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Academic Advisers

Black Box Research & Consultancy


Dr Laura Higson-Bliss

Having completed her Ph.D on the use of the criminal law to govern online behaviour, Laura is able to offer workshops examining the legal consequences of irresponsible social media usage; including, though not limited to, criminal, employment and civil law repercussions. Laura is completing a British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association funded project exploring police attitudes to social media complaints. She is currently a Teaching Fellow in Law at the University of Birmingham and has shared her work widely on the implications of irresponsible social media usage, including newspaper articles, radio interviews and appearing twice on the BBC’s “The Big Questions”. Laura has experience in delivering lectures and workshops to both children and young people.


Higson-Bliss, L., (2019) 'The Protection from Harassment Act 1997: Failures by the Criminal Justice System in a Social Media Age', The Journal of Criminal Law, 83(3), pp. 217-228. 

Higson-Bliss, L., (2017) 'The Crown Prosecution Guidelines and Grossly Offensive Comment: An analysis', Journal of Media Law, 9(2), pp. 173-188. 


Dr Robert Hesketh

Dr Robert Hesketh is an academic adviser at Black Box Research and Consultancy and a lecturer at the School of Justice Studies, Liverpool John Moores University & Liverpool Centre for Policing Studies. 

He was previously an academic at the Department of Social & Political Science at Chester where he carried out research into street gang culture. 

Robert has also carried out research for Mersey Care NHS involving evaluating risk assessment policies focusing on sex and violent offenders.


Hesketh, R., (2021) 'Its scouse soldier's lad init! An examination of modern Urban street gangs on Merseyside', Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, 7(4), pp. 355-372.

Hesketh, R., and Robinson, G., (2019) 'Grafting: "the boyz" just doing business? Deviant entrepreneurship in street gangs', Safer Communities. ISSN 1757-8043. 


Dr Yusef Bakkali

Dr Yusef Bakkali is a Legacy In Action Fellow at the Stephen Lawrence Research Centre & is a doctoral researcher at the University of Sussex.

His recent research includes an article for the Sociological Review on the every-day experiences of young people involved in London "road life". Earlier in 2021 he wrote for the International Sociological Association on the ways in which Bourdieusian forms can be mobilised by those in "street" settings for the prupose of advancement both in street spaces and beyond.


Bakkali, Y., (2021) 'Road capitals: Reconceptualising street capital, value production and exchange in the context of road life in the UK', Current Sociology

Bakkali, Y., (2019) 'Dying to live: Youth violence and the munpain', The Sociological Review, 67(6), pp. 1317-1332. 


Adam Pendlebury

Adam Pendlebury is a Senior Lecturer at Edge Hill University. His research interests include sport's related violence and anti-doping measures. 

Adam is also an editorial board member of the UK division of LawInSport. He has also worked as an associate lecturer at University of Central Lancashire & Blackburn College. 


Pendlebury, A., (2016) 'The Regulation of on-the-ball Offences: Challenges in Court' , The Entertainment and Sports Law Journal 10(3), p. 3. 

Parrish, R., and Pendlebury, A., (2013) 'Sports Justice in England', European Sports Law and Policy Bulletin 1/2013. 

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Black Box Research & Consultancy