Christine Piper

Contact Details

Professor of Law - Academician, Academy of Social Sciences

Professor Christine Piper
Elliott Jaques Room 001
Brunel University
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1895 266228
Fax: +44 (0)1895 269875

Related News

Proposed change to the criminal law on neglect of children - 23 Apr 2014

The government is considering amending the law on child cruelty in section 1 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, originally drafted in the 1860s. The campaign for this change has been led by the charity Action for Children and Professor Christine Piper has actively supported that campaign.

Felicity Kaganas and Christine Piper have contributed to a new collection on Vulnerabilities, Care and Family Law - 09 Dec 2013

This book, edited by Julie Wallbank and Jonathan Herring, reflects the recognition that the family is a site of vulnerabilities where care work can be unacknowledged. In this context Christine Piper discusses parents who are vulnerable in mediation and Felicity Kaganas focuses on child protection.

Professor Christine Piper has been appointed Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences. - 12 Sep 2013

Professor Christine Piper has recently been appointed as an Academician by the Academy of Social Sciences. She was nominated by the Executive Committee of the Socio-legal Studies Association (SLSA) for her contribution to socio-legal research and for her support of the SLSA since its inception in 1990.

Publications by FLRG members in Family Law - 12 Jul 2013

In June Family Law published Professor Christine Piper’s article ‘Neglecting neglect in the Crime and Courts Act’ and in July Paulette Morris’s article on ‘Dispute Resolution: LASPO Mediation and the role of the PCC’ appeared.

‘Law and Michael Freeman’ Colloquium - 12 Jul 2013

Felicity Kaganas and Christine Piper attended this event at UCL on July 1st and 2nd to honour Professor Freeman’s distinguished academic career. They presented a paper entitled ‘Michael Freeman and the rights and wrongs of resolving private law disputes’. A conference publication is planned.



BA (1st Class Bristol)
MA (Brunel)
PGCE (Nottm)
PhD (Brunel)

My research and teaching interests are in child and family law and policy as well as youth justice and sentencing. These overlapping interests are reflected in my two most recent books - Investing in Children (Willan Publishing, 2008) and Sentencing and Punishment: The Quest for Justice (with S. Easton, OUP, 3rd ed 2012) – and also in the undergraduate modules I convene. I am on the Editorial Board of the Child and Family Law Quarterly and am a member of the Criminal Justice Research Centre and the Family Law Research Group based in BLS. My PhD students are researching in the areas of family mediation and education in young offender institutions. I have been involved in the publications and seminars of the Feminist Judgments Project and the Parent Abuse Research Network (PARN) and have attended invited seminars organised by the Sentencing Council.

Student Support

I am an active member of the  Law School’s Research Ethics Committee, a Personal Tutor and a supervisor of PhD students.

Teaching and Research

Research Interests

Family law and policy
Youth justice issues

Research Areas

Criminal justice
Family and child law

Research Groups

CJRC Criminal Justice Research Centre
FLRG Family Law Research Group

PhD Supervision

Child and family law: children rights, children 'in need', socio-legal theory.
Family mediation and dispute resolution.
Sentencing law, policy and practice.
Youth justice: pre-court processes, court orders, detention, the treatment of girls and young women.

External Activities

External Activities

Academician, Academy of Social Sciences

Member of the Editorial Board of the Child and Family Law Quarterly.

Currently External Examiner for postgraduate Law programmes at the University of Exeter; recently examined Ph.D. candidates in the UK and abroad.

Recent conference papers:

  • (with F. Kaganas) Michael Freeman and the rights and wrongs of resolving private law disputes, Colloquium: Law and Michael Freeman, University College London, 2nd July 2013.
  • Mediation and Vulnerable Parents’, Seminar at Exeter College, Oxford, 27 September 2013 (to be included as a chapter in an edited collection, Vulnerabilities, Care and Family Law, Routledge)
  • ‘Fixed penalties and careless driving: not a simple matter?’ Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference, York Law School, 27 March 2013.
  • ‘The Knowing Child: Sex, Innocence and Law’, Keynote Lecture at the Knowing Young People II conference organized jointly by the British Education Research Centre and the Centre for Youth Work Studies at Brunel University, 19th September 2012.
  • ‘Child Focused Legislation: For the Sake of the Children?’ Annual Family Law Conference: Fifty Years in Family Law, Staffordshire University Law School, March 24th 2012.
  • ‘Family Law: an invisibility cloak for children?’ Public lecture, Brunel University,25th October 2011.



Journal Papers

(2012) Piper, CD. and Hunter, C., Parent abuse: Can law be the answer?, Social Policy and Society 11 (2) : 217- 227

(2010) Piper, C., Investing in a child’s future: Too risky?, Child and Family Law Quarterly 22 (1) : 1- 20

(2007) Piper, CD., Should impact constitute mitigation?: Structured discretion versus mercy, Criminal Law Review 2007 (1) : 141- 155 Download publication

(1999) Piper, C., How do you define a family lawyer?, Legal Studies 19 (1) : 93- 111 Download publication

(1996) Piper, C., Divorce reform and the image of the child, Journal of Law and Society 23 (3) : 364- 382 Download publication

Conference Papers

(2012) Piper, CD. and Easton, S., How effective is non-custodial sentencing in achieving compliance with road traffic law?, Achieving Compliance with Road Traffic Law Download publication

Book Chapters

(2012) Piper, CD., Child focused legislation: For the sake of the children?. In: Probert, R. and Barton, C. eds. Fifty years in Family Law: Essays for Stephen Cretney. Cambridge : Intersentia 71- 82

(2010) Kaganas, F. and Piper, CD., Re L (A child) (Contact: Domestic violence). In: Hunter, R., McGlynn, C. and Rackley, E. eds. Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice. Oxford : Hart Publishing 120- 133 Download publication

(2009) Piper, C., Rights and responsibility: Girls and boys who behave badly. In: Wallbank, J., Choudhry, S. and Herring, J. eds. Rights, Gender and Family Law. Oxon, UK : Routledge 70- 92

(2008) Piper, CD., Will law think about children? Reflections on youth matters. In: Invernizzi, A. and Williams, J. eds. Children and Citizenship. London, UK : Sage Publications

(2006) Piper, C., Feminist perspectives on youth justice. In: Diduck, A. and O'Donovan, K. eds. Feminist Perspectives on Family Law. London : Routledge-Cavendish 165- 188

(1999) Piper, CD. and Day Sclater, S., Changing divorce. In: Day Sclater, S. and Piper, C. eds. Undercurrents of Divorce. Ashgate 233- 254 Download publication

(1999) Kaganas, F. and Piper, C., Divorce and domestic violence. In: Day Sclater, S. and Piper, C. eds. Undercurrents of Divorce. Ashgate 183- 207 Download publication

(1999) Day Sclater, S. and Piper, CD., The Family Law Act 1996 in context. In: Day Sclater, S. and Piper, C. eds. Undercurrents of Divorce. Ashgate 3- 29 Download publication


(2012) Piper, CD. and Easton, S., Sentencing and punishment: The quest for justice. Oxford University press

(2008) Easton, S. and Piper, C., Sentencing and punishment: The quest for justice. Oxford University Press

(2008) Piper, C., Investing in children: Policy law and practice in context. Willan Publishing

(1993) Piper, CD., The responsible Pparent. Harvester Wheatsheaf/Simon Schuster

Page last updated: Tuesday 01 October 2013