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Law and the Humanities Research Interest Group

The Law and Humanities Research Interest Group, founded in 2018, encourages, promotes, and produces research in law and the humanities with a focus on the cross-disciplinary fields of legal history, law and literature, law and film, law related art-visual imagery and legal architecture.  

The group is actively welcoming members from other faculties who would be interested in exploring a legal dimension in their work.

Group convenors: Helen Rutherford and James Gray


Upcoming Events:

seminar infographic

THROUGH A LEGAL LENS: Law, History and Visual Culture

Comics and Graphic Novels

Virtual seminar series

9/16/23 November 2022

A series of three-hour long seminars:

Wed, 9 November 2022, 16:30 – 17:30 GMT

Charlotte Mills on Comics,sexual slavery & human rights in South Korea

Wed, 16 November 2022, 15:00 – 16:00 GMT

Karla Escobar on Becoming transmedia: legal practicesin Colombia in comics

Wed, 23 November 2022, 15:00 – 16:00 GMT

Kritika Sharma on Studying feminist legal thought through Marvel comics

Please RSVP for individual events by using the Eventbrite links above.

For general queries please e mail:

For all matters technical, please contact:

We look forward to seeing you

With best wishes,

Victoria Barnes, Helen Rutherford, Clare Sandford-Couch and Sarah Wilson


Past Events:

Virtual Seminar Series: Through a Legal Lens- Law, History and Visual Culture

(Jointly organised with the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory, Leeds Beckett University and York University- supported by the Society of Legal Scholars)

Every Thursday 3:00-6:30 pm BST from 26th May to 23rd June


Conferences and Events

On the 28th of October, Cerian Griffiths gave a presentation to the Law and History Network entitled, 'Fraud and the City of London: The role and influence of City Alderman'

On the 16th of November, Cerian Griffiths was invited by the Oxford University Legal History Forum to discuss her forthcoming monograph, 'Prosecuting London's Fraudsters 1760-1820: Swindlers, Tricksters and the Law' (Bloomsbury, 2023)

Seminar for the Northumbria Institute of Humanities by Helen Rutherford and Dr Clare Sandford Couch (Visiting lecturer Newcastle University). Picturing early nineteenth century courtroom actors: Joseph Bouet’s images of judges, lawyers and felons at Durham Criminal Court (c.1825-1856) (28 October 2021)

Combination and Confederacy’: Radical Protest and Chartism on Tyneside, 1819–1839. Neil Harrison 23 March 2021. In this reading group/seminar we examined Newcastle’s response to the 1819 Peterloo massacre and Chartism on Tyneside in the 1830s. 

Held jointly with the University of Lodz – English Law and Colonial Connections: Histories, Parallels, and Influences (26–27 January 2021) 

Frankenstein: A Multidisciplinary Conference (14 June 2018, Northumbria University)

A Civilising Moment? Reflecting on 150 years since the abolition of Public Execution (6 June 2018, Literary and Philosophical Society Newcastle upon Tyne)  


Recent Publications

Latchem, J. & Rutherford, H. 'Courting Power: discussion and analysis of a courtroom-based art installation informed by a legal historical case study' 4 Oct 2021, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Law and Humanities

Helen Rutherford and Clare Sandford- Couch ‘George Vass: the making and un-making of a criminal monster’., Low, Patrick Rutherford, Helen Sandford- Couch, Clare (editors). Execution Culture in Nineteenth Century Britain: From Public Spectacle to Hidden Ritual. Routledge 2021

Cerian Griffiths ‘The honest cheat: a timely history of cheating and fraud following Ivey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd t/a Crockfords [2017] UKSC 67’ Legal Studies 2020, Volume 40, Issue 2 

Marion Oswald ‘Technologies in the twilight zone: early lie detectors, machine learning and reformist legal realism’ International Review of Law, Computers & Technology 2020, Volume 34

Helen Rutherford and Clare Sandford- Couch 'All that they had heard, all that they had read, all that they had seen’: Questions of Fairness and Justice in the Trial of George Vass’, in Nash D and Kilday AM. Fair and Unfair Trials in the British Isles. Bloomsbury Academic 2020  

James Gray ‘J G Ballard and the phenomenology of the absence of law’ Law and Humanities 2019

Helen Rutherford ‘Unity or disunity? The trials of a Jury in R v John William Anderson: Newcastle Winter Assizes 1875’. and Gregory, James and Grey, Daniel J.R. (editors). Union and Disunion in the Nineteenth Century. Routledge Studies in Modern History 2019 

Helen Rutherford Book review of Subversive Legal History. A Manifesto for the Future of Legal Education by Russell Sandberg, The Law Teacher (In press)

Helen Rutherford, Book review of Law, Judges and Visual Culture by Leslie J Moran (Routledge, 2020)Legal Studies. (In Press)

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