Richard Brant


In addition to several years’ experience of teaching law (at Lancaster, Bolton, Manchester and Edge Hill University), Richard previously worked in practice, as an administrator, paralegal and fee-earner at Horwich Farrelly, DAC Beachcroft and DWF, solicitors (in the areas of professional and commercial risk, legal costs, industrial disease and small claims road traffic accident cases). Richard is a qualified barrister (non-practising) and was called to the Bar by The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn. Richard also gained experience working on the Hillsborough investigation for the Independent Police Complaints Commission, as an investigative researcher.

Richard is nearing completion of his Ph.D. at the University of Manchester and is in receipt of the prestigious President’s Doctoral Scholar Award.

Richard’s thesis arises out of a critical discussion of the findings following an in-depth examination of the position of the European Union on the secession of a region/territory from a Member State. It is grounded in recent events, such as Catalonia’s unlawful declaration of independence in October 2017, Scotland’s independence referendum in September 2014 and the SNP’s push for independence within the EU (‘IndyRef2’), in light of the UK’s impending withdrawal from the EU. This examination has focussed on an analysis of the position of the EU with respect to, both, the legality and consequences of secession, with particular reference to unilateral (unconstitutional) secession and the question over the continuity/discontinuity of EU membership. The position of the EU (broadly conceived) has been determined by/from: (i) provisions of the Treaties; (ii) the fundamental values of the EU; (iii) principles of the EU/Treaties; (iv) statements by representatives of/from the EU’s political institutions, and; (v) the ‘spirit’ of the Treaties and the normative foundations of the EU, notably the objectives of the Treaties and the nature of the EU.


  • LL.B. (hons) in Law (First Class), Lancaster University, 2009.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Bar Vocational Course), Manchester Metropolitan University, 2010.
  • Non-practising barrister (The Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn). Year of Call: 2010.
  • LL.M in Law (Distinction), Lancaster University, 2011.
  • Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


  • LAW 1006 Lawyers’ Skills
  • LAW 2006 Advanced Lawyers’ Skills
  • LAW 2001 European Union Constitutional Law
  • LAW 2004 European Union Substantive Law
  • LAW 1002 Public Law 1
  • LAW 1004 Public Law 2

Conference Papers

  • Richard Brant, ‘Undermining Devolution at Depth: The implications for the devolution of environmental powers of the Infrastructure Act 2015 and the practice of hydraulic fracturing’ SLS (Society of Legal Scholars) Annual Conference 2018 (Environmental Law Panel), Queen Mary University, London

Research Interests

  • Secession in the context of EU Law