Applications are invited for a project investigating the implementation issues, gaps and impact of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.
This project builds on several issues identified as part of the government consultation which preceded the Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21. In particular, this project will expand upon a pilot study which highlighted the gaps identified between existing legislation and practices within the family law court system for the experiences and outcomes of domestic abuse survivors. We invite evaluation on the impact of the Domestic Abuse Act for domestic abuse survivors in the English family court system through one of the following lenses:
- How the offence of controlling/coercive behaviour is enacted regarding post separation abuse and the challenges with the current gaps present in the family law courts applying Practice Direction 12J.
- Evaluation of the domestic abuse perpetrator work and effectiveness of this programme on outcomes for survivors and their court process.
- A multi stakeholder approach to explore how a domestic abuse survivor can be supported whilst in court as the Act itself specifies that legislation is insufficient, and we need to look at the practices of each actor (GPs, local authorities and support services) in the system to implement the changes within the Act.
Family justice studies are a key area of research focus within Northumbria Law School, as evidenced by the presence of the Family Justice Research Interest Group. Responsible practice is a key theme within Newcastle Business School, which is represented by the Responsible Business Research Interest Group. This project would bring together those two research areas into one focused project, centred around an investigation of responsible practice within the family justice system. As well as having a supervisory team with extensive research and practice experience in the areas of family justice studies and responsible practice, a PhD candidate would be welcomed into a thriving research community, receiving support from both RIGs and the GVARN network during their period of study and beyond. The supervisory team have extensive connections with domestic abuse support services which will aid this project.
The research may have an empirical, doctrinal, socio-legal, comparative, or theoretical focus but you should clearly articulate your proposed approach and methodology within your proposal.
Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
- Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
- Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
- Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere or if they have previously been awarded a PhD.
For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see
Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF22/BL/LHRM/HUSSEIN) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: 18 February 2022
Start Date: 1 October 2022
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community.
Principal Supervisor – Rima Hussein