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Our research

Research is central to Liverpool Hope’s strategic plan and members of the School of Law are actively engaged in research and publishing with internationally renowned publishers.

Below are our Academics Research Profiles, detailing their areas of research expertise, priorities as a research community, as well as scholarly interests and passions.

Mrs Monika Lynch

Before being appointed as Professional Tutor in Law at Liverpool Hope University, Mrs Lynch was employed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Edge Hill University. Currently she is writing up doctoral thesis into the role of the law in the processes of state dissolution and state formation. This will be submitted over the next few months. Mrs Lynch has experience of legal practice having worked within the UK's largest employment law consultancy firm, as well as for several substantial solicitors’ firms in the area of civil litigation. In addition, she is a qualified public service interpreter.

Mrs Lynch read law at Edge Hill University and was awarded prizes for outstanding academic achievements. These included: The Beryl Russell Academic Achievement Scholarship in recognition of achieving highest APM in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, The Duncan Gibbins Solicitors Scholarship and The Edge Hill University Mooting Excellence Award. Her 2017 LLM thesis entitled 'EU Solidarity: Constitutional Myth or Flawed Reality. A Study of the EU's Response to the Migration Crisis' was selected as the best postgraduate dissertation in the field of immigration and asylum by Journal of Immigration Asylum and Nationality Law.

Alongside doctoral research Mrs Lynch has co-authored a number of publications in the area of EU competition and public law.
She a Member of the European Society of International Law and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

In the Academic Year 2021/2 Mrs Lynch serves as Coordinator for Level C and a Course Leader for Legal Methods and Legal Praxis, while also delivering EU Law and Equity and Trusts seminars.

Education: Law Undergraduate Degree/ Edge Hill University, 2015, LLB First Class honours, Master of Laws through Research Edge Hill University, 2018, LLM PGCert in Higher Education, 2019 - Distinction

Research Areas: The Role of Law in System Transformation, European Union Law, Comparative Law, Applied Linguistics (legal/historical), Refugee and Migration Law, International Human Rights Law.

Supervisory Areas: European Union Law, Refugee and Migration Law, International Human Rights Law

Recent Publications:

  • Rizzuto F. and Lynch M.E. (2021) 'On the continued inadmissibility of preliminary references from national competition authorities; time for a change?' (2021) 42 (11) European Competition Law Review
  • Rizzuto, F & Lynch M (2021) 'Has the Slovak Telekom ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union declared the principle of ne bis in idem virtually redundant in cases of the parallel public enforcement of EU competition law?' 5 (2) European Competition and Regulatory Law Review 1.
  • Rizzuto, F & Lynch M (2021), ‘The Independence of National Regulatory Authorities: Is There Now an Autonomous EU Law Concept of Independence of General Application? (C-378/19 President of the Slovak Republic)', 5 (1) European Competition and Regulatory Law Review 64.
  • Rizzuto F. and Lynch M.E. (2020) 'The Private Enforcement of EU Competition Law: Recent Developments in the Case Law of the Court of Justice of the European Union' 13(1) Global Competition Litigation Review
  • Rizzuto F. and Lynch M.E. (2020) Generics UK 'pay-for-delay' ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union. Case C-307/18 Generics UK Ltd and Others v Competition and Market Authority of the 30th January 2020' 4 (3) European Competition and Regulatory Law Review
  • Rizzuto F. and Lynch M. E. (2020), 'The Procedural Implications of The Otis And Others Ruling of The European Court of Justice of The European Union “Clarification of The Scope of 'Any Individual' Who May Bring A Claim for Damages in Private Enforcement Proceedings' 41 (7) European Competition Law Review
  • Rizzuto F. and Lynch M.E. (2020) ˜The Court of Justice Rules in PZU Zycie that National Competition Law is alive and kicking thanks to the threefold test for idem 4 (3) European Competition and Regulatory Law Review.
  • Lynch. M.E. (2019), 'Assessment Perfection. Demystifying Students' Idea of the Most Suitable Assessment Methods - the Case of Shifting Perspective' - SOLSTICE Conference 2019, 5th/6th June 2019.
  • Lynch, M.E. (2018), 'Unite or Unravel? The Future of the European Union'. Festival of Ideas 2018, Edge Hill University, 3rd June 2018.


t: 0151 291 2129 e:

Dr Mark Bennett

Dr Mark Bennett is a Lecturer in the School of Law. Prior to joining Liverpool Hope University in September 2021, Dr Bennett completed undergraduate and postgraduate Law degrees at Liverpool John Moores University, and recently completed a PhD at the University of Liverpool, where he was also a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Dr Bennett’s doctoral research project, for which he was awarded funding by the AHRC North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, explores the constitutional implications of the UK's contemporary counter-terrorism response(s) through the conceptual lens of 'political' constitutionalism.

Dr Bennett’s research interests lie primarily in the fields of public and constitutional law (particularly from a UK perspective), counter-terrorism, conflict and security, and human rights. He is currently developing key aspects of his doctoral research project for publication, which includes an article exploring the constitutional implications of “drone” strikes authorised by, or (in situations involving partnered “drone” strikes with foreign allies) with the support of, the UK Government.

Education: Liverpool John Moores University (LLB (Hons) and LLM in ‘Global Crime, Justice and Security’), University of Liverpool (PhD)

Research Areas: Public Law; Constitutional Law; Counter-Terrorism; Conflict and Security; Human Rights Law.

Supervisory Areas: Public Law; Constitutional Law; Counter-Terrorism; Conflict and Security; Human Rights Law.

Recent Publications:


t: 0151 291 2167 e:

Dr Debbie Kobani

Dr Kobani joined Liverpool Hope University School of Law as a Lecturer in law in October 2021. Prior to this appointment, she was an Associate Lecturer in Aberystwyth University Law Department, where she recently completed her PhD on ‘A Legal Framework for Host Community Participation in the Oil and Gas Industry of Nigeria’. She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA).

Education: LLB Hons, LLM in International Commercial Law and the Environment, and PhD from Aberystwyth University. BSc in Chemistry and Education from Abia State University, Nigeria.

Research Areas: Debbie's research lies broadly in the interface between environmental regulation and international law. She explores environmental law and policy, with interests in participation and participatory frameworks, environmental regulation and enforcement, corporate social responsibility, human rights and environmental justice.

Supervisory Areas: International law, Environmental law, Human Rights law.

Recent Publications:

  • Who is who, and how important is the 'who' to the participatory process? : The Case for Adequate Representation in Host Community Participation in the Niger Delta? (Forthcoming);
  • Two Kings in the Jungle: The Economies of Oil in the Niger Delta (Forthcoming);
  • Oil Theft and Health Pollution in Nigeria: What is the Law? (Forthcoming)


t: 0151 291 2185 e:

Dr Onyeka Okongwu

Dr Okongwu joined the School of Law at Liverpool Hope University in 2018 as a Lecturer. She holds a PhD in Equality and Discrimination Law from De Montfort University Leicester and a Masters Degree in International Commercial Law from the University of Leicester, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Higher Education Academy (FHEA). Dr Okongwu also holds positions as a licensed Solicitor and Barrister of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Prior to joining Hope, Dr Okongwu held academic positions with the University of Chester and serves as a Law Faculty member of the UNICAF University Cyprus. Her experience in legal practice comes from having worked with an organisation in Chester as a Discrimination Adviser and Caseworker where she was responsible for a varied employment caseload ranging from unfair dismissal cases to discrimination at work. Dr Okonqwu has represented clients at the Employment Tribunals and was involved in negotiating settlements between clients and their employers either directly or through ACAS or their solicitors. Dr Okonqwu has gone on to author a number of publications around her primary area of interests, namely equality and discrimination focusing on the influence of culture, religion and social norms on gender issues and sex discrimination.

Dr Okongwu currently serves as the final year lead and dissertation coordinator alongside teaching in the areas of Employment Law, Equality and Discrimination Law, Contract Law and Tort Law

Education: LLM in International Commercial Law from the University of Leicester (LLM) and PhD in Equality and Discrimination Law from the De Montfort University Leicester

Research Areas: Equality and Discrimination Law specifically focusing on sex discrimination and gender inequality; and Employment Law.

Supervisory Areas: Area of Equality Law (sex discrimination and gender equality; race discrimination, religious discrimination and disability discrimination) and in the field of Employment Law

Recent Publications:

  • Are laws the appropriate solution: the need to adopt non-policy measures in aid of the implementation of sex discrimination laws in Nigeria in the International Journal of Discrimination and the Law 2021.;


t: 0151 291 3646 e:

Dr John Walliss

Dr John Walliss is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law. Prior to joining Liverpool Hope University in September 2004, Dr Walliss completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Humberside and PhD at the University of Sheffield. He also has postgraduate teaching qualifications from the University of Warwick and Sheffield Hallam University, as well as an MA in History from the Open University.

Over the course of his career, Dr Walliss has published in a number of areas, including apocalyptic religious movements, religion and violence and religion and popular culture. For the last decade, he has written on crime history, specifically on the administration and representation of justice in England and Wales in the eighteenth- and nineteenth centuries. This involved a major project looking at the administration of the Bloody Code between 1760 and 1830. He has also written several articles on the representation of aspects of capital punishment in the nineteenth century.

Education: University of Humberside (BA Hons); Open University (MA); PhD (University of Sheffield)

Research Areas:crime history; companion animal harms

Supervisory Areas: crime history

Recent Publications:

·The Bloody Code in England and Wales, 1760-1830. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (2018)

·‘New directions in the historiography of the administration the Bloody Code’, History Compass, vol. 16, no. 8 (2018), published online.

·(with Jen Hough & Scarlett Redman) “‘Receive this as a voice from the dead ’: The final words of the English Hanged, 1840-68”, Law Crime & History, vol. 10, no. 1 (2022),

·‘Last meals and final statements: Social science research on America's Death Row’, Sociology Compass, (2022)

·‘Administration of Justice in Victorian Cheshire’, Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, vol. 171 (2022), pp. 23-46.

·‘The administration of justice in Georgian Wales’, History Compass, early release


t: 0151 291 3884 e:

Dr Roberto Catello

Dr Roberto Catello is a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Law and Criminology. Prior to joining Liverpool Hope University in January 2020, Dr Catello taught criminology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where he completed his postgraduate and doctoral studies (2013-2019). Dr Catello completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne in November 2019 and his doctoral research focuses on the historical study of crime and explores the relationship between historical criminology and crime history.

Dr Catello’s research interests lie primarily in the fields of critical and historical criminology.

Education: Kingston University (BA Hons); Melbourne University (MA); Melbourne University (PhD)

Research Areas: critical perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic; historical study of crime, historiography of crime and criminal justice, interdisciplinary research (criminology & history)

Supervisory Areas: Critical criminology; Historical criminology

Recent Publications:

  • Catello, R. (2022) ‘Exposing the Crimes of the Neoliberal State in the Governance of COVID-19’, State Crime Journal, 11(2), pp.285-315.
  • Catello, R. (2022) ‘Who Gave Historical Criminology a Name? A History of 20th-century Historical Criminology’, Journal of Criminal Justice,
  • Catello, R. (2022) 'The Historicist Objection to Historical Criminology', Law, Crime and History, 10(1), pp.25-56.
  • Catello, R. (forthcoming) 'COVID-19, Global Public Health Justice, and the Culture of Organised Irresponsibility', Global Faultlines.
  • Catello, R. (forthcoming) 'For a Critical Historical Criminology of the Antipodean and Global South: Unthinking and De-Disciplining History and Criminology', International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy.
  • Catello, R. (forthcoming) 'From Historical Social Science to the Historical Study of Crime', Crime, History & Societies.

ORCID: 0000-0002-0812-5540

Contact: t: 0151 291 3562 e:

Dr Gavin Hart

Dr Gavin Hart is a Lecturer in Criminology. Prior to joining Liverpool Hope University in September 2021, Dr Hart worked as an academic skills tutor at the University of Huddersfield. He has completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Huddersfield where he also worked as a part-time lecturer in social sciences. Dr Hart’s doctoral research project, explores racism and hate-crime in Northern Ireland during a period of increasing societal diversity.

Dr Hart’s research interests lie primarily in the fields of extremism and hate crime. He is currently involved in research that delves into the Incel subculture and other forms of toxic misogyny in online spaces.

Education: University of Huddersfield (BA Politics, PhD, PGCHE)

Research Areas: Extremism; Hate-crimes; Post-conflict reintegration; Misogyny.

Recent Publications:

  • Hart G. & Huber, A. (Scheduled 2023) ‘Five things we need to learn about Incel extremism: issues, challenges and avenues for fresh research’, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism
  • Huber, A. Hart, G. & Littler, M. (Scheduled 2023). Gateways to Hate: A quantitative exploration of the relationship between misogyny and the exhibition of far-right attitudinal traits in Great Britain in Kondor, K. & Littler, M. (eds). The Palgrave Handbook of Far-Right Extremism in Europe
  • G, Huber, A. Littler, M. (Scheduled 2023). ‘‘Boys who hate girls, who hate boys, who hate girls’: A quantitative exploration of the relationship between misogyny, socio-political outlook, and support for violence in the UK.’ In Orofino, E., & Allchorn, W. (Eds.), (2022). Handbook of Non-Violent Extremism: Groups, Perspectives and New Debates. Routledge
  • Hart, G., & Tamayo Gomez, C. (2022). Is recognition the answer? Exploring the barriers for successful reintegration of ex-combatants into civil society in Northern Ireland and Colombia. Peacebuilding, 1-17.