Personal profile


I am Senior Lecturer in Family and Child Law.

My research mostly focuses on legal issues relating to family violence, including domestic abuse and child protection. Currently, I am conducting empirical work on the relationship between domestic abuse and child contact orders. I am also interested in international aspects of family and child law, as well as theoretical approaches to these issues.

I am happy to supervise research students in these areas, and also welcome media queries.


I graduated from University College Cork with a BCL before attending King's Inns. I practiced as a barrister in Ireland for a number of years while holding a number of lecturing positions and working with the government-appointed Special Rapporteur on Child Protection.

I moved to Portsmouth in 2014, taking the position of Senior Lecturer. While at Portsmouth, I completed my PhD at the University of Nottingham on the development of the Irish child protection system.

Teaching Responsibilities

I currently lecture Family and Child Law to Level 5 and Level 6 students, as well as International Family Law to LLM students. I have previously lectured Public Law and Jurisprudence.

While working in Ireland, I taught a range of subjects including Family and Child Law, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Jurisprudence. I have also taught aspects of international family law to trainee solicitors at the Law Society of Ireland.

Research Interests

My research primarily focuses on family violence. I am particularly interested in the legal regulation and prevention of domestic abuse and child protection, and the international responses to these issues. I am also interested in the social and cultural issues that impact on the legal frameworks governing family life, especially changes in the structures of modernity and perceptions of risk.

I am currently completing a monograph on the historical sociology of Irish child protection law; this will be published by Routledge in 2020. I am also working on an empirical analysis of the role that domestic abuse plays in decisions under s 8 of the Children Act 1989.

I would be happy to supervise research students in any area of the law governing family life.

Media Availability

I am happy to take calls and emails from media on my research and am aware of the need to respond to journalists in a timely manner. At present, it is best to contact me initially by email. 

Interested journalists can also contact the University's Media and Communications team for support and advice on all media engagement, including out of hours.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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