Alana Farrell

Alana Farrell

Birmingham Law School
Doctoral researcher

Contact details


  • BCL (Bachelor of Civil Law) from University College Dublin
  • MSSc in Criminology from Queen’s University Belfast
  • MSc in Information Science from City University, London


While completing my PhD I have worked as a Teaching Associate in criminal law and as an A2B tutor. I have also worked as a research assistant on a WHO project, assisting with a systematic review of the literature on barriers to accessing abortion care. 

My interest in law and information restrictions comes from my years working as an information professional in both the private and public sectors. I supported access to medical humanities materials through coordinating the Royal College of Physician contribution to the UK Medical Heritage Library project. I also supported researchers, both domestic and international during my time at the Society of Antiquaries. I have also worked in various positions providing legal information to members of the public, and internally in private sector organisations.


  • Access to Birmingham (A2B) Tutor (2019)
  • Teaching Associate Criminal Law (2018-2019)

Training and qualifications

  • Introduction to Academic Practice for Doctoral Researchers (IAPDr) with Distinction (2019)
  • HEFi Horizon Award Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education for Postgraduates (2019)
  • EUI Summer School ‘Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education’ (2018)

Doctoral research

PhD title
Censorship of Abortion Information in Ireland: Enforcement and Subversion
Professor Fiona de Londras and Professor Máiréad Enright
Law PhD / PhD by Distance Learning / MPhil / MJur


My thesis is an examination of restrictions which aimed to prevent or curtail the circulation of information about abortion in Ireland. My analysis begins with the Censorship of Publications Acts, which mandated the prohibition of publications that were considered to advocate or promote abortion. Next, I examine the impact of the Eighth Amendment and the “information cases” of the 1980s and 1990s, where the sharing of abortion information was considered to be unconstitutional. In the final chapters consider the impact of the Fourteenth Amendment and Regulation of Information (Services outside the State for Termination of Pregnancies) Act 1995, and the Repeal movement which led to information becoming more freely available.

Other activities

 Research papers

  • Socio-Legal Methodology Workshop (2020) Adventures in archives: document sources beyond the statute books
  • Birmingham Law School Conference (2019) Speaking about silence: the framing of censorship of abortion information in Irish parliamentary debates
  • ROLES (a sexuality and gender forum) 9th Annual Conference (2019) Speaking as a form of resistance: fighting against reproductive health information censorship in Ireland
  • Literature, Law and Psychoanalysis, 1890-1950 (2019) The Irish Censorship of Publication Acts: the criminal law and nonfiction publications’

Membership of organisations

  • Associate Fellowship Advance HE awarded 18/06/2919
  • Socio-Legal Studies Association member

Study Trips

  • ESRC Annual Socio-Legal Masterclass (2019) St Catherine’s College Oxford
  • Interdisciplinary Legal Studies conference (2018) University of Kent
  • SLSA Postgraduate conference (2018) Queen’s University, Belfast

Research grants received

  • Bursary to attend the ESRC Annual Socio-Legal Masterclass (2019) St Catherine’s College Oxford
  • The College of Arts & Law Graduate School PG Research Support Fund (2019)
  • Care, Relationships, Health Research Support Funding (2019)

Other activities

  • Research Assistant, World Health Organisation and University of Birmingham (2019-2020)