Building on our strong heritage and regional links, our vision is to be internationally renowned for meaningful engagement with communities and organisations and impactful research. Our mission is to undertake responsible research and enterprise that enriches the communities and organisations with which we interact.
The Unit of Assessment 18 submission for REF2021 includes two impact case studies. The case studies show variation and breadth of reach, geographically and in terms of beneficiary groups. One of our case studies builds on the longstanding and in-depth expertise of many staff who have engaged with the local community together with our students to address the gap created through the withdrawal of legal aid funding to some of the most disadvantaged populations in society; the second one represents a new area of expertise centred upon environmental law and sentencing for wildlife crimes.
The following impact case studies have been entered for the REF 2021 submission. Find out more below.
Sentencing for wildlife crime offences around the world is considered too lenient by many researchers and legal professionals. It fails to reflect the seriousness of the crimes being committed and does not serve as a deterrent for those seeking to profit from the illegal wildlife trade.
Research conducted at the University of Huddersfield has resulted in a number of recommendations around how to improve sentencing guidelines in a bid to address these issues. The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) in the UK commissioned researchers to carry out research on the topic, which formed the basis of their advocacy work in the area, informing public and political debate. Additionally, the judiciary of Sabah, Malaysia has been led by research at the University of Huddersfield, to develop and implement a set of sentencing guidelines in the region to tackle the considerable wildlife crime that is committed in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions.
The withdrawal of Legal Aid funding has restricted access to justice for some of the most disadvantaged populations in society. Huddersfield Business School researchers have sought to understand the issue, and go some way to addressing it through establishing a legal advice clinic in the heart of the town in a shopping centre in central Huddersfield.
1656 clients have benefitted from the free legal advice they have received, which empowers them to take control of their own legal problems. More than 212 students have worked as part of the Clinic, serving the needs of the community, while also gaining valuable and enriching experience that helps them to become more rounded legal practitioners, and improves their prospects for employment after graduation. Additionally, local solicitors’ firms have provided regular drop-in services, providing specialist advice, enabling them to ‘give back’ to the community, recruit students for work experience, and take on paying clients.