EU Free Movement and Fundamental Rights
Stephanie's research interests fall primarily within EU law, specifically EU constitutional law, the law of the single market, Union citizenship and the EU legal framework relating to the protection of fundamental rights.
Her doctoral thesis analyses the Court of Justice's approach to adjudicating tensions between the Treaty free movement provisions and fundamental rights. It argues that the Court's adjudicative methodology offers procedural prioritisation to free movement over fundamental rights and that this has concrete consequences for fundamental rights protection. The thesis runs a diagnostic analysis of the causes of this adjudicative imbalance concluding that it is the result of historical factors and significant constitutional evolutions. This uneven adjudicative architecture is then critiqued against fundamental rights theory and the Union's contemporary constitutional framework. Ultimately an alternative model of adjudication is proposed rooted in the concept of balancing.
Stephanie has published in leading journals and internationally-collaborative edited collections on the Court of Justice's adjudication of tensions between free movement and fundamental rights. Publications include articles assessing the constitutional drivers behind a perceived judicial preference for free movement over fundamental rights; the impact of a structural preference for free movement on national housing policy, and the cross-fertilisation of concepts between the internal market and EU citizenship. Stephanie's most recent research in this area interrogates the ongoing dominance of free movement in the contemporary Union constitution and the artificial compartmentalisation of policy areas across the EU Treaties, which can lead to different approaches in practice.
EU Citizenship and Union citizens' rights in the UK
Stephanie's research in the area of EU citizenship spans both the evolution of Union citizenship in the framework of the EU constitution and the question of EU citizens' rights in the UK both before and after the UK referendum on EU membership.
In particular, she has published in internationally collaborative edited collections on the Court of Justice's contribution to the current political tensions surrounding the rights of EU citizens in their host States, using the 'benefits brake' devised in the context of the UK's pre-referendum negotiations with the EU about its relationship with the Union as a case-study for assessment of the impact of the judicial evolution of EU citizenship and the potential impact this could have on future developments in the area. Stephanie has also published in leading journals on, for instance, the Court's introduction of the 'genuine enjoyment of EU citizenship rights' test and in edited collections on the UK/EU exit negotiations in the context of citizens' rights. Her most recent research project assesses the significance of societal 'voice' in the development of law and policy in this area, as well as in the subsequent administrative implementation and judicial application of incoming rules on EU citizens' residence security in the UK.
Stephanie has also acted as UK National Expert to the European Parliament for a Report on the 'Obstacles to Free Movement for Union Citizens and their Family Members' and as co-rapporteur to the XXVI FIDE Congress on 'Union Citizenship: Development, Impact and Challenges'.