Holly is a Law PhD student at UEA. After completing her law degree at UEA in 2010, Holly continued part-time to undertake an LLM in Media Law, Policy and Practice, whilst working for a National Governing Body on sports development. After a year studying at Cambridge University she returned to UEA in October 2013 to work on her doctoral thesis: Controlling the Shutter: The limits of the image and autonomy in today’s digital world.        

At UEA, Holly has taught on the undergraduate modules 'Criminal Law' and 'Internet Law'. She has also taught Postgraduate Internet Law and Governance, and International Global Media Law for the Communications Summer School.

In addition, Holly has worked with the Outreach Team to develop activities for schools on Photograph and Social Media Law and has also worked as a Research Associate for the Centre for Competition Policy. 

All Publications

Hancock, H.


Weller & Ors v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 1176. Weller case highlights need for guidance on photography, privacy and the press,

in Journal of Media Law



pp. 17-31

Full Text UEA Repository



Key Research Interests

Holly's research encompasses media law, internet law and criminal law. Her thesis seeks to discover whether the current laws regarding images strike the right balance for individual autonomy, and whether it is possible to achieve a balance between the competing rights. It also seeks to discover the legal consequences of emerging uses of images, and the potential implications these can have for autonomy. Given that more and more people own camera-enabled devices and have a social media presence, these issues are more topical than ever and of relevance to a large part of society. Even if a person does not photograph/film or own a social media profile themselves, there is a high probability that they have some form of online presence or shadow, perhaps from a very young age. When concerns about human rights are prevalent, the consequences for autonomy may be great. Holly has explored this through three case studies, namely:

1) The role of image in the criminal justice system
2) The visibility of the image, democracy and the role of the citizen journalist in today’s society
3) The impact of the image on personal life

Holly is using mixed methodologies, including empirical research - she is carrying out interviews with professionals in the field and online surveys with journalists and the general public to establish the current levels of understanding of the law. Her research has enabled her to have fantastic opportunities and meet some fascinating people, which she would recommend to anybody.

Conference Presentations

• UEA Law School Colloquium
• Postgraduate Research Student Showcase at the Forum in Norwich.

• ‘A new form of judiciary? The role of the public, images and social media in the administration of justice’ and poster presentation SLS Conference (Oxford, 2016)
• ‘The camera and the citizen journalist – a force for good?’ BILETA Conference (Hertfordshire, 2016)
• ‘The DIY Detective in a Digital Age – A helping hand or hindrance to the justice system?’ SLSA Conference (Lancaster, 2016) for which I received the 2016 UEA Award for Outstanding Presentation by a Research Student in Law
• ‘A Snapshot too far? The role of the image in criminal justice’ Southern Law PhD Conference (Portsmouth, 2015)
• ‘The impact of new technological advances on citizen photography – a changing picture?’ BILETA Conference (Bristol, 2015)


Hancock, H (2016) Weller & Ors v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 1176. Weller case highlights need for guidance on photography, privacy and the press. Journal of Media Law, Vol 8, Issue 1