Dr Rebecca ZAHN

Senior Lecturer

Law

Personal statement

My main research interests and specialisation lie in the fields of European Law and Labour Law (particularly European, national, and comparative labour law). I am particularly interested in trade unions and their role in empowering and protecting vulnerable workers.

I am currently working on an historical labour law project, funded by a British Academy Small Research Grant, which examines the interactions between exiled German trade unionists and British trade unions during World War Two. In this context, I am interested in different labour movements' understandings of the distribution of power in the workplace and trade unions’ potential in empowering workers in workplace decision-making

I have published widely in the field of (European) labour law including a monograph entitled New Labour Laws in Old Member States (CUP, 2017). The book was reviewed in the Edinburgh Law Review, the Industrial Law Journal (2018) 47:2 and (2018) 43(3) European Law Review where it was described by Professor Tamara Hervey as ‘socio-legal EU scholarship of the very best sort […] a rich and theoretically informed novel account of the law in practice; and inspiration for future legal developments. Beautifully produced and exquisitely written, it is a joy to read and a model for all to emulate.’

My contribution to the field of labour and employment relations research was acknowledged in 2018 when I was a runner up of the International Labor and Employment Relations Associations’ (ILERA) Luis Aparicio Prize for emerging scholars.

I have also published doctrinal work on the contract of employment (with David Cabrelli, University of Edinburgh) which was cited with approval by Lords Hope, Wilson and Sumption in the Supreme Court decision Société Générale v Geys [2012] UKSC 63. I am currently (together with David Cabrelli) examining the relationship between domination-based conceptions of social justice and labour law.

I am a case and comment editor for the Juridical Review (the Law Journal of the Scottish Universities) and an editor of Green's Employment Law Bulletin. I am on the Research Committe of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, the management board of the Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe (SULNE) and am one of the lead academics in the Civil Society Brexit Project, funded by the Legal Education Foundation until 2022, which helps civil society organisations in Scotland to prepare for Brexit consequences for themselves or their service users.

I joined the University of Strathclyde in 2015 from the University of Stirling where I held a lectureship in law.

I received my Ph.D in Law from the University of Edinburgh in 2011. My PhD thesis was awarded the European Trade Union Confederation’s Brian Bercusson Award for the best PhD thesis to have been submitted in European Labour Law between 2006 and 2010.

Publications

Trade unions, the gig economy and the feminisation of work : lessons from the past?
Zahn Rebecca
Theorising Labour Law in a Changing World (2019) (2019)
Do employers need to record working time? The Court of Justice gives guidance in Confederación Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) v. Deutsche Bank SAE
Zahn Rebecca
European Papers, pp. 1-5 (2019)
https://doi.org/10.15166/2499-8249/310
The consequences of ‘Brexit’ for the UK and Scotland’s constitutional landscape
Zahn Rebecca
Ausstieg, Souveränität, Isolation (2019) (2019)
Scottish legal education after Brexit
Da Lomba Sylvie, Fletcher Maria, Zahn Rebecca
Law Teacher Vol 53, pp. 138-147 (2019)
https://doi.org/10.1080/03069400.2019.1572269
Civic republican political theory and labour law
Cabrelli David, Zahn Rebecca
Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law (2018) (2018)
The 'European Social Model' and the UK : from Europeanization to Anglicization
Zahn Rebecca
Historical Studies in Industrial Relations Vol 39, pp. 169-204 (2018)
https://doi.org/10.3828/hsir.2018.39.6

more publications

Professional activities

Industrial Law Society Annual Conference
Invited speaker
17/9/2016
R. Zahn, ‘After the referendum and before Brexit… Where now for workers’ rights in the EU?’, European Law Blog, 28 June 2016 available at http://europeanlawblog.eu/?p=3248.
Blogger
28/6/2016
Invited talk to the Creation of Reality Group on 'The Origins of Codetermination: Tracing the British Influence'
Contributor
24/3/2016
Shaping Future Directions in EU Labour Law
Participant
1/7/2015
Labour Law Research Network Conference
Speaker
25/6/2015
London Labour Law Discussion Group
Invited speaker
4/11/2014

more professional activities

Projects

Exiled influences on German codetermination
ZAHN, Rebecca (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2020
Civil Society and Brexit
Busby, Nicole (Principal Investigator) ZAHN, Rebecca (Principal Investigator)
This joint venture between Human Rights Consortium Scotland (HRCS; a network of Scottish civil society organisations) and Scottish Universities Legal Network for Europe (SULNE) will deliver a programme of events, trainings, briefings, and information alerts tailored to the needs of civil society organisations in Scotland.
By bringing together the civil society contacts, networking, capacity building and collaborative approach of HRCS, with the legal and educational expertise of SULNE and its capacity for knowledge generation, this project will empower the Scottish third sector to engage with the process of the “EU (Withdrawal) Bill” at Westminster and in Scotland and the wider Brexit discussions. The advice generated will be politically neutral and unbiased. Findings from the project will be used to inform published research output. Impact of the project and related output on participating civil society organisations and on the third sector generally will be mapped and recorded as the project progresses.
03-Jan-2017 - 28-Jan-2019

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