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The Place of Law in Disaster Relief

The Place of Law in Disaster Relief

PhD project title and outline, including interdisciplinary dimension:
The Place of Law in Disaster Relief

Outline: The law on disaster relief is piecemeal, ‘a pot pourri’, strewn across time, place and issue. Led by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the International Law Commission, there are now concerted efforts to change that: a Model Act and a set of Draft Recommendations are in place, and some are pushing for a dedicated international treaty.

This PhD will complement those efforts. Using both documentary sources and interviews with key stakeholders, it will study knowledge of, and about, the law amongst public health professionals who have worked on the ground in disaster situations. The aim is to capture legal consciousness amongst the professionals who know most about disaster preparedness and response.

Capturing this consciousness will make any new law more informed and improve the law’s implementation in the practical situations faced by frontline responders to disasters. More generally, it will take a step towards ‘talking across boundaries’ in a field where the need to ‘act now’ can create tensions between the different ways of seeing within law and public health.  

Interdisciplinary dimension: Law and public health — rules, approaches and practitioners — as they interact in disaster preparedness and response. 

Primary supervisor’s name: Professor Thérèse Murphy (Law)
Secondary supervisor’s name:
Professor Mike Clarke (Medicine Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences)
Name of non-HEI Partner: Evidence Aid