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Charlotte Bishop

Charlotte Bishop
  • +44 (0)118 378 4932
  • Associate Professor in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
Co-Director of Widening Participation

Areas of interest

Dr Charlotte Bishop’s research interests lie in the areas of feminist legal theory and gender-based violence, with a specific focus on intimate partner violence and the intersections between criminal justice, criminal law, and feminist legal theory. Charlotte is co-founder and co-convenor of the UK's first Domestic Violence and the Criminal Law Network. This network brings together leading legal scholars working on a range of legal and criminal justice issues relating to intimate partner violence.

Charlotte welcomes expressions of interest from prospective PhD students in the areas of feminist legal theory and gender-based violence, broadly construed to include intimate partner violence (domestic violence), coercive control, sexual violence, pornography, intimate image abuse, and the 'rough sex' defence.

Charlotte’s current research projects include:

  1. A funded project aiming to estimate the prevalence of carer-perpetrated homicide-suicides in England and Wales and develop an evidence-based typology that can be used to categorise cases by motive, method, demographics and/or risk factors.
  2. A pilot study exploring the extent and nature of harmful sexual behaviour in schools in collaboration with the Harmful Sexual Behaviour Support Service (part of South West Grid for Learning).
  3. Reforms to the criminal justice response to victims of intimate partner violence who use fatal violence against their partner. This work combines the conceptual framework of coercive control with insights from psychology and neuroscience on traumatic defences to better understand the behaviour and reactions of victims who kill their abuser.


Charlotte teaches on the following modules:

  • Criminal Law (LLB)
  • Legal Skills (LLB)
  • Criminology (LLB)


Charlotte joined the University of Reading as Associate Professor in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice in September 2022, having previously been a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Exeter.

In recent years Charlotte has advised the Law Commission on its review of the law on intimate image abuse ('revenge porn'), with two publications cited in the final report and recommendations published in July 2022. Previous research has explored the potential for the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 to transform the response to domestic violence and abuse in England and Wales, how domestic violence, including ‘controlling or coercive behaviour’ under s 76 Serious Crime Act 2015, could be more effectively evidenced in criminal proceedings, and how courtroom participation could be made safer and more effective for witnesses who have experienced domestic violence, particularly where there is trauma. Charlotte has also conducted an SLSA-funded project with Dr Marian Duggan (Criminology, Kent) that explored the experiences of feminist academics who incorporate gender and intersectional perspectives into their teaching of criminal justice-related modules.

Charlotte makes regular media appearances to talk about issues surrounding gender-based violence and criminal justice and is passionate about raising awareness of the need to reframe discussions about 'women’s safety' to name and address male violence as the root cause. She is also frequently invited to speak at non-academic conferences and events.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD (University of Exeter)
  • LLB (first class Hons) (University of Kent)

Selected publications

  • Charlotte Bishop, 'The impact of proposed intimate image abuse offences on domestic violence and abuse' (2022) 73 Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 125–153.
  • Marian Duggan and Charlotte Bishop (2022) ‘Teaching Criminal Justice as Feminist Praxis’ in S Young and K Strudwick (eds) Teaching Criminology and Criminal Justice: Challenges for Higher Education (Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 35-56). DOI:
  • Charlotte Bishop, 'Prevention and Protection: will the Domestic Abuse Act transform the response to domestic abuse in England and Wales?' (2021) 33 Child and Family Law Quarterly 163-183.
  • Charlotte Bishop, 'Safe and Effective Courtroom Participation for Domestic Violence Complainant-Witnesses' in J Child And A Duff (eds) Criminal Law Reform Now: Proposals and Critique, (Hart Publishing, 2018).
  • Charlotte Bishop and Vanessa Bettinson, 'Evidencing domestic violence*, including behaviour that falls under the new offence of ‘controlling or coercive behaviour’' (2017) The International Journal of Evidence & Proof 22(1), 3-29.
  • Charlotte Bishop, 'Domestic Violence: Understanding the Gender Paradigm' Family Courts Journal (Autumn 2017).
  • Charlotte Bishop, 'Domestic Violence: The Limitations of a Legal Response' in S Hilder and V Bettinson (eds) Domestic Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Protection, Prevention and Intervention (Palgrave, 2016).
  • Charlotte Bishop 'Rule that proof of domestic violence for legal aid purposes must be less than 24 months old declared invalid' (2016) Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 38(3), 330–332.
  • Vanessa Bettinson and Charlotte Bishop, 'Is the creation of a discrete offence of coercive control necessary to combat domestic violence?' (2015) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 66(2) 179-197.

Non-academic publications