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Dr Robert Herian

Robert Herian

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer
  • The Faculty of Business and Law
  • The Open University Law School
  • The Law School
  • robert.herian

Professional biography

My current research focuses on socioeconomic, cultural, political and legal analyses of new technologies, systems, and data.  Further research interests include the law of equity, legal histories, civil justice, psychoanalysis, literature, and language drawing upon critical theories, philosophy, and traditional jurisprudence. 

I have presented my research at domestic and international conferences, and my work has been published in legal and non-legal peer-reviewed journals, edited collections, and via online portals including The Conversation and Critical Legal Thinking.   

I am the author of, Regulating Blockchain: Critical Perspectives in Law and Technology.

For a full list of conference papers and publications please follow my ORCID link.

I'm interested in supervising PhD projects exploring the intersections of property and contract laws, equity, technology, critical data theories, critical theories, and political economy. 

Research interests

  • Law & psychoanalysis
  • History and development of the law of equity and equitable principles
  • Law & literature
  • Critical legal theory, philosophy and jurisprudence
  • Law & technology


Teaching interests

  • Equity & trusts, civil justice and property law
  • Future/development of legal education
  • History and development of the law of equity and equitable principles
  • Critical Legal Theory
  • Law & technology

Impact and engagement

  • Member/contributor All Party Parliamentary Group on blockchain (@appg-blockchain) examining policy development and regulation of distributed ledger technologies.
  • Author and contributor to the EU Blockchain Observatory
  • Interviewee/Contributer RAND Europe report: "Distributed Ledger Technologies/Blockchain: Challenges, opportunities and the prospects for standards", May 2017 ( 

External collaborations

  • Author and contributor to the EU Blockchain Observatory
  • Member/contributor All Party Parliamentary Group on blockchain (@appg-blockchain)
  • Member of the Open University research group on blockchain technology: OpenBlockchain
  • Development of Equity & Trusts Research Network in collaboration with Kent Law School.  Activities include guest journal editorial, workshops, significant AHRC/ERSC grant to aid further development, conference stream and panel organization.
  • American Society of Law Culture and the Humanities (ASLCH)
  • Law Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia (LLHAA) 
  • EU Blockchain Observatory 



Regulating Disruption: Blockchain, GDPR, and Questions of Data Sovereignty (2018-08-01)
Herian, Robert
Journal of Internet Law, 22(2) (pp. 1 and 8-16)
Taking Blockchain Seriously (2018-07-31)
Herian, Robert
Law and Critique, 29(2) (pp. 163-171)
The Politics of Blockchain (2018-07)
Herian, Robert
Law and Critique, 29(2) (pp. 129-131)
Blockchain and the (re)imagining of trusts jurisprudence (2017-09-21)
Herian, Robert
Strategic Change: Briefings in Entrepreneurial Finance, 26(5) (pp. 453-460)
The Castrated Trustee: Jouissance and Breach of Trust (2017-04-04)
Herian, Robert
Pólemos, 11(1) (pp. 97-115)
Evolutionary Roots of Property Rights; The Natural and Cultural Nature of Human Cooperation (2017)
Szocik, Konrad and Herian, Robert
The Heythrop Journal ((Early Access))
'How long do you intend to stay?': Desire meets proscription in the subject in Henry Miller's Via Dieppe-Newhaven. (2014-04)
Herian, Robert
Liverpool Law Review, 35(1) (pp. 65-81)
Regulating Blockchain: Critical Perspectives in Law and Technology (2018-09-21)
Herian, Robert
ISBN : 9781138592766 | Publisher : Routledge
Blockchain and the Distributed Reproduction of Capitalist Class Power (2018-01-20)
Herian, Robert
In: Gloerich, Inte; Lovink, Geert and De Vries, Patricia eds. MoneyLab Reader 2: Overcoming the Hype (pp. 43-51)
ISBN : 9789492302199 | Publisher : Institute of Network Cultures
Henry Miller: obscene other of the law (2015-06-18)
Herian, Rob
In: Decker, James and Männiste, Indrek eds. Henry Miller: New Perspectives (pp. 95-108)
ISBN : 9781628921236 | Publisher : Bloomsbury Academic | Published : London
Legal Recognition of Blockchain Registries and Smart Contracts (2018-12-12)
Herian, Robert
EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum