Feminists resist graffiti


Events from the Feminist Legal Research Unit, and the wider community.

Upcoming events


Using rights to challenge family separation by imprisonment

6 October 2023 | 12:00 - 13:30 | School of Law and Social Justice Building 

Dr Shona Minson, British Academy Post Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford, will give the lecture. 

In the family courts the welfare of children who are separated from their parents due to abuse, harm or neglect is the ‘paramount consideration of the court’ under section 1 of the Children Act 1989. In the criminal courts, when a parent is sentenced to imprisonment, there is no guarantee that the court will even be aware of the existence of the child. As a former family lawyer Shona was bothered by this differentiated treatment and it has formed the basis for ten years of research and advocacy.

This presentation will focus on the use of child rights to challenge family separation by imprisonment, drawing on Shona’s empirical studies of the sentencing of mothers, children’s experiences of parental imprisonment during Covid lockdowns, and access to procedural justice for women in prison whose children are the subject of family court proceedings. Shona will also reflect on some ‘lessons learned the hard way’ including the challenges of ‘activist research’ which seeks to influence practice and policy, reformist/ abolitionist dilemmas when engaging in research which may be co-opted to maintain imprisonment, and how not to burnout whilst doing all of the above!


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'Thinking Theory, Research, and Practice: The Feminist Politics of Social Justice' Conference

9 - 10 November 2023 | School of Law and Social Justice Building

A joint conference from the LEX, VAWGRN, FRAN, and CSEL research networks. The two-day conference will showcase work which is feminist and transdisciplinary in orientation, and that offers innovations in theory, research, and practice relative to global social justice issues. 


Past event highlights


Women’s Legal History Symposium

1 September 2023 | School of Law and Social Justice Building

Selden's Sisters presented Celebrating Women in Legal History: The Lives and Legacies of Early Women Legal Historians. 


Conceptualising a decolonising rule of law for animals

21 June 2023 | School of Law and Social Justice Building

We were joined by Maneesha Deckha, Professor and Lansdowne Chair in Law at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. Her research expertise includes critical animal law, vegan ecofeminist theory, and postcolonial theory. Within animal law, there is growing interest to connecting the problem of animal welfare underenforcement and the self-governing nature of animal-use industries to the rule of law, a foundational constitutional and governing principle in jurisdictions across the world. That the rule of law is now globally ubiquitous is generally applauded, and this paper will explore its possible extension to animals.


Medico-Legal Regulation of Sex and Gender Identities in Childhood

23 November 2022 | Rendall Building, University of Liverpool 

A workshop hosted by the Health Law and Regulation Unit, Feminist Legal Research and Action Network, and European Children's Rights Unit.

  • Dr Aileen Kennedy, University of New England, presented on 'The Brain-Sex Binary in Law'.
  • Dr Fae Gardland, University of Manchester, and Dr Ed Horowicz, University of Liverpool, presented on 'From Clinical to Judicial Decision-Making, and Back Again in Bell v Tavistock? Preparing for the Legacy of Court Involvement in Gender Care for Minors'. 


(Re)Connecting on Gender-Based Violence

10th - 11th November 2022

This 1.5-day workshop will provide a supportive and inclusive environment that is intended to enable colleagues to (re)engage with one another about our research, hopes and fears after a challenging year of reflection, disruption and loss.


LGBT flag

An Uncharitable Alliance: A Roundtable Discussion on Mermaids v. The Charity Commission and the LGB Alliance

11 November 2022 | University of Liverpool 

In this case, Mermaids (a charity representing and advocating for transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children, young people and their families) challenges the charitable status given to the LGB Alliance. Mermaids alleges that ‘LGB Alliance is not actually tackling problems facing lesbian, gay and bisexual people, but rather seeking to prevent the resolution of problems facing transgender persons’.

In other words, they have an ‘anti-trans’ rather than ‘pro-LGB’ focus, with many of their campaigns particularly targeting the affirmation of the gender identity of trans children. This, Mermaids argues, is not a charitable purpose within the meaning of the relevant legislation.


Feminist Approaches to Sex and Gender in Law: Beyond Binaries and Legal Certification

30 September 2022 | University of Liverpool

The Feminist Legal Research and Action Network (FRAN) launch event, which was joined by Professor Davina Cooper, King's College London; Jessica Randall, University of Liverpool; and Dr Flora Renz, University of Kent. 

  • Professor Cooper presented on 'Do-It-Yourself Law-Making in Turbulent Times: Decertification as a Feminist Law Reform Project'.
  • Jessica Randall presented on 'Thinking Inside the Box: The Opposition to Trans Recognition'.
  • Dr Renz presented on 'Gender Categories in the Home: A New Focus for Feminist Legal Theory?'



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