BA (Oxford), LLB (London), MA PhD (Princeton)
University Lecturer in Law and the Open Society
Fellow of Trinity Hall
Before joining Cambridge in October 2013, David spent six years as a research fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Faculty of Law and Balliol College, University of Oxford.
David’s current research explores the nature of Data Protection especially as it intersects with the right to privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of information and freedom of research. In addition, David continues to have a research interest in bill of rights and related constitutional developments, especially in the UK and other ‘Westminster’ democracies.
David’s Data Protection and the Open Society project has developed arguments about the nature, substance and operation of the law by drawing on rigorous comparative empirical analysis using both quantitative and qualitative methods. This analysis, which draws on his background in both law and political science, has demonstrated that in terms of the application of Data Protection law to journalism, literature and the arts, large differences continue to be apparent between European Union countries. Moreover, such differences appear to reflect broader fissures in legal culture. Anglo and Germanic jurisdictions have tended to insulate journalism from Data Protection, whilst the law of Latin and East European jurisdictions stipulate onerous Data Protection standards even in this sensitive field. A strict approach here is also strongly correlated both with tight restrictions in the cognate fields of social science and biomedical research and with stringent formal Data Protection standards generally. At the doctrinal level, the project has explored, firstly, the difficulties of determining what sort of activities fall within the Data Protection derogation for journalism, art and literature and, more specifically, how Data Protection has affected the flow of information within research – an area where its stipulations are taken relatively seriously.
David’s consolidated research focuses on the origins and impacts of bills of rights especially in the UK and other Westminster-styled democracies (Australia, Canada, New Zealand). This work resulted in a publication of a single-authored OUP monograph, Delegating Rights Protection, in 2010. David’s academic work has received funding from a range of sources including the British Academy, Council of Europe, Economic and Social Research Council, European Union and Leverhulme Trust.