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Durham Law School

Staff Profiles

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 and ‘revenge pornography’, 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 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. From 2012-2015 she was Deputy Head of the Faculty of Social Sciences & Health (Research) with specific responsibility for diversity & equality, research strategy and submissions to the Research Excellence Framework (REF). She is currently a member of the University’s governing body, University Council and a member of the University’s Taskforce on Sexual Violence. 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’s research on image-based sexual abuse (also known as ‘revenge pornography’) argues for 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.

Clare’s research on extreme pornography justifies the regulation of some forms of pornography on the basis of its cultural harm and has influenced recent 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 recent Research Excellence Framework (view the 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 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 victims giving evidence in rape trials and is extracted in The Guardian. 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 continues to provid a valuable benchmark for current diversity debates (Research Briefing here).

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

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • McGlynn, C., Westmarland, N. & Downes, J. (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. Routledge.
  • 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

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Other (Print)

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