Professor Erika Rackley’s research interests span judicial studies, law and gender, criminal law, torts and legal history. Alongside her sole-authored research, she has co-led large collaborative, cross-disciplinary research projects including the Feminist Judgments Project (with Rosemary Hunter and Clare McGlynn) and, more recently, the Women’s Legal Landmarks Project (with Rosemary Auchmuty). She also co-authors, with Kirsty Horsey, a leading tort law textbook, Tort Law, currently in its 7th edition.
Her individual and co-authored scholarship has shaped legislation and policy in the UK and has been widely cited by senior members of the national and international judiciary, including in a 2021 judgment of the Indian Supreme Court, and in government, parliamentary and policy/NGO reports. Her research has been supported by research grants from the AHRC, ESRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust and Australian Research Council. In 2014 she was awarded a Phillip Leverhulme Prize in recognition of her achievements and scholarship in the field of law and she became a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2022. Erika regularly contributes to print, radio and TV media, providing expert commentary and contributions to news stories and opinion editorials.
Professor Rackley joined Kent Law School in 2018, having previously held chairs at Birmingham and Durham Universities. She has held a number of administrative roles, including Deputy Head of School, Director of Research, REF lead and Director of Undergraduate Studies and, externally, as Athena Swan panel member.
Professor Rackley’s current research concentrates on three broad areas: judging and the judiciary (including feminist judgments), feminist legal history and image-based sexual abuse. She is currently working on individual and collaborative projects on the jurisprudence of Lady Hale, the workings and influence of the Judicial Appointments Commission, on proposals to reform the law relating to image-based sexual abuse, and an edited collection of ‘interwar’ legal landmarks for women.
In January 2023, she will give a Current Legal Problems lecture at University College London titled: A short history of judicial diversity.
Professor Rackley’s current undergraduate teaching is in tort law. She has previously taught on gender and law, criminal, contract, introduction to law and legal methods modules at UG and LLM level.
Professor Rackley has supervised doctoral students working on wide-ranging topics relating to private law and gender including on judicial diversity in the Cypriot judiciary, civil actions for rape, class and the reasonable man, equity and dignity, and Russian tort law.
She would be pleased to hear from exceptional students with an outline research proposal in any area of her research interests: but particularly in relation to feminist legal history, image-based sexual abuse and judicial appointments/diversity.