Professor Anne Barlow

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Professor of Family Law and Policy: Associate Dean Research and Knowledge Transfer

Anne Barlow joined Exeter Law School in 2004 from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and previously practised as a solicitor in London.  She is a Law with French graduate of Sussex University and has also studied at the College of Law, London and the University of Strasbourg. 

She has a particular interest in Family Law and Policy, especially the regulation of adult relationships such as cohabitation and marriage, but has also taught and researched in the areas of comparative law, housing law and welfare law and policy.  She is a member of the Working Group of the EU-funded project Empowering European Families based at the European Law Institute in Vienna, looking at ways to resolve the complex legal position of 'international couples'  within the EU when relationships break down or one partner dies.

Anne has held a number of research grants awarded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, ESRC, Ministry of Justice and the Nuffield Foundation. Currently, following a 3 year research project funded by the ESRC on Mapping Paths to Family Justice, looking at Out-of-Court Dispute Resolution of private family law issues, she holds an ESRC Impact Accelerator Award, Creating Paths to Family Justice where she is working with a number of agencies including Relate, the Ministry of Justice, the Family Mediation Council, Resolution and CAFCASS to draw on research findings to develop online and offline mediation services for couples and children.

Anne also leads the inter-disciplinary Network on Family, Regulation and Society and the Leverhulme International Network on New Families; New Governance.  Together with colleagues from Bath, Bristol and Cardiff Universities and partner voluntary agencies engaged in family research, the two Networks bring together top international and UK researchers to debate research questions critical to the future of family law and policy.  Network members have recently been awarded  GW4 Accelerator funds to develop appropriate methods to investigate the new and unexplored 'delegalised space' in which disputes on relationship breakdown are now attempted, online and offline, in England and Wales, following the withdrawal of legal aid and the encouragement of private settlement.

External Positions, Appointments and Honours

  • Awarded status of Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, 2013
  • Member of the ESRC Grants Assessment Panel B, 2010 - 2014
  • Appointed as Academic Member of the Family Justice Council, 2011 - 2015
  • Vice-Chair of the Socio-Legal Studies Association, 2011 - 2014
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy