Charlotte Bishop

Charlotte joined Exeter Law School in 2014 and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Law. Charlotte holds an LLB 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.

Her research and teaching focus on gender and the law, criminal law, domestic violence and abuse, sexual violence, and feminist legal theory.

Recent publications examine the potential for the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 to transform the response to domestic abuse in England and Wales and explore proposed reforms to the law on intimate image abuse (often problematically referred to as ‘revenge porn’) in the context of domestic violence and abuse.

Research Interests

Charlotte’s recent research includes gender and the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, evidencing domestic violence, including controlling and coercive behaviour, in criminal court proceedings, and how courtroom participation could be made safer and more effective for witnesses who are also a victim of domestic violence could be improved.

Currently Charlotte is involved in the Law Commission’s consultation on reform to the law on intimate image abuse, advising the Commission on the overlap between behaviour of this kind and coercive control within an intimate relationship.

Charlotte is also 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 defences. She is also 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.

Select Outputs

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 Criminal Law Reform Now: Proposals and Critique, edited by J. Child and R. Duff. Hart Publishing, 2018.

C. Bishop and V. Bettinson, “Evidencing domestic violence*, including behaviour that falls under the new offence of ‘controlling or coercive behaviour’.” The International Journal of Evidence & Proof (2017) 22 (1) 3-29.DOI.

C. Bishop, “Domestic Violence: the Limitations of a Legal Response.” In Domestic Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Protection, Prevention and Intervention,edited by S. Hilder and V. Bettinson. Palgrave, 2016.

C. Bishop and V. Bettinson, “Is the creation of a discrete offence of coercive control necessary to combat domestic violence?” Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly66, no. 2 (2015): 179–197.

Select Conference Appearances

Vulnerable, Intimidated and Traumatised: Protections for Domestic Violence Complainant-Witnesses,” Criminal Law Reform Now, University of Sussex, UK, 13-15 September 2016.

Intimidated, Vulnerable and Traumatised: Protections and Special Measures for Domestic Violence Complainant-Witnesses,” Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence Research Network Conference, De Montfort University, UK, 11 November 2016.

Domestic Violence: The need for a Gendered Approach,” The United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Conference, Queen’s University Belfast, UK, 13 December 2017.

“Feminist academics’ experiences of teaching gendered and intersectional issues” SLSA Annual Conference, University of Cardiff, UK, 30 March – 1 April 2021.

“Taking, sharing and threatening to share intimate images without consent: ensuring legal reforms capture harm and culpability where intimate images are used to coerce and control” SLSA Annual Conference, University of York, UK, 6 – 8 April 2022.

Select Media Appearances

C. Bishop. “: Domestic abuse: the psychology of coercive control remains a legal battlefield The Conversation, 20 March 2019.

C. Bishop. “A Domestic Violence And Abuse Act: Necessary Step Or Unwelcome Distraction?,” Huffington Post, 8 March 2017.

C. Bishop.Why it’s so hard to prosecute cases of coercive or controlling behaviour,” The Conversation, 31 October 2016.

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"Domestic Violence: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Protection, Prevention and Intervention," edited by Sarah Hilder and Vanessa Bettinson

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