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Professor David Sugarman


David Sugarman

Lancaster University

Bowland North



Tel: +44 1524 592474

Research overview

DAVID SUGARMAN is Professor of Law Emeritus at the Law School of Lancaster University, UK; Senior Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London; and Senior Associate of the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford. Having gained an undergraduate law degree (LLB) at Hull University, he completed graduate work in law at Cambridge University as a William Senior Scholar in Comparative Law (LLM and Diploma in Comparative Legal Studies), and Harvard Law School (LLM), where he was awarded a doctorate (SJD). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and an Honorary Fellow of the American Society for Legal History.  His writing and teaching engage with law, history, politics and society, traversing legal history, company law, international human rights (with reference to the struggle to prosecute Augusto Pinochet and the 'human rights turn' in post-Pinochet Chile), the legal profession, legal education, European anti-discrimination law, women’s rights and gender equality, law and literature, law and the visual, legal life writing and socio-legal studies.   

David has authored, co-authored and edited 24 books (including special issues of journals), and has written over 100 articles and book chapters.  He contributed to the New Oxford Companion to Law, the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Economic History, the Oxford Reader's Companion to Charles Dickens, and the Blackwell Companion to the Enlightenment.  He has also published articles in The Times (of London), The GuardianThe Santiago Times (Chile), Open Democracy and El Mostrador, and has contributed to TV (including ITN and CNN) and radio (e.g. BBC Radio 4 and World Service, and Vienna Public Radio) on legal history and international human rights.  His published work has been translated into Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish. 

The recipient of research grants and scholarships within and beyond the UK, David has undertaken commissioned research for governments, inter-governmental organisations and non-governmental organisations, most recently, the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Union Parliament Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee and the Law Society of England and Wales. He has held Visiting Professorships in Canada, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the USA, and has delivered over 300 invited lectures in more than 20 countries.  

David has been extensively involved in institution building, through his leadership in creating and sustaining law schools in London and Lancaster, and through the establishment of and involvement in national and international working groups, associations, seminar and conference programmes and multi-authored, inter-disciplinary, and transnational scholarship. This has included engaging with non-academic and non-legal audiences.

As Founding Director, David established at Lancaster University the first Centre for Law and Society and the first Master’s Degree (LL.M,) Programme, “Law in History” in England and Wales.  He also inaugurated and co-arranged the bi-annual Iredell Lecture Series in Law and History at Lancaster University.  He founded and co-organised (with Paul Brand and John Styles) the first “History of Law and Society” Seminar Series in London (at the Institute of Historical Research, London University), inaugurated the “Legal History” Section of the Society of Legal Scholars and the “Cultural Histories of the Legal Professions” Section of the Working Group on Comparative Legal Professions, International Sociological Association (with Wes Pue), and convened the first conference on “Law and Society” under the auspices of History Workshop (with Joanna Innes and John Styles).

David has served as an Elected Trustee of the American Society for Legal History and the Law and Society Association and as a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Legal History; Law and Society Review; Legal Ethics; The International Journal of the Legal Profession; The Canadian Journal of Law and Society; Studies in Law, Politics and Society; Continuity and Change: A Journal of Social Structure, Law and Demography; Law and Social Inquiry: Journal of the American Bar FoundationClio & Themis. European Electronic Journal of Law HistoryThe Company LawyerAt Lancaster, he Co-Directed, "Conceptualising the contemporary 'professions': interdisciplinary debates", an Economic and Social Research Council-funded Research Seminar Programme and The Lancaster Professions Network.  He was also a founder member of the "Dynamics of Memories" Research Group, which investigates the politics of memory, and the Latin America Research Group. 

David's assistance has been acknowledged by over 100 authors in more than 150 publications.  He was awarded the Lancaster University Teaching Prize for innovative curriculum design and inspiring student learning. 

Read and Access David’s Publications At:

Academia: www.lancaster.academia.edu/DavidSugarman


SSRN: https://ssrn.com/author=269728  


David's most recent books are: 


  • G.R. Rubin & David Sugarman, Editors. Law, Economy and Society, 1750-1914: Essays in the History of English Law (originally published in 1984) pp. 650.  Reprinted in 2023 by LLMC Digital as an on-line, open-access download.   
  • David Sugarman and Abdul Paliwala, Editors. Special Issue in Celebration of Peter Fitzpatrick and his Scholarship. International Journal of Law in Context Vol. 17, No. 1 2021.  

  • David Sugarman and Avrom Sherr (eds.).  Lawyers’ Empire, Legal Professions and Cultural Authority, 1780–1950, W. Wesley Pue.  A Special Issue of the International Journal of the Legal Profession vol. 24, No. 1, 2017 pp. 90.   ISSN 0969-5958.

  • Linda Mulcahy and David Sugarman (eds.). Legal Life Writing: Marginalised Subjects and Sources.  Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015pp. 172.   Journal of Law and Society Special Issue Book Series. ISBN: 978-1-119-05216-6.

  • Sylvia Walby, David Sugarman et alStopping Rape. Towards A Comprehensive Policy.  Bristol: Policy Press, 2015.  ISBN: 9781447322092  http://www.oapen.org/search?identifier=648060 


David's most recent essays, articles and reviews are:  

“Ask the Author, Professor Linda Mulcahy interviews Lancaster University’s David Sugarman.” Contribution to “Frontiers of Socio-Legal Studies” blog. 28 February 2023. 

“The Humanities and Law: More Intertwined Than You Might Think”.  Lead blog in series, “Where Law Meets the Humanities”.  (2022) Talking Humanities. School of Advanced Studies, University of London. 


“Walking with Norman”.  In Language and Power. Essays in Honour of Norman Fairclough. Isabela Fairclough, Jane Mulderrig and Karin Zotzmann (editors). London: Routledge, 2021 pp. 63-66.

“How America did (and didn't) influence English Legal Education, circa 1870-1965.”  In American Legal Education Abroad: Critical Histories. Edited by Susan Bartie and David Sandomierski.  New York: New York University Press, 2021 pp. 39-64.

“Becoming Peter Fitzpatrick (1941-2020)”. In Special Issue in Celebration of Peter Fitzpatrick and his Scholarship, International Journal of Law in Context. Vol. 17, no.1, 2021 pp. 2 – 16.  Guest Editors, David Sugarman and Abdul Paliwala. 

“Twining’s Tower and the Challenges of Making Law a Humanistic Discipline”. In: ‘Reflecting on Blackstone’s Tower’- A Special Issue of Amicus Curiae(the journal of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London). Guest Editors, Fiona Cownie and Emma Jones. (2021) Series 2, Vol 2, No 3, pp. 337-354.



“Robert Bocking Stevens 1933–2021. A Personal Appreciation of a Pioneering Socio-Legal Scholar.”  Socio-Legal Newsletter.  2021, No. 94, Summer. pp.9-10.  

“William Twining: The Man Who Radicalized the Middle Ground.” (2020) 16 International Journal of Law in Context pp.475-480.   

Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3769135 


Jurist in Context: William Twining in Conversation with David Sugarman.”  (2020) 47 (2) Journal of Law and Society pp. 195-220. Co-authored with William Twining.  Open access: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jols.12229 


“Law, Law-Consciousness and Lawyers as Constitutive of Early Modern England: Christopher W. Brooks’s Singular Journey”.  In Law and Litigants in Early Modern English Society. Essays in Memory of Christopher W. Brooks ed. Michael Lobban, Joanne Begiato, Adrian Green (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019) pp. 32-57.  

Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3762468


“W.Wesley Pue (1954-2019): A Personal Appreciation”. RCSL Newsletter. (International Sociological Association Research Committee on Sociology of Law) No 2, 2019 pp. 29-31  http://www.iisj.net/es/system/files/rcsl_newsletter_2_2019.pdf 

SSRN Download https://ssrn.com/abstract=3449766

Book Review: Anthony Page and Wilfrid Prest, eds. Blackstone and His Critics. Oxford: Hart, 2018. (2019) 58 Journal of British Studies pp.629-631. 

Robert W. Gordon in Conversation with David Sugarman”, (2018) Law and History Review Digital Edition (The Docket):



Yale Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 653, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3261379



“Promoting Dialogue Between History and Socio-legal Studies: The Contribution of Christopher W. Brooks and the ‘Legal Turn’ in Early Modern English History,” (2017) 44 Journal of Law and Society issue S1, pp. S37- S60.


“Editorial”. In: David Sugarman and Avrom Sherr (eds.). Lawyers’ Empire, Legal Professions and Cultural Authority, 1780–1950, W. Wesley Pue.  A Special Issue of the International Journal of the Legal Profession vol. 24, No. 1, (2017) pp. 1-2.  

“Foreword”.  In: W. Wesley Pue, Lawyers’ Empire, Legal Professions and Cultural Authority, 1780–1950 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2016).  pp. ix-xii. 

Publications in Press and in Preparation

  • Histories of English Law and Society, 1600-2020: Transcending Disciplinary Tribalism. Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2024.

  • Prosecuting Pinochet.

  • Prominent Law Professors speak about their Lives and about University Legal Education and Scholarship in England, c.1930 to 1990.






On-line Conference Presentations Include:  

“The ‘Pinochet Effect’– the Impact of Transnational Legal Action”.  Event Marking the 15th Anniversary of Augusto Pinochet’s Arrest in London.  The State Parliament of Berlin, 30 September 2013.  



“Quotas as an Instrument of Non-Discrimination and Positive Action”. Conference, “Getting Women on Board.  Will the EU Do What It Takes?”.  The European Parliament, Brussels, 7 March 2013.  



On-line Interviews  

“Hart Interviewed: H.L.A. Hart in Conversation with David Sugarman”. 









Having gained an undergraduate law degree (LLB) at Hull University, he completed graduate work in law at Cambridge University as a William Senior Scholar in Comparative Law (LLM and Diploma in Comparative Legal Studies), and Harvard Law School (LLM), where he was awarded a doctorate (SJD).  


The ‘Pinochet Effect’– the Impact of Transnational Legal Action.

A public lecture to mark the 15th anniversary of General Pinochet’s arrest in London, and its contemporary relevance. delivered at the State Parliament of Berlin on 30 September 2013. Prof. Sugarman shared the platform with Baltasar Garzón, the Spanish judge who reqested Pinochet’s extradition to Spain, and Juan Garcés, the lawyer who sought Pinochet’s arrest on behalf of Pinochet’s victims.  The event was broadcast on German radio (Deutsche welle). A short film, drawing on the event, can be viewed on-line and down-loaded at:


Creating Quotas to Improve the Gender Balance among Directors of Companies.

A presentation on the EU’s proposal to create quotas to improve the gender balance among directors of companies delivered at the Conference, “Getting Women on Board”, the European Parliament, Brussels, 7 March 2013.  Other participants included Commissioners, MEPs, and government and trade union representatives. The conference can be viewed on-line and downloaded from:



Hart Interviewed: H.L.A. Hart in Conversation with David Sugarman.   

 H.L.A. Hart (1907–1992) is frequently regarded as the twentieth century’s foremost legal philosopher, at least within the English-speaking world.  Prof. Sugarman’s lengthy interview with Hart reviews Hart’s life, work and significance.  The interview was digitalized by Oxford University Press, who posted it on the Web, along with Prof. Sugarman’s reflections on the interview.  The interview is broken down into nine parts, available for streaming and download:



The interview is also accessible via the YouTube playlist.



The history of Crime and Punishment in Eighteenth and Nineteenth-Century England.

A guest contributor to “Secrets from the Clink”, a programme on the history of crime and punishment, broadcast on Independent Television (ITV1) on 6 August 2014 at 9pm:


Guest contribution to the BBC Radio Four series, "Voices from the Old Bailey" (July-August 2011), examining how far the law gave everyone a fair trial, from the lowest to the highest in society, in eighteen and nineteenth-century England:





1995 -              The Journal of Legal History


1998 - 2000     Law and Society Review


1997 - 2008     Legal Ethics


1994 -              The International Journal of the Legal Profession


1992 - 2009     The Canadian Journal of Law and Society


1990 - 2000     Studies in Law, Politics and Society


1990 - 1995     Continuity and Change: A Journal of Social Structure, Law and Demography


1989 - 2001     Law and Social Inquiry: Journal of the American Bar Foundation


1980 -              The Company Lawyer
                        (1980-84, Founding Associate Editor)



  • Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) (Spain) - November 1990.

  • Boston University, School of Law (USA) - March-April 2010.

  • Johns Hopkins University, Department of Political Science (USA) - January-March 1998.

  • McGill University, Faculty of Law (Canada) - January 1991.

  • University of Münster, Faculty of Law (Germany) - June 2003.

  • University of Oklahoma, School of Law (USA) - June-July 1976.

  • University of Osaka, Department of Law (Japan) - October-December 1991.

  • Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (USA) - September 2003-June 2004.

  • University of Western Ontario, School of Law (Canada) - July 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1989.



  • Amherst College, Department of Political Science (USA) - February-April 1993.

  • Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London (UK) - October 1992- July 1993.

  • University of Manchester, Faculty of Law (UK) - October 1996-May 1997.

  • Princeton University, Shelby Cullum Davis Center for Historical Studies (USA) - September 1987-March 1998.

  • University of Wisconsin, Institute for Legal Studies (USA) - March-April 1985.


University of Toronto, Faculty of Law(Canada) -September-October 2002.



He has completed research for government departments, inter-governmental bodies and briefed non-governmental organisations on international human rights issues, European anti-discrimination law and with respect to legal services and the legal profession.

International Human Rights and European Anti-Discrimination Law

  • He is a member of a group of international scholars led by Professor Sylvia Walby OBE that won the right to bid as a preferred contractor for research funds from the European Union Parliament Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Committee.  He contributed to Gender Quotas in Management Boards (The European Parliament – Committee on Gender Equality, 2012) and co-authored the Report, Overview of the worldwide best practices for rape prevention and for assisting women victims of rape (The European Parliament – Committee on Gender Equality, 2013), to be published as Stopping Rape. An Overview of the Worldwide Best Practices for Rape Prevention and for Assisting Women Victims of Rape.  Bristol: Policy Press, 2015.
  • He was one of the consultants commissioned by the European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights to write the Handbook on European Law Relating to Asylum, Borders and Immigration published in 2013. 

  • He was commissioned by the European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights to write the Handbook of European Non-Discrimination Law (with Dr Mark Butler) published in 2011. 

  • He visited Chile in May 2008 to observe and assess the work of the recently established Criminal Public Defenders (Defensoria Penal Publica) at the invitation ofthe Defensoria and the British Council (Chile). For press coverage see articles in Cavancha (6 May), La Estrella (8 May) and Denfensoria press statements:






  • He has published popular articles on the domestic and transnational struggles to bring Augusto Pinochet to justice, the Pinochet precedent, and the Pinochet-era human rights trials in Chile, in a broad range of outlets including The TimesThe Guardian, the Santiago TimesOpen Democracythe North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA), Amnesty International (Chile), El Mostrador (Chile), and has acted as a consultant to and occasionally appeared on a wide range of documentary and television and radio programmes addressing these topics including CNN, Channel Four News, BBC News 24, BBC World Service, Deutsche welle and Austrian Public Radio. He has also been quoted in newspaper and Web-based media including: The Observerthe Independentthe Santiago Times (Chile); the Belfast Telegraph; and the Malaysia News.


Legal Services and the Legal Profession.

  • His scholarship, and an expert opinion he wrote for the Law Society, were referred to and formed part of the arguments addressed to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in R (on the application of Prudential plc and another) (Appellants) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax and another (Respondents) [2013] UKSC 1 on appeal from [2010] EWCA Civ 1094.  The case concerned the scope of lawyers' professional privilege and whether it should be extended to accountants.

  • He was commissioned by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) to undertake research on The Burden of Proof in Personal Injury Cases in Western Europe and in European Union Law: A Legal and Socio-Legal Analysis, which was completed in 2001 (Report approx. 60,000 words).

Legal History

He has been consulted on the history of English law and legal institutions by English Heritage, BBC TV - Timewatch, the documentary film, "Scandalous Women", the genealogy documentary series, "Who Do You Think You Are?" and the period drama series, "Father Brown".  He appeared on the BBC Radio Four Series, "Major Victorian legislation, and how it changed British society."

He was involved in the making of the BBC Radio Four series, "Voices from the Old Bailey" (July-August 2011), examining how far the law gave everyone a fair trial, from the lowest to the highest in society:



Appeared in and legal history consultant for, “Secrets from the Clink”, a programme on the history of crime and punishment, broadcast on Independent Television (ITV1) on 6 August 2014 at 9pm:




Member of a project on “Legal Biography”, with the British Library, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (London), the Socio-Legal Studies Association and the LSE Legal Biography Project.  Co-editor (with Linda Mulcahy, LSE) of a Special Issue of the Journal of Law and Society on Legal Life Writing: Marginalised Subjects and Sources, to be published in spring 2015.     

Core Member, "Dynamics of Memories" Research Group. This international and interdisciplinary group investigates the politics of memory. Funding has been awarded by the Institute of Advanced Studies, Lancaster University,the European Science Foundation and the AHRC.A Colloquium on "Memory and Justice" was organised at Lancaster University in 2009. See, further, http://www.lancs.ac.uk/fass/groups/dynamicsofmemories/

Co-Director, "Conceptualising the contemporary 'professions': interdisciplinary debates". An Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded Research Seminar Programme, bringing together scholars, practitioners, regulators and consumer representatives from Britain and abroad. Bid for funding prepared with colleagues in Lancaster's Geography Department, Leeds University Business School, the Geography Department of the University of Nottingham, and the Cass Business School of City University. 2009-10. For further details, please see: http://www.contemporaryprofessions.com/

Co-Director, The Lancaster Professions Network. This Network is designed to bring together academics from across the university interested in, broadly defined, the professions. The new network has two substantive aims: To bring Lancaster academics together to share expertise and ideas; and to generate interactions between Lancaster academics and practitioners. Members of the network are drawn from across the University. 2008- . See, further, http://www.lancs.ac.uk/professions/



Research Grants

He has been awarded research and allied funding from the following sources:

· The Arts and Humanities Research Council.

· The American Council for Learned Societies.

· The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

· The British Academy.

· The British Council (Chile).

· The Council of Europe.

· The Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University, USA.

· The European Agency for Fundamental Rights.

· The European Court of Human Rights.

· The European Science Foundation (HERA).

· The European Union, Grotius Programme.

· The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Studies, London University.

· Lancaster University, the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the Institute of Advanced Studies.

· The Law Society.

· The Law and Society Association.

· The Leverhulme Trust.

· The Nuffield Foundation.

· The Program in Law and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, USA.

· The Republic of Chile, Ministry of Justice, Denfensoria Pública.

· The Society of Public Teachers of Law.

· The Socio-Legal Studies Association.

· The Twenty-Seven Foundation (Institute of Historical Research, London University).

Current Teaching

Responses to Massive Violations of Human Rights (Law 311)

Law and Society, 1750-1950: Culture, Gender and the Visual (Law 215)

Lawyers and Society (Law 264)

Courts, Law and Politics in a Comparative Perspective (Law 307)

International Terrorism and the Law (LLM 215)

International Criminal Law (LLM 236)

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