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Staff Profile

Professor Clare McGlynn

Personal web page

Professor in Durham Law School
Ref Mentor, Durham Law School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42837
Fax: +44 (0) 191 33 42801
Room number: PCL118
Advisory Board Member of the Centre for Criminal Law & Justice
Member of the Human Rights Centre

Contact Professor Clare McGlynn (email at


Clare McGlynn is a Professor of Law with particular expertise in the legal regulation of pornography, image-based sexual abuse (including ‘revenge porn’), violence against women and gender equality in the legal profession. Having practiced as a solicitor with City firm Herbert Smith Freehills and lectured at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, she moved to a Readership at Durham University in 1999 and was appointed to a Chair in Law in 2004. She has served as Deputy Head of the Law School and Deputy Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences & Health (Research) when she had specific responsibility for diversity & equality, research strategy and the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014). She was a member of the University’s Taskforce on Sexual Violence and is currently a member of the University’s governing body, University Council. Clare is also the Director of the University's ESRC Impact Acceleration Account which provides funding and support for research impact across the social sciences. Clare is a co-founder of the newly established university think-tank, the Centre for Gender and Equality in the Media.

Image-based sexual abuse: Clare’s research has developed the concept of image-based sexual abuse which captures all forms of the creation and/or distribution of private sexual images without consent (including ‘revenge porn’) (with Erika Rackley). Her research recommends specific laws to combat this phenomenon which recognise women’s rights to privacy, dignity and sexual expression and extend to cover practices such as upskirting. Her work has played a key role in national debates, including commentary in the Daily Mail, in ITV news, and in legislative debates in House of Lords. She has given evidence before the Scottish Justice Committee on proposed reforms in Scotland, recommending a new law focussing on the harms to victims, not motives of the perpetrators, as well as giving presentations to policy-makers across Iceland, Ireland and Australia.

Regulating Extreme Pornography: This work builds on earlier research justifying the criminal regulation of some forms of extreme pornography on the basis of its cultural harm. This research influenced law reform campaigns, including (‘ban Rape Porn’), which led to new criminal laws in England & Wales and Scotland. The impact of Clare’s research in this field was recognised as world-leading (4*) in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (read the full case study here). Her work has been widely debated including in The Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and on the BBC. Clare has discussed this research on the BBC’s Woman’s Hour and Law in Action (see also research briefing). Her research advances liberal justifications for pornography regulation and has been funded by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship.

Justice for Sexual Violence Survivors: Clare is also an expert on ideas of justice for survivors of sexual violence, investigating the possibilities of restorative justice in cases of sexual violence and developing the concept of kaleidoscopic justice. Her earlier work focused on feminist activism and strategy, particularly around the use of sexual history evidence in rape trials, the granting of anonymity to rape defendants and the definition of torture in human rights law. Her British Academy funded conference Rethinking Rape Law resulted in the publication of Rethinking Rape Law: international and comparative perspectives. Clare is a regular commentator in the national media on matters relating to rape law, including on sentencing reform and controversial cases involving false allegations of rape and false retractions

Research Groups

Centre for Criminal Law & Justice


Durham Law School

  • Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
  • Durham European Law Institute
  • Gender & Law at Durham
  • Human Rights Centre

School of Applied Social Sciences

Research Projects

Durham Law School

  • Grants

Research Interests

  • Image-based sexual abuse ('revenge porn')
  • Rape law and policy
  • Restorative Justice and Sexual Violence
  • Feminist Judgments and women in the legal profession
  • Legal Regulation of Pornography

Selected Publications

Authored book

  • McGlynn, C. M. S. (2006). Families and the European Union: law, politics and pluralism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (1998). The Woman Lawyer - making the difference. London: Butterworths.

Chapter in book

  • McGlynn, C., Downes, J. & Westmarland, N. (2017). Seeking Justice for Survivors of Sexual Violence: recognition, voice and consequences. In Restorative Responses to Sexual Violence: Legal, Social and Therapeutic Dimensions. Zinsstag, E. & Keenan, M. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. 179-191.
  • McGlynn, C (2010). Feminist activism and rape law reform in England and Wales: a Sisyphean struggle? In Rethinking Rape Law: international and comparative perspectives. McGlynn, Clare & Munro, Vanessa London: Routledge. 139-153.
  • McGlynn, C (2010). Marginalizing feminism: debating extreme pornography laws in public and policy discourse. In Everyday Pornography. Boyle, Karen London: Routledge. 190-202.
  • McGlynn, C (2010). R v A (no 2): a feminist judgment. In Feminist Judgments: from theory to practice. Hunter, R., McGlynn, C. & Rackley, E. Oxford: Hart. 211-227.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (2005). Reconciling Work and Family: the EU Agenda. In (Re)Producing Work: Labour Law and the Work/Family Divide. Conaghan J & Rittich Oxford University Press.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (2003). Challenging the European Harmonisation of Family Law: perspectives on 'the family'. In Perspectives for the Unification and Harmonisation of Family in Europe. Boeli-Woelki K Antwerp: Intersentia. 219-238.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (2002). Strategies for Reforming the English Solicitors' profession: An Analysis of the Business Case for Sex Equality. In Women in the World's Legal Professions. Schultz U & Shaw G Hart.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (2001). EC Legislation Prohibiting Age Discrimination: Towards a Europe for All Ages? In The Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies. Dashwood A, Spencer J, Ward A & Hillion C Hart. 3: 279-299.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (2001). Pregnancy Discrimination in EU Law. In Legal Perspectives on Equal Treatment and Non-Discrimination. Numhauser-Henning A Kluwer. 205-215.
  • McGlynn, C (1996). EC Sex Equality Law: Towards a Human Rights Foundation. In Sex Equality Law in the European Union. Hervey, T & O’Keeffe, D London: John Wiley. 239-252.

Edited book

  • Hunter, Rosemary. McGlynn, Clare. & Rackley, Erika. (2010). Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
  • McGlynn, Clare. and & Munro, Vanessa. (2010). Rethinking Rape Law: international and comparative perspectives. London: Routledge.
  • McGlynn, C. (1998). Legal Feminisms: theory and practice. Ashgate.

Journal Article

  • McGlynn, Clare, Rackley, Erika & Houghton, Ruth (2017). Beyond 'Revenge Porn': The Continuum of Image-Based Sexual Abuse. Feminist legal studies
  • McGlynn, Clare & Rackley, Erika (2017). Image-Based Sexual Abuse. Oxford Journal of legal Studies 37(3): 534–561.
  • McGlynn, Clare (2017). Rape Trials and Sexual History Evidence: reforming the law on third party evidence. Journal of Criminal Law
  • McGlynn, Clare, Westmarland, Nicole & Johnson, Kelly (2017). Under the radar: the widespread use of 'Out of Court resolutions' in policing domestic violence and abuse in the UK. British journal of criminology
  • Ward, Ian & McGlynn, Clare (2016). Women, Law and John Stuart Mill. Women's History Review 25(2): 227-253.
  • McGlynn, C. & Ward, I. (2014). Would John Stuart Mill have Regulated Pornography? Journal of Law and Society 41(4): 500-522.
  • Rackley, Erika & McGlynn, Clare (2013). Prosecuting the Possession of Extreme Pornography: A Misunderstood and Misused Law. Criminal Law Review (5): 400-405.
  • McGlynn, Clare, Westmarland, Nicole & Godden, Nikki (2012). "I just wanted him to hear me": sexual violence and the possibilities of restorative justice. Journal of Law and Society 39(2): 213-240.
  • McGlynn, Clare (2012). John Stuart Mill on Prostitution: Radical Sentiments, Liberal Proscriptions. Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies 8(2).
  • McGlynn, C (2011). Feminism, Rape and the Search for Justice. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 31(4): 825-842.
  • McGlynn, C (2011). Rape, Defendant Anonymity and Human Rights: adopting a "wider perspective". Criminal Law Review (3): 199-215.
  • McGlynn, Clare. & Rackley, Erika. (2009). Criminalising Extreme Pornography: A Lost Opportunity. Criminal Law Review (4): 245-260.
  • McGlynn, Clare., Rackley, Erika. & Ward, Ian. (2009). Judging Destricted. King’s Law Journal 20(1): 53-67.
  • McGlynn, Clare. & Ward, Ian. (2009). Pornography, Pragmatism and Proscription. Journal of Law and Society 36(3): 327-351.
  • McGlynn, Clare. (2009). Rape, Torture and the European Convention on Human Rights. International and Comparative Law Quarterly 58(3): 565-595.
  • McGlynn, Clare. (2008). Rape as “Torture”? Catharine MacKinnon and Questions of Feminist Strategy. Feminist Legal Studies 16(1): 71-85.
  • McGlynn, Clare. & Rackley, Erika. (2007). Striking a Balance: Arguments for the Criminal Regulation of Extreme Pornography. Criminal Law Review 677-690.
  • McGlynn, Clare & Rackley, Erika (2007). The Politics of Porn New Law Journal 1142-1143.
  • McGlynn, C. M. S. (2006). Families, Partnerships and Law Reform in the European Union: balancing disciplinarity and liberalisation. Modern Law Review 69(1): 92-107.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (2002). Rights for Children: the potential impact of the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights. European Public Law 8(3): 387-400.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (2001). ‘European Union Family Values: Ideologies of ‘Family’ and ‘Motherhood’ in European Union Law’. Social Politics 8: 325-350.
  • McGlynn, C. M. S. (2001). Families and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights: Progressive Change or Entrenching the Status Quo? European Law Review 26(6): 582-598.
  • McGlynn, C. M. S. (2001). Reclaiming a Feminist Vision: The Reconciliation of Paid Work and Family Life in European Union Law and Policy. Columbia Journal of European Law 7(2): 241-272.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (2001). The Europeanisation of Family Law. Child and Family Law Quarterly 13(1): 35-49.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (2000). Ideologies of Motherhood in European Community Sex Equality Law. European Law Journal 6: 29-44.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (2000). Pregnancy, Parenthood and the Court of Justice in Abdoulaye. European Law Review 25: 654-662.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (2000). The Business of Equality in the Solicitors' Profession. Modern Law Review 63: 442-456.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (1999). Women, Representation and the Legal Academy. Legal Studies 19: 68-92.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (1998). An Exercise in Futility: the practical effects of the social policy opt-out. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 49: 60-73.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (1996). Equality, Maternity and Questions of Pay. European Law Review 21: 327-332.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (1996). Pregnancy Dismissals and the Webb Litigation. Feminist Legal Studies 4: 229-242.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (1995). European Works Council: Towards Industrial Democracy? Industrial Law Journal 24: 78-84.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (1995). Re-writing the Corporate Constitution. Journal of Business Law 858-590.
  • McGlynn, C.M.S. (1994). The Constitution of the Company: Mandatory Statutory Provisions v Private Agreements. Company Law 10: 301-307.

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • McGlynn, Clare & Rackley, Erika (2017). Why ‘upskirting’ needs to be made a sex crime. The Conversation
  • McGlynn, Clare & Rackley, Erika (2015). More than just 'revenge porn': tackling the misuse of private sexual images. Holyrood
  • McGlynn, Clare & Rackley, Erika (2015). New law on 'revenge porn' is 'unlikely'to tackle hackers distributing intimate images. Holyrood
  • McGlynn, Clare & Rackley, Erika (2015). The new law against 'revenge porn' is welcome, but no guarantee of success. The Conversation
  • McGlynn, Clare & Downes, Julia (2015). Why we need a new law to combat 'upskirting' and 'downblousing'. Inherently Human
  • McGlynn, Clare & Rackley, Erika (2014). The law must focus on consent when it tackles revenge porn. The Conversation
  • McGlynn, Clare & Rackley, Erika (2014). Why criminalise the possession of rape pornography? New Statesman
  • McGlynn, C (2009). Is big brother in the bedroom? No. The Scotsman (Sunday 18 January 2009 ).
  • McGlynn, C. (1998). A law unto themselves? Times higher educational supplement
  • McGlynn, C & Rubens, T (1998). Some way to go before we find equality. The Times
  • McGlynn, C (1997). The time is ripe for parental leave. The Times
  • McGlynn, C (1997). Where men still rule. The Times

Other (Print)

  • McGlynn, C, Rackley, E & Westmarland, N (2007). Positions on the Politics of Porn: a debate on Government plans to criminalise the possession of extreme pornography.

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Law & Crime: rape law, regulation of pornography, violence against women, gender and criminal law