Professor Jean V. McHale

Birmingham Law School
Professor of Health Care Law

Contact details

Birmingham Law School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Professor Jean McHale researches and writes in the area of Health Law and Health Care law. She is the Director of the Centre for Health Law, Science and Policy at Birmingham Law School. Her recent books include The Regulation of Cosmetic Procedures: Legal, Ethical and Practical Challenges” with Dr Melanie Latham (Routledge 2020;  European Health Law: Themes and Implications with Hervey (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Routledge Handbook on Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Perspectives from Social Sciences and Law, edited with Nicola Gale, (Routledge, 2015). Professor  McHale is  currently the Principal Investigator on the ESRC Covid-19 Rapid Response Grant “ Removing Rights from the Vulnerable?: The Impact of Covid-19 Social Care Easements.”

She was also the PI on the UK Changing Europe Initiative Grant “Health Law outside the EU:Immediate, Intermediate and Long Term Impacts” – co-investigators Professor Tamara Hervey (University of Sheffield) and Dr Mark Flear (Queens University Belfast) (2017-2019). She was  also a co-grant holder on the National Institute for Health Research grant “Understanding employee whistleblowing in health care” (2016-2018) and  the AHRC research network grant The Changing Demands of Beauty (2016-2016).


  • LLB (Hons) (Manchester)
  • MPhil (Manchester)


Prior to taking up her chair at the  University of Birmingham in  Jean previously taught at the Universities of East Anglia, Nottingham, Manchester and Leicester.


  • Legal Issues in Health Care (LLB)
  • Health Law and the EU (LLM)
  • Human Rights and Health Care Law (LLM)

Postgraduate supervision

Health, Health Care Law and Social Care Law in particular,

Health Law and the EU and the impacts of Brexit
Covid 19 and health and social care
Health Care Privacy and Confidentiality
Legal Regulation of Cosmetic procedures
Legal Regulation of Use of Human Material
Legal Regulation of Clinical Research

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


Jean McHale is Professor of Healthcare Law and Director of the Centre for Health Law Science and Policy at the University of Birmingham.  Her recent books include The Regulation of Cosmetic Procedures; Legal Ethical and Practical Considerations (Routledge 2020) with Melanie Latham , Principles of Medical Law (4th ed) (OUP 2017)  co-edited with Judy Lang and European Health Law: Themes and Implications (CUP, 2015) , with Tamara Hervey. 

She has received funding as PI and Co- I from the ESRC, AHRC, NIHR, British Academy and  Wellcome Trust. She is currently the PI on the ESRC  Covid-19 Rapid Response Grant "Removing Rights from the Vulnerable? The Impact of Covid-19 social care easements" (November 2020- July 2022)." She has previously been invited to give evidence in person in relation to her work in European Health Law to the House of Lords European Committee and House of Commons Health Committee. She has also presented her work to members of the Scottish Parliament and  Scottish Government.

Other activities

She has given evidence to the House of Commons Health Select Committee in relation to its inquiries in relation to Brexit and healthcare in February 2017 and in November 2017. She has also given evidence to the House of Lords Home Affairs and Health Sub-Committee on the implication of Brexit for patient mobility and health care rights in October 2017. She was cited in the Inquiry Reports of the Select Committees. She has also been invited to present her research findings on Brexit and Health and Social Care in Scotland, to Members of the Scottish Parliament and Parliamentary officials in 2018 and in 2019.

Her Scottish Parliament podcast of presentation with Elizabeth Speakman on the impacts of Brexit for Scotland at the Scottish Parliament in February 2019 was issued by the Parliament as a podcast

She is a Trustee of Coventry Law Centre

Her external activities also have included being the legal member of Ethics and Governance Committee of the Airwave Health Monitoring Study which is being run jointly by the Home Office and Imperial College London. Previously she served as a member of the Promise of the Human Genome Panel of the DTI Health Task Force (1999-2000). She was a member of UK Biobank Interim Ethics and Governance Advisory Group 2003-4. She was a member of the UK Advisory Panel for Health Care Workers Affected by Blood Borne Viruses (206-2010). She was commissioned to write a Paper on Confidentiality and Mental Health for the Expert Committee chaired by Professor Genevra Richardson into the review of the Mental Health Act 1983, published in 1999. 

Her Brexit work has been reported in the National media:

She made a broadcast on 38 degrees Facebook Live session on Brexit and the NHS on the 4th December.

She was interviewed on BBC Radio Northern Ireland for their lunchtime Talk Back programme on 4th December.


Recent publications


Latham, M & McHale, J 2020, The Regulation of Cosmetic Procedures: Legal, Ethical and Practical Challenges. 1st edn, Routledge, London.


McHale, J 2024, 'Choosing home: Discharge to assess and the Health and Care Act 2022', The Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, vol. 74, no. 4, pp. 713-738.

Quigley, M, Downey, L, Mahmoud, Z & McHale, J 2023, 'The Shape of Medical Devices Regulation in the United Kingdom? Brexit and Beyond', Law, Technology and Humans, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 21-42. <>

Powell, M, Blenkinsopp, J, Davies, H, Mannion, R, Millar, R, McHale, J & Snowden, N 2022, 'The case of the disappearing whistleblower: an analysis of National Health Service inquiries', Public Money & Management, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 59-69.

McHale, J & Speakman, E 2020, 'Charging ‘overseas visitors’ for NHS treatment, from Bevan to Windrush and beyond', Legal Studies, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 565-588.

McHale, J, Speakman, E, Hervey, T & Flear, M 2020, 'Health law and policy, devolution and Brexit', Regional Studies.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

McHale, J 2023, Mental Health Law: A Global Future? in BD Kelly & M Donnelly (eds), Routledge Handbook of Mental Health Law. 1st edn, Routledge Handbooks in Law, Routledge, London, pp. 665-684.

McHale, J 2022, UK Biobank and the Legal Regulation of Genetic Research. in E Dove & N Nic Shuibhne (eds), Law and Legacy in Medical Jurisprudence: Essays in Honour of Graeme Laurie. 1st edn, Cambridge University Press, pp. 307-331.

McHale, J & Speakman, E 2021, Fundamental Rights to healthcare and charging overseas visitors for NHS treatment: diversity across the United Kingdom's devolved jurisdictions. in C O'Neill, C Foster, J Herring & J Tingle (eds), Routledge Handbook of Global Health Rights. 1st edn, Routledge.


Downey, L, Dickson, R, Quigley, M & McHale, J 2020, 'Attracting Investment and Protecting Patients with Smart Regulation', Reformer Thoughts.


Guy, M & McHale, J 2024, 'Health and Care Act 2022: new legislation - new legacy', The Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, vol. 74, no. 4, pp. 657–663.

Other contribution

Downey, L, Dickson, R, Roberts, J, Quigley, M & McHale, J 2021, Responses to the MHRA Consultation on the Future Regulation of Medical Devices in the UK.. <>

Quigley, M, McHale, J, Dickson, R & Downey, L 2020, Medicines and Medical Devices Bill 2019-20 Briefing Note. University of Birmingham. <>

Quigley, M, McHale, J, Dickson, R & Downey, L 2020, Memorandum submitted to the House of Lords Delegated Powers Committee..

Other report

McHale, J & Noszlopy, L 2021, Adult social care provision under pressure: lessons from the pandemic. University of Birmingham. <>

View all publications in research portal


Health care law in particular legal regulation of genetics; health law and the EU; legal regulation of nanomedicine; health care confidentiality; clinical research; organ transplantation; mental health law; cosmetic procedures law; Covid and adult social care law.

Media experience

Professor McHale's Brexit work has been reported in the National media:

She made a broadcast on 38 degrees Facebook Live session on Brexit and the NHS on the 4th December.

She was interviewed on BBC Radio Northern Ireland for their lunchtime Talk Back programme on 4th December.

Alternative contact number available for this expert: contact the press office


Health Law - currently focusing on the impact of Brexit on health care in general and the NHS in particular

Medical Confidentiality

Whistleblowing in the NHS

Consent to treatment

Organ transplantation and legal regulation of human material 

Mental Capacity and mental health law

Legal Regulation of Cosmetic procedures (Surgical and non-surgical)

Health care, human rights and older people