Natalie Ohana

Natalie joined University of Exeter’s Law School in September 2016 as a lecturer in law 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. Before moving to the UK to pursue her PhD, Natalie was practicing as a lawyer in Israel. For six years, Natalie was the head of the legal department of Isha L’Isha – a refuge in Jerusalem for women escaping domestic violence, representing women in civil and religious courts and advocating for policy change in the area of violence against women.

Research Interests

Natalie’s research interests are the intersection of trauma and law; legal knowledge, discourse and social power; critical legal pedagogy; and law and critical theory. Natalie’s PhD examined the role of legal discourse in preventing change in legal perceptions, using Foucault’s power/knowledge theory and focusing on the legal discourse around intimate violence in England.

Natalie’s current British Academy research project looks at the intersection between psychological trauma and the legal system, asking what maintains the gap between the experience of trauma and its legal understanding and whether this gap is reducible. As part of the project, Natalie is working with people who went through psychological trauma and turned to the legal system for protection to understand, based on their experiences, what needs to be changed. The project includes workshops with people who went through torture in their home countries and ask for asylum in the UK and with women who experienced violence and turned to the legal system for remedy or protection. In the workshops Natalie collaborates with therapists and artists to see how using mediums of art can help to better understand subtle and complex experiences.

Select Outputs

N. Ohana. “The Archaeology of the Courts’ Domestic Violence Discourse: Discourse as a Knowledge-Sustaining System.Feminists@Law 9(2), 2019.

N. Ohana. “Beyond Words: Breaking the Boundaries of Legal Language.” Feminists@Law 6(1), 2016.

N. Ohana. “Portraying the Legal in Socio-Legal Studies through Legal-Naming Events.” In Exploring the Legal In Socio Legal Studies, edited by D. Cowan and D. Wincott, 8098. Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Select Media Appearances

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry must investigate institutional discrimination,” on including institutional discrimination in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, based on work with the survivors and bereaved families, 2020.

N. Ohana, “Beyond words: breaking the boundaries of legal language,” TEDx Goodenough College, 2016.

Natalie Ohana at TEDx
"Beyond words: breaking the boundaries of legal language," TEDx, Goodenough College, 2016

Email Natalie | Visit Natalie’s University of Exeter Law School Profile