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The University of Southampton
Stefan Cross Centre for Women, Equality and LawResearch

Past projects

ECHR Law, Muslim women and veiling

Dr Megan Pearson has completed a project looking at the impact of the European Court of Human Rights’ decision in 2014 in SAS v France, which upheld the French state’s ban on the niqab in public spaces, in subsequent ECHR law in this and other areas. An article, What happened to ‘Vivre Ensemble?': Developments after SAS v France was published in the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion in 2022.

Religious Freedom and Sexual Orientation Discrimination: Can the Law Enforce Mere Civility? 

Dr Megan Pearson worked on a project on conflicts between religious freedom and sexual orientation discrimination, particularly relating to the Ashers Bakery and Masterpiece Cakeshop litigations in the UK and the USA. This project arose out of a Modern Law Review sponsored workshop at the University of Birmingham with leading experts who have a wide range of views on the issues. The papers have been published as a special edition of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, published in June 2020 and available here:

Addressing the Gender Pay Gap: International, European & Comparative Approaches

This project includes two sub-projects:

a) Dr Sara Benedi Lahuerta is analysing whether the new UK Gender Pay Transparency Regulations are being effective in addressing gender pay differences in businesses, focusing, in particular, in FTSE 100 companies.

b) Dr Sara Benedi Lahuerta, Dr Claire Lougarre and Natalia Delgado are working on building a network of international experts on international, European & comparative approaches to address the gender pay gap. Several of these experts will present their research at the Stefan Cross seminar series and their expertise will be collected in an edited book.


Rethinking EU Equality Law: Towards a More Coherent and Sustainable Regime

This project was led by Dr Sara Benedi Lahuerta with Dr Ania Zbyszewska (Law School, University of Warwick)). The project brought together academics, EU policymakers, law enforcers and civil-society organisations to produce policy recommendations and achieve impact at EU level. Project activities included two seminars organised in London (May 2017) and Brussels (October 2017), which were attended by over 60 participants, including international academics (e.g. University College London, Trinity College Dublin, University of Lund, Queen’s University Belfast, KU Leuven, University of Leiden), legal secretaries from the Court of Justice (EU), Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission and many other stakeholders. Outputs included a policy paper, a policy brief, two professional videos, a website and a special issue of the International Journal of Discrimination and the Law.


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