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Durham Law School

Staff Profiles

Dr Robin Hickey, MA (Oxon), PhD, PGCHET

Senior Lecturer in Durham Law School

Biography

Robin joined Durham Law School in 2012, having previously been a lecturer in law at Queen's University Belfast, where he taught Land Law, Equity and Jurisprudence. Robin's research focuses on the law of property, and related aspects of criminal law and the law of obligations. His core interest is in the historical evolution and conceptual structure of property laws and doctrines, particularly foundational concepts of property like "ownership" and "possession", and how these interact with civil and criminal rules protecting property. He has special expertise in the law relating to lost and found things. His recent book, Property and the Law of Finders (Hart Publishing, 2010) is the first full-length account of the legal position of finders, and was one of two books shortlisted for the Inner Temple Book Prize 2011 (New Author's Category).

In his main current project, Robin seeks to apply common law perspectives on property to the problem of modern slavery. He is a founding member of the Research Network on the Legal Parameters of Slavery, which has been conducting research, funded by the AHRC, on Slavery as the Powers Attaching to the Right of Ownership. This Network brings together international academics and practitioners on slavery and property issues, with the aim of clarifying the modern definition of slavery in international law, and producing Guidelines on the legal definition of slavery which can be used by courts dealing with slavery offences. To date the Network has held two conferences at the Rockefeller Centre Bellagio and Harvard Law School, and has published its findings in J. Allain (ed) The Legal Parameters of Slavery: From the Historical to the Contemporary (OUP, 2012).

Robin also has general interests in legal theory and history. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Jurisprudence (Hart Publishing), and the Council and Publications Committee of the Irish Legal History Society. He has spent time as a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, and an International Research Visitor at Melbourne Law School. Currently he is working with Dr Matthew Harding of Melbourne Law School on a project concerning the values which animate equity's approach to gifts.

At Durham, Robin teaches property and obligations. He is always pleased to hear from prospective research students, and welcomes enquiries about projects relating to these fields.

Teaching Areas

  • Advanced Law of Obligations
  • Property Law (Land & Trusts)
  • Tort

Research Interests

  • Historical development of common law concepts and doctrines
  • Lost and found goods/antiquities
  • Modern slavery
  • Personal Property

Publications

Books: authored

Conference papers

  • Hickey, Robin. (2012), Possession as a Source of Property Rights at Common Law, The Consequences of Possession. University of Edinburgh, Centre for Private Law.
  • Hickey,Robin. (2012), Possession Taken by Theft and the Original Acquisition of Personal Property Rights, Modern Studies in Property Law 2012 - The 9th Biennial Conference. University of Southampton.
  • Allain, Jean., Bales, Kevin., Carter, William Jnr., Hickey, Robin. & Penner, James. (2012), Property and the Legal Definition of Slavery, Plenary session, Association for Law, Property and Society Annual Meeting. Georgetown Law Center, Washington DC.
  • Hickey, Robin., Allain, Jean., Penner, James. & Quirk, Joel. (2011), Guidelines on the Legal Parameters of Slavery. Extraordinary Trafficking Law and Policy Forum Meeting, London, England.
  • Hickey, Robin. & Allain, Jean. (2011), Slavery as the Powers Attaching to the Right of Ownership, Institute for International Law and the Humanities Seminar, Melbourne Law School..
  • Hickey, Robin. (2011), Structure of the Definition of Slavery and the Substance of Ownership. Conference of the Legal Parameters of Slavery, The Harvard University (W.E.B DuBois Institute; Harvard Law School; and the Harvard Department of Sociology)..
  • Hickey, Robin. & Harding, Matthew. (2010), Bijural Ambiguity and Values in Land Registration Systems, Modern Studies in Property Law Biennial Conference. University of Oxford..
  • Hickey, Robin. (2010), Exploring the Conceptual Structure of the Definition of Slavery, Workshop on the Legal Parameters of Slavery. Rockefeller Centre Bellagio, Italy..
  • Hickey, Robin. (2010), Property Rights and the Ethics of Finding, Association for Law, Property and Society Annual Meeting. Georgetown Law School, Washington DC..
  • Hickey, Robin. (2009), Wrongful Acts and the Inertia of Property Rights in Litigation”, Common & Comparative Law Seminar Series. Queen’s University Belfast..
  • Hickey, Robin. (2008), Not Doing is No Conversion: The Requirement of a Wrongful Act in Vindicatio Situations”, Modern Studies in Property Law Biennial Conference. University of Cambridge..

Essays in edited volumes

  • Hickey, Robin. (Forthcoming). Possession Taken by Theft and the Original Acquisition of Personal Property Rights. In Modern Studies in Property Law. Oxford, Hart Publishing. 7.
  • Hickey, Robin. (2012). Seeking to Understand the Definition of Slavery. In The Legal Understanding of Slavery: From the Historical to the Contemporary. Allain, Jean Oxford: Oxford University Press. 220-241.
  • Hickey, Robin. & Harding, Matthew. (2011). Bijural Ambiguity and Values in Land Registration Systems. In Modern Studies in Property Law. Bright, Susan Oxford: Hart Publishing. 6: 285-307.
  • Hickey, Robin. (2007). Curbing the Enthusiasm of Finders. In Modern Studies in Property Law. Oxford, Hart Publishing. 4: 97-117.

Journal papers: academic

  • Hickey, Robin. & Allain, Jean. (2012). Property and the Definition of Slavery. International and Comparative Law Quarterly 61(4): 915-938.
  • Hickey, Robin. (2011). Wrongs and the Protection of Personal Property. Conveyancer and Property Lawyer 75(1): 48-57.
  • Hickey, Robin. (2006). Stealing Abandoned Goods: Possessory Title in Proceedings for Theft. Legal Studies 26(6): 584-601.
  • Hickey, Robin. (2003). Dazed and Confused: Accidental Mixtures of Goods and the Theory of Acquisition of Title. Modern Law Review 66(3): 368-383.