|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
- Durham Centre for Law and Philosophy
- Gender & Law at Durham
Available for media contact about:
- Crime: Criminalisation of women
- Law & Crime: Foetal homicide/protection laws
- Law & Crime: Infanticide
- Law & Crime: Women who commit violent offences
- Law & Crime: Women's reproductive rights
- Law & Crime: Abortion law
- Milne, Emma (2021). Criminal Justice Responses to Maternal Filicide: Judging the Failed Mother. Emerald Publishing Limited.
- Fanghanel, Alexandra, Milne, Emma, Zampini, Giulia F., Banwell, Stacy & Fiddler, Michael (2020). Sex and Crime. London: Sage.
- Milne, Emma (2022). Women’s Birthing Bodies and the Law: Unauthorised Intimate Examinations, Power and Vulnerability, edited by Camilla Pickles and John Herring. European Journal of Health Law
- Milne, Emma (2021). Policing the Womb: Invisible Women and the Criminalization of Motherhood. European Journal of Health Law 28: 1-4.
- Milne, Emma (2022). Book review: The Cultural and Economic Context of Maternal Infanticide: A Crying Baby and the Inability to Escape, by Martha Smithey. Criminology & Criminal Justice 22(2): 343-344.
- Milne, Emma (2022). Book review: Hans Boutellier, A Criminology of Moral Order. Criminology & Criminal Justice 22(2): 344-346.
- Milne, Emma (2020). Disrupting Rape Culture: Public Space, Sexuality and Revolt. Qualitative Research
- Milne, Emma (2020). Beyond Pro-life and Pro-choice: The Changing Politics of Abortion in Britain. European Journal of Health Law 27(4): 411-414.
- Milne, Emma (2020). A Criminology of War? Theoretical Criminology
- Milne, Emma (2020). Birth Rights and Wrongs: How Medicine and Technology Are Remaking Reproduction and the Law. European Journal of Health Law 27(1): 79–82.
- Milne, Emma (2020). Decriminalising Abortion in the UK: What Would It Mean? European Journal of Health Law 27(4): 415-417.
- Milne, Emma (2018). Women Against Abortion: Inside the Largest Moral Reform Movement of the Twentieth Century. Women's History: The Journal of the Women’s History Network 11(Autumn): 48.
- Milne, Emma (2018). The Moral Case for Abortion. European Journal of Health Law 25(2): 223-227.
- Milne, Emma (2017). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Adults: Ethical and Legal Perspectives: An Overview on FASD for Professionals. European Journal of Health Law 24(5): 646-649.
Chapter in book
- Thom, Betsy, Herring, Rachel & Milne, Emma (2020). Drinking in Pregnancy: Shifting Towards the ‘Precautionary Principle’. In Risk and Substance Use: Framing Dangerous People and Dangerous Places. MacGregor, Susanne & Thom, Betsy London: Routledge. 66-87.
- Milne, Emma & Brennan, Karen (2019). Infanticide, Neonaticide, and Gender. In The Encyclopedia of Women and Crime. Bernat, Frances P. & Frailing, Kelly Wiley.
- Brennan, Karen & Milne, Emma (2019). Infanticide. In The Encyclopedia of Women and Crime. Bernat, Frances P. & Frailing, Kelly Wiley.
- Brennan, Karen & Milne, Emma (2018). Criminalising Neonaticide: Reflections on Law and Practice in England and Wales. In Women and the Criminal Justice System. Milne, Emma, Brennan, Karen, South, Nigel & Turton, Jackie London: Palgrave. 95-117.
- Milne, Emma & Turton, Jackie (2018). Understanding Violent Women. In Women and the Criminal Justice System. Milne, Emma, Brennan, Karen, South, Nigel & Turton, Jackie London: Palgrave. 119-139.
- Brennan, Karen, Milne, Emma, South, Nigel & Turton, Jackie (2018). Women and the Criminal Justice System—Moving Beyond the Silo. In Women and the Criminal Justice System. Milne, Emma, Brennan, Karen, South, Nigel & Turton, Jackie London: Palgrave. 1-11.
- Milne, Emma (2017). Suspicious Perinatal Death and the Law: Criminalising Mothers who do not Conform. Department of Sociology. University of Essex. PhD.
- Milne, Emma, Brennan, Karen, South, Nigel & Turton, Jackie (2018). Women and the Criminal Justice System. London: Palgrave.
- Dabrowski, Vicki & Milne, Emma (2022). 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
- Milne, Emma (2020). Putting the Fetus First — Legal Regulation, Motherhood, and Pregnancy. Michigan Journal of Gender & Law 27(1): 149-211.
- Milne, Emma (2019). Concealment of Birth: Time to Repeal a 200-Year-Old “Convenient Stop-Gap”? Feminist Legal Studies 27(2): 139-162.