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Bharat Malkani

Dr Bharat Malkani

Reader in Law

School of Law and Politics

+44 29208 75454
Law Building, Room 3.02A, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Available for postgraduate supervision


My research and teaching lie at the intersection of human rights and criminal justice, with a particular focus on the death penalty, racism, and miscarriages of justice. My interests in these topics have led to two books: Racial Justice and the Limits of Law (Bristol University Press 2024) and Slavery and the Death Penalty (Routledge 2018). 

In 2022, I was appointed Deputy Chair of the Independent Oversight and Advisory Panel to the Criminal Justice Board of Wales, with a view to overseeing the implementation of the Anti-Racism Action Plan. You can read more about this here

I am also on the editorial board for the Journal of Law and Society





  • Malkani, B. 2019. Extradition and non-refoulement. In: Steiker, C. S. and Steiker, J. M. eds. Comparative Capital Punishment. Research Handbooks in Comparative Law Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 76-95.










Book sections




Recent research projects: 

"The use of law to tackle racial injustices"
My research on law's relationship with the struggle for racial justice has led to two publications:
'Racial justice and the limits of law' (Bristol University Press, forthcoming 2024)
'The pursuit of racial justice through legal action' (The Baring Foundation 2021)

"Reforming British law and policy on the global death penalty"
This inter-disciplinary project considers how UK law, policy, and practice has historically and contermporaneously shaped the use of the death penalty worldwide. It was funded by the British Academy "Tackling the UK's International Challenges" programme, and my co-researchers were Dr Lizzie Seal (University of Sussex); Dr Lynsey Black (Maynooth University); Dr Florence Seemungal (University of the West Indies); and Dr Roger Ball (University of Sussex). Outputs included

  • A guest-edited Special Issue of the journal Punishment & Society
  • A journal article which explores how the history of colonialism continues to shape British law, policy, and practice on the use of the death penalty today
  • A briefing document for policy-makers, NGOs, and lawyers on how to most effectively advance abolition abroad

Impact and public engagement:

I also regularly contribute to online publications, so that my research is accessible to a wider, non-academic audience. Recent publications include:

Ongoing contributions to the reseach community:

  • Journal of Law and Society: member of Editorial Board
  • International Academic Network for the Abolition of Capital Punishment: member
  • Amicus ALJ: member


Courses currently taught: 2023-24

  • Miscarriages of Justice: The Cardiff Innocence Project LLB

Courses previously taught:

  • Criminal Law LLB
  • Human Rights Law LLB
  • Human Rights and Criminal Justice LLB
  • Public International Law LLB
  • Human Rights and Criminal Justice LLM
  • Sentencing and Penal Policy LLM
  • International Human Rights Law LLM
  • The Death Penalty in Law and Practice LLM


I joined Cardiff law department in 2017 as a Senior Lecturer, and was promoted to Reader in 2022. Before this, I was lecturer in the law school at the University of Birmingham (2008-2017). At Birmingham, I set up the Birmingham Law School Pro Bono Group, and my interest in clinical legal education has continued at Cardiff where I work closely with the Cardiff University Innocence Project. 

My research and teaching interests have evolved over the course of my career. I began with an interest in the relationship between international human rights law and domestic legal systems, because this topic was central to the work I had been involved with prior to joining academia, when I worked with the American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center in Washington DC on efforts to abolish the death penalty for offenders under the age of 18. Over the years, I have developed interests in racial injustices and miscarriages of justice. 



I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Racial justice
  • Capital punishment
  • Miscarriages of justice
  • Human rights and criminal justice

Research themes


  • Race, ethnicity and law
  • Criminal procedure
  • Human rights and justice issues
  • Miscarriages of Justice
  • Death penalty