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Ms Rachael Blakey


I joined the University of Exeter in October 2020 as a Part-Time Lecturer in Law. I am also a PhD student at Cardiff University, studying the purpose of family mediation and access to justice after cuts to legal aid. My main research interests are in family law, dispute resolution, DIY law and professionalism. I am also interested in access to justice, feminist theory and approaches to autonomy. Before joining Exeter, I was a Graduate Tutor for Equity and Trusts at Cardiff. I previously acted as PG Rep for the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA), and am currently on the organising committee for the Annual SLSA Conference at Cardiff. I am also actively involved in the GW4 Network on Family, Regulation and Society.

I studied LLB Law at Cardiff University before being awarded a 1+3 ESRC funded studentship. After my MSc in Social Science Research Methods (Socio-Legal), I went on to pursue a PhD in family law.

My open office hours are Tuesdays 10:00-12:00. Please email me to book at appointment. I also have dedicated sessions for personal tutees.

Research interests

My PhD, titled The Conceptualisation of Family Mediation, aims to understand how the objectives of family mediation and the role of the mediator have changed over several decades, particularly in light of cuts to legal aid under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO). Specifically, the project assesses how family mediation can promote access to justice and the regulation of its mediators in a climate of high, unmet legal need and limited funding.

This thesis is supported by two empirical projects. I first conducted a qualitative content analysis of Codes of Practice for family mediators in England and Wales. I then interviewed 17 family mediators. The study therefore assesses mediation’s position in the modern family justice landscape from two perspectives: regulatory bodies and mediators themselves.


Modules taught

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