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Hugh McFaul

Profile summary

Professional biography

Hugh is Head of the OU Law School and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Prior to this he was a founding member and Co-Director of the Open Justice Centre.

Research interests

Hugh has research interests in higher education policy, integrity and ethics education and technology enhanced learning. He has published widely in international academic journals and guest edited a special edition of the International Journal of Clinical Legal Education in 2020 which explored the impact of Covid lockdowns on legal education. His latest book argues for a more theoretically engaged approach to legal education.  

Teaching interests

As Co-Director of the Open Justice Centre and module chair of W360: Justice in Action, he pioneered online approaches to clinical legal education and worked to develop a range of innovative community based experiential learning opportunities for OU students by developing partnerships with national and international third sector organisations. He has written OU teaching materials on professional ethics, jurisprudence, EU law, human rights and has authored materials for the UK Civil Service.

Hugh has won several awards for his teaching and was highly commended in the 2020 Times Higher Education Most Innovative Teacher Awards

Impact and engagement

Hugh has developed innovative partnerships with civil society organsiations including a project funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission with AdviceUK on discrimination and human rights law issues. His prison engagement work featured on BBC Radio 4's Law in Action and his partnership with Support Through Court was recognised as an excellent collaborative project by the UK Justice Secretary. 


External collaborations

He has worked extensively with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to support their Education for Justice initiative, a project which was awarded UN Secretary General Innovation Award. He has advised on the development of GRACE; the UNODC's Global Resources for Anti-corruption Education portal, which aims to develop a global community of practice of anti-corruption educators. 

Hugh was the academic advisor for the critically acclaimed BBC2 / OU television documentary series The Detectives  screened in September 2017 and 2021 and is working on a forthcoming series to be broadcast in 2023. 



Supporting access to justice through volunteer training: An evaluation of an Open Educational Resource (2021-08-26)
Mcfaul, Hugh and FitzGerald, Elizabeth
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 1(5) (pp. 1-14)

Taking Clinical Legal Education Online: Songs of Innocence and Experience (2020-12-11)
McFaul, Hugh; Hardie, Liz; Ryan, Francine; Lloyd Bright, Keren and Graffin, Neil
International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, 27(4) (pp. 6-38)

A realist evaluation of student use of a virtual reality smartphone application in undergraduate legal education (2020-03)
Mcfaul, Hugh and FitzGerald, Elizabeth
British Journal of Educational Technology, 51(2) (pp. 572-589)

Does Clinical Legal Education Need Theory? (2020)
McFaul, Hugh
Asian Journal of Legal Education, 7(2) (pp. 152-163)

A mobile app for public legal education: a case study of co-designing with students (2020)
McFaul, Hugh; FitzGerald, Elizabeth; Ryan, Francine and Byrne, David
Research in Learning Technology, 28, Article 2434

Connectivity, confidentiality and confidence: Key issues in the provision of online pro bono activities (2018-09-05)
Jones, Emma; Ryan, Francine and Mcfaul, Hugh
International Journal of Clinical Legal Education, 25(2) (pp. 48-88)

Pushing the Boundaries: Legal Approaches to the Definition of Religion (2018)
Mcfaul, Hugh
Implicit Religion, 21(3) (pp. 223-238)

Beneficent Spiritist Center União do Vegetal v Secretary of State for the Home Department: [2017] EWHC 1963 (Admin): High Court of Justice (England and Wales), Queen’s Bench Division (Administrative Court): Sir Ross Cranston: 28 June 2017 [Case Note] (2017-12-13)
Mcfaul, Hugh
Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 7(1) (pp. 169-170)

Clinical legal education in the United Kingdom: Origins, growth and the technological innovations and challenges of its future (2017-05)
Jones, Emma; Mcfaul, Hugh and Ryan, Francine
German Journal of Legal Education, 4 (pp. 107-136)

Henderson v General Municipal and Boilermakers Union[2016] EWCA Civ 1049: Court of Appeal (Civil Division): Underhill, Briggs LJJ: 11 October 2016 [Case Note] (2017-03-02)
Mcfaul, Hugh
Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 6(1) (pp. 218-219)

Legal personality, minority religions and religious accommodation in Eastern Europe (2017)
Mcfaul, Hugh
Culture and Society. Journal of Social Research, 8(2) (pp. 13-30)

Lee v Ashers Baking Co Ltd & Ors[2015] NICty 2: Northern Ireland County Court: Brownlie DJ: 19 May 2015 [Case Note] (2016-09-14)
Mcfaul, Hugh
Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 5(3) (pp. 633-634)

Karaahmed v Bulgaria : Application no 30587/13: European Court of Human Rights (Fourth Section); Raimondi (President), Hirvelä, Nicolaou, Tsotsoria, Kalaydjieva, Wojtyczek, Vehabović, JJ: 24 February 2015 [Case Note] (2016-05-04)
Mcfaul, Hugh
Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 5(2) (pp. 366-366)

Habeas Corpus and the campaign for animal personhood (2015-10)
Mcfaul, Hugh
Journal of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education, 10(1) (pp. 84-88)

General Municipal and Boilermakers Union v Henderson UKEAT/73/14: Employment Appeal Tribunal: Mrs Justice Simler: 13 March 2015 [Case Note] (2015-09-11)
Mcfaul, Hugh
Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 4(3) (pp. 539-540)

R (Geller & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department[2015] EWCA Civ 45: Court of Appeal (England and Wales) (Civil Division): Patten, Tomlinson, and Floyd LJJ: 5 February 2015 [Case Note] (2015-07-23)
Mcfaul, Hugh
Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 4(3) (pp. 540-541)

Teaching legal ethics at the open university – avoiding the pitfalls of formalism (2015-03-01)
McFaul, Hugh
Revista Bio Ciencias, 3(2) (pp. (Supl 2) 20-25)

Church of Scientology of St Petersburg & Others v Russia. Application no 47191/06: European Court of Human Rights (First Section); Berro-Lefèvre, Laffranque, Pinto de Albuquerque, Sicilianos, Møse, Turković, Dedov: 2 October 2014 [Case Note] (2015-01-30)
Mcfaul, Hugh
Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, 4(1) (pp. 155-156)

Using virtual reality to enhance the law school curriculum (2023)
Jones, Emma; Ryan, Francine; McFaul, Hugh; Vince, David; Kizilkaya, Lawrence and Daniels, Jamie
In: Tharanj, Ann and Gledhill, Kris eds. Teaching Legal Education in the Digital Age: Pedagogical Practices to Digitally Empower Law Graduates
ISBN : 9780367367404 | Publisher : Routledge

Innovative technologies in UK legal education (2020-02-05)
Ryan, Francine and Mcfaul, Hugh
In: Jones, Emma and Cownie, Fiona eds. Key Directions in Legal Education National and International Perspectives (pp. 67-79)
ISBN : 9780429448065 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

Law Clinics: What, why and how? (2020)
Bleasedale, Lydia; Rizzotto, Beverley; Stalker, Rachel; Yeatman, Lucy; McFaul, Hugh; Ryan, Francine; Johnson, Nick and Thomas, Linden
In: Thomas, Linden and Johnson, Nick eds. The Clinical Legal Education Handbook (pp. 7-56)
ISBN : 978-1-911507-17-8 | Publisher : University of London Press

50 years of Clinical Legal Education: Looking Back to the Future (2020)
Hardie, Liz; Mcfaul, Hugh and Ryan, Francine
In: Claydon, Lisa; Derry, Caroline and Ajevski, Marjan eds. Law in Motion: 50 years of Legal Change (pp. 212-227)
ISBN : 978-1-4730-3148-7 | Publisher : The Open University Law School

Brexit and the Environment (2018-11)
Mcfaul, Hugh
In: Prinz von Sachsen Gessaphe, Karl August; Garcia Blesa, Juan J. and Szuka, Nils eds. Legal Implications of Brexit. Hagener Rechtswissenschaftliche Schriften (pp. 351-364)
Publisher : MV-WISSENSCHAFT | Published : Münster

Freedom of Religion and the Invention of Tradition (2018-09-28)
McFaul, Hugh
In: Giles, Jessica; Pin, Andrea and Ravitch, Frank S. eds. Law, Religion and Tradition. Law and Religion in a Global Context (pp. 119-133)
ISBN : 978-3-319-96748-6 | Publisher : Springer

Thinking About Clinical Legal Education: Philosophical and Theoretical Perspectives (2022-11-25)
Madhloom, Omar and McFaul, Hugh eds.
Emerging Legal Education
ISBN : 9780367273491 | Publisher : Routledge