Stephen Cretney, FBA QC is an Emeritus Fellow at All Souls College Oxford.

After Practice as a solicitor in the City he became an academic lawyer, with appointments in Kenya, Southampton and as a Fellow and Tutor in Law at Exeter College Oxford. As a Law Commissioner from 1978 to 1983 he was responsible for the Commission's family law programme.

On leaving the Commission he became Professor and Dean of the Faculty of law at Bristol University and in 1993 was elected Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College. He has served on a number of official committees dealing with the prison system, the administration of Family Law, judicial training and legal education.


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  • S M Cretney, 'Relationships: Law, Content and Form' in J Trowell and C Thorpe (eds), Re-Rooted Lives (Jordans Family Law, Bristol 2007)
  • S M Cretney, 'Royal Weddings, Legality and the Rule of Law' (2007) Family Law 159
    This is the edited text of a paper read to the annual conference of the Society of Legal Scholars, Keele University, September 2006
  • S M Cretney, 'Sir John Withers MP: The Solicitor in Private Practice and Public Life in England between the Wars' (2007) 66 Cambridge Law Journal 201
  • S M Cretney, 'The Literature of Family Law' (2006) 40 Irish Jurist (NS) 17
  • S M Cretney, Same Sex Relationships, From 'Odious Crime' to 'Gay Marriage' (OUP 2006)
    ISBN: 0-19-929773-8
  • S M Cretney, Family Law in the Twentieth Century: A History (OUP 2005)
    ISBN: 0-19-928091-6
  • S M Cretney, 'The Literature of Family Law' (2005) 40 Irish Jurist 17
    ISBN: 0021-1273
  • S M Cretney, 'The Divorce Law and the 1936 Abdication Crisis' (2004) 120 Law Quarterly Review 160

Research Interests

Family Law and its History, Legislation and Law Reform, Socio-Legal Studies

Research projects