Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Law

When is a patent price ever “unfairly high”?

The boundaries between patent and antitrust are never crystal clear. Part of the confusion comes from patent law’s historical “monopoly” roots. In early 17th century England, those ‘letter patents’ that originated from meritorious artisans’ grants in Renaissance Venice, took an upsetting twist and degraded into a royal privilege to monopolize trades by those favored by the Crown.

Read More
MI5, the Cold War, and the Rule of Law

MI5 and Russian interference, now and then

On 21 July 2020, the UK parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee published its long-delayed report on “the Russian threat to the UK.” Although heavily redacted, the report was wide-ranging and dealt with a number of issues, including the threat to democracy, highlighting concerns about potential Russian interference in the Scottish referendum in 2014, the EU […]

Read More
Becoming a Critical Thinker by Sarah Birrell Ivory

Do you feel sorry for first year university students?

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Said by Dickens many years ago but with eerie relevance to our current situation. The global pandemic is itself an overwhelming health tragedy. Moreover, it has laid bare so many other local, national, and global issues that have been simmering beneath the surface. […]

Read More

Six books for budding lawyers [reading list]

In celebration of National Read a Book Day 2020 today, here are a list books for anyone working in, or interested in, the legal world. Studying for a law exam, or just looking for a court-based drama? Take a glimpse of the titles below and select one for yourself. My Brief Career: The Trials of […]

Read More

How text messages are helping people fight counterfeit medicine in Africa

According to World Health Organization statistics, 42% of detected cases of substandard or falsified pharmaceuticals between 2013-2017 occurred in Africa— substantially more than on any other continent. Poor, underdeveloped countries experience a penetration rate of approximately 30% of counterfeit pharmaceuticals as opposed to less than 1% in developed countries. In Ivory Coast, Adjame, the biggest […]

Read More

Human rights must be the foundation of any COVID-19 response

The escalating Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has challenged global health as never before. Within months, the disease swept across every country, exposing the fragility of our globalized world. Unlike anything seen since the Influenza pandemic of 1918, health systems have faltered under the strain of this pandemic, with cascading disruptions as borders closed, businesses shuttered, […]

Read More

Cyntoia Brown and the legacy of racism for children in the legal system

In 2004, 16-year-old Cyntoia Brown shot and killed a man who paid her for sex – a position she was forced into by an older man who took advantage of her. Brown never denied shooting the man (in fact, she was the one who called the police the next day), but she claimed it was […]

Read More

How much do you know about media law? [quiz]

If you are working in the journalism industry, studying for an exam, or just interested in media law and journalism, we have had a bit of fun putting together a light-hearted quiz on media law in the United Kingdom. Take the quiz to test your knowledge or learn something new. Featured Image Credit: Women look […]

Read More

How education could reduce corruption

We live in an era of widely publicized bad behavior. It’s not clear if there’s more unethical behavior occurring now than in the past, but communications technology allows every corrupt example to be broadcast globally. Why are we not making better progress against unethical conduct and corruption in general? Morals are the principles of good […]

Read More

Why Brexit could make it harder to fight money laundering

The prime minister says the United Kingdom will not extend the Brexit transition period. The UK is leaving transition on 31 December 2020, with or without a deal. London lawyers have questioned whether intelligence sharing has become a political bargaining chip in ongoing negotiations. The City of London is asking whether Brexit risks making the UK’s money laundering […]

Read More

Why we can’t tell if a witness is telling the truth

Imagine that you are a juror in a trial in which the chief witness for the prosecution gives evidence about the alleged crime which is completely at odds with the evidence given by the accused. One of them is either very badly mistaken or lying. On what basis will you decide which one of them […]

Read More

Why victims can sometimes inherit from their abusers- even if they kill them

It is a basic rule of English law that a person who kills someone should not inherit from their victim. The justification behind the rule, known as the forfeiture rule, is that a person should not benefit from their crimes and therefore forfeits entitlement. Many other jurisdictions have the same basic rule for fundamental reasons of public […]

Read More

The criminal justice system’s big data problem

We are now witnessing enormous potential for criminal justice reform. State legislatures and mayoral offices are beginning to respond for calls for law enforcement transparency and broad shifts in police resources. At the same time, a broad range of private sector actors have publicly announced they will distance themselves from criminal justice institutions. Gannett, the […]

Read More

Black lives matter in prisons too

Recent events have spotlighted the pervasive and historic problem of racial disparities in criminal justice treatment in the United States. Videos of people seeking to use the police for racial control as well as videos of black people being killed by police have sparked outrage across the nation, and the world. Much of the attention, […]

Read More