Adrienne Barnett


Adrienne Barnett_opt.jpg

Adrienne Barnett was called to the Bar in 1981 and practised at the independent Bar in London until 2013, specialising in all areas of Family Law. In the later years of her practice she primarily represented parents and children in serious care cases.

Adrienne worked as a part-time tutor in Brunel University’s law department from 1997 until 2000, and was an accredited lecturer for Central Law Training from 2001 until 2004. She has presented papers at numerous academic and professional conferences in the UK and abroad. She was an active member of the Domestic Violence Working Group of the Family Justice Council and is currently a member of the Advisory Group of Rights of Women. In 2013 she completed and published, with Professor Rosemary Hunter of the University of Kent, national survey research for the Family Justice Council on fact-finding hearings in private law Children Act cases. Her PhD thesis examined the practices and perceptions of courts and professionals in child contact cases where domestic violence is an issue.


BA Degree (English Major) (University of Cape Town, SA), 1977
Diploma in Law (Polytechnic of Central London, now University of Westminster), 1980
Bar Finals Examinations (Inns of Court School of Law), 1981
LLM (with Distinction) in Child Law and Policy (Brunel University), 1998
PhD (Brunel University), 2014

Research area(s)

  • Family and Child Law
  • Feminist Legal Studies
  • Feminist Theory
  • Luhmann’s systems theory
  • Gender and the law



Children and the Law

Family Law
Land Law

Current module convenor for Children and the Law and CPE Land Law

Student Support

Director of Undergraduate Admissions

Selected Publications

Journal articles

Barnett, A.   (2017)   ''Greater than the mere sum of its parts': coercive control and the question of proof'. Child and Family Law QuarterlyDownload publication 

Barnett, A.   (2017)   'Family Law Without Lawyers - A Systems Theory Perspective'. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Not known (Special Issue).  Download publication 

Barnett, A.   (2016)   'Book Review: Domestic violence law and practice'. Journal of Social Welfare and Family LawDownload publication 

Barnett, A.   (2015)   ''Like Gold Dust These Days': Domestic Violence Fact-Finding Hearings in Child Contact Cases'. FEMINIST LEGAL STUDIES. doi: 10.1007/s10691-015-9278-4 Download publication 

Barnett, A.   (2014)   'Contact at all costs? Domestic violence and children's welfare'. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 26 (4).  pp. 439 - 462. Download publication 

Hunter, R.  and Barnett, A.   (2013)   'Fact-finding hearings and the implementation of Practice Direction 12J'. Family Law, 43 pp. 431 - 447. 

Barnett, A.   (2009)   'The Welfare of the Child Re-visited: In Whose Best Interests? Part 1'. Family Law, 39 pp. 50 - 54. 

Barnett, A.   (2009)   'The Welfare of the Child Re-visited: In Whose Best Interests? Part II'. Family Law. pp. 135 - 141. 

Barnett, A.   (2008)   'A better world through law? The implications of the theories of Niklas Luhmann for green economics'. International Journal of Green Economics, 2 (4).  pp. 343 - 352. doi: 10.1504/IJGE.2008.022445 

Barnett, A.   (2000)   'Getting a 'get' - The limits of law's authority?'. Feminist Legal Studies, 8 (2).  pp. 241 - 254. 

Barnett, A.   (1999)   'Disclosure of Domestic Violence by Women Involved in Child Contact Disputes'. Family Law, 29 pp. 104. 

Book chapters

Barnett, A.  (2000)   'Contact and Domestic Violence: The Ideological Divide', in Bridgeman, J.  and Monk, D. (eds.) Feminist Perspectives on Child Law.  London Cavendish pp. 129 - 150. 

Page last updated: Tuesday 13 June 2017