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We are delighted to welcome three new PhD researchers who are starting with us this week. Welcome to Bryan Cowdean, Ann Owens and Georgia Stanley!

Bryan Cowdean

Bryan is a PhD researcher at the School of Law, University of Ulster (Belfast). His research explores the ‘‘Rough Sex Defence’: Is this just another layer of the myth-based victim blaming of women within the United kingdom’s legal systems?’.

Bryan holds a Master’s degree in human Rights Law and Criminal Justice Processes (LLM) from Queen’s University Belfast and an LLB in Law again from Queen’s University.

Bryan's research Interests include: Human Rights Law; Victims’ Rights; A victims right to access to justice; how victims of rape or serious sexual assault are treated within the existing policing and legal framework; domestic violence; and; the principal of consent and the use of strangulation.

Ann Owens

As a Chartered Engineer and Scientist, Ann Owens personifies what famous jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed defied logic: the integration of engineering and physics with law.

Ann sees herself as a person who can utilise the law or a contract to resolve issues. Ann identifies that many of the legal and legislative counsel given to domestic owners were short-sighted. Her literature review explores the methods to resolve disputes in domestic construction that are open to homeowners. Ann's dissertation then questioned whether S106 of the housing grant and reconstruction act should be amended so that homeowners can access statutory adjudication, deciding it should not.

Ann holds a BEng (Hons) degree in Civil Engineering and a MSc in Construction Law and Dispute Resolution. She also possesses a Harvard leadership and business diploma. It is also worth noting that besides being a CEDR mediator; she is an associate expert with The Academy of Experts, a fellow of CiArb, and a chartered member with ICE.

Georgia Stanley

Georgia Stanley is a PhD researcher at Ulster University’s School of Law. She studied Law (Single Honours) at Queen’s University Belfast from 2017 – 2020 before obtaining her Master’s degree in Gender, Conflict, and Human Rights Law with distinction at Ulster University’s Transitional Justice Institute (2020 – 2021).

Georgia’s research interests are in the area of gender-based violence, with a particular focus on the gender dynamics of domestic abuse, conflict-related sexual assault, and rape as well as the potential for law reform in this field.

Her PhD project is ‘An Investigative Analysis of the Social Stereotypes Surrounding Intoxicated Female Rape Complainants in Northern Ireland’. Georgia’s doctoral research seeks to explore the role rape mythologies play in society and their legal implications for intoxicated female rape victims in this jurisdiction.