Dr Charlotte Bishop
Charlotte joined Exeter Law School in 2014 and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Law. Charlotte holds an LLB (first class Hons) from the University of Kent (2004) and was awarded her doctorate from Exeter University in 2014 for her thesis examining the limitations of the legal response to domestic violence in England and Wales.
Charlotte’s research and teaching focus on gender and the law, criminal law, domestic violence and abuse, sexual violence, and feminist legal theory. She convenes the optional third year module Gender, Sexuality and Law (LAW3011) and teaches on the core undergraduate module Criminal Law (LAW1003). She also supervises undergraduate dissertations in the fields of gender, sexuality, domestic and sexual violence and feminist theory. Charlotte is Senior Academic Tutor for Law.
In 2016 Charlotte founded the interdisciplinary Gender Research Network at Exeter which she currently leads. This network brings together those who work on gender-related issue from across the university to discuss and gain feedback on their work, build research collaborations, and develop funding bids. The network is open to all academics and PGRs at Exeter. Please email Charlotte if you are interested in hearing more of joining the network.
Charlotte was a 2019/20 Education Incubator fellow, running a project which aimed to develop and evaluate different sources of academic, pastoral and professional support for first year undergraduate Law students from diverse backgrounds and in a range of circumstances. If you would like to see the written report outlining the findings from this project please contact Charlotte by email.
C Bishop, 'The impact of proposed intimate image abuse offences on domestic violence and abuse' (forthcoming) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly.
M Duggan and C Bishop, ‘Resilience Narratives and the Evolution of Feminist Pedagogic Identities’ in Michelle Ronksley-Pavia, Amy Bonsall, Michelle Neumann and Jane Manakil (eds), Women in Academia: Resilience Narratives (Springer, 2022).
C Bishop, 'Prevention and Protection: will the Domestic Abuse Act transform the response to domestic abuse in England and Wales?' (2021) Child and Family Law Quarterly 163-183.
C Bishop, 'Safe and Effective Courtroom Participation for Domestic Violence Complainant-Witnesses' in J Child And A Duff (eds) Criminal Law Reform Now: Proposals and Critique, (Hart Publishing, 2018).
C Bishop and V Bettinson, 'Evidencing domestic violence*, including behaviour that falls under the new offence of ‘controlling or coercive behaviour’' (2017) The International Journal of Evidence & Proof 22(1), 3-29.
C Bishop, 'Domestic Violence: Understanding the Gender Paradigm' Family Courts Journal (Autumn 2017).
C Bishop, 'Domestic Violence: the Limitations of a Legal Response' in S Hilder and V Bettinson (eds) Domestic Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Protection, Prevention and Intervention (Palgrave, 2016).
C Bishop 'Rule that proof of domestic violence for legal aid purposes must be less than 24 months old declared invalid' (2016) Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 38(3), 330–332.
V Bettinson and C Bishop, 'Is the creation of a discrete offence of coercive control necessary to combat domestic violence?' (2015) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 66(2) 179-197.
Research group links
Charlotte is currently conducting research on women who kill their abusers using the conceptual framework of coercive control to explore the barriers that prevent women successfully pleading the available criminal law defences. She will be using this critique to develop suggestions for reforms and improvements to both the substantive law and criminal justice practice and policy in this area. She is also advising the Law Commission on proposed reforms to the law on intimate image abuse ('revenge porn') as they would impact upon the use of non-consensual images in the context of domestic violence and abuse.
Alongside these activities Charlotte has been writing up the findings from an SLSA-funded project with Dr Marian Duggan (Kent) which explored the experiences of feminist academics who incorporate gender and intersectional issues and perspectives into their teaching of Criminal Law, Criminology and Criminal Justice modules.
Previous research has examined the potential for the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 to transform the response to domestic abuse in England and Wales and has critiqued proposed reforms to the law on intimate image abuse. She has also published on how the barriers to evidencing domestic violence, including controlling and coercive behaviour, in criminal court proceedings can be navigated and how courtroom participation could be made safer and more effective for witnesses who are also victims of domestic violence.
Charlotte is currently supervising a PhD project addressing the inadequate legal protections for victims of online harms. This research is being undertaken in collaboration with the Revenge Porn Helpline and Report Harmful Content. These services are provided by the South West Grid for Learning, an umbrella organisation working to reduce online harms.
Charlotte is happy to supervise postgradute research on feminist theory and gender-based violence, broadly construed to include intimate partner violence (domestic violence), coercive control, sexual violence, pornography, intimate image abuse, and the 'rough sex' defence.
External impact and engagement
Since April 2020 Charlotte has been advising the Law Commission on proposed reforms to the law on intimate image abuse ('revenge porn') as they would impact upon the use of non-consensual images in the context of domestic violence and abuse. More information about the project can be found here and on the Law Commission's project pages.
Charlotte makes regular media appearances to talk about issues surrounding gender-based violence and criminal justice and is passionate about raising awareness of the need to reframe discussions about 'women’s safety' so that male violence is named and addressed as the root cause. She is also frequently invited to speak about domestic violence at non-academic conferences and events.
The Conversation, September 2016: Why it’s so hard to prosecute cases of coercive or controlling behaviour.
Huffington Post, March 2017: A Domestic Violence and Abuse Act: Necessary Step or Unwelcome Distraction?
The Conversation, March 2019: Domestic abuse: the psychology of coercive control remains a legal battlefield.