Mairead Enright

Mairead Enright

Birmingham Law School
Reader in Feminist Legal Studies

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Máiréad Enright joined Birmingham Law School in 2016. Her research is in feminist legal studies and law and religion. She is especially interested in how patriarchal legal and religious structures can be resisted and changed. Her research in this respect looks beyond traditional methods of law reform to consider illegality, protest, private litigation, and experimental legal drafting. She is Co-Director of the Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments Project (, and often consults with and advises groups campaigning around reproductive rights and historical gender-based violence in Ireland. 

ORCID: 0000-0003-0627-9682


  • BCL (NUI)
  • MA (King’s College London)
  • Barrister-at-Law (King’s Inns)


I joined Birmingham Law School as a Senior Lecturer in September 2016, having lectured at Kent Law School and Manchester Metropolitan University. I have also been the EJ Phelan Fellow in International Law and a doctoral student at University College Cork. I tweet at @maireadenright. I have held a variety of visitorships including at Osgoode Hall Law School (York University) and the Beatrice Bain Reading Group at UC Berkeley.



  • Contract Law.
  • Family Law.

Postgraduate supervision

I am willing to supervise research students in the following areas:

Law and Religion, particularly from feminist or critical legal perspectives.
Politics of reproductive justice.
Law, activism and social movements.
I am happy to answer email queries from prospective students before submission of an official proposal.

Find out more - our PhD Law  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


I have a range of research interests, grounded in feminist legal theory, and critical theoretical approaches to legal agency, legal pluralism, law-breaking, resistance and disobedience. My research to date has focused, in particular, on how women may strategically manipulate legal processes (contract formation, private law litigation, vernacular dissident legal interpretation and the feminist drafting of legal texts) to resist religious or cultural dispossession. A related strand of my research concerns states’ use of legal discourse to construct and maintain exclusionary politics of national identity, whether with or against religion. My research in this respect has involved close examination of the intersections of law, religious power and gendered national identity projects, Islamic family law and the politics of reproductive justice in Ireland (particularly the early family planning movement, abortion rights and reparations for historical obstetric violence). 

Other activities

Legal consultant for artwork for The Touching Contract (Dublin, 2016)

Mairead is a founding member of Lawyers for Choice, a public legal education group that aims to enhance understanding of abortion regulation in Ireland. 


Recent publications


De Londras, F & Enright, M 2018, Repealing the 8th: Reforming Abortion Law in Ireland. Policy Press Shorts, Policy Press. <>


Enright, M, McNeily, K & De Londras, F 2020, 'Abortion activism, legal change, and taking feminist law work seriously', The Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, vol. 71, no. 3, pp. OA7-OA33. <>

Enright, M 2020, 'Four pieces on repeal: notes on art aesthetics and the struggle against Ireland’s abortion law', Feminist Review, vol. 124, no. 1, pp. 104-123.

Enright, M & Ring, S 2020, 'State Legal Responses to Historical Institutional Abuse: Shame, Sovereignty and Epistemic Injustice', Eire-Ireland; a journal of Irish studies, vol. 55, no. 1&2.

Enright, M & Cloatre, E 2018, 'Transformative illegality: how condoms ‘Became Legal’ in Ireland, 1990-1993', Feminist Legal Studies, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 261-284.

Cloatre, E & Enright, M 2017, ''On the perimeter of the lawful': enduring illegality in the Irish family planning movement, 1972-1985', Journal of Law and Society, vol. 44, no. 4, pp. 471-500.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Enright, M & Ring, S 2020, State Shame, Sovereignty and Legal Responses to Historical Institutional Abuse. in C Fischer & A Mahon (eds), Philosophical Perspectives on Contemporary Ireland. Routledge.


De Londras, F & Enright, M 2020, The Only Lawyer on the Panel’: Anti-Choice Lawfare in the Battle for Abortion Law Reform. in K Browne & S Calkin (eds), After Repeal: Rethinking Abortion Politics. Zed Books.

Enright, M 2019, Abortion law in Ireland: Reflecting on reform. in L Black & P Dunne (eds), Law and Gender in Modern Ireland: Critique and Reform. 1 edn, Hart Publishing, Oxford, UK, pp. 55-70. <>

Enright, M & O'Donoghue, A 2019, The Northern/Irish feminist judgments project: experiments in feminist legal research. in L Cahillane & J Schweppe (eds), Case studies in legal research methodologies: reflections on theory and practice. Clarus Press.

Enright, M 2018, 'No. I won’t go back’: National time, trauma and legacies of symphysiotomy in Ireland. in S Benyon-Jones & E Grabham (eds), Law and Time. 1st edn, Social Justice, Routledge.

Enright, M 2018, Contract Law. in Great Debates in Gender and the Law. Great Debates in Law, Red Globe Press, London.

Enright, M 2018, Health (Family Planning) Act 1979. in E Rackley & R Auchmuty (eds), Women's Legal Landmarks. 1st edn, Hart Publishing, pp. 349-355.

Enright, M & Cloatre, E 2017, Commentary on McGee v Attorney General. in Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments: Judges' Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity. Hart Publishing, pp. 95-106.

Enright, M, McCandless, J & O'Donoghue, A 2017, Introduction: Troubling Judgment. in M Enright, J McCandless & A O'Donoghue (eds), Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments: Judges' Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity. Hart Publishing, pp. 4-26.

View all publications in research portal


Mairead has expertise in abortion law, feminism in Ireland, historical injustice and reproductive justice.


  • Feminist legal studies 
  • Law and religion
  • Reproductive rights
  • Irish Studies