Kent Law School

Critical perspectives research led teaching




Nicola Barker joined Kent Law School in 2012 from the University of Reading. She began her academic career at Keele University, where she also gained her PhD in 2008, and has been a visiting scholar at Cornell University (2003), University of California, Berkeley (2010), and University of British Columbia, Vancouver (2010). Her research and teaching interests are in the broad areas of Family Law and Public Law. She is the author of several articles on marriage and civil partnerships, as well as the book Not the Marrying Kind: A Feminist Critique of Same-Sex Marriage (Palgrave, 2012), which won the Hart/Socio-Legal Studies Association book prize in 2013. Nicola is also interested in Constitutional Law and Human Rights and she is currently working on two research projects in these areas. The first explores the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights on the British Overseas Territories and the second considers feminist critiques of the UK?s Human Rights Act.


Research Interests: Human Rights, Constitutional Law, Gender, Sexuality and Law, Marriage and Civil Partnerships

Some examples of Nicola's media appearances are here.


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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Barker, N. and Lenon, S. (2016). Radically Rethinking Marriage: Introduction. Onati Socio-Legal Series [Online] 6:1193-1195. Available at:
Barker, N. (2016). 'I wouldn't get unduly excited about it': The Impact of the European Convention on Human Rights on the British Overseas Territories. A Case Study on LGBT Rights in Bermuda. Public Law.
Barker, N. (2016). Rethinking Conjugality as the Basis for Family Recognition: A Feminist Rewriting of the Judgment in Burden v. United Kingdom. Onati Socio-Legal Series [Online] 6. Available at:
Book section
Barker, N. and Monk, D. (2015). From Civil Partnership to Same-Sex Marriage: A Decade in British Legal History. in: From Civil Partnership to Same-Sex Marriage: Interdisciplinary Reflections. Routledge, pp. 1-26.
Barker, N. (2015). After the Wedding, What Next? Conservatism and Conjugality. in: Barker, N. J. and Monk, D. eds. From Civil Partnership to Same-Sex Marriage: Interdisciplinary Reflections. Routledge. Available at:
Barker, N. (2014). Feminism, Family and the Politics of Austerity. [Sound recording]. Available at:
Edited book
Barker, N.J. and Monk, D. eds. (2015). From Civil Partnership to Same-Sex Marriage: Interdisciplinary Reflections. [Online]. UK: Routledge. Available at:
Edited journal
Barker, N.J. and Lenon, S. eds. (2016). Radically Rethinking Marriage. Onati Socio-Legal Series 6.
Barker, N. (2014). Against Equality. Jotwell: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots) [Online]:.-.. Available at:
Barker, N. (2016). The Evolution of Marriage and Relationship Recognition. UN Women.
Showing 10 of 27 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]



Blogs and Media

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Teaching and Supervision

Undergraduate modules:

  • Family Law (LW505)
  • Public Law 1 (LW588)

Nicola is happy to supervise research projects on Human Rights, Constitutional Law, Marriage and Civil Partnerships, or Gender, Sexuality and Law.

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Other Academic Activities

Editorial Work

  • Editorial Board: Feminist Legal Studies
  • Contributing Editor: Jotwell Equality Section

Professional Societies Membership

  • Society of Legal Scholars
  • Social and Legal Studies Association


  • Director of Learning and Teaching
  • Steering Committee: Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality

Conferences and Workshops

  • Radically Rethinking Marriage July 2015, co-organiser with Suzanne Lenon (University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada). Funded by International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Onati, Spain.
  • From Civil Partnership to Same-Sex Marriage 2004-2014: An Interdisciplinary Workshop 17-18 January 2014, co-organiser with Daniel Monk (Birkbeck). Funded by Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality, Birkbeck Law School, and Birkbeck Institute for Gender Studies (£3000).
  • Feminist Legal Studies: 20th Anniversary Conference, 18th May 2013, University of Kent. Funded by Springer Publishing with additional support from the Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality at Kent Law School.
  • Care and Autonomy in the Age of Austerity, Stream of 8 panels at the Law and Society Association Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, June 2012, co-organiser with Emily Grabham (Kent), Susan B Boyd (UBC), Jenni Millbank (UTS), and Julie Shapiro (Seattle U).
  • Welfare to Work: Critical Interventions, 15th-16th September 2010, co-organiser with Emily Grabham (Kent) and Sarah Lamble (Birkbeck).  Funded by the Modern Law Review (£6000) and Social and Legal Studies (£1500).
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Last Updated: 13/10/2016