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Durham Law School

Staff Profiles

Professor Clare McGlynn

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, rape law 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 co-founded the research group Gender & Law at Durham (GLAD) in 2007 which acts as a catalyst for gender-related research and teaching, and from 2007-2009 she served as Deputy Head of the Law School. She is currently Deputy Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health (Research) with specific responsibility for diversity & equality, research strategy and policy development, including impact, and the Research Excellence Framework (REF). She is also a member of University Council.

Clare’s research on the legal regulation of extreme pornography has shaped recent public debates, being debated in The Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and on the BBC. Clare has discussed this research on the BBC’s Women’s Hour and Law in Action (see also research briefing). This research (with Rackley) justifies the regulation of some forms of pornography on the basis of its cultural harm and has influenced recent reform campaigns (‘ban Rape Porn’) which led to a change in government policy. Her research is also advancing liberal justifications for pornography regulation and was funded by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship.

Clare is also an expert in the development of rape law and policy, most recently investigating the use of restorative justice in cases of sexual violence. 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

Clare also co-led the pioneering ESRC funded Feminist Judgments Project which put 'theory into practice' by writing the 'missing' feminist judgments in key cases (Research Briefing here). The judgments, published in Feminist Judgments: from theory to practice, powerfully demonstrate how cases could and should have been decided differently. Clare's feminist judgment challenges the House of Lords decision R v A (No 2) which reduced protections for women giving evidence in rape trials and is extracted in The Guardian. The Feminist Judgments Project has garnered considerable media attention, including articles in the Law Society Gazette, The Lawyer and 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. This research builds on Clare's earlier work into the status of women in the legal profession, particularly her 1998 book The Woman Lawyer: making the difference which provides a valuable benchmark for current diversity debates (Research Briefing here). She is an executive committee member of the Equal Justices Initiative.

Research Interests

  • Rape law and policy
  • Restorative Justice and Sexual Violence
  • Feminist Judgments and women in the legal profession
  • Legal Regulation of Pornography

Selected Grants

  • 2011: Reforming Pornography Law: liberal justifications (2011, Leverhulme Research Fellowship)
  • 2011: Reforming Pornography Law: liberal justifications (Leverhulme Research Fellowship)
  • 2009: ESRC Feminist Judgments Project (with Hunter and Rackley)
  • 2008: RETHINKING RAPE LAW (£4472.00 from The British Academy)
  • 2008: THE FEMINIST JUDGMENTS PROJECT (£37480.00 from Esrc)
  • 2007: Positions on the Politics of Porn (2007, Socio-Legal Studies Association)
  • 2003: European Family Values: law, politics and pluralism (AHRC)

Selected Publications

Articles: magazine

Articles: newspaper

  • McGlynn, C (2009). Is big brother in the bedroom? No. The Scotsman (Sunday 18 January 2009 ).
  • 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

Books: authored

Books: edited

Books: sections

  • 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.

Journal papers: academic

Journal papers: professional

Other publications: research

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