas such as health and safety, equality, worker consultation, work and family rights, holiday leave and rights for non-standard workers. UK tribunals and courts have been guided by the activist rulings of the Court of Justice (CJEU). Despite the Great Repeal Bill promising continuity, much of the EU's employment legislation, and the CJEU's interpretation thereof, is despised by many hard line Brexiteers. To what extent do the Article 50 negotiations offer a prospect of maintaining EU employment law and the CJEU's influence post-Brexit as part of the price to be paid for continuing access to the Single Market?

Speaker: Professor Jeff Kenner (University of Nottingham)

Browse our past seminars

ISEL in the media

Professor Elaine Fahey on BBC World News (2 March 2018) discussed claims of Brussels attempting a land grab in relation to the Irish border issue, and the EU possibly taking the UK to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU):

Professor Panos Koutrakos gave evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee looking into the reduction of UK F-gas emissions including the impact Brexit will have on the UK's international agreements in connection with these emissions.

Dr Elaine Fahey on BBC Radio Five Live on December 8th 2017 discussing the recent Brexit agreement breakthrough and the guarantee of no hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland:

Dr Elaine Fahey speaking on BBC Business (November 23rd 2017) about EU-Switzerland talks and implications for Brexit:

Dr Elaine Fahey on BBC World (TV) on November 10th 2017 discussing the sixth round of trade talks between the UK and the EU: