Dr Rosie Harding


Senior Lecturer
Acting Head of School

Birmingham Law School


Contact details

Telephone +44 (0) 121 414 4960

Fax +44 (0) 121 414 3585

Email r.j.harding@bham.ac.uk

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Rosie's research explores the place of law in everyday life. Her primary interests are in family law, particularly the regulation and recognition of caring and intimate relationships. Her current research is focused on mental capacity, care, and dementia. Her broader research interests are in the gender, sexuality and law field, and also include human rights, discrimination and equality, labour law and the intersection of law and psychology. Her first book, Regulating Sexuality won the 2011 Hart-SLSA Book Prize and Early Career Prize.



  • LLB (Hons) University of Edinburgh
  • LLM Keele University
  • PhD University of Kent
  • PgC Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Keele
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


Dr Rosie Harding completed her LLB at the University of Edinburgh, her LLM at Keele and her PhD at the University of Kent. Prior to joining Birmingham Law School in 2012, she taught at Keele Law School from 2004-2012. 



  • LM Socio-Legal Theory
  • LM Socio-Legal Method
  • Introduction to the Study of Law

Postgraduate supervision

Rosie is happy to supervise postgraduate research students in any of the following areas:


  • Mental Capacity law, especially research involving questions of everyday decision-making, dementia, intellectual disability, powers of attorney, advance directives and end of life decision making.
  • Gender, sexuality and law, particuarly issues to do with care, family law, discrimination and equality.

She is particularly interested in supervising research involving empirical socio-legal methods. Potential research students are welcome to contact her by email to discuss their research proposals prior to submitting an official application.

Current Postgraduate Students:

Charlotte Bendall 'Gender in Intimate Relationships: A Socio-Legal Study'

Zainab Naqvi 'Big Love or Big Problem? Feminist perspectives on the legal recognition of polygamy in English law'

Ellen Gordon-Bouvier 'Trusts of the Family Home'

Sarah Singh 'Socio-Legal Regulation of Motherhood'

Susan Westwood (Keele) 'Discrimination and Equality for Older LGBs'


Rosie’s main research interests are in how law operates in everyday life. She is interested in how people experience legal frameworks and how they make decisions about whether or not to use law. Her research to date has focused on the recognition and regulation of intimate and caring relationships. Her work straddles areas of equality law, family law, healthcare law, human rights and jurisprudence.

Rosie's current research project seeks to understand how carers of people with dementia experience the regulatory frameworks surrounding accessing help with and financial assistance for care, and the sources of formal and informal support utilised by carers of PWD, through topics including recent changes to powers of attorney, and the personalisation of care budgets. For more information see the Dementia Project website (www.dementiaproject.net). This empirical work forms the basis of her current monograph project Duties to Care: Dementia, Relationality and Law (under contract with Cambridge University Press).

She is principal investigator of the AHRC Research Network ‘ReValuing Care: Perspectives from Gender, Seuxality and Law’ (www.revaluingcare.net), a partnership with the Universities of Adelaide and Keele.

She is also involved in a collaborative project with BArts (www.b-arts.org.uk) and Ayogo (ayogo.com) exploring legal aspects of consent to digital memory box applications for people living with dementia and their families.

Selected Research Grants:

AHRC International Research Networking Grant ‘ReValuing Care: Perspectives from Gender, Sexuality and Law’ £44,808.72 (at 100% FEC). Principal Investigator: Rosie Harding, Co-I: Ruth Fletcher (Keele), International partner: Professor Christine Beasley, University of Adelaide, Australia. (March 2012 – March 2014, AH/J008516/1).

British Academy Small Research Grant for pilot study ‘Duties to Care:A socio-legal exploration of caring for people with dementia’ PI, £7,391 (1 Sep 2010 – 29 Feb 2012, SG-1000017).

ESRC ‘International Training and Networking Activities for Early Career Scholars’ Scheme grant: “CentreLGS PECANS International Workshops and Network Development Programme” PI, £39,978.40 (fEC) (1 Oct 2009 – 30 Sept 2011, RES-810-21-0021).

Other activities


  • Deputy Director of Research at Birmingham Law School
  • Head of Postgraduate Studies – Doctoral Research at Birmingham Law School 
  • Member, SLSA Executive Committee
  • Member, ESRC Peer-Review College




  • Harding, R. (2011) Regulating Sexuality: Legal consciousness in lesbian and gay lives Routledge: London, pp 208. ISBN: 978-0-415-57438-9. Winner of the Hart-SLSA Socio-Legal Book Prize 2011, and the Hart-SLSA Early Career Prize 2011.


Edited works


  • Peel E., Westwood, S., & Harding R. (forthcoming) Ageing & Sexualities: Interdisciplinary Perspectives  (Ashgate).
  • Peel E. & Harding R. (eds) (2008) ‘Regulating Sexuality: Contemporary perspectives on lesbian and gay relationship recognition’ Special Issue of Sexualities 11(6).


Journal Articles


  • Peel, E. & Harding, R. (2013) “It’s a huge maze, the system, it’s a terrible maze”: Dementia carers’ constructions of navigating health and social care services. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice .
  • Harding, R. & Peel, E. (2013) “He was like a zombie”: Off-label Prescription of Antipsychotic Drugs in Dementia Medical Law Review 21: 243-277.
  • Harding, R. (2012) ‘Legal Constructions of Dementia: Discourses of autonomy at the margins of capacity’ Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 34(4): 425-442.
  • Harding, R.(2010) ‘Imagining a Different World: Reconsidering the Regulation of Family Lives.’ Law and Literature 22(3): 440-462.
  • Harding, R. (2007) 'Sir Mark Potter and the protection of the traditional family: Why same-sex marriage is (still) a feminist issue' Feminist Legal Studies, vol. 15(2), 223-234.
  • Harding R and Peel E. (2007) ‘Surveying sexualities: Internet research with non-heterosexuals’ Feminism & Psychology, vol. 17(2), 277-285.
  • Harding, R. (2007) ‘The promise of rights and the reality of law: implications of the decision in Wilkinson v Kitzinger’ Lesbian and Gay Psychology Review, vol. 8(1), 15-20.
  • Harding, R.(2006) ‘Dogs are ‘registered’, people shouldn’t be’: Legal consciousness and lesbian and gay rights. Social & Legal Studies 15(4): 511-533.
  • Harding, R. and Peel, E. (2006) ‘“We Do”? International perspectives on equality, legality and same sex relationships’ Lesbian and Gay Psychology Review, vol. 7(2), 123-140.
  • Harding, R. (2005) ‘Psychology, human rights and law: the case of planned lesbian families’ Lesbian and Gay Psychology Review, vol. 6(1), 23-34. 
  • Peel, E. and Harding, R. (2004) ‘Civil partnerships’ Feminism & Psychology, vol. 14(1), 41-46.
  • Peel, E. and Harding, R. (2004) ‘Divorcing rights, romance and radicalism: beyond pro and anti in the lesbian and gay marriage debate’ Feminism & Psychology, vol. 14(4), 588-599.


Chapters in Books


  • Harding, R. (forthcoming, 2014) ‘Dementia and Carers: Relationality and informal carers’ experiences’ in C. Foster, J. Herring & I. Doron Law, Ethics and Dementia.
  • Harding, R. (forthcoming, 2014) ‘Parenting after Equality: (Re)Inscribing the Heteronormative Family’ in R. Leckey (ed) After Equality (Abingdon, Routledge).
  • Harding R. (2010) ‘Wilkinson v Kitzinger Judgment’ in Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice McGlynn C, Hunter R, Rackley E (Eds.). Oxford: Hart.
  • Harding, R. and Peel, E. (2007) ‘Heterosexism at work: diversity training, discrimination law and the limits of liberal individualism’ in Out in psychology: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer perspectives. Clarke V and Peel E (Eds.). Chichester, New York and Brisbane: Wiley.

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