Robin Hickey


  • Room 01.011 - Main Site Tower

    United Kingdom


Research output per year

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Personal profile


Robin teaches property and obligations. He is always pleased to hear from prospective research students, and welcomes enquiries about projects relating to these fields.

Robin was appointed Head of the School of the Law in April 2018. He was formerly Director of Education (2013-2016) and Acting Head of School (2016-2018).

Research Interests

Finders law, ownership, property, obligations, modern slavery, forced labour


Finalist, Inner Temple Book Prize 2011 (New Authors' Category)

Research Statement

Robin re-joined the School of Law at Queen's in 2013, having previously been a Senior Lecturer at Durham Law School and a lecturer in law at Queen's.

Robin’s research focuses on property, particularly on foundational concepts of property like “ownership” and “possession”, and how these interact with civil and criminal rules protecting property. He is currently working on a book exploring these themes (Possession and Entitlement, Hart Publishing).

Robin has special expertise in the law relating to lost and found things. His first book, Property and the Law of Finders (Hart Publishing, 2010) is the first full-length account of the legal position of finders, and was one of two books shortlisted for the Inner Temple Book Prize 2011 (New Authors' Category).

In another major current project, Robin seeks to apply common law perspectives on property to the problem of modern slavery. He was a founding member of the Research Network on the Legal Parameters of Slavery, which conducted research, funded by the AHRC, on Slavery as the Powers Attaching to the Right of Ownership. This Network brought together international academics and practitioners on slavery and property issues, with the aim of clarifying the modern definition of slavery in international law, and produced the Bellagio-Harvard Guidelines on the Legal Parameters of Slavery. The Network held two conferences at the Rockefeller Centre Bellagio and Harvard Law School, and published its findings in J. Allain (ed) The Legal Understanding of Slavery: From the Historical to the Contemporary(OUP, 2012). In addition to his published writing on the definition of modern slavery, Robin has presented widely on the issue nationally and internationally, including a plenary panel at the Association of Law, Property and Society Annual Meeting at Georgetown Law School in 2012.

External collaboration is an important feature of Robin’s work. In addition to the slavery project, he has recently edited two collections of essays - Moral Rhetoric and the Criminalisation of Squatting (Routledge 2014) with Lorna Fox-O’Mahony and David O’Mahony (Essex) and Landmark Cases in Property Law (Hart, 2015) with Simon Douglas (Oxford) and Emma Waring (York). Robin has also spent time as a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, and an International Research Visitor at Melbourne Law School. Currently he is working on a project with Professor Matthew Harding of the Melbourne Law School on a project concerning discretionary decision making in property law and its compatibility with rule of law values.


Robin is a Casenotes editor of the Conveyancer, and a Board member of the Assocation for Law, Property and Society. He also has general interests in legal theory and history. He has served on the editorial board of the journal Jurisprudence (Hart Publishing), and is a member of the Council and Publications Committee of the Irish Legal History Society.

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Research Output

Defending property: self-help, the use of force, and the concept of a property right

Hickey, R., 30 May 2019, Modern Studies in Property Law. McFarlane, B. & Agnew, S. (eds.). Oxford: Hart Publishing, Oxford, Vol. 10.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Cham: Culture & History Story of Cambodia

Killean, R., Hickey, R., Moffett, L., Viejo Rose, D., So, F. & Orn, V., 2018, Documentation Center of Cambodia. 45 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Landmark Cases in Property Law

Hickey, R. (ed.), Douglas, S. (ed.) & Waring, E. (ed.), May 2015, Hart Publishing, Oxford.

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology

  • Moral Rhetoric and the Criminalisation of Squatting: Vulnerable Demons?

    Fox O'Mahony, L. (ed.), O'Mahony, D. & Hickey, R. (ed.), Oct 2014, Taylor and Francis. 264 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthology


    Finalist, Inner Temple Book Prize 2011 (New Authors' Category)

    Hickey, Robin (Recipient), Dec 2011

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    The Conveyancer and Property Lawyer (Journal)

    Robin Hickey (Editor)

    Dec 2015 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

    Association of Law, Property and Society (External organisation)

    Robin Hickey (Board Member)

    2014 → …

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of external research organisation

    Association of Law, Property and Society Annual Meeting

    Robin Hickey (Participant)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Modern Studies in Property Law

    Robin Hickey (Participant)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Socio Legal Studies Association

    Robin Hickey (Participant)

    Apr 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


    Property and the law of finders

    Author: Hickey, R., 2009

    Supervisor: Dawson, CBE, N. (Supervisor) & Capper, D. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy