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; legal responses to depression; and issues around mental capacity.
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.
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; co-editing with Camilla Pickles a book on obstetric violence; and a book considering how law might respond to life course theory.
- DOI: doi: 10.1136/medethics-2020-106592Fragile X Premutation Associated Conditions (FXPAC) should be adopted as a universal term covering any condition linked to the Fragile X premutation. To date, there has not been an umbrella term assigned to issues associated with the FMR1 premutation, though several defined conditions which affect some premutation carriers, namely Fragile X-associated Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (FXPOI) and Fragile X-associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS), are now commonly accepted. An overarching term covering all FX premutation conditions will help doctors in determining how the premutation might be affecting their patient; and encourage researchers to explore the interrelationships of the various conditions affecting premutation carriers.DOI: 10.1007/s10728-018-0358-This timely collection brings together philosophical, legal and sociological perspectives on the crucial question of who should make decisions about the fate of a child suffering from a serious illness. In particular, the collection looks at whether the current 'best interests' threshold is the appropriate boundary for legal intervention, or whether it would be more appropriate to adopt the 'risk of significant harm' approach proposed in Gard. It explores the roles of parents, doctors and the courts in making decisions on behalf of children, actively drawing on perspectives from the clinic as well as academia and practice. In doing so, it teases out the potential risks of inappropriate state intrusion in parental decision-making, and considers how we might address them.This book explores the intersecting issues relating the phenomenon of ageing to gender and family law. The latter has tended to focus mainly on family life in young and middle age; and, indeed, the issues of childhood and parenting are key in many family law texts. Family life for older members has, then, been largely neglected; addressing this neglect, the current volume explores how the issues which might be important for younger people are not necessarily the same as those for older people. The significance of family, the nature of family life, and the understanding of self in terms of one’s relationships, tend to change over the life course. For example, the state may play an increasing role in the lives of older people – as access to services, involvement in work and the community, the ability to live independently, and to form or maintain caring relationships, are all impacted by law and policy. This collection therefore challenges the standard models of family life and family law that have been developed within a child/parent-centred paradigm, and which may require rethinking in the turn to family life in old age. Interdisciplinary in its scope and orientation, this book will appeal not just to academic family lawyers and students interested in issues around family law, ageing, gender, and care; but also to sociologists and ethicists working in these areas.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10728-018-0358-xforeward to special issue on law and vulnerability.This article argues against the proposition that people should be denied medical treatment on the basis that they are responsible for their ill health. While it accepts that people can cause their own ill health, it argues that NHS staff are not in a position to determine the extent to which a person can be said to have contributed to their ill health in a blameworthy way. Further, that ill health is often a result of multiple causes, and it is unfair to isolate the patient to bear the costs. The article concludes by promoting a vision of relational health whereby we recognize our responsibilities to produce healthy communities and relationships.ISBN: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/cambridge-law-journal/article/nature-and-significance-of-the-right-to-bodily-integrity/79703F3BE9C5C21BB76338C050E951BCA discussion of legal and theological understandings of sex.Discussion of cross-examination of victims of domestic abuseDOI: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10691-017-9342-3In German, English translation available from author.Discussion of theories of autonomyA discussion of the nature of disability and parental responsibilities towards disabled children.Discussion of when FDR agreements must be followed at a final hearingDiscussion of contact cases where children refuse to see parentsThis article considers whether you can marry a robot.Discussion of Re W (A Child)  EWCA 772 and litigants in person in family law casesISBN: 9780198702276A textbook on professional ethics for lawyers.A discussion of posthumous parentingISBN: 9780198702269ISBN: 9781292012889A consideration of the disaiblity rights critique of an ethic of care.A discussion of Rapisarda v ColladonA discussion of the use of presumptions in interpreting the welfare principle in the Children Act 1989.Discussion of the nature of healthThis book explores at a theoretical and practical level the law's interaction with caring.ISBN: 9781849461061A discussion of whether unmarried cohabitants are discriminated against if treated unlike married couplesDiscussion of legal issues around immunization and childrenISBN: 13 9781137281395Discussion of Nicklinson and legal issues around end of lifeA discussion of the doctrine of double effectThis chapter critques the law and practices surrouding the use of surnames in marriage and for children.ISBN: 9789756760559A chapter analysing the Tyrell principle and generally cases where the victim has contributed to a crime against her/himselfISBN: 9781409453451Consideration of criminal responsibility for crimes committed by addicted people.A discussion of financial orders on dissolution of civil partnershipsText and materials on criminal lawISBN: 023001870XDiscussion of Re T (Children) on costs orders in family casesA discussion of the proposed reforms to the procedures on divorce, in the light of the work of Stephen Cretney's approach to the issueAn exploration of how a human rights approach might be used to combat elder abuse.Article on decision-makingA book on decision making techniquesInter-disciplinary collection of essays on intoxication.Textbook on medical law and ethicsISBN: 978-0-19-964640-1A discussion of the role vulnerability plays in the construction of childhood in the lawA discussion of the nature of welfare, best intersts and well being.Article on Re W and welfareConsideration of proposed reforms to the law on kidnapping.discussion of the right not to knowAn article discussing pre-nupsA chapter discussing the law on age discrimination and how that might develop.ISBN: 9780230240933discussion of Radmacher v GranatinoA book examining birth from a range of disciplines and perspectivesArticle discussing how cases involving chidlren with competing intersts should be dealt with.Article considering the case law on children's refusal of medical treatment.