I have written on criminal, family and medical law. I focus on how the law interacts with the important things in life: not money, companies or insurance; but love, friendship and intimacy. In my work I seek to develop ways the law can recognise and value the goods in activities such as carework and sex, while protecting people from the harms that so often result. I draw particularly on feminist ethic of care and relational theory in developing my thinking.
Family Law I have written a popular textbook in this subject and edited several books on theoretical issues in family law. I have discussed domestic abuse, children’s rights and the nature of marriage. I am a member of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and an editor of the Child and Family Law Quarterly.
Medical Law I have written a leading textbook on this subject. I am particularly interested in the regulation of pregnancy and childbirth; legal responses to depression; and issues around mental capacity. I have co-edited with Camilla Pickles books on obstetric violence and intimate examinations during labour.
Criminal Law I have produced two best-selling textbooks on criminal law and have researched the law on sexual offences.
Elder Law I have written a leading monograph on the law’s treatment of older people and edited a collection of essays on issues surrounding dementia.
Care Law My book, Caring and the Law, explores the law’s treatment of caring and how adopting an ethic of care could transform the law.
Law and Vulnerability Vulnerable Adults and the Law explores the nature of human vulnerability and its relevance to the law. In Vulnerability, Childhood and the Law I have explored the law's conception of childhood vulneariblity. My most recent book, Law and the Relational Self, explores how the law could be reshaped to focus on relationships rather than individual rights.
Professional Legal Ethics My text, Legal Ethics, is a popular textbook on professional ethics for lawyers.
Current projects My current projects include an co-edited collection on disability and family law (with Bev Clough); a book on sexual offences with Michelle Madden Dempsey; co-authorering with Imogen Goold a book Debating Autonomy; a book on suicide prevention; and a book considering how law might respond to life course theory.
- This book examines the controversial and repercussive contention that an objective of the law should be to promote personal morality - to make people ethically better. It surveys a number of domains, including criminal law, tort law, contract law, family law, and medical law (particularly the realm of moral enhancement technologies) asking for each: (a) Does the existing law seek to promote personal morality? (b) If so, what is the account of morality promoted, and what is the substantive content? (c) Does it work? and (d) Is this a legitimate objective?DOI: doi: 10.1136/medethics-2020-106592