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Dr Caroline Derry

Dr Caroline Derry

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer in Law
  • The Faculty of Business and Law
  • The Open University Law School
  • The Law School
  • caroline.derry

Professional biography

Caroline Derry joined the Open University as a Lecturer in Law in April 2017.

Caroline was educated at Oxford University, where she studied Jurisprudence, and later at the University of Westminster where she was awarded an LLM and PhD. She qualified as a barrister, practising in criminal defence law, and as a solicitor in a large, central London legal aid practice. She then taught for fifteen years at London Metropolitan University, where she was a senior lecturer in criminal and evidence law and gender & law, and course leader for the LLB Law. She has been a visiting lecturer in criminal law at SOAS and at Paris Descartes (Masters in Common Law).

Caroline is a Fellow of the HEA.


Research interests

Gender, sexuality and criminal law, particularly the legal regulation of relationships between women from the seventeenth century to the present. Recent conference papers include ‘Learning from Wolfenden’s silent women’ and ‘Judges, nabobs and malign domestics: judicial fact-finding in Woods and Pirie v Cumming Gordon’.

First women lawyers: Caroline is currently researching several of the first British women to qualify as barristers. She is a participant in the First Women Lawyers in Great Britain and the Empire Symposia, where she has presented papers including 'Diverse definitions, diverse women: who was the first woman barrister?' and ‘Ethel Bright Ashford: using ‘failure’ to promote the greater cause’.


Teaching interests

  • W101 An Introduction to Law
  • W203 Public law and criminal law.

Prior to working at the Open University, Caroline led a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules including:

  • Criminal Law
  • Evidence and Advocacy
  • Women and Law
  • Gender and Human Rights
  • Criminal Justice and Human Rights

She is the co-author of two textbooks: Complete Criminal Law, sixth edition (with Janet Loveless and Mischa Allen, OUP, 2018) and Gender and Law (with Judith Bourne, Routledge, 2018).



Lesbianism and Feminist Legislation in 1921: the Age of Consent and 'Gross Indecency between Women' (2018-10-01)
Derry, Caroline
History Workshop Journal, 86 (pp. 245-267)
‘Female Husbands’, Community and Courts in the Eighteenth Century (2017)
Derry, Caroline
Journal of Legal History, 38(1) (pp. 54-79)
DPP v Jonathan Cape and Leopold Hill (1928) (2018-12)
Derry, Caroline
In: Rackley, Erika and Auchmuty, Rosemary eds. Women's Legal Landmarks: Celebrating 100 Years of Women and Law in the UK and Ireland
ISBN : 978-1782259770 | Publisher : Hart Publishing
Criminal Law (2018-04)
Derry, Caroline
In: Auchmuty, Rosemary ed. Great Debates in Gender and Law. Palgrave Great Debates in Law (pp. 37-48)
ISBN : 9781137610997 | Publisher : Palgrave
Ashford, Ethel Bright (1883–1980) (2018-11-08)
Derry, Caroline
Oxford University Press
Clapham, Olive Catherine [married name Miles] (1898–1973) (2018-11-08)
Derry, Caroline
Oxford University Press
Cobb, Monica Mary Geikie (1891–1946) (2018-11-08)
Derry, Caroline
Oxford University Press