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Frances Hamilton

  • Module convenor for an optional first year module Law and Society.
  • Frances also currently teaches the EU Law module.

Areas of interest

My research interests fall broadly within the area of Gender, Sexuality and the Law. Specifically, my published work has looked at European Court of Human Rights law and European Union law approaches to same-sex marriage recognition internationally. I have followed a doctrinal and comparative law-based methodology where I have analysed two closely inter-related questions (1) What role can the European Court of Human Rights and the European Union play in claims for the recognition of same-sex marriage? and (2) What further impact do pan-European courts’ approaches to same-sex marriage cases have internationally?’ In the future I am looking forward in continuing developing this research expertise together with expanding further into connected areas.

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome expressions of interest for prospective PhD students in the following areas:

  • Treatment of LGBT persons before the European Court of Human Rights
  • European Union law free movement of persons and LGBT Persons
  • On the evolving concept of marriage
  • On the recognition of marriage across borders
  • More widely connected with the area of Gender, Sexuality and the Law

Research centres and groups

  • Family, Gender and Sexuality
  • Global Law
  • Gender Sexuality and the Law Research Interest Group Northumbria University

Background

In January 2021 I was appointed Associate Professor at the University of Reading Law School where I am teaching EU law as well as validating a new first year option to be entitled Law and Society. My research is broadly in the area of Gender Sexuality and the Law. More specifically I have followed a doctrinal and comparative law-based methodology in looking at two closely inter-related questions (1) What role can the European Court of Human Rights and the European Union play in claims for the recognition of same-sex marriage? and (2) What further impact do pan-European courts’ approaches to same-sex marriage cases have internationally?’ In the future I am looking forward in continuing developing this research expertise together with expanding further into connected areas.

Prior to my present appointment I was a Senior Lecturer in Law at Northumbria University from 2009 - 2020 where I was Module Leader for Gender Sexuality and the Law (LLB) and Law and Society courses (Foundation). During my period at Northumbria University, I held numerous academic management and administrative positions relating to research and teaching including Equality Lead for Law (achieving Athena Swan Bronze in April 2020 as part of a Business and Law Faculty application) as well as being Programme Leader for the Advanced Legal Practice LLM and Head of Year One and Deputy Head of Programme on the Open Learning degree. At Northumbria University I acted as co-convenor of the Gender Sexuality and the Law Research Interest Group, where I co-organised over 20 international, national, and regional events, including international and national conferences, events designed to engage with local and national activists, a yearly seminar series, book launches and student focused events. Prior to this I was a qualified solicitor working in the City of London in firms Lovells LLP (now Hogan Lovells LLP) and Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP.

The international profile of my work is demonstrated as I have published in the UK, Italy, Florida, California and New York with high quality publishers such as Routledge, and international multiple peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Homosexuality, the European Human Rights Law Review and the Journal of Transnational Law. My recently published edited collection (as lead editor) entitled ‘Same-Sex Relationships, Law and Social Change’ published in January 2020 by Routledge in London and New York includes contributions from an international team of leading Law and Sociology authors from 5 different jurisdictions (the UK, Canada, Australia, Italy and the Republic of Ireland.) Following invitation, I have been appointed as Visiting Scholar at Pisa University Italy (postponed to 2022 due to coronavirus). I have spoken at international conferences including in Italy, Spain, US, Canada, forthcoming in France as well as across the UK. I also write for practitioner focused journals such as Family Law. Also following invitation, I am also acting as legal expert to a collaboration of Science Technology Engineering and Maths (‘STEM’) colleagues from Manchester, Northumbria and Loughborough Universities, conducting research into current resources and developing toolkits for LGBTQ+ academics and those working in STEM when travelling / working worldwide. I am assistant editor at the International Journal of Gender Sexuality and the Law.

Academic qualifications

Phd, LLM, Solicitor, FHEA, MA Cantab.

  • 2019 Northumbria University PhD by published work
  • June 2012 Northumbria University Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice and Learning
  • June 2009 Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland LLM
  • March 2006 Law Society, England and Wales Qualified Solicitor
  • June 2003 Nottingham Trent University Legal Practice Course Commendation
  • October 2000 - 2001 Regensburg University, Germany Erasmus Exchange
  • 2002 Clare College Cambridge University BA Law

Awards and honours

  • 2020 (£4,000) Winner of Journal of Legal History conference (co-applicant Dr Jennifer Aston, Northumbria University History lecturer) to host a conference on ‘A Sacred Covenant? Historic, Legal and Cultural Perspectives on the Development of Marital Law’ due to take place on 20th May 2021
  • 2020 (£1,750) Socio-legal Studies Association funding (co-applicant Elisabeth Griffiths, Associate Professor Northumbria University Law School) to host a conference on ‘The Gender Pay Gap: From History to Computer Algorithms – the Continued Inequality of Women at Work – 50 Years After the Equal Pay Act was introduced’.
  • 2019 (£2,000) Northumbria University VC Diversity and Inclusion fund to review the suitability of Higher Education Institute LGBT Travel Policies nationwide.
  • 2019 (£1,000) to act as legal expert. A group of Science Technology Engineering and Maths (‘STEM’) academics from Manchester, Northumbria and Loughborough appointed me as legal expert to investigate travel policy information for LGBT persons working in STEM, after winning a competition on the ‘subject of Game Changers in STEM’ at the Alan Turing Institute and receiving initial funding of £1,000 from Accenture Technology Consulting.
  • 2017 and 2018 (total £3,775.30) (co-applicants Laura Graham and Dr Guido Noto La Diega co-investigators) Society of Legal Scholars, to host an international conference at Northumbria University on 10 September 2018 entitled ‘Same-Sex Relationships, A New Revolutionary Era and the Influence of Legal and Social Change.’
  • 2013 Team member of Northumbria University’s Student Law Office at the time Northumbria won the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for outstanding excellence.

Memberships and Appointments

  • External Examiner University of Central Lancashire (2019 – 2022)
  • Appointed Visiting Lecturer University of Pisa, Italy (2022)
  • Assistant Editor International Journal of Gender Sexuality and the Law
  • Member of the Law Society
  • Member of the Society of Legal Scholars
  • Member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Publications