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Mr Fred Motson

Profile summary

Professional biography

After teaching Law part-time while studying for the Bar, Fred was called to the Bar in 2008 but decided to instead pursue the academic study of law. Fred began his career at the University of Westminster, achieving first lectureship and then senior lectureship. In 2016 Fred left Westminster after moving out of London to start a family. He combined a wide array of teaching and assessment-focused roles including lecturing on undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the University of Buckingham, working for Kaplan Open Learning at the University of Essex, for BPP University on their LPC and LLB programmes and working as Partnership Curriculum Leader for Law at the University of Northampton.

He also maintained strong links to the profession in providing CPD for legal professionals through Central Law Training and continues to combine his Open University role with involvement as a marking team leader for the Bar Standards Board and a Chief Examiner and Reviewer for The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

Fred has written academic texts on, inter alia, contract law, advocacy, negotiation and the law of tort.


Research interests

Fred has a wide range of research interests which include sports law, property law, environmental law, contract law and tort law. Fred has a particular interest in the intersection between law and technology, both in how technology can shape or change the practice of law and in how law responds to technological advances. Fred has a number of forthcoming projects focused on the latter, with a particular emphasis on how representations of the law in science fiction can inform legal policy today.

Fred will shortly commence his study toward a Doctorate of Philosophy with the Open University. His thesis, provisionally entitled "The Herculean Referee in the Age of Technology", will explore how the introduction of technological decision-making aids has impacted on the role of the referee in interpreting and applying the rules of sport. Fred intends to focus on the use of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in professional football and his research will examine the extent to which legal theory (particularly that of Ronald Dworkin) can inform and assist match officials in training, preparing and performing their role. He will be supervised by Professor Simon Gardiner and Professor Simon Lee.


Most recent publications

Motson, F. (2021) 'Space invaders: the legal status of meteorites in England and wales' Conveyancer and Property Lawyer, vol. 3, pp. 278. Read here (Westlaw) 

Motson, F. (2021) 'Geronimo the aplaca - the case for animals having the same legal rights as people' The Conversation, August 16 2021. Read here

Motson, F. (2021) 'Impractical Jokers: Employers' Liability for 'Horseplay'', Journal of Professional Negligence, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 73. Read here (Westlaw)


Most recent conference papers

Motson, F. (2021) 'The “accountability deficit” in sortition: is it a problem and what is the solution?' Questions of Accountability. Worcester, 1-5 November. Watch here (Routledge Prize for Best Paper - Post-Graduate Student)

Motson, F. (2021) 'The Rights of the Living Dead' Critical Legal Conference 2021: Frankenlaw. Dundee, 2-4 September.

Motson, F (2021) 'Future Law for Future Cities', Urban Assemblage : The City as Architecture, Media, AI and Big Data. London/Hatfield, 28-30 June. Watch here


Teaching interests

In his career to date, Fred has taught all of the "core" LLB subjects and has been involved in designing and leading modules in most of these areas. He has also taught across a range of qualifications from level 3 (i.e. "A" Level) to level 7 (i.e. postgraduate and professional study), including legal qualifications such as the Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course Masters and in cross-disciplinary programmes in International Relations, Diplomacy and socio-legal studies.


Impractical Jokers: Employers' Liability for 'Horseplay' (2021-06-01)
Motson, Fred
Professional Negligence, 37(2) (pp. 73-84)