Professor Erika Rackley, LLB, PhD
Erika Rackley is a professor in law with particular expertise in judicial diversity and appointments. She is Director of Research and co-convenor and co-founder of Gender & Law at Durham (GLAD), a research group based in the Law School, which acts as a focus for gender-related research and teaching.
Erika has written widely on judicial diversity, particularly in relation to the representation of women and the importance of difference-based arguments in the context of judicial diversity (research briefing here). Her pioneering work on the jurisprudence of Lady Hale has been extracted and reproduced in key reference and student texts. Her monograph, Women, Judging and the Judiciary, won the 2013 Society of Legal Scholars Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship. It argues that the key reason for judicial diversity is that the introduction of a wider variety of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences into the judiciary will inform and lead to better judgments and judging. Erika regularly comments in the media on matters relating to judicial diversity and the impact of gender on judicial decision-making, including in The Guardian, and on the BBC’s Woman's Hour and Law in Action.
In addition to her sole-authored research, Erika is also involved in collaborations with other scholars in the fields of judicial diversity, through her involvement as a member of the executive committee of the Equal Justices Initiative and as co-organiser of the Feminist Judgments Project. The ESRC-funded Feminist Judgments Project involved a large number of academics, activists and members of the legal profession and judiciary putting 'theory into practice' by writing the 'missing' feminist judgments in key cases. The judgments, published in Feminist Judgments: from theory to practice, powerfully demonstrate how cases could and should have been decided differently. The Feminist Judgments Project has garnered considerable media attention, including articles in the Law Society Gazette, The Guardian, The Lawyerand the Times Higher Education. The Project was also cited by Supreme Court Justice, Lady Hale, in her oral evidence to the House of Lords Constitution Committee inquiry into the Judicial Appointment Process, as a good illustration of the way that cases might be decided differently. The Project has inspired a number of similar projects overseas, including the Australian Feminist Judgments Project and Irish Feminist Judgments Project, as well as a collection of UKCLE-funded teaching materials.
Erika's research with Clare McGlynn on the legal regulation of extreme pornography has helped to shape and inform public debate (see research briefing here). Their work has been discussed in the Scottish Parliament, The Guardian and in the 2010 Home Office review of the Sexualisation of Young People. During 2012-2013, they worked closely with Rape Crisis (South London) and the End Violence Against Women (EVAW) on their campaign to ‘ban Rape Porn’, which lead to a change in government policy.
- Judicial diversity
- Feminist Judgments
- Women and the Legal Profession
- Legal Regulation of Pornography
- Tort Law
- Law and Literature
Law, Gender and Society
- 2008-2010: Feminist Judgments Project (with Hunter and McGlynn) (£69,000 from the ESRC)
- 2009: From Difference to Diversity: A UK Perspective on Women, Judging and the Judiciary (£16,689 from AHRC)
- 2008: Feminist Judgments - The First Steps (with Hunter and McGlynn) (Social and Legal Studies)
- 2007: International Seminar on Women in the Legal Profession (British Academy)
- 2007: Women in the Legal Professions (Society of Legal Scholars)
- 2007: Positions on the Politics of Porn (with McGlynn and Westmarland) (SLSA)
- 2007: Positions on the Politics of Porn (with McGlynn and Westmarland) (Social and Legal Studies)
- Rackley, Erika (2012). So Butler-Sloss, our women and ethnic minority lawyers aren't up to the job?. The Guardian (Thursday 31 May 2012).
- Rackley, Erika (2012). So, Lord Sumption says to be patient - we'll have a diverse bench in 2062. The Guardian (Tuesday 20 November 2012).
- Rackley, Erika. (2011). We need a more diverse supreme court. The Guardian (Tuesday 29 March 2011).
- Rackley, Erika. (2010). How feminism could improve judicial decision-making. The Guardian (Thursday 11 November 2010).
- Rackley, Erika. (2013). Women, Judging and the Judiciary: From Difference to Diversity. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
- Horsey, Kirsty & Rackley, Erika. (2011). Tort Law. Oxford: 2nd ed. Oxford University Press.
- Richardson, Janice & Rackley, Erika (2012). Feminist Perspectives on Tort Law. Abingdon: Routledge.
- Hunter, Rosemary. McGlynn, Clare. & Rackley, Erika. (2010). Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice. Oxford: Hart Publishing.
- Rackley, Erika (2013). Rethinking Judicial Diversity. In Gender and Judging. Schultz, Ulrike & Shaw, Gisela Hart Publishing. 501-519.
- Richardson, Janice & Rackley, Erika (2012). Introduction. In Feminist Perspectives on Tort Law. Richardson, Janice & Rackley, Erika Abingdon: Routledge.
- Rackley, Erika (2012). What a Difference Difference Makes: Gendered Harms and Judicial Diversity. In Women in the Judiciary. Schultz, Ulrike & Shaw, Gisela. Abingdon: Routledge.
- Hunter, Rosemary., McGlynn, Clare., & Rackley, Erika. (2010). Feminist Judgments: An Introduction. In Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice. Hunter, Rosemary., McGlynn, Clare., & Rackley, Erika. Oxford: Hart Publishing. 3-29.
- Rackley, Erika. (2010). The Art and Craft of Writing Judgments: Notes on the Feminist Judgments Project. In Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice. Hunter, Rosemary. McGlynn, Clare., & Rackley, Erika. Oxford: Hart Publishing. 44-56.
- Rackley, Erika. (2009). Difference in the House of Lords. In Feminist Legal Studies. Conaghan, Joanne. London: Routledge. III: 429-453.
- Rackley, Erika. (2008). Judging Isabella: Justice, Care and Relationships in Measure for Measure. In Shakespeare and the Law. Raffield, Paul. & Watt, Gary. Oxford: Hart Publishing. 65-79.
Journal papers: academic
- Rackley, Erika (2012). Why Feminist Legal Scholars Should Write Judgments: Reflections on the Feminist Judgments Project in England and Wales. Canadian Journal of Women and Law 24(2): 389-413.
- Rackley, Erika (2010). In Conversation with Lord Justice Etherton: Revisiting the Case for a More Diverse Judiciary. Public Law Oct: 655-662.
- McGlynn, Clare. & Rackley, Erika. (2009). Criminalising Extreme Pornography: A Lost Opportunity. Criminal Law Review 4: 245-260.
- Rackley, Erika. (2009). Detailing Judicial Difference. Feminist Legal Studies 17(1): 11-26.
- McGlynn, Clare, Rackley, Erika & Ward, Ian. (2009). Judging Destricted. King’s Law Journal 20: 53-67.
- Rackley, Erika. (2008). What a Difference Difference Makes: Gendered Harms and Judicial Diversity. International Journal of the Legal Profession 15(1-2): 37-56.
- Rackley, Erika. (2007). From Arachne to Charlotte: An Imaginative Revisiting of Gilligan’s In a Different Voice. William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law 13(3): 751-774.
- Rackley, Erika. (2007). Judicial diversity, the woman judge and fairy tale endings. Legal Studies 27(1): 74-94.
- McGlynn, Clare. & Rackley, Erika. (2007). Striking a Balance: Arguments for the Criminal Regulation of Extreme Pornography. Criminal Law Review. 677-690.
- Rackley, Erika. (2006). 'Difference in the House of Lords'. Social & Legal Studies 15(2): 163-185.
- Rackley, Erika. (2005). When Hercules met the Happy Prince: Re-Imagining the Judge. Texas Wesleyan Law Review 12(1): 213-232.
- Rackley, Erika. (2003). Reassessing Portia: The Iconic Potential of Shakespeare's Woman Lawyer. Feminist Legal Studies 11(1): 25-44.
- Rackley, Erika. (2002). Representations of the (Woman) Judge: Hercules, the Little Mermaid, and the vain and naked Emperor. Legal Studies 22(4): 602-624.
Journal papers: professional
- Rackley, Erika (2013). The Neuberger Experiment. New Law Journal 16 August: 13-14.
- Clare McGlynn. & Erika Rackley. (2007). The Politics of Porn . New Law Journal 1142-1143.