Janet Ulph

Professor Janet UlphProfessor of Commercial Law
Email: janet.ulph@le.ac.uk
Telephone: 0116 252 2363

Personal details

  • LLM (Harvard Law School, USA), LLM (Cantab), Solicitor
  • Editor of the book reviews section of the Journal of Business Law
  • Special Assessor to the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund
  • Co-convenor of the Art, Culture and Heritage stream at the SLSA annual conference

I'm currently part of a group led by the Arts Council and the Museums Association working to produce ethical guidelines relating to closure of museums.

In 2014 I stepped down as Academic Director in the School of Law to take up an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellowship carrying out interdisciplinary work on the legal and ethical aspects of museum collections. I produced guidance for the museum sector on curatorially motivated disposals, considering in particular the situation where legal title was uncertain.

This work built upon a previous AHRC/ESRC Placement Fellowship. I worked at the Museums Association to provide guidance relating to financially motivated sales from collections; this now forms an appendix to the Disposals Toolkit.

I received a Leverhulme Fellowship to support my research which led to the publication of The Illicit Trade In Cultural Property: Money Laundering, Criminal and Civil Liability, and Recovery by Hart Publishing in 2012. I also provided commentary on the recovery of a statue which had been smuggled out of Libya in 2015.

I'm a member of the AHRC and ESRC Peer Review College. My teaching and research interests lie in the field of moveable property. My book Commercial Fraud: Civil Liability, Human Rights, and Money Laundering (Oxford University Press, 2006) was supported by the AHRC and has been cited with approval by the Court of Appeal in R v Glatt [2006] EWCA Crim 605, and three judgments at first instance. My publication “Retaining Proprietary Rights at Common Law through Mixtures and Changes” was cited by the Supreme Court of Canada in B.M.P. Global Distribution Inc. v Bank of Nova Scotia, 2009 SCC 15 (CanLII).


  • 2015. “Dealing with UK Museum Collections: Law, Ethics and the Public/Private Divide” International Journal of Cultural Property Issue 2-3 / August 2015, pp 177-204. Available online
  • 2013. ‘The Sale of Items in Museum Collections’ in N. Hopkins (ed), Modern Studies in Property Law, Volume 7. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • 2012. The Illicit Trade in Art and Antiquities: International Recovery and Criminal and Civil Liability. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • 2011. Markets and Responsibilities: Forgeries and the Sale of Goods Act 1979. Journal of Business Law 261 – 281.
  • 2010. Confiscation orders, human rights, and penal measures. Law Quarterly Review 126: 251-279.
  • Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Full Publication List (PDF)

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