Professor Nicole Busby
- Professor in Human Rights, Equality and Justice (School of Law)
Nicole Busby was appointed as Professor of Human Rights, Equality and Justice in 2019. She was previously Professor of Labour law at the University of Strathclyde (2012-2019), prior to which she taught at Stirling University and Robert Gordon University.
She is an expert in equality law. Her main areas of interest include sex discrimination, the reconciliation of paid work and unpaid care, the protection of social and economic rights and access to justice. She regularly works with civil society organisations, both in her academic research and beyond (see Additional Information below).
Nicole regularly provides guidance to policy-makers, including the Scottish Government, on Scotland's human rights and equality law framework. She is currently the Chair of the Academic Advisory Panel of the National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership. She has served as a member of the First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership (2018-2019) and as a member of the Scotland Committee of the Equality and human Rights Commission (2017-2020).
She is the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Discrimination and the Law and co-chair (with Colm O’Cinneide, UCL) of the Equally Ours Research Network.
She is the author of two monographs: A Right to Care? Unpaid Work in European Employment Law (OUP, 2011) and ‘A History of Regulating Working Families’, with Grace James, (Hart, forthcoming 2020). Her current research includes a study of the impact of recent changes to the UK’s benefits system on women’s lives.
Nicole Busby’s research interests lie in the fields of equality and human rights law, specifically in the context of individual socio-economic rights and access to justice. She has published widely on women’s economic rights, with a particular focus on the interface between paid work and unpaid care, and also on individuals’ experiences in asserting and enforcing their rights in the employment tribunal.
Her approach is socio-legal and inter-disciplinary and she utilises a range of empirical and doctrinal methods to identify how law shapes and is shaped by lived experience. Her work explores how individuals and groups interact with, use and live law in different contexts and she has conducted research on the experiences and perceptions of rural communities, carers, those in precarious work, and litigants in person.
She is committed to bringing civil society organisations and academics together for mutually beneficial research and knowledge exchange. She is currently working with the Women’s Budget Group, the Child Poverty Action Group and colleagues at the Universities of Birmingham and Bristol on ‘Social Security and Gender Equality’ which explores the impact on women’s lives of recent changes to the benefits system.
Nicole’s research has been funded by the European Research Council, the ESRC, the AHRC, the Society of Legal Scholars, the Socio-Legal Studies Association, the Legal Education Foundation and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.
‘Capacity Building in Scotland with Civil Society Organisations: Brexit and its Implications’ (“Civil Society and Brexit Project”). A partnership project between Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe (SULNE), Scottish Human Rights Consortium and Amnesty International. (Academic CI with Maria Fletcher, Rebecca Zahn, University of Strathclyde). Funded by the Legal Education Foundation
Phase 1 (2017-2019): Total £104k.
Phase 2 (2019-2021): Total £209k.
‘Universal Credit and Equality: Workshopping a Feminist Judicial Review’ (PI) Socio-Legal Studies Association’s seminar Competition 2018. Total £2k.
‘The Future Regulation of Work’ (PI) awarded the Society of Legal Scholars Annual Seminar prize, 2016. Total £10k.
‘Inaccessible Justice’, Carnegie Research Grant with match funding from Citizens Advice Scotland, 2014. Total £1k.
‘Work-Life Balance in the Recession and Beyond’ (C, Economic and Social Research Council, 2014. Total £30k.
'New Sites of Legal Consciousness: Citizens Advice Bureau and Employment Disputes' (with Morag McDermont, PI), European Research Council, 2012-2016. Total €1m.
AHRC Families and Work Net (FAWN), Arts and Humanities Research Council (With Grace James), launched in 2012. Total £27k.
Enforcement of Fundamental Workers' Rights - Senior Advisor to the European Parliament (Framework Contract IP/C/LIBE/FWC/2009), December 2011-June 2012. Total £5k.
‘Barriers to Justice within the Employment Tribunal System: The Applicants’ Perspective: A Pilot Study’ (with Grace James), The Society of Legal Scholars, 2007. Total £2k.
‘Communitarianism and Sustainable Crofting Communities’ (PI), The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, 2007. Total £1k.
I am happy to supervise students in all areas of equality and human rights law and would particularly welcome proposals relating to the individual equality and employment rights framework, women’s social and economic rights, access to justice.
EU Law (Level 2)
Nicole is the Convenor of the Board of Trustees of Close the Gap, a charity that works with policymakers, employers and employees to influence and enable action to address the causes of women’s inequality at work, and a member of the Advisory Group for ‘Making Rights Real in Scotland’, funded by the Baring Foundation, which aims to identify how best to support grassroots human rights practice and monitoring in Scotland.