Dr Emily Ireland LLB, LLM, PhD

Lecturer Law


    Personal Statement

    Emily was appointed Lecturer in Law at the School of Law and Social Justice in June 2021. Prior to this, she completed her LLB in Law and Criminology at the University of Manchester in 2015, an LLM in Law at University College London in 2016, and a PhD in Law at the University of Adelaide in 2020.

    Emily’s research interests are in legal history, particularly socio-legal and feminist histories of the criminal law, equity, and family law. She is interested in how subordinated peoples have negotiated the law over time. Her work to date has examined the relationship of gender and the law in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Her PhD thesis examined married women’s litigation in the eighteenth-century English Court of Chancery. She has also conducted research into the intersection of the doctrine of coverture and criminal law. Emily is interested in how historical methodologies, such as history’s ‘spatial turn’ and the history of emotions, can be utilised in legal-historical scholarship.

    Emily is the author of a growing number of publications on eighteenth and nineteenth-century women and the law, including ‘Rebutting the Presumption: Rethinking the Common Law Principle of Marital Coercion in Eighteenth-and Nineteenth-Century England’ (Journal of Legal History, 2019) and 'Re-examining the Presumption: Coverture and 'Legal Impossibilities' in Early Modern English Criminal Law' (Journal of Legal History, 2022). She has also conducted research and contributed to reports for the South Australian Law Reform Institute. Emily was awarded a Dean’s Commendation for doctoral thesis excellence and a Doctoral Research Medal, awarded for the 15 highest quality theses examined at the University of Adelaide, in 2020. As part of her work on the Australian Research Council funded ‘A New History of the Law in Post-Revolutionary England’ project (a collaboration between the Universities of Adelaide and Oxford), she is currently drafting chapters for the Oxford History of the Laws: Volume IX.

    As part of her commitment to expanding the reach and inclusivity of legal history, Emily is co-director of Selden's Sister, a network for women in legal history, and the Northern Legal History Group, a research initiative based in the North West of England.

    Prizes or Honours

    • Doctoral Research Medal (The University of Adelaide, 2021)