Dr Rachel Pimm-Smith

Personal profile

Rachel joined the Law School in September 2019 having previously worked as a Lectuer at Lincoln Law School. She completed her PhD at Warwick Law School in 2018 where her doctoral thesis asked why the British state started to erode parental rights during the late 19th century. Rachel's thesis challenged the idea that public law interference was based on notions of child protection and argued that this intrusion was driven by a desire to morally reform the poor. She is currently conducting a study on how consent is obtained for non-national children who enter the foster care system in Britain where parents do not speak English.


Rachel's research interests include child law, family law and legal history. Her work is particularly focussed on the ways that public law interference affects family life and the impact this has on access to justice and human rights. Rachel is also the Family Law convenor at Royal Holloway.


Subject specialism


Child law, child protection, social rights, forcible adoption/naturalisation of non-national children, the legal history of regulating children




Best poster prize - Social for Legal Scholars 2016

Full PhD Scholarship - University of Warwick 2014

Queen Mother's Scholarship - The Honourable Society of Middle Temple Inn 2013

Diversity Access Scholar - Law Society 2013


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