|Associate Professor in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice in the Durham Law School||+44 (0) 191 33 40235|
Dr Emma Milne joined Durham Law School in September 2020 as Assistant Professor in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. Emma obtained her PhD in sociology from the University of Essex, funded by the Consortium of the Humanities and the Arts South-east England (CHASE), who are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Following this Emma worked as a Lecturer in Criminology at Middlesex University and the University of Plymouth.
Emma is actively involved with a number of learned societies:
- Member of the Board of Trustees for the Socio-Legal Studies Association
- Steering group member, Women, Crime and Criminal Justice network of British Society of Criminology
Follow Emma on Twitter.
- Criminal law
Emma is a Fellow of the HEA and holds a Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education (Middlesex University).
Emma is a feminist socio-legal scholar. The focus of her research is the social, legal, and cultural controls and regulation of all women, notably in relation to pregnancy, sex, and motherhood.
Prosecuting, Defending, Sentencing
Emma is currently looking at attitudes and perspectives held by legal professionals (solicitors, barristers, prosecutors, and judges) in relation to criminal law and criminal justice responses to women suspected of killing their infants. This project is funded by the BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants 2020.
Emma’s previous research has assessed the application of the law and what is formerly said about accused women during criminal hearings, but there remains a gap in our knowledge about the perspectives of those who work to apply the law.
Qualitative interviews with legal professionals will directly address this under-researched issue. This research will promote understanding of the societal contexts of professionals’ responses. The research aims to provide a better understandings of the nature of legal responses to infanticidal women. In so doing, Emma will ask why these legal responses occur, so allowing assessment of the suitability of the current criminal law to respond appropriately to the challenges raised by the conduct of these women. The big question the research will consider: Is ‘justice’ being done for vulnerable women?
Find out more about the research.
Women, Pregnancy, and the Criminal Law
Following the publication of her book, Criminal Justice Responses to Maternal Filicide: Judging the Failed Mother, Emma is working with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) to share the findings of the research with the aim of changing legal and social responses to vulnerable women.
Pregnancy and motherhood is often assumed to be a happy time in a woman’s life. However, for some women it can be a time of desperation and crisis. A big question that remains to be answered: what involvement should the criminal justice system have in the lives of these women, and what should the function of the criminal law be?
The research highlights the impact of criminal justice intervention into the lives of women who experience crisis pregnancies. Emma's work draws attention to the ramifications of criminalisation on women’s liberties and rights to bodily autonomy. The regulation of women’s conduct while pregnant has key implications in relation to:
- The legality of abortion and access to abortion services.
- The criminalisation of women due to conduct while pregnant.
- Support offered to vulnerable women, rather than punishment through the criminal justice system.
Find out more about the project.
- Feminist legal studies
- Social and legal regulation of women's sexuality and bodies
- Criminal liability of pregnant women
- Women's reproductive rights/freedom
- Legal protection of the foetus
- Infanticide/neonaticide/maternal filicide
- Feminist criminology
- Women who offend
- Violent women
- Gender and crime
- Milne, E. (2021). Criminal Justice Responses to Maternal Filicide: Judging the Failed Mother. Emerald
- Fanghanel, A., Milne, E., Zampini, G. F., Banwell, S., & Fiddler, M. (2020). Sex and Crime. SAGE Publications
Chapter in book
- Milne, E., & Dabrowski, V. (2023). Imprisoned Women and Reproductive Health: A Site of Reproductive Rights Violation?. In I. Masson, & N. Booth (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Women's Experiences of Criminal Justice. Routledge
- Brennan, K., & Milne, E. (2023). 100 Years of the Infanticide Act: The Law in Context. In K. Brennan, & E. Milne (Eds.), 100 Years of the Infanticide Act: Legacy, Impact and Future Directions. London: Bloomsbury
- Milne, E., & Brennan, K. (2023). The Infanticide Act 1938 as a means to provide justice for women against the hardships and harms of pregnancy and motherhood?. In K. Brennan, & E. Milne (Eds.), 100 Years of the Infanticide Act: Legacy, Impact and Future Directions. London: Bloomsbury
- Milne, E., Davies, P., Heydon, J., Peggs, K., & Wyatt, T. (2023). Why Gendering Green Criminology Matters. In E. Milne, P. Davies, J. Heydon, K. Peggs, & T. Wyatt (Eds.), Gendering Green Criminology (1-14). Bristol: Bristol University Press
- Banwell, S., Black, L., Cecil, D. K., Djamba, Y. K., Kimuna, S. R., Milne, E., …Tenkorang, E. Y. (2023). Introduction. In S. Banwel, L. Black, D. K. Cecil, Y. K. Djamba, S. R. Kimuna, E. Milne, …E. Y. Tenkorang (Eds.), . Bingley: Emerald. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80382-255-620231001
- Thom, B., Herring, R., & Milne, E. (2020). Drinking in Pregnancy: Shifting Towards the ‘Precautionary Principle’. In S. MacGregor, & B. Thom (Eds.), Risk and Substance Use: Framing Dangerous People and Dangerous Places (66-87). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351033503
- Brennan, K., & Milne, E. (2018). Criminalising Neonaticide: Reflections on Law and Practice in England and Wales. In E. Milne, K. Brennan, N. South, & J. Turton (Eds.), Women and the Criminal Justice System (95-117). Palgrave. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76774-1_5
- Brennan, K., Milne, E., South, N., & Turton, J. (2018). Women and the Criminal Justice System—Moving Beyond the Silo. In E. Milne, K. Brennan, N. South, & J. Turton (Eds.), Women and the Criminal Justice System (1-11). Palgrave. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76774-1_1
- Milne, E., & Turton, J. (2018). Understanding Violent Women. In E. Milne, K. Brennan, N. South, & J. Turton (Eds.), Women and the Criminal Justice System (119-139). Palgrave. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76774-1_6
- Brennan, K., & Milne, E. (Eds.). (2023). 100 Years of the Infanticide Act: Legacy, Impact and Future Directions. London: Bloomsbury
- Milne, E., Davies, P., Heydon, J., Peggs, K., & Wyatt, T. (Eds.). (2023). Gendering Green Criminology. Bristol: Bristol University Press
- Banwel, S., Black, L., Cecil, D. K., Djamba, Y. K., Kimuna, S. R., Milne, E., …Tenkorang, E. Y. (Eds.). (2023). The Emerald International Handbook of Feminist Perspectives on Women’s Acts of Violence. Bingley: Emerald. https://doi.org/10.1108/9781803822556
- Milne, E., Brennan, K., South, N., & Turton, J. (Eds.). (2018). Women and the Criminal Justice System. Palgrave. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76774-1
- Dabrowski, V., & Milne, E. (in press). Reproductive rights on the inside: A rapid evidence assessment of women’s experiences of reproductive healthcare and rights while in prison in England and Wales. Criminology & Criminal Justice, https://doi.org/10.1177/17488958221117925
- Milne, E. (2022). Foetal Protection Laws: paving the way for the criminalisation of abortion. feminists@law, 11(2),
- Milne, E. (2020). Putting the Fetus First — Legal Regulation, Motherhood, and Pregnancy. Michigan journal of gender & law, 27(1), 149-211. https://doi.org/10.36641/mjgl.27.1.putting
- Milne, E. (2019). Concealment of Birth: Time to Repeal a 200-Year-Old “Convenient Stop-Gap”?. Feminist Legal Studies, 27(2), 139-162. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10691-019-09401-6