Roehampton Criminologist's research wins The Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize

Research into the impact of Israeli engagement with international law in relation to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) from 1967- 2009 has resulted in University of Roehampton academic Dr Maayan Geva being awarded The Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize.

Posted: 27 September 2016

image for news story Roehampton Criminologist's research wins The Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize
Dr Geva, a Lecturer in Criminology at the University, received the runner up for best dissertation for her PhD thesis: The Politics of How Law Works in War: The Case of the Israeli Military International Law Department, which was commended by the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES). Her research examines the Israeli 2008-2009 offensive in Gaza as an example of contemporary warfare, and she argues that law and military agenda have become intertwined in ‘lawfare’, the use of law as weapon of war and a condition that results in new forms of law and violence.

Dr Geva said: “My research provides a historical perspective onto the build up to the 2008-2009 Israeli offensive in Gaza. This was, on one hand, the most destructive attack in Gaza since its 1967 occupation, and on the other hand, it involved military legal practice more extensively than ever before. I argue that this operation demonstrates the contemporary state of international law, a distinctive phase in which law plays a key part in the planning and execution of state violence.”

The Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize was established in 1986 by the Leigh Douglas Memorial Fund and BRISMES in memory of Dr Leigh Douglas. The prize is awarded annually to the writer of the best PhD dissertation on a Middle Eastern topic in Social Sciences or Humanities awarded by a British University.

Dr Michele Lamb, Head of the Department of Social Sciences at Roehampton said: “I’m delighted for Maayan, I'm sure that her work will make a lasting contribution to the way we see international law developing in this highly topical and contested area. Her appointment reflects the University's continued investment in outstanding staff who ensure that students benefit from research led excellence in teaching.”

During this academic year, Dr Maayan Geva who has recently joined Roehampton is due to teach undergraduate modules on international human rights and criminal law, victims of crime and research methods. A revised version of her thesis will be released as a book later this year under the title Law, Politics and Violence in Israel/Palestine: The Israeli military International Law Department. The Criminology course offered by the Department of Social Sciences is ranked best in London (Guardian University Guide 2017).

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