Clare McGlynn is a Professor of Law at Durham University in the UK with particular expertise in the legal regulation of pornography, image-based sexual abuse (including ‘revenge pornography’) and sexual violence. She works closely with governments, policy-makers, campaigners and the voluntary sector to improve society’s laws and policies relating to violence against women.
On this website, you can find information on Clare’s research and policy work, including access to her academic articles and information on lectures and presentations. You will also find links to her blogs, policy and briefing documents and other media work. A summary of her current work and activities are below, with more information under About and on her Durham University webpage.
Clare’s research (with Erika Rackley) developed the concept of image-based sexual abuse to describe and conceptualise all forms of the non-consensual creation and distribution of private sexual images, including ‘revenge pornography’ and upskirting. Her work has played a key role in national debates, including commentary in the Daily Mail, in ITV news, and in legislative debates in House of Lords. She has given evidence before the Scottish Justice Committee on proposed reforms in Scotland, recommending a new law focussing on the harms to victims, not motives of the perpetrators, as well as giving presentations to policy-makers across Iceland, Ireland and Australia.
Clare is also an expert in the development of rape law and policy, most recently investigating the use of restorative justice in cases of sexual violence and domestic abuse. She has worked with survivors to understand their perspectives on justice, developing the concept of kaleidoscopic justice.. Her earlier work focused on feminist activism and strategy, particularly around the use of sexual history evidence in rape trials, the granting of anonymity to rape defendants and the definition of torture in human rights law. Her British Academy funded conference Rethinking Rape Law resulted in the publication of Rethinking Rape Law: international and comparative perspectives.
Clare’s research on extreme pornography justifies the regulation of some forms of pornography on the basis of its cultural harm (with Erika Rackley). This work influenced recent law reform campaigns, including (‘ban Rape Porn’), which led to new criminal laws in England & Wales and Scotland. The impact of Clare’s research in this field was recognised as world-leading (4*) in the recent Research Excellence Framework (view the case study here). Her work has been widely debated including in The Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and on the BBC. Clare has discussed this research on the BBC’s Woman’s Hour and Law in Action (see also research briefing). Her research advances liberal justifications for pornography regulation, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.