Announcement: Professor J Robert Bradgate

April 22nd, 2014

We were saddened to learn of the death, on 12 April, of Emeritus Professor J Robert Bradgate.

Rob Bradgate was Edward Bramley Professor of Commercial Law at the University of Sheffield School of Law. Rob studied law at the University of Cambridge, and joined the University of Sheffield as lecturer in law in 1989. He was appointed to a Chair in Commercial Law in 2002, and became Edward Bramley Professor of Commercial Law in 2008, a post which he held until his retirement in 2010. Rob published widely in the fields of commercial law, specializing in commercial and consumer transactions. His Oxford University Press monograph, Commercial Law, is one of the leading authorities on English commercial law. Among his many contributions to his discipline, Rob served as the convener of the contract, commercial and consumer law group of the Society of Legal Scholars for many years. He brought together legal scholars from around the world. In March 2011, he gave a valedictory lecture on What’s the Point of Commercial Law, which was enjoyed by academic staff and those from practice from Sheffield and elsewhere. A symposium was held in Sheffield in his honour in September 2011, and a book, dedicated to him, was published by Cambridge University Press as a result.

Rob’s contributions to the Law School, throughout his faithful 21 years of service, are too many to recount. They include significant contributions to the life of the School, such as developing its Undergraduate Curriculum, and serving as its Director of Research. Rob will be remembered by students and colleagues alike for, among other things, his highly entertaining and informative lectures, his incisive intellect and analytical approach, and his sharp and extremely dry sense of humour.

A private funeral will be held for immediate family only. In collaboration with Rob’s wife, Professor Margaret Llewelyn, the School intends to hold an in memoriam event during 2015 and further details will follow in due course.

Announcement: Professor Sir John Crossley Wood CBE

April 17th, 2014

We were saddened to learn of the death, on 9 April, of former School of Law staff member and honorary graduand Professor Sir John Crossley Wood CBE.

Sir John joined the Law Faculty at Sheffield in the mid-1950s as a senior lecturer in law, returning to his native Yorkshire from a lectureship at the University of Manchester, from where he had graduated. Throughout his long and distinguished national and international career, his association with the University brought great prestige to the Law Faculty. Sir John served as Dean and Head of Department. He held the Edward Bramley Chair for many years. When Sir John came to Sheffield, Law’s place in the University was extremely small in both staff and student number terms.  With the then Dean, Professor Roy Marshall, Sir John was responsible for building up numbers, in this respect making some key staff appointments. The growth in size and prestige of Law at Sheffield University from the 1960s onwards owes a great deal to Sir John’s vision and efforts. Equally important was his key role in the introduction of criminology at Sheffield. Having been a key player in central university committees, Sir John stepped back from a particularly active role at the University, devoting some of his time to national and international bodies concerned with dispute resolution, especially in the employment relations sphere.

Sir John handled arbitrations and committees of inquiry from the 1960s, being a member of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service Council (an organisation devoted to preventing and resolving employment disputes) from 1974 to 1976. He served as an independent member of the Industrial Arbitration Board from 1970. He was appointed Chairman of the Central Arbitration Committee (an independent statutory body which resolves disputes arising from collective bargaining) from its inception in 1976 to his retirement in 1999. He was also a member of the International Labour Organization’s Committee of Experts, whose role is to provide an impartial and technical evaluation of the state of application of international labour standards.

The funeral will be held at the Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium in Sheffield on Tuesday 22nd April at 3pm.

Lithuanian Constitutional Court judge visits Sheffield Law School

April 12th, 2014

Professor Gediminas Mesonis, Judge at the Constitutional Court of Lithuania and Professor of Law at Vytautas Magnus University, visited the School of Law in March 2014. On 26 March 2014, Professor Mesonis gave a guest lecture at the Sheffield Centre for International and European Law (SCIEL) to staff, students and members of the Sheffield Lithuanian Society entitled, “The Constitution and the Constitutional Court: Problems of Theory and Practice”.

Dr Pablo Castillo-Ortiz

April 9th, 2014

Pablo Castillo-Ortiz, Lecturer in Spanish Law, was recently awarded a PhD, “sobresaliente cum laude”. This indicates the highest mark in the Spanish system and “with honours”, as voted by all five of the examiners. The title of the dissertation was “The Judicial Politics of National Courts in the Processes of Ratification of EU Treaties”. The School of Law congratulates Dr Castillo-Ortiz on his achievement.

Pablo, a member of the Spanish Bar, joined the Law School in September 2013 from Universidad Autonóma de Madrid. He is our course convenor for Spanish Legal Language, and Spanish Law and Legal System. He teaches EU Law and, at postgraduate level, EU Constitutional Law. His research interests include:

  • Comparative constitutional law and politics, with a focus on constitutional jurisdictions
  • Theories and models of judicial decision-making
  • European legal/judicial integration
  • Configurational analysis
  • Historic Memory

He is also a member of two Sheffield research clusters, Sheffield Institute of Corporate and Commercial Law and the Sheffield Centre for International and European Law.

School of Law Research contributes to the new Consumer Rights Bill currently being passed in Parliament

April 8th, 2014

Liability for the sale and supply to consumers of faulty digital content: research from The School of Law helps lead to consumers being given redress for the sale or supply of faulty digital content such as computer games, downloaded music, eBooks and ring tones etc.

The Consumer Rights Bill is currently passing through Parliament and is expected to be passed shortly.  The Bill aims to clarify and simplify the rights and remedies available to consumers for the sale and supply of faulty goods or services.  For the first time in English law it also makes it clear that protection is not only available for sale of faulty digital goods but also for digital content delivered in a non tangible form.  The Bills proposals on rights and remedies for  the supply of digital content draw on a research paper by Emetrius Professor Rob Bradgate:  Bradgate R (2010) ‘Consumer Rights in Digital Products: A Research report prepared for the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)’ Institute for Commercial Law Studies (now known as Sheffield Institute of Corporate and Commercial Law).

A copy of Rob’s report can be found at

New publication: Stem Cell Research Funding Policies and Dynamic Innovation: A Survey of Open Access and Commercialization Requirements

April 7th, 2014

Professor Aurora Plomer has contriubuted to an article on Stem Cell Research Funding Policies and Dynamic Innovation: A Survey of Open Access and Commercialization Requirements.


This article compares and contrasts the pressures of both open access data sharing and commercialization policies in the context of publicly funded embryonic stem cell research (SCR). First, normative guidelines of international SCR organizations were examined. We then examined SCR funding guidelines and the project evaluation criteria of major funding organizations in the EU, the United Kingdom (UK), Spain, Canada and the United States. Our survey of policies revealed subtle pressures to commercialize research that include: increased funding availability for commercialization opportunities, assistance for obtaining intellectual property rights (IPRs) and legislation mandating commercialization. In lieu of open access models, funders are increasingly opting for limited sharing models or “protected commons” models that make the research available to researchers within the same region or those receiving the same funding. Meanwhile, there still is need for funding agencies to clarify and standardize terms such as “non-profit organizations” and “for-profit research,” as more universities are pursuing for-profit or commercial opportunities.

Thie full article is available here

Maroussia Lévesque, Jihyun Rosel Kim, Rosario Isasi, Bartha Maria Knoppers,  Aurora Plomer, Yann Joly, ‘Stem Cell Research Funding Policies and Dynamic Innovation: A Survey of Open Access and Commercialization Requirements’, (Springer US: March 2014)