Dr Natalie Ohana
Natalie joined the Law School in 2016 as a lecturer and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow. She holds a PhD from University College London, an LLM (Magna Cum Laude) and an LLB from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Natalie is a module convenor of the module Law, Testimony and Trauma for Year 3 students, she is part of the Legal Foundation core module team, a Senior Personal Tutor for Law and the Coordinator of Law's Decolonising the Curriculum Working Group.
Natalie's area of research is the intersection between law and trauma through a socio legal perspective. Her research interests also include critical legal pedagogy and decolonising legal research methods. Her Postdoctoral Fellowship which started in 2016 and ended in 2020 looked into the roles legal systems play in either enabling or facilitating change in the conditions necessary for traumatic events to take place and recur. From 2018, the project focused on the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry through working directly with a group of the bereaved families of Grenfell Tower and with residents of North Kensington, to understand their their perceptions towards and experiences of acting as participants to the Inquiry.
Natalie organised a multi disciplinary symposium in Streathem Campus, University of Exeter, on the 11th of June 2022. The symposium was titled Law, Testimony and Trauma and included speakers from seven departments in Exeter, who explored the theoretical potential of the concept 'trauma' from their perspective angles. More information can be found here.
Natalie's PhD in UCL examined the legal knowledge around domestic violence in the UK and revealed the engrained and structural discourse-related barriers that prevent its change.
While in UCL Natalie worked with women who resided in a refuge in London to understand their experiences of legal proceedings related to domestic violence. Natalie examined whether by integrating art with dialogue it becomes possible to understand the subtlties and deeper layers of experiences, a method she emplyed in the work with the Grenfell community as well. Natalie was awarded the UCL Public Engagmenet Award for the work in the refuge. For more information on the work in the refuge and the use of art in the workshops see the Ted Talk: Beyond Words: Breaking the Boundaries of Legal Language.
Before her PhD Natalie was a lawyer and head of legal department in Isha L'Isha, a refuge for women who suffered domestic violence and their children in Jerusalem, representing women in legal proceedings in civil and religous courts and advocating for legislative and policy change in a national level.
Natalie's office hours are Wednesdays 2pm to 4pm.
Research group links
The intersection between law and trauma through a socio legal prism
Decolonising socio-legal research methods
Critical legal pedagogy
Natalie Ohana, The Politics of the Production of Knowledge on Trauma: The Grenfell Tower Inquiry, Journal of Law and Society, pg 497, 48(4), 2021
Natalie Ohana, The Archaeology of the Courts' Domestic Violence Discourse: Discourse as a Knowledge-Sustaining System, Feminists@Law, 9(2) 2019
Natalie Ohana, Beyond Words: Breaking the Boundaries of Legal Language, Feminists@Law, 6(1), 2016
Natalie Ohana, Portraying the Legal in Socio-Legal Studies through Legal-Naming Events, in: Exploring the Legal In Socio Legal Studies, pg. 80 - 98, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015
Alya Zoabi, Anti-colonial and feminist advocacy in Israel Palestine (Co supervised with Dr Katie Natanel, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter)
External impact and engagement
Institutional discrimination and the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry - workshops with the survivors and members of the bereaved families of Grenfell Tower, September 2019:
Ted talk: Beyond Words: Breaking the Boundaries of Legal Language/ Natalie Ohana