What is your field of research?
My research interests are in public law, constitutional theory and political history. The main focus of my research looks at the history and constitutional status of Welsh devolution.
How did you become interested in the field?
I have always been really interested in understanding the history and territorial structure of states and regions.
Having always lived in Wales, I have also seen first-hand how Welsh devolution has evolved since the creation of the Senedd in 1998. I developed an academic interest in the constitutional aspects of Welsh devolution while studying as an undergraduate at Aberystwyth University and I then went on to complete a PhD at the same institution. My doctorate was awarded in 2019 in the area of constitutional theory applied to the UK’s devolution settlement.
How did you come to work at Swansea University?
After completing my PhD, I spent just under two years as a Lecturer in Law at Staffordshire University. I worked on a number of different projects during this time and coordinated a postgraduate research programme in international aviation law and regulation for members of the Royal Air Force.
I wanted to return to a Welsh university to pursue my research on the devolution process in Wales. I relished the opportunity of joining Swansea University due to its global profile for research and teaching excellence, and for the chance to work with colleagues on legal issues relevant to devolution in Wales. I joined the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law in March 2020 and have really enjoyed the experience of meeting new colleagues and learning about their research. I am a member of the Governance and Human Rights Research Group which holds regular meetings and discussion group events. Since joining Swansea, I have found it very enriching to learn about the interesting and important research being undertaken by colleagues, and I have been able to receive valuable feedback on my research ideas and draft papers.
What do you hope to achieve with your research?
To understand the history and constitutional status of Welsh devolution. To this end, I use constitutional theory to investigate the changes that have taken place in the Welsh devolution settlement, while also using comparative constitutional methods to understand the legal and constitutional status of Wales’ devolution settlement.
What practical applications could your research have?
To help bridge the gap between theory and practice in our understanding of Welsh devolution. The Brexit process and coronavirus pandemic have provided unprecedented visibility to the work of the Senedd and Welsh Government and have raised a number of questions relating to function and operation of devolution in the United Kingdom. Through using constitutional theory to study these challenges, I hope that my research can assist academics and policy makers in their understanding of some of the legal and constitutional issues associated with the devolution process. I also hope that my research can provide an accessible resource to help public understanding of devolution in Wales.
What is next for your research?
I am currently completing a research project that investigates the dynamics of sub-state governance during the coronavirus pandemic. This research uses Wales as a case study for how devolved institutions responded to the coronavirus pandemic. To this end, this research uses doctrinal analysis to investigate the statutory framework for coronavirus regulations in Wales, as well as also using constitutional theory to study the dynamics of intergovernmental relations in the UK during the pandemic.