Feminist Legal Research Unit FRLU

of the Law School of the Liverpool University

The Feminist Legal Research Unit (FLRU) was established in 1993 and brings together academic staff undertaking research into issues of equality and non-discrimination from a feminist perspective … (full text Introduction).

FRLU Homepage;
Publications; Seminars, Conferences; Postgraduate Studies; Collaboration Links; Weblinks;
University Address; The University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 3BX, UK;
University Contact; People Contact.

Research Interest: The research interests of FLRU members span a range of fields, including Healthcare and Body Politics, Migration, the Open Method of Co-ordination, Discrimination, Domestic Violence, Children’s Rights, Employment, Family and Gender Mainstreaming. 

On gender mainstreaming the Unit has a substantial track record, having had research funding in recent years from the European Commission, the British Academy, and the Holt Educational Trust. Beveridge and Nott have published extensively in this area, including the edited collection Making Women Count: Integrating Gender into Law and Policy-making in 2000. In 2002, Beveridge co-edited a Special Edition of feminist Legal Studies on Mainstreaming gender in European Public Policy. Beveridge currently has work in press on gender in international economic institutions and on gender in the EU accession process. Nott and Stalford have published papers on gender mainstreaming in the UK and on the mainstreaming of children’s rights in the EU. Beveridge and Stalford have been involved in a British Academy-funded project on Gender Equality in Croatia (www.liverpool.ac.uk/law/ukcroatia) and the Unit has hosted visits by visiting Croatian scholars.

Significant research has also been conducted on the Open Method of Co-ordination by members of the Unit. Samantha Velluti’s research, for instance, has explored the role of OMC in the development of an EU immigration policy, while Helen Stalford is currently exploring the application of the OMC for the development of children’s rights at EU level. Fiona Beveridge and Samantha Velluti organised a one-day seminar on the theme of ‘Gender and the Open Method of Coordination’. This brought together academics and policy analysts involved in studies of the OMC’s processes and outputs to explore the contribution of OMC to EU gender policy. The aim is to produce this as an edited collection in 2008.

Many members of the unit are engaged in research on discrimination, gender and children’s rights in the context of migration. Samantha Currie has recently completed a detailed socio-legal project evaluating the experiences of Polish migrants in the UK following the 2004 EU enlargement. This includes an analysis of the extent to which women in particular have experienced significant de-skilling through the migration process. Dianne Scullion’s work evaluates the international, European and domestic legal framework relating to child trafficking into the UK, while Eleanor Drywood and Helen Stalford’s research focuses on the status of children under EU migration and asylum law. Ruth Lamont’s research considers gender implications of EU family law, with a particular focus on maternal child abduction. In 2006-7, the Unit hosted a series of workshops on the theme of ‘Gender and Migration in 21st Century Europe’ and contributions to this series will be published as an edited collection in 2008.

In domestic violence, the Unit has carried out work for Save the Children and the Countryside Agency on domestic violence services in rural areas, leading to the publication of a research report Children and Domestic Violence in Rural Areas in 2003 (Stalford, Beveridge and Baker). A full copy of the report is available for purchase from Save the Children, (www.savethechildren.org.uk). Helen Baker completed a Ph.D. on domestic violence in 2003 and continues to work in this area with a specific interest in the rights and experiences of children and the adequacy of legal and policy frameworks in meeting their needs. Her current research projects include: examining appropriate housing service responses to young homeless people, and investigating corporeality in the context of women’s experiences of domestic violence.

In body politics and healthcare law, members of the Unit have published on issues such as fertility treatments, sterilisation of women with learning difficulties, consent and forced Caesarean operations, the treatment of women in relation to mental health and the impact of women of the World Health Organisation. An edited collection of essays Well Women: the gendered nature of access to healthcare (eds. Morris and Nott) was published in 2001.

On employment equality, Anne Morris’ research explores issues of pregnancy discrimination while Helen Stalford and Sue Nott collaborated on a European Commission-funded project on ‘Equal Pay, Career Progression and the Socio-Legal Valuation of Care’ in 2003-4.

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