Photo of Dr Janet Keliher

Dr Janet Keliher

Visiting Lecturer

Stella Turk Building G2.05

Janet has an LLB from Aberystwyth University and an LLM in Corporate and Commercial Law from King’s College London. After completing a training contract in the West End of London she worked as a solicitor at the City firm Richards Butler (now Reed Smith) advising clients on the sale and purchase of businesses and companies.

In 2013 Janet completed an MRes at the University of Exeter and went on to receive ESRC funding for her doctoral research on the relationship between culture and legal responsibility in the Criminal Law of England and Wales in the context of multiculturalism. She was awarded her PhD in 2019.

As well as researching in the domain where law and culture interact Janet is involved in a GW4 funded project that is investigating gender based violence at UK universities. She is looking specifically at the regulation of higher education institutions in England and at legal arguments for making universities accountable to government in the event of their failure to prevent or respond to gender based violence.

Janet has taught Criminal Law and Gender Sexuality and Law at the University of Exeter and is currently leading the Introduction to Law Module on the Foundation Programme in Humanities at INTO Exeter. She also has experience teaching Employment Law, Family Law and EU Law.


My legal heroes are the criminal law theorist Alan Norrie and the campaigning lawyer Clive Stafford Smith. After graduating from Columbia Law School in New York, Clive spent over 15  years working as a lawyer on death penalty cases and other civil rights issues. In total, Clive has represented over 300 prisoners facing the death penalty in the southern United States. While he only took on the cases of those who could not afford a lawyer – he has never been paid by a client –he prevented the death penalty in all but six cases (a 98% “victory” rate). Few lawyers ever take a case to the US Supreme Court – Clive has taken five, and all of the prisoners prevailed. In 2001, when the US military base at Guantánamo Bay was pressed into service to hold prisoners beyond the reach of the courts, Clive joined two other lawyers to sue for access to the prisoners there. To date, Clive has helped secure the release of 69 prisoners from Guantánamo Bay (including every British prisoner) and still acts for 8 more.

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