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Dr Emma Milne

Assistant Professor in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

PhD Sociology, MA History, BA (Hons) History and Sociology

AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Assistant Professor in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice in the Durham Law School +44 (0) 191 33 40235
Member of Durham CELLS (Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences)  


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:

Follow Emma on Twitter.

Teaching Areas
  • Criminal law

Emma is a Fellow of the HEA and holds a Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education (Middlesex University).

Research Areas

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 reproduction.

Research Projects

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 newborn children or harming foetuses. This project is funded by the BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants 2020. Emma’s previous research has assessed the use of 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, examining how gendered ideas of women’s roles as mothers, and perceptions of female offending, figure in professionals’ assessments of these cases. Consequently, this research will enable clearer conclusions to be drawn about the law’s current appropriateness.

Research interests

  • 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

Research groups

  • Gender & Law at Durham

Media Contacts

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


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Doctoral Thesis

  • Milne, Emma (2017). Suspicious Perinatal Death and the Law: Criminalising Mothers who do not Conform. Department of Sociology. University of Essex. PhD.

Edited book

  • Milne, Emma, Brennan, Karen, South, Nigel & Turton, Jackie (2018). Women and the Criminal Justice System. London: Palgrave.

Journal Article

Supervision students