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News Archive

February 2008

The report is now available from the Centre's joint conference in January
2007 with Liberty and LAG entitled 'Encountering Human Rights:
Gender/Sexuality, Activism and the Promise of Law'
. We have also produced a special issue of the journal Feminist Legal Studies including some of the papers that participants gave at the conference.

To access the report please click here.

To access the special issue of Feminist Legal Studies (only available to subscribers) please click here.

If you have any questions, please contact Emily Grabham on 01227 827136.

New Edited Collection on Fathers Rights Activism and Law Reform...[more]

November 2007

Annual Lecture - Are Women Peaceful?

CentreLGS is proud to announce that Hilary Charlesworth will give our next Annual Lecture on 15th May 2008, with title Are Women Peaceful? Reflections on the role of women in peace building.

Registration for Annual Lecture open now.

For more information click here.

September 2007

The Centre has responded to the UK government's latest Discrimination Law Review Consultation Paper: 'A Framework for Fairness: Proposals for a Single Equality Bill for Great Britain'. Our response is available to download here.

July 2007

Gender Unbound

Gender Unbound was a very successful, international conference, attended by 170 scholars (including a handful of non-academic lawyers and activists). The conference provided an inter-disciplinary space in which to explore the multi-dimensional ways in which gender and sexuality scholarship is advancing. The Conference also provided a space for a range of round-tables taking forward specific Centre interests, including religion and new methodologies. Five well-known plenary speakers: Sander Gilman, Carol Smart, Rosemary Hennessy, Sylvia Tamale and Hazel Carby provided a focus for the event.

For pictures from this and other events, please see the Photo Gallery

May 2007

CentreLGS Newsletter

The May 2007 edition of the CentreLGS newsletter is available as a pdf file to download here.

1 May 2007 - Feminism with Fizz!

Feminism with fizz! Is the title of a new series of ‘conversations’ organised by Centre members at the University of Westminster.  At the first such event, on 6 February 2007, barrister-novelist Elizabeth Woodcraft joined three solicitors – Danielle Cohen, Bridget Irving and Susan Tilley – to discuss the challenges and the possibilities of Feminism and Legal Practice.  Three of the four presenters were, coincidentally but gratifyingly, ex-students of Westminster Law School (or the Polytechnic of Central London, as it was).  On Tuesday 1 May, four women judges talked about the challenges of being feminists in their judging role.  Over a glass or two of sparkling wine, Baroness Hale (first woman appointed to the judicial House of Lords), Dame Laura Cox (Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court), Siobhan McGrath (President of the Residential Property Tribunal) and Isabel Manley (an Employment Tribunal chairman) shared their experiences, ideas and hopes on the subject with an audience of practising lawyers and legal academics.  All four concluded that only the entry of many more women would change the masculine culture of the judiciary which so often works against women, while Lady Hale – herself a former law professor – observed that current injustices were often due more to gendered problems with fact-finding than the legal analysis itself.   Future conversations are planned for next academic year on Feminism and Style; Feminism and Legal Reform; Feminism and Aging; and Feminism and Policy-Making.  Anyone interested in attending should contact the organiser, senior lecturer Caroline Boulby.

April 2007

28 April 2007 - Revisiting the Material: New Directions in Gender, Sexuality and Law Studies

On April 28, 2007 the CentreLGS hosted a workshop addressing questions of materialism and materiality in relations to law, gender and sexuality. Part of the ?governance and regulation research stream, the workshop provided an opportunity to rethink previous debates about feminism and materialism, particularly in the context of neoliberalism, changing modes of labour, and debates about intersectionality. Centre Member Joanne Conaghan opened the first session by mapping the material - providing background on the conceptual history of the term in relation to feminist analysis. Kathi Weeks (Duke University, USA) posed questions about the adequacy of materialism as a term, and argued that work may be a more productive site of political struggle. Lisa Adkins (Goldsmiths, London) explored the contemporary restructuring or time and value in labour, and argued that such shifts demand an orientation towards materiality that breaks from conventional historicism. Wendy Larner (University of Bristol) provided a critical genealogy of the term neoliberalism and argued for a greater specificity of the ways in which the term is conceptualized, critiqued and deployed. Group discussions during the day also addressed the material dimensions of difference and the material versus the cultural debate. Feedback on the day was overwhelmingly positive, with many participants emphasising how much they gained from the workshop format and collective discussions.

Photos from the event may be viewed here.

26 April 2007 - Annual Lecture

The Annual Lecture for 2007 was given on Thursday 26 April at the Marylebone Campus of the University of Westminster.  This year our guest was Lois McNay, Reader in Politics at Oxford University, whose address (on “The Trouble with Recognition”, a foretaste of her forthcoming book from Polity) was well-received by an enthusiastic audience who stayed to chat with her at a reception afterwards.

To hear a recording of Lois McNay's address click here.

26 - 27 April 2007 - CentreLGS PECANS Workshop

The CentreLGS Postgraduate and Early Career Academics Network of Scholars (PECANS) Workshop took place at the University of Westminster from 26-27 April. The two-day workshop involved one day of practical workshop sessions, including ‘the writing process’ with Sally Sheldon and Nicky Priaulx, ‘how not to be a job applicant’, with Rosemary Auchmuty, Joanne Conaghan, Didi Herman and Rosemary Hunter and a session on Career Pathways for early career scholars with Davina Cooper, Sari Kouvo and Laura Beth Nielsen. We were also delighted that Lois McNay came along for an author-meets-readers session in advance of giving the annual lecture that evening. The second day of the workshop was a one-day conference on the theme of ‘beyond critique.’ The whole event was a great success, building on previous years’ workshops and forging new connections between postgraduate and early career scholars working in the areas of law, gender and sexuality from across different institutions and disciplines.

March 2007

An edited version of this interview appeared in the CentreLGS Newsletter No 3.  The full text of the interview can be read here.


8 March 2007 - Lap-dancing Discussion

On International Women's Day, the Alternative Globalisations Forum, in collaboration with the Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality, hosted a discussion of lap dancing which welcomed more than 70 students, academics, and representatives from local community organisations and service providers. In organising this event, Jane Krishnadas, Steve French and Jenny Smith responded to a request from Louise Rogers (Chair of Women's Rape & Sexual Violence Service) to promote consideration of issues arising out of the opening of a new lap dancing club in Newcastle. The organisers aimed to build on last year's Alternative Globalisations Forum workshop, which addressed global issues in our local community, and to advance collaborative learning across academia and community organisations. Participants in the discussion included academics from across the Research Institutes, from Brighter Futures, who work with prostitutes and women at risk, the Stoke Citizens' Advice Bureau's Asylum and Refugee Befriending Project, the Lilith Project, and the owner and manager of the LACE, the local lap dancing club. Academic contributions addressed cultural constructions of sex work through Suzanne Jenkins' presentation on qualitative research into students' experience of erotic dancing and through Sameena Dalwai's presentation analysing political responses to the government's closure of dance bars in Mumbai, India. Gill Brown, who has been working on women's issues with Brighter Futures for the last 20 years, commented that she had not been invited to Keele since 1974. The Alternative Globalisations Forum seeks to bridge this research gap between feminist theory and practice and to shorten the distance between the local community and the university.

January 2007

9 January 2007 – Sexual Orientation Regulations

Legal Academics urge Government to Stand Firm on New Sexual Orientation Laws

Legal academics from the Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality at the University of Kent are today urging the Government to stand firm on its commitment to lesbian and gay rights. New regulations will sooncome before Parliament outlawing discrimination against lesbians and gay men in the provision of goods, facilities and services. These proposed regulations will make it unlawful for businesses to discriminate against people on the ground of their sexual orientation.

More information

5-6 January 2007 - Encountering Human Rights: Gender/Sexuality, Activism and the Promise of Law

CentreLGS, in conjunction with the human rights organisation Liberty and the Legal Action Group, organised this conference at the University of Westminster on 5 and 6 January 2007. The aim was to establish a dialogue between activists, academics and legal practitioners on an array of issues relating to gender, sexuality and human rights in the UK including reproductive rights, the gendered effects of anti-social behaviour orders, gender and criminal justice and sexuality and asylum. We were delighted to hear from Justice Yvonne Mokgoro (Constitutional Court of South Africa), Pragna Patel (Southall Black Sisters), Zillah Eisenstein (feminist anti-racists academic and activist) and Shelagh Day and Gwen Brodsky (Poverty and Human Rights Centre, Canada). The event went very well, with many people commenting on how useful it was to have the opportunity to engage with people in other sectors on the same issues.

3 January 2007- Professor Rosemary Hunter on Woman's Hour

On 3 January, Professor Rosemary Hunter, Acting Director of the Centre, was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’, in relation to the Centre’s Encountering Human Rights Conference.  Another guest was conference plenary speaker Gwen Brodsky, from the Poverty and Human Rights Centre, Vancouver, Canada.  The interview discussed some of the reasons why women have made relatively little use of the Human Rights Act 1998 in the UK, and how human rights law has been used to advance women’s interests in Canada.  A digital audio file of the interview can be accessed on the Woman’s Hour website at:

Beyond "Feminism v Multiculturalism": Revisiting the relationship between power, beliefs, identity and values

Held at the London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London
All day on 17 November 2006

A workshop jointly organised by:

School of Law, King's College, London, LSE Gender Institute, and CentreLGS.

PDF Document Download workshop report

This inter-disciplinary workshop bought together academics from various disciplines (including law, politics, women’s studies, cultural studies and sociology), as well as non-academics, to debate the ‘feminism and cultural difference’ stalemate, and explore ways of moving through and beyond it. At its crudest, the stalemate involves two polarities: ethnic and religious minorities, alongside advocates of cultural relativism and autonomy, on the one side; and, on the other, feminists seen as targeting minorities for their veiling, female circumcision, marital and divorce practices in ways that deflect attention from relations of (post)colonial power, and from the gendered practices perpetrated by dominant constituencies and western states. While there are bodies of work that avoid this polarity, its growing power and salience within academic and policy arenas makes it worthy of further consideration and debate.

July 2007

CentreLGS launches 'Gender Unbound' Confererence 

Registrations are open for the forthcoming CentreLGS Conference, 'Gender Unbound', which will be held at the University of Keele July 9-11 2007. Gender Unbound is an international, inter-disciplinary event in gender and sexuality, with a particular focus on legal and institutional reform, embodied sites of struggle, violence, performance and the pursuit of social justice. The conference also provides a space for new methodologies, critical theoretical perspectives and engagement with emergent fields of intellectual inquiry.

We are delighted to have Hazel Carby, Sander Gilman, Rosemary Hennessy, Carol Smart and Sylvia Tamale as our plenary speakers. A draft conference timetable is now available: Draft Timetable Gender Unbound 2007. Please also see list of panels and details of how to register.

November 2006

CentreLGS PECANS Website and Directory

CentreLGS is deligted to announce the launch of the new PECANS (postgraduate and early career academics network of scholars) website! The new PECANS website is the home of the PECANS Directory, a database of current and recent doctoral research in the LGS field. Postgraduate students and early career academics can enter information about their doctoral research, to allow others to find out what their research is about. The directory is fully searchable - to add your details please visit the Pecans website at

Guardian Article on Fathers' Rights - Richard Collier (Newcastle University) and Centre Member Sally Sheldon (Kent) have published an article in today's Guardian highlighting their new edited collection Fathers' Rights Activism and Law Reform in Comparative Perspective. Read the article on the Guardian Website. 01-11-06

October 2006

CentreLGS Response to deferral of new provisions banning sexual orientation discrimination.
CentreLGS is very concerned at the news that the government may be deferring implementation of their publicly made promise to introduce regulations outlawing sexual orientation discrimination in the provision of goods and services. This deferral we are told is due to Tony Blair and Ruth Kelly’s reluctance to take on religious-based opposition to new laws of non-discrimination. For more information on our standpoint on this issue, see the CentreLGS response to the Government's Consultation over their proposals to oulaw sexual orientation discrimination

New Edited Collection on Fathers' Rights Activism
Centre member Sally Sheldon and co-editor Richard Collier's new edited collection 'Fathers' Rights Activism and Law Reform in Comparative Perspective' has now been published. The book takes a critical look at the state of the Fathers' Rights Movement in five countries, comparing the success it has enjoyed at effecting legal reform in each of them; looks at the role of equality and justice in the work of the Fathers’ Rights Movement; examines how the fathers' rights movement has borrowed from earlier social movements; and challenges the idea that fathers' rights activism can be seen as a 'backlash' to increased female power in the family and beyond.

More information about the book can be found on our New Publications page.

September 2006

Recent Publications by CentreLGS Members
See the Publications page for information about new publications by CentreLGS members.

Annual Report - Year 2
Our Annual Report for year 2 of the Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality is now available to Download:

Annual Report - Year 2

Academic Positions at the University of British Columbia

The Faculty of Law of the University of British Columbia invites applications for four to seven full time tenure-track appointments, expected to commence July 1, 2007. The appointments will likely be made at the Assistant Professor or Associate Professor level, but appointments at other ranks are possible. All appointments are subject to budgetary approval. The Faculty's primary goal is recruitment of outstanding teachers and researchers consistent with the priorities identified in the Faculty's strategic planning process. more information...

August 2006

CentreLGS to host joint conference on human rights, gender and activism with Liberty and LAG.

Conference: Encountering Human Rights: Gender/Sexuality, Activism and the Promise of Law, University of Westminster, 5 and 6 January 2006.

This conference will bring together activists, practitioners and academics to explore a range of urgent questions on gender/sexuality and human rights including:

  • how can we bring about innovative approaches to human rights within litigation and activism?
  • does the structural and philosophical basis of the Human Rights Act, and of human rights instruments generally, obscure a gender/sexuality analysis?
  • how do we open up human rights discourse in the UK to consider 'new' issues? for example, what are the human rights implications if a taxation system impacts on women in a negative way?
  • what lessons can be learnt from other jurisdictions about litigation and campaigning?

For more information, please see the conference website.

May 2006

Summer Events 2006
The two CentreLGS summer events, 'Revisiting Governing from Feminist and Queer perspectives' on 29 June and 'Up Against the Nation States of Feminist Legal Theory' on 30 June - 1 July are fast approaching. Click on the links for more information, including programme information and how to register.

Annual Lecture 2006
This year's Annual Lecture was given by Professor Wendy Brown at the University of Westminster on 19 May 2006. If you missed the lecture, or want to hear it again, you can listen the lecture 'American Nightmare: Neoconservativism, Neoliberalism and De-democratization' from this website.

Vacancy at CentreLGS
CentreLGS is currently recruiting for the following post:
£14,776 - £16,553 pa, pro rata, (0.4 FTE, 2 days or 4 half days per week).

You will provide general secretarial and clerical support to the Coordinator in organising the centre’s activities, which include seminars, conferences and hosting visiting scholars.

You will have excellent organisational and office management skills, in particular good MS Office and email skills. You should also be very accurate, confident with figures and able to work independently within a team.

For more information and an application form see:

Informal enquiries may be made to the Centre Coordinator - Anisa de Jong, email:; tel: 01227 824474

Annual Lecture 2006
Wendy Brown - Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley - who is visiting CentreLGS and will present our Annual Lecture this Friday 19th May at Westminster University, will also appear on the BBC Radio 4 programme Thinking Allowed on Wednesday 17th May between 16.00 and 16.30 . She will be interviewed by the presenter Laurie Taylor.

CentreLGS Newsletter 2006
The second CentreLGS Newsletter is now available to download. The newsletter includes Law, Cartooning and 'Dykes to Watch Out for': An interview with Alison Bechdel, information about CentreLGS events and members' recent publications. You can dowload a pdf version of the newsletter by clicking on the link below:

pdf document for downloading CentreLGS Newsletter May 2006: Issue 2

April 2006

Funded PhD Studentship:
Keele University Law School, in collaboration with the National AIDS Trust (NAT), invites applications from UK and EU students who fulfil residency requirements for a PhD Studentship on The Response of the English Legal System to People Living with HIV and AIDS (word document, opens in a new window). The Studentship, which is made available under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award scheme, provides academic fees, and a maintenance grant of £12,300 tax free per annum (plus additional support from NAT) for qualified applicants. The successful applicant will spend a proportion of their time developing their research with the Policy and Campaigns team at NAT’s offices in London.
Word Doc for Downloading PhD Advertisment and more information

March 2006

PhD Fee Waiver CentreLGS is pleased to offer one 3-year fee waiver (UK/EU fees) to a student registered at Kent Law School, who will commence their PhD in autumn 2006. To apply for this, please send your CV and research proposal by the 1st May 2006 to: Anisa de Jong, Centre Coordinator, email: A decision will be made by the end of May 2006. Please note that the PhD application itself needs to be sent directly to the institution, not via the Centre. For more information about postgraduate study with CentreLGS, please see the Training & Development section of this website.

CentreLGS Member Dr Matthew Weait (Keele) has recently been appointed to the Expert Advisory Group on AIDS (EAGA). EAGA is an advisory non-departmental public body which is non-statutory. It was established in 1985: "To provide advice on such matters relating to HIV/AIDS as may be referred to it by the Chief Medical Officers of the Health Departments of the United Kingdom". Matthew's academic interest in, and political commitment to, the impact of law on people living with HIV/AIDS stems from his voluntary work with the Legal Services Group at the Terrence Higgins Trust in the mid-1990s. Since then he has been responsible for a number of initiatives, including the ESRC funded seminar: HIV/AIDS and Law: Theory, Practice and Policy and the UK Law and HIV/AIDS Project, a web-based legal information resource.

October 2005

NEW! Photo Gallery - we now have a photo gallery page, with photos of some of our recent CentreLGS visitors. We hope to add to this with photos from Centre events in due course.

Annual Report - Our Annual Progress Report for year 1 of the Centre for Law Gender and Sexuality is now available to download:

CentreLGS Annual Report - Year 1

September 2005

Call for Papers
'Up against the Nation States of Feminist Theory' an international conference by CentreLGS 30 June - 1 July 2006. This conference addresses the changing and multi-faceted relationship between the nation-state and feminist legal theory. In the context of neo-liberal and globalising tendencies, where the nation-state is perceived as having declining relevance, this conference critically addresses the continuing significance of the nation-state to feminist legal and political theory.

Word DocumentDownload the Call for Papers

Annual Lecture 2006
CentreLGS are delighted to announce that Wendy Brown, Professor of Political Science at Berkeley, has agreed to give our 2006 Annual Lecture, entitled 'American Nightmare: Neoconservatism, Neoliberalism, and De-democratization'.
The CentreLGS annual lecture is provisionally scheduled to take place on 19 May 2006 at the University of Westminster. More information.

June 2005

The first CentreLGS Newsletter is now available. The newsletter includes Same Sex Cake Toppers and Other Marital Dilemmas: An interview with Carol Smart and Beccy Shipman by Nicola Barker, information about CentreLGS events and members' recent publications. You can dowload a pdf version of the newsletter by clicking on the link below:

pdf document for downloading CentreLGS Newsletter May 2005: Issue 1.

May 2005

Forthcoming Events 2005/2006. CentreLGS are delighted to announce a range of forthcoming events for the academic year 2005-06. These include workshops and symposia covering the three major research clusters within the centre: Healthcare and Bioethics, Cultural Studies and Governance and Regulation. More information can be found on our Events Calendar page.

January 2005

CentreLGS has produced a response to the Department for Constitutional Affairs Consultation Paper on 'Increasing Diversity in the Judiciary'. For more information and to download a copy of the response, please see the Consultation Responses page.

We are delighted to welcome Anisa de Jong as our new Centre Co-ordinator. Her academic and professional background is in human rights, asylum and immigration and co-ordinating a women's resource project working on issues relating to sexuality and religious/ethnic identities.

September 2004

The £1m AHRC Research Centre for the study of Law, Gender and Sexuality was launched on 24 September 2004 at the University of Kent. The first research centre to focus on these areas in the UK, it is the result of a partnership between Kent, Keele and Westminster Universities, and will bring together academic expertise to develop understanding of the relationship between gender, sexuality and the law. The Centre is led by Director Professor Davina Cooper and is administered from Kent. The Associate Directors are Ruth Fletcher from Keele and Rosemary Auchmuty from the University of Westminster.

It is primarily funded for five years by the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRC) with additional support from the partner institutions.

Research already underway at the Centre includes equality and anti-discrimination law, sexual violence, support services for Irish women seeking abortion, cohabitation and property rights, HIV/AIDS and gay rights in Southern Africa, male reproductivity and reproductive rights, and the relationship between lesbian and gay urban communities and British local government.

Speakers at the launch event included Professor Carl Stychin, from the University of Reading, whose talk Family Friendly?: Rights, Responsibilities, and Relationship Recognition looked at the developing agenda for the legal recognition of same-sex relationships and how it is consistent with the wider New Labour view of the family. Professor Nira Yuval-Davis also spoke at the launch on Human rights and contemporary politics of belonging. Professor Yuval-Davis, from the University of East London, examined the issue of human rights from three distinct and contemporary angles, and linked them to debates on multiculturalism and social cohesion.


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