Photo of Dr Sara Ramshaw

Dr Sara Ramshaw

Senior Lecturer


01392 725143

Amory 031

Sara Ramshaw joined the University of Exeter School of Law as a Senior Lecturer in 2014 after several years at Queen's University Belfast. She holds a BA (Hons) (with Distinction) from the University of Toronto, a LLB and LLM from the University of British Columbia and a PhD from Birkbeck School of Law, University of London. Sara clerked at the Ontario Court of Justice (General Division) and was called to the Bar of the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2000. She then worked as a Research Lawyer at the Superior Court of Justice, Family Court in Toronto, Ontario before commencing doctoral studies in England.

During the 2008-2009 academic year, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Major Collaborative Research Initiative (MCRI) Project ‘Improvisation, Community and Social Practice’ (ICASP) in partnership with Centre de recherche en éthique de l’Université de Montréal (CRÉUM) in Montréal, Canada.

Sara was the Principal Investigator on the AHRC Early Career Research Project, ‘Into the Key of Law: Transposing Musical Improvisation. The Case of Child Protection in Northern Ireland.’ She is also co-leader of the Translating Improvisation Research Group (TIRG). For more information on both, see

Her monograph, entitled Justice as Improvisation: The Law of the Extempore, was published by Routledge in 2013. For a review by Desmond Manderson, see ‘Towards Law and Music’ (2014) Law & Critique:

Sara is on the editorial boards of:

  • Australian Feminist Law Journal
  • Counterpress
  • Feminist Legal Studies
  • Law & Critique
  • Improvisation, Community and Social Policy (ICASP) Project Research Website.

Research interests

Sara is currently developing a new field of study, entitled Critical Legal Studies in Improvisation (CLSI). She also have research interests in Law and the Humanities scholarship, Family Law and Critical Legal Theory. 

Research supervision

Sara has supervised to completion PhD theses in the areas of Family Law, Human Rights and Critical Legal Theory, particularly feminist legal theory and deconstructive legal theory (Judith Butler and Jacques Derrida especially). She is willing to supervise PhD projects in these areas, as well as any topic relating to Law and the Humanities and Critical Improvisation Studies in particular.

Other information

External Examiner at the University of Keele, School of Law and Kent Law School.