Dr Samantha Spence

Senior Lecturer

School of Justice, Security and Sustainability

I am the Interim Course Director for Postgraduate Studies at Staffordshire University Law School. I have both academic and practical experience of the law, having worked in both national and international law firms, together with many years teaching experience in Higher Education. My research interests include critical thinking, feminist theory and international human rights, specifically the rights of women and other marginalised groups.

Over recent years, my work has involved working with the United Nations, in order to highlight abuses linked to harmful practices. I am a member of an international working group who worked for many years to push for and produce a UN Resolution on the issue. In June 2021, we were finally successful, when the UN Human Rights Council adopted the Resolution on the Elimination of Harmful Practices Related to Accusations of Witchcraft and ritual Attacks at their 47thsession. I have been personally invited to the United Nations in Geneva on several occasions, most recently to provide evidence to the Expert Consultation on Harmful Practices held by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in July 2022.

I have been invited to attend parliamentary events held in both the UK Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament, where the international working group were once again successful when the Pan-African Parliament adopted the Guidelines on Ending Harmful Practices related to the Manifestation of Beliefs in Witchcraft in November 2022.

I am a member of several international advisory boards relating to harmful practices and the rights of women and is a Visiting Professor at REVA University, India.

I teach and supervise students at all levels.

I am a member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association and I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 

Professional memberships and activities

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association

Academic qualifications

  • Visiting Professor, REVA University, India
  • PhD ‘Witchcraft Accusations and Persecutions as a Marginalisation Mechanism of Women’ Lancaster University
  • LLM (Research) ‘A Feminist Analysis of the Effect of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in South Asia’ Edge Hill University
  • LLB (Hons) Law (First Class), Edge Hill University

Expertise

  • International Human Rights Law
  • Feminism
  • Critical thinking
  • Violence against women and girls

Research interests

  • International Human Rights Law
  • Oppression of marginalised groups
  • Violence against women and girls
  • Feminism
  • Law and Society

Enterprise and commercial interests

I have worked with legal practice, in both small local and large international firms.

I am currently programme lead for the CILEx Higher Apprenticeships provision at Staffordshire University.

Publications

  • Spence, S, Fellows, E, Miti-Drummond, M, Mbuli-Robertson, S ‘Study on the Representation of Persons with Albinism in the UK: Challenges to Human Rights Protections for Persons with Albinism’ (forthcoming July 2023) 
  • Spence, S, ‘Written Intervention to the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights study pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 47/8’ (16th September 2022) OHCHR, United Nations 
  • Spence, S, ‘Verbal Intervention to the Expert Consultation on Witchcraft and Ritual Attacks’ (18th – 19th July 2022) OHCHR, United Nations, Geneva 
  • Bettels K, Grimstead D, Allsop C, Chaussee A, Bolton-King RS, Sturdy Colls, C, Chapman B, Keatley D, Tilley E, Turner J, Spence S and Marquardt A, ‘Finding the Missing and Unknown: Novel Educational Approaches to Warming up Cold Cases’ (2022) Science and Justice, Elsevier 
  • International Working Group, UN Resolution: Elimination of Harmful Practices Related to Accusations of Witchcraft and Ritual Attacks’ adopted at the 47th Human Rights Council (July 2021) A/HRC/47/L8 
  • Spence S and McGarry J, ‘Written Response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights: Call for Evidence on the Government’s Independent Human Rights Act Review’ (2021) HRA0056 Joint Committee on Human Rights, UK Parliament 
  • International Working Group, ‘Concept Note on the Elimination of Harmful Practices Related to Accusations of Witchcraft and Ritual Attacks’ (2020) United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner 
  • Spence S and McGarry J ‘Constitutional Statutes; Roots, Rationale and Recognition’ (2019) Statute Law Review, OUP 
  • Spence, S and Baker C., ‘The Challenge of Combining Agendas: Albinism and Witchcraft at the UN Human Rights Council’ (2019) Conference Paper Lancaster University (also submitted to Human Rights Law Review for publication- awaiting review) 
  • Spence, S. Witchcraft Accusations and Persecution as a Marginalisation Mechanism of Women (Cambridge Scholars, 2017) 
  • Human Rights Council, ‘Report of the Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism on the expert workshop on witchcraft and human rights’ 37th session, 26th February – 23rd March 2018 (Named in Report Produced from UN Expert Workshop) 
  • Human Rights Council, Report of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism, 34th session, 10th January 2017 (Consultant) 
  • WHRIN, ‘Witchcraft Accusations & Persecution in Nepal: 2014 Country Report’ (WHRIN, 2014) (Co-author) 
  • WHRIN ‘Exploring the Role of Nollywood in the Muti Murders of Persons with Albinism’ (WHRIN 2013) (Researcher)
UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021