Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Leading Law professor cited in constitutional reform debate

Tuesday, 06 March 2018

Peter Edge

Professor Peter Edge, from the School of Law at Oxford Brookes University, has been extensively cited by the Isle of Man Government on the proposed reformation of their Legislative Council.

Peter has previously gained recognition by Tynwald, the Manx equivalent of Parliament, and he attended their Tynwald day as a guest of honour in July 2017. The reforming of the Manx legislative council is groundbreaking and Peter’s most recent research has involved him discussing the role of the Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man.

Peter comments: “The office of Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man carries weight as it straddles political, religious and legal spheres.” One of Peter’s principal research interests is the intersection of law and religion and he says, “Law and Religion are often seen as very separate spheres, so when they combine, it makes for a very interesting research environment!”.

Peter has recently been studying the Bishop’s office and has released a blog post detailing his thoughts on the role. In His article he comments on the wide reaching powers currently held by the Bishop’s office. He also makes a comparative study between the the Manx  Legislative Council, which has only 9 members and one Bishop, and the House of Lords which holds 793 seats. He also highlights how the presence of the Lord Bishop, as head of a distinct Anglican diocese, means that the Island retains its distinct cultural identity.

Looking to the future, Peter tells us that “Manx politics is entering a turbulent time, so my work is particularly timely. I am currently writing an article that puts the Lisvane Review in context of constitution building in small legislatures”. Alongside this, he has a longer-term project that focuses on the interaction of the commercial and the religious, and he will be giving a paper at the Human Rights Festival “the extent to which companies can claim religious rights”.

Peter  completed his PhD on Manx Public Law at Wolfson College Cambridge in 1994. He then began his academic career at Lancashire Law School before moving to Oxford Brookes in 1999, being appointed as Reader in Law and Religion. Peter says, “My interest in religion and law arose out of an initial interest in magic and law. religion and law are both huge motivators for people's actions and thus, they need to be studied in order to understand a huge facet of society”. 

You can read more about Peter’s research on his staff page.