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Dr Adrienne Barnett

Dr Adrienne Barnett
Senior Lecturer in Law


Adrienne Barnett was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1981 and practised at the independent Bar London for over 30 years, for most of which she specialised in Family Law, primarily representing parents and children in serious care cases and in private law cases involving allegations of domestic abuse. She also 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 is a door tenant at 1 Pump Court Chambers. She is the module convenor for Land Law and also teaches Family Law, Children and the Law and Gender and the Law.

Her specialist area of research is domestic abuse and the family courts, including parental alienation. She has published widely and 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 and of Women's Aid's Expert Advisory Group to the Child First campaign. 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, and she has  been active in policy change and professional training in this area. Recently she was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice to undertake a literature review to support their inquiry into domestic abuse and the family courts which will be published shortly.


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


Co-ordinator and Lead for undergraduate admissions, Brunel Law School; lead on Support through Court volunteer scheme

Newest selected publications

Barnett, A., Riley, A. and Katherine. (2021) 'Experiences of Parental Alienation Interventions', in Mercer, J. and Drew, M. (eds.) Challenging Parental Alienation New Directions for Professionals and Parents. New York; London : Routledge. ISBN 10: 0367559773. ISBN 13: 978-0367559779. Open Access Link

Book chapter

Hunter, RC., Barnett, A., Kaganas, F. and Choudhry, S. (2020) 'Domestic Abuse and Child Contact International Experience'. Routledge. ISSN 10: 0367645386 ISSN 13: 9780367645380


Barnett, A. (2020) 'A genealogy of hostility: parental alienation in England and Wales'. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 42 (1). pp. 18 - 29. ISSN: 0964-9069 Open Access Link

Journal article

Barnett, A., Hunter, R. and Kaganas, F. (2018) 'Introduction: Contact and domestic abuse'. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 40 (4). pp. 401 - 425. ISSN: 0964-9069 Open Access Link

Journal article

Barnett, A. (2017) ''Greater than the mere sum of its parts': coercive control and the question of proof'. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 29 (4). pp. 379 - 400. ISSN: 1358-8184 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(16)