University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Charlotte Smith

Profile Picture of Charlotte Smith
  • Deputy Research Division Lead for Law
  • Co-Chair of the Law, Justice and Society research grouping
  • Module Convenor: Undergraduate Part 2 LLB module Crime and Society
  • Programme Director for the MA by Research in Legal History

Areas of interest

My research interests lie predominantly in legal history and ecclesiastical law. Much of my work has explored the impact of church-state relations upon various aspects of clergy discipline and ecclesiastical court reform in the nineteenth century, and upon the constitutional status and treatment of the Church of England in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

I have also developed my research in ways which intersect with imperial and colonial history, and my research in this area explores the transmission and experience of English law to and in British settler colonies in the nineteenth century, and the impact that this has had upon the history and formation of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.

In recent years I have also developed a keen interest in legal biography, and I have written a number of biographical pieces about the Churchmen and lawyers whom I have encountered in my research.

Postgraduate supervision

I have successfully supervised a number of doctoral candidates to completion in the fields of modern and early modern legal history and ecclesiastical law. I welcome expressions of interest from prospective PhD students in these and allied fields.


Charlotte Smith joined the School of Law in September 2002 while putting the finishing touches to her doctoral thesis at King's College London.

Academic qualifications

LLB (King's College), PhD (King's College).

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • Book Reviews Editor and member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Legal History
  • Book Reviews Editor and member of the Editorial Board of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal
  • Member of the Ecclesiastical Law Society
  • Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Anglican Chaplaincy at the University of Reading
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Selected publications

  • "A Curious Episode in the History of Appellate Jurisdiction", 74 Amicus Curiae (Summer, 2008), pp. 17–23.
  • "Allcard v Skinner (1887)" in C. Mitchell and P. Mitchell (Eds.), Landmark Cases in the Law of Restitution (Oxford: Hart, 2006).
  • "Allcard v Skinner Revisited: Historical Perspectives on Undue Influence", in E. J. Cooke (Ed.), Modern Studies in Property Law (vol. III) (Oxford: Hart, 2005)
  • "The Place of Representatives of Religion in the Reformed Second Chamber", (2003) Public Law, pp 674–696.
  • "Martin v Mackonochie/Mackonochie v Penzance: A Crisis of Character and Identity in the Court of Arches?" (2003) Legal History, vol. 24, pp. 250–272.
  • "Episcopal Seats and Proposals for Reform of the House of Lords" (2002) Kings College Law Journal, vol. 13, pp. 109–117.