Emma completed her LL.B and LL.M (Medical Law and Ethics) at the University of Liverpool. In 2014, she received a PhD and Graduate Teaching scholarship. Her research looks at UK surrogacy regulation and practice and the need for reform. Emma teaches several modules including, Equity and Trusts, Medical Law and Tort. She has delivered lectures on the Medical Law II programme and taught on the LLM programme. Emma is a member of two research clusters within the School of Law and Social Justice; the Health Law and Regulation Unit (HLRU) and the European Children's Rights Unit (ECRU).


Emma's PhD explores UK surrogacy law and practice. It focuses on the Parental Order provisions in section 54 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA) and considers whether the conditions for applying for a parental order are too restrictive. It questions why families who do not conform to the 'nuclear ideal' are excluded from applying for a parental order, and challenges deep-rooted assumptions relating to child welfare, marriage and single parenthood. Emma develops a framework using children's rights theories and Professor John Robertson's concept of 'procreative liberty', which is used to assess the human rights implications of UK surrogacy law and regulation for intended parents and children. In 2016, Emma conducted interviews with surrogates, intended parents and practitioners to establish their views about surrogacy regulation. This empirical work has been used to help inform Emma's thesis.

Emma has presented research papers on her research interests at several conferences.  In June 2017, she received funding from the conference organisers to present a research paper on the HFEA 2008 at the 7th World Congress on Family Law and Children’s Rights (4th-7th June 2017, Dublin). In July 2016, she received funding to attend the 'Reproductive Futures Workshop' at the Centre for Health Ethics and Law, University of Southampton. In October 2015, she attended the University of Antwerp's Law Faculty 3rd Children's Rights Research Symposium, where she presented a poster of her research. Finally, in July 2015, she presented a paper at the XXXIV th International Congress on Law and Mental Health Sigmund Freud University Vienna July 12 th – 17 th, 2015. This presentation was based on her published paper, ‘Mama Mia! Serious Shortcomings With Another ‘(En) Forced’ Caesarean Section Case Re AA [2012] EWHC 4378 (Cop)’ Medical Law Reveiw (Winter 2015) 23(1): 135-143. In addition to these external conferences, she has presented twice at the University of Liverpool's Postgraduate Research Conference (2015 and 2016).

In 2014,she was invited to participate in a project called Rewriting Children’s Rights Judgments. This involved academic experts revisiting existing case law and redrafting the judgment from a children’s rights perspective. Her task was to write a commentary to accompany Professor Bridgeman's rewritten version of X & Y (Foreign Surrogacy) [2008] EWHC 3030 (Fam), a case concerning a Parental Order application and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. Emma's commentary was included in the recently published book, Rewriting Children’s Rights Judgments: From Academic Vision to New Practice, (2017) (ed H Stalford, K Hollingsworth and S Gilmore). This contribution is timely, given that surrogacy is likely to undergo a period of legal reform. In 2016, Emma and her supervisor Dr Amel Alghrani responded to the Law Commission's consultation on surrogacy law and suggested reforms to the area. As a result of increasing calls for reform, surrogacy has now been included in the Law Commission's Thirteenth Programme of Law Reform.


  • E. Walmsley, Chapter 4, Re X and Y (Foreign Surrogacy) [2008] EWHC 3030 (Fam) (Commentary), in Rewriting Children’s Rights Judgments: From Academic Vision to New Practice, Edited by H Stalford, K Hollingsworth and S Gilmore (Bloomsbury) 2017.
  • E. Walmsley, ‘Publication Review Autonomy and Pregnancy: A Comparative Analysis of Compelled Obstetric Intervention’, Journal of Professional Negligence, 2016, 32(4), 285-287.
  • E. Walmsley, ‘Book Review: Surrogacy, Law and Human Rights’, Medical Law International 2015, Vol. 15(4) 255–261.
  • Emma Walmsley and Amel Alghrani, ‘Book Review: International Surrogacy Arrangements: Legal Regulation at the International Level, K Trimmings and P Beaumont’, Child and Family Law Quarterly, Vol. 27, No 4, 2015.
  • E. Walmsley, ‘Mama Mia! Serious Shortcomings With Another ‘(En) Forced’ Caesarean Section Case Re AA [2012] EWHC 4378 (Cop)’ Medical Law Reveiw (Winter 2015) 23(1): 135-143.


  • 2014- GTA and PhD Scholarship awarded by the School of Law and Social Justice (University of Liverpool).
  • 2014- Dean’s Prize University of Liverpool- Awarded in recognition of best performance on the LLM.
  • 2014- Law Clerk’s Prize- Awarded in recognition of the best dissertation on the LLM.
  • 2011-Royal Institution (Iliff) University Undergraduate Scholarship for LLB Law in recognition of academic performance during session 2010-2011