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Durham University

Durham University News


Influential Durham law expert made honorary QC

(16 January 2020)

Influential Durham law expert made honorary QC

A Durham law expert who has championed women in the legal profession and shaped new laws on extreme pornography and upskirting has been appointed an honorary Queen’s Counsel (QC).

Professor Clare McGlynn’s appointment as a QC has been approved by Her Majesty The Queen and is the highest recognition a non-practising lawyer can receive.

Clare’s research has shaped new laws criminalising image-based sexual abuse – the taking or sharing of private, sexual images without consent.

She has worked with politicians, policy makers and organisations including Rape Crisis and End Violence Against Women to strengthen current laws.

Extreme pornography laws

Her research, with colleagues, identifying the failure of the extreme pornography definition in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act (2008) to cover rape pornography was part of a national campaign for reform.

As a result, a change to the law was included in the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 and Clare’s work was cited as evidence behind the justifications for these changes.

Supporting victims

Clare’s research has also looked at justice for sexual violence survivors and has identified flaws with current laws in sexual history evidence in rape trials.

She continues to increase awareness of the impact that image-based sexual abuse – such as upskirting or ‘revenge pornography’ - has on victims.

Women lawyers

Clare’s honorary QC appointment - made by the UK’s Lord Chancellor and approved by Her Majesty The Queen - recognises this influential research, which has shaped English criminal law and policy, as well as her pioneering work on women lawyers.

She is a leading supporter of equality and women’s rights in the legal profession. Her first book The Woman Lawyer: making the difference, published in 1998, continues to serve as a foundation for much of the research and policy work in this field.

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