Dr Jane Norton

Head of Student Development and Support

Birmingham Law School

Photo of Jane Norton

Contact details

Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 9518

Fax +44 (0) 121 414 3585

Email j.norton.1@bham.ac.uk

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Dr Jane Norton is a lecturer in constitutional and administrative law and the law of trusts. Her research is focused on civil liberties (particularly religious freedom and freedom of expression), cultural minority rights, gender and the law, discrimination law, and normative legal philosophy. She is also interested in the regulation of charitable trusts.

Feedback and office hours

Odd weeks: Thursdays 12-1pm and 2-3pm
Even weeks: Wednesdays: 11-1pm

If you are unable to make these times, please email me for an appointment.


  • DPhil (Oxford) (Clarendon Scholar)
  • LLM (Columbia) (Fulbright Scholar)
  • BA/LLB (Hons) (Auckland) (Auckland District Law Society Prize for first in class)
  • Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand (admitted 2003)
  • New York State Bar Admission (2007)


After completing undergraduate studies Dr Norton worked as a judges’ clerk at the High Court of New Zealand, qualifying as a barrister and solicitor in 2003. She then moved to New York where she was a Fulbright Scholar and an Associate-in-Law at Columbia Law School before practising as an attorney at a large commercial law firm. She recently received her doctorate in law from the University of Oxford where she wrote on the religious freedom of religious organizations. A monograph based on her doctoral thesis will be published by Oxford University Press in 2014. Dr Norton has a strong interest in pro bono work having been an executive committee member of both the Auckland Women Lawyers Association and Oxford Pro Bono Publico. She has also provided pro bono legal assistance for the organisation inMotion in New York.


  • Public Law (LLB)
  • Advanced Constitutional Law (LLB)
  • The Law of Trusts and Equity (LLB)

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Norton is happy to supervise students in the following areas:

  • Religious freedom; law and religion; law and culture; minority rights; discrimination law.
  • Freedom of expression; regulation of the media; privacy
  • Charitable trusts

Potential students are invited to contact Dr Norton via email to discuss their research proposals prior to submitting official applications.


Dr Norton’s research is primarily focused on public law and legal theory. She is interested in civil liberties (particularly religious freedom, freedom of association, and freedom of expression), cultural minority rights, gender and the law, discrimination law, and normative legal philosophy. She is particularly concerned with examining how the liberal state ought to respond to claims of cultural groups that are inconsistent with liberal norms and how the state ought to regulate those intermediary groups that sit between the individual and the state. She is also interested in the regulation of charitable trusts.

She recently received her doctorate in law, for which she wrote on the extent to which the law should apply to religious organisations, examining in particular the exceptions granted to religious organisations from the Equality Act 2010 and the operation of religious tribunals in family matters.

She is currently working on projects examining judicial resolution of church property disputes, the regulation of charities for the advancement of religion, and the regulation of religious tribunals.

Other activities

Dr Norton is Head of Student Development and Support.


  • The Freedom of Religious Organizations  (OUP, forthcoming 2016)
  • 'Religious tribunals, religious freedom, and concern for vulnerable women' (2012) Child and Family Law Quarterly 363 (with Dr Farrah Ahmed)
  • Hosking v Runting and the Role of Freedom of Expression’ (2004) 10 Auckland Uni L RR 287
  • ‘Insular religious communities and the rights of internal minorities: a dilemma for liberalism’ (2001) 9(2) Auckland Uni LR 434
  • ‘Raising the curtain: the proposed Evidence Code and the compellability of spouses in domestic violence cases’ (2002) 9(3) Auckland Uni LR 1054

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