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Sociology Research


Charlotte’s research interest is gender equality under the law. Applying feminist legal theory, Charlotte examines structural anti-women bias in the law. While the law is intended to promote freedom and equality, laws that regulate women’s lives and bodies, which all too often risk becoming a mechanism for discriminating and penalising women. Charlotte writes and speaks about the law’s conceptualisation of issues such as female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, honour-based violence, rape, prostitution, pornography and abortion.

Charlotte received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2017 having passed her viva without correction. Charlotte’s doctoral research (The Impact of Criminalisation on Female Genital Mutilation in England: From the Perspective of Women and Stakeholders) involved a socio-legal analysis of FGM and associated law and policy in England. The research focused on two key questions (1) why FGM persists in England when the practice has been a criminal offence since 1985; and (2) why there has not been a single conviction in the ensuing three decades. Preliminary research revealed that this was the first empirical study of FGM and the impact of criminalisation in England. Charlotte conducted 79 qualitative  interviews with women from FGM-performing communities, stakeholders responsible for designing and enforcing the law, and two focus groups with women.

Charlotte’s inspiration for researching FGM derives from her specialist work as a barrister representing women and girls affected by FGM as a barrister specialising in gender-based violence and having advised the government on legislative changes. Combining academia and policy, Charlotte worked with the Bar Human Rights Committee’s working group and co-authored written evidence for the Parliamentary Inquiry into FGM law. The working group found that the UK government is in breach of international law and recommended a number of legal and policy changes. The Government adopted two of the group’s recommendations: FGM Protection Orders and a National FGM Centre.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Proudman, C., & Okine, J. (2016), “Failure to Act on Female Genital Mutilation,” Lexis Nexis.

Proudman, C. (2016), “Comparative Study of Female Genital Mutilation Legislation in the Commonwealth,” Report to Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

Proudman, C. (2016), “Combatting Sexism and Hate Speech,” Report to the Council of Europe Gender Equality Unit.

Dias QC, D., and Proudman, C. (2015), “International Human Rights Law and FGM,” Report to the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Towards a better investment in the rights of the child.

Ekaney QC, N., & Proudman, C. (2015), “FGM and the Serious Crime Act 2015,” Family Law Week

Ekaney QC, N., & Proudman, C. (May 2015), “Female Genital Mutilation: Prosecution and Prevention,” Counsel.

Proudman, C. (2015), “Case summary: B and G (Children) (No 2) [2015] EWFC 3,” Family Law Week.

Proudman, C. (2015), “The End Demand Campaign,” Family Law Journal, 45(2), 105-238.

Proudman, C. (2012), “The Criminalisation of Forced Marriage,” Family Law, 42(4), 460-465.

Proudman, C. (2012), “A Specific Criminal Offence of Forced Marriage,” Criminal Law and Justice Weekly, 176.

Proudman, C. (2012), “The Criminalisation of Forced Marriage across Europe,” International Family Law Journal.

Media Articles

Research Groups & Affiliations


Economic and Social Research Council Studentship (2013)

International Legal & Professional Development Grant, Bar Council (2013)

Wolfson Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2011)

Queens’ College Award, Cambridge (2010 and 2011)

Continuing Education Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2010 – 2011)

Human Rights Lawyers’ Association Bursary (2010)

Hardwicke Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2009)

Additional Information


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Department of Sociology, King’s College, University of Cambridge (2017)
  • MPhil, Institute of Criminology, Queens’ College, University of Cambridge (2011)
  • Bar Vocational Course, The City Law School (2010)
  • LLB (Hons) Law & Sociology, Keele University (2009)



  • Launch of FGM European Knowledge Platform for Professionals, FORWARD (anti-FGM NGO), London, 24.04.17.
  • Celebrating International Women’s Day, panel of renowned speakers, City University, London, 08.03.2017.
  • European Conference to Tackle FGM, FORWARD, London, 23.02.2017.
  • Re-Defining FGM as Torture, UN Women Somalia, London, 23.01.2017.
  • Combatting the Challenges Women Lawyers Encounter, Trinity College, Oxford University, 18.01.2017.
  • In Conversation with Charlotte Proudman on Law and Gender Politics, Women’s Equality Party, Oxford, 22.10.2016.
  • Female Genital Mutilation: Family Law Training Day in Collaboration with Goldsmith Chambers, the National FGM Centre and FORWARD, London, 20.09.2016.
  • Combatting Sexism and Hate Speech, The Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy, Estonia, 30.06.2016.
  • FGM: A Crime Performed With Impunity, Amnesty International Cambridge City Group, 09.03.2016.
  • Reflecting on Feminist Jurisprudence, Wolfson College, Cambridge, 09.03.2016.
  • Gender, Emotion and Feminism in the Courtroom, Department of Sociology, Cambridge, 09.03.2016.
  • In Conversation with Charlotte Proudman and survivors and activists Leyla Hussein and Nimco Ali about the Campaign to End Female Genital Mutilation at Women of the World (WOW), Cambridge, 07.03.2016.
  • The Revival of the Feminist Movement, King’s College Women’s Dinner, 05.03.2016.
  • Celebrating the Achievements of Women, Women of the World (WOW), Cambridge, 05.03.2016.
  • The Role of Professional Women in Male Dominated Fields, St Anne’s College, Oxford, 29.02.2016.
  • Panellist in “Diversity in Law” event chaired by Baroness Hale and organised by The Times, London, 22.02.2016.
  • Introducing the Nordic Model in England and Wales for Prostitution, Zonta International, Radisson, 10.02.2016.
  • Guest speaker: Celebrating the Work of Women Lawyers at the 40th Anniversary of Rights of Women, London, 08.02.2016.
  • Introducing a Criminal Offence of ‘Coercive Control,’ Coercive Control Conference, Bury St Edmonds, 04.02.2016.
  • FGM and Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery: A Double Legal Standard? Amnesty International, Cambridge, 06.02.2016.



Charlotte is sought after counsel in international children cases. Charlotte’s notable cases provide an overview of the work she is involved in.

  • S v S [2017] EWHC 1298 (Fam). Charlotte represented the applicant father who sought an order for the immediate return of the child to Iran following the child’s abduction by the respondent mother to England. The issue was whether the father’s undertakings (promises to the court) to ensure the safe return of the mother and the child to Iran would be enforceable in an Iranian court of law. Two Iranian legal experts were instructed to give evidence. An extensive fact-finding hearing took place dealing with allegations of physical and sexual abuse.
  • Petrotrin v Stanley Ryan and another [2017] UKPC 30. Junior counsel representing the company on appeal to the Privy Council to set aside the Court of Appeal’s decision to reverse the trial judge’s dismissal of a claim concerning the escape of hydrocarbon fumes from an oil well causing medical complaints. The appeal raised issues as to the appropriate test of caution, whether the Court of Appeal was entitled to reverse findings of fact made by the trial judge and whether there was sufficient evidence to support their conclusions. The appeal was allowed.
  • Yathurshini Logenthiran and Savithirithevi logenthiran v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [HU/06141/2015 and HU/06145/2015]. Charlotte represented the Appellants in the Upper-tier Tribunal where it was found that the First-tier Tribunal failed to consider Article 8 outside of the Immigration Rules and thus the case was remitted to the First-tier Tribunal.
  • Re: Rodwell [2016] EWHC 1731 (Fam).  Charlotte represented the applicant father who sought the return of the children to Spain. The mother and children’s whereabouts were unknown, which raised questions about whether the court had jurisdiction to make orders concerning the family.
  • A Local Authority v a Mother, a Father and an Aunt [2012] EWHC 1637 (Fam). Junior counsel representing the aunt in public law children proceedings; the aunt obtained a placement order and was awarded costs against the local authority.
Job Title:
Affiliated Researcher
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