Professor Peter Edge

LLB, PhD (Cantab), SFHEA, FRSA.

Professor of Law

School of Law and Social Sciences

Peter Edge


Peter completed his PhD, on Manx Public Law, at Wolfson College Cambridge in 1994, and began his academic career at Lancashire Law School, developing a further specialism in the interaction of law and religion. He was appointed Reader in Law and Religion at Oxford Brookes University in 1999, and Professor of Law in 2003.

He has held grants to support his research and teaching from the ESRC, the AHRC, JISC, HEIF, the HEA, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, and Culture Vannin. He has acted as external examiner at undergraduate or PhD level for Cardiff University, City University of Hong Kong, Durham University, King's College London, University of Kwazulu-Natal, University of Oxford, Newcastle University and the University of Western Australia.His research students have gone on to academia, private practice, government service, and politics.

He is a member of the Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objection, which advises the Secretary of State for Defence; and the Council of Minister's Emergency Advisory Group, which advises the Manx government on emergency situations, currently the coronavirus pandemic.

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • LAW4009 Criminal Law
  • LAW6022 Dissertation in Law
  • LAW6027 Criminal Law (GDL)
  • LAW7040 Advanced Legal Research Method

Peter's main contribution to the undergraduate programme is in criminal law. He also supervises undergraduate dissertations.

At Master's level, his main contribution is to the LLM in Legal Practice. Peter was one of the validating team for the LLM, and has taught on it since its inception. He leads the distance learning skills module. He supervises a wide range of topics at this level, including topics with a religious element (such as Shariah projects), and work on any small jurisdiction with a common-law inheritance.


Peter is an experienced supervisor of projects at LLM, MPhil and PhD level, with more than twenty-five completions. He is particularly keen to supervise projects in the fields of law and religion, and the public law of small democracies, and am happy to discuss such projects before formal application to Brookes.

Peter primarily supervises in the area of law and religion. Past projects have, for instance, included religious terrorism, the right to life under ECHR and Shariah law, the identity of Arab Muslim Women, sacred sites, and religion and crime. He also supervises on the law of small jurisdictions, for instance on the role of the Privy Council in the Commonwealth Caribbean, and the development of the Manx legal profession. He particularly welcomes PhD applications in the area of the interaction between commercial and religious activity, definitional issues around religion and/or belief, and the constitutional law of the Crown Dependencies.

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Nick Brown Why does family law treat FGM and male circumcision differently? Active
Richard Fretwell Religious Freedom in a Post-Christian Age: A critical analysis of liberalism, secularism and human rights through the lens of religious freedom in education in England Active
Stephen Hurley The protection of non-religious philosophical belief in the British workplace Active
Sarah Slator Politics in the Courtroom: International Communism, the Global Anti-Apartheid Movement and the Rivonia Trial in South Africa 1963–64 Active
Craig Allen How should improper religious impulsion be regulated by the law of England and Wales? 2021
Duygu Yardımcı Cooperation Between Public Authorities and Civil Society: Forms, Drivers, Principles, Policies, Means and Tools 2021
Dr Sarah Hayes The extent to which public engagement by the religious precinct destabilises religious autonomy 2019


Professor Peter Edge has two principal research interests.

Firstly, the law of small jurisdictions with a common law inheritance, particularly the Isle of Man. His doctoral work at Cambridge University concentrated on the public law of the Isle of Man, including both constitutional and criminal law, and his publications in the area seek to show how the study of Manx law can illuminate issues of broader scholarly concern (for instance, in a study of the Manx Tynwald aimed at informing reforms to the UK House of Lords), and contribute to comparative study across small democracies. He is specialist Advisor to the Constitutional and Legal Affairs and Justice Select Committee of Tynwald.

Secondly, the interaction of law and religion within the English jurisdiction, but also in transnational law. He is a founder member of LARSN (the Law and Religion Scholars Network), and convenes the annual LARSN PhD Conference at Brookes. His current research focus is on the interaction of the commercial and the religious in law - Commercial Religion. He is a member of the Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objection (ACCO), which advises the Ministry of Defence on applications from conscientious objection.

Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, and an External Fellow at the University of Queensland Centre for Public, International and Comparative law. He was awarded the UCM Honorary Fellowship 2020 for his work with Tynwald and in Manx HE.

Research impact

Peter's work on Manx law formed the basis for an Impact Case Study in REF2021, and is continuing to contribute to public debates on law and constitutional reform in the Isle of Man.

Centres and institutes




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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

Peter is a member of the Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objection, which advises the Secretary of State for Defence.


Peter actively participates in international and national conferences in his fields. Key conference contributions include:

  • “Women’s membership of a parliament without parties: Findings from the Isle of Man”, Society of Legal Scholars, June 2023.
  • “A reform that stuck: The Legislative Council of the Manx Tynwald”, Centre for Small States, January 2023.
  • “Women candidates for election to the House of Keys”, QMU Breaking the Glass Chamber: Women, Politics and Parliament 1945-1997 (with Catriona Mackie and Alex Powell), September 2022.


  • Review of the interpretation and effectiveness of equality and human rights law relating to religion or belief, EHRC, 2014-2015 (with Vickers and Manfredi).
  • EHRC Report 97: Review of equality and human rights law relating to religion or belief, (2015) (with Vickers).

Further details

Peter also blogs, primarily on Manx law issues - see the Edge_Law blog.