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Together with Law’s community of early career researchers, our PGR community drives the enthusiasm and creativity which characterises the unit’s research activity.  

Many students are additionally funded to act as research assistants to support research group activity, by organising research seminars and events, and contributing to grant bids, impact work, dissemination activity, outputs and empirical research activity. In addition to enhancing the overall activity of the unit, this work supports our students by boosting their employability and research careers.  

Many students within our PGR community have progressed into Lecturer roles at other institutions and at Northumbria, or beyond in the UK and overseas.    

Take a look at some of our PGR students and their work below.


Sara Cavagnero  

Supervisor: Professor Chris Newman and Ann Ferguson 

Title of thesis: Sustainability governance in fashion: fostering the engagement of small players via Intellectual Property assets 

As a qualified IP lawyer (admitted at the Italian Bar), my work is devoted the use of IP assets as private sustainability governance tools in fashion, and the legal implications arising thereof. My analysis is framed within the under-considered SMEs' perspective, and focused on suppliers along the value chain. I am involved as an expert at UN/CEFACT “Enhancing Traceability and Transparency for Sustainable Value Chains in Garment and Footwear” project, and I am volunteering as the Law & Sustainability Specialist for the Italian NGO rén collective, a platform providing sustainable fashion SMEs with network opportunities and viable options for an industry reset. Finally, I am actively engaged in the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion. 


View Sara on LinkedIn


Cavagnero (2020) Global Fashion Conference Proceedings, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion.

Cavagnero, Lazzarini (2020) “From The Trash to High Couture: How Wearable Food Waste is Transforming the Textile Industry In Line with the Agenda 2030” Journal of Textile Science & Fashion Technology 5(4): 2020 JTSFT.MS.ID.000616. DOI:10.33552/.


Samantha Rasiah

Supervisor: Professor Elaine Hall 

Title of thesis: The content, purpose and currency of Legal Education in England and Wales: Is Legal Pedagogy in England and Wales currently fit for purpose in educating a digital generation of students?

My research examines the teaching of the undergraduate Law Degree in England and Wales. As part of my research, I have collected data from legal practitioners and legal educators with an aim to identify transferrable skills which law graduates should be equipped with during their time in Law School, with a particular focus on technological skills (in light of increased work from home culture as a result of COVID-19). My thesis will make time and cost-effective suggestions as to how these transferrable skills can be incorporated into the law curriculum at undergraduate level. 


Twitter: @SamanthaRasiah

View Samantha on LinkedIn


Elaine Hall and Samantha Rasiah, Cat-Shaped or Cat-Like? Are Law Schools Grouped by what we Teach or how we Teach it?, Emerging Legal Education Series, Routledge. (In Preparation).  

Chris Ashford, Laura Graham and Samantha Rasiah, Centring Feminist and Queer Experiences in the Law School: Legal Zines as a Humanising Pedagogy, Biopolitics of Legal Education, Routledge. (In Preparation).    


Sean Mennim 

Supervisors: Professor Nicola Wake (Principal), Professor Raymond Arthur, Dr Sean Malloy

I am a graduate of the M Law (exempting) BPTC degree and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2018. I am currently a PhD student at Northumbria University, Newcastle. My thesis will propose a new statutory framework for children whose offending is driven by their exploitation. This has originated from a critical examination of the interpretation and application of s. 45(4) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and trafficking legislation that has emerged in other jurisdictions. The overriding objective at the end of this thesis is to present a viable alternative to s. 45(4) which, as will be argued throughout this study, fails to afford child victims of trafficking with a robust defence and is insufficiently nuanced to adapt to future developments in trafficking offences. 

Before commencing my PhD, I worked as an intern for Lawyers Without Borders, a US based non-profit organisation that promotes pro bono work and facilitates the training of lawyers, judges and law enforcement across the world.  As part of this work, I travelled to Nairobi, Kenya to assist with a counter-terrorism training programme. 



Sean Mennim, ‘Admissibility of Conclusive Ground Decisions and s.45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015’ (2021) J. Crim. L. (forthcoming) 

Sean Mennim, ‘R. v Westwood: Diminished Responsibility and Disposals under the Mental Health Act 1983’ (2021) NILQ Special Edn. (forthcoming) 

See more from Sean


Lauren Napier

Supervisor: Professor Christopher Newman

Title of thesis: Outer Space Regime Evolution: The Sustainable Governance of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for Future Generations

My research takes a dual international relations international law approach toward analysing the current governance framework in Low Earth Orbit within the Outer Space Regime. My research looks at the challenges on-orbit and will analyse recommendations for a more sustainable governance framework in Low Earth Orbit. I have a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of North Florida and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Webster University, Vienna Campus. I was an active member of the Space Generation Advisory Council for many years where I represented the organization at the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space and its subcommittees. I am currently a board member and Programme Director for the Centre for a Spacefaring Civilization and a board member for the Just Space Alliance. My interests include the IR-IL approach to secure, safe, and sustainable space governance; the use of space for the SDGs; the equity, diversity, and inclusion of outer space; as well as the intersection between the outer space regime and other regimes.



Journal of Law, Technology, and Trust Vol. 1 No. 1 2020 co-authored  

The Conversation Feb 2021  

Room Space Journal Summer 2020 co-authored with Professor Christopher Newman  

71st International Astronautical Congress 2020 Space paper and presentation on ‘Governance of Earth’s Orbits: Analysis of the Long-Term Sustainability Guidelines and Other Non-Binding Mechanisms in Space’

70th International Astronautical Congress 2019 paper and presentation on ‘Bringing Space to the Non-Space Community: Toward Sustainability and the Space2030 Agenda’ co-authored



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