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Dr Andrew Gilbert

Head and shoulders photo of Andrew Gilbert

Profile summary

Professional biography

Andrew has been the Associate Dean with responsibility for Curriculum and Quality Assurance since November 2023, having joined The Open University as a Senior Lecturer in July 2020. He is an experienced teacher, researcher and academic leader; an all-rounder with an excellent grasp of the complexities and challenges of the current higher education environment and a commitment to make outstanding higher education accessible to all who pursue it. After reading law at the University of East Anglia, Andrew practised as a family law solicitor in a busy legal aid practice before becoming a lecturer. He has previously taught at the University of Hertfordshire and at ARU in Cambridge. In 2020, Andrew was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Association of Law Teachers, and he is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He has been an external examiner at St Mary's University and Leeds Beckett. In 2014 he founded, and until 2019 co-convened, the 'Law, Politics and Ideology' stream at the SLSA Annual Conference. Andrew’s political ambitions came to an end after he stood as a candidate in the 2010 General Election in the Birkenhead constituency and was soundly beaten into second place.

Research interests

Andrew has researched in the area of family law and policy. His thesis, entitled 'British Conservatism and the Legal Regulation of Intimate Adult Relationships, 1983-2013', was awarded by University College London in 2016. Andrew's supervisors were Professors Alison Diduck and Michael Freeman, and the thesis was examined by Professor Gillian Douglas and Dr Rob George. The examiners commented that Andrew's work is 'an important and original piece of scholarship... which forms a distinct and significant contribution to the knowledge of family law.' A book based on Andrew's thesis was published by Hart/Bloomsbury in August 2018, which went on to be nominated for two prestigious prizes in 2019 (the Hart-SLSA Book prize and the Socio-Legal Theory and History prize) and was runner-up in the Political Studies Association/Conservatism Studies Group Book Prize in 2020. The book has been reviewed in three leading academic journals: the Modern Law Review, the Child and Family Law Quarterly and the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law. Professor Chris Barton's review in the MLR concludes by saying that the book is 'at its excellent best when using plain language to assess the fruits of the author's definitive surveys of what its prime subjects actually wrote and said.' In the CFLQ Dr Sharon Thompson wrote, ‘In short, for those seeking to support or oppose reform, or to simply glean a better understanding of how family law is made, British Conservatism and the Legal Regulation of Intimate Relationships is required reading.’ And in the JSWFL Professor Hilary Sommerlad concludes her review with the words, 'an absolutely fascinating, scholarly book.' Andrew recently wrote on the new divorce law for The Conversation.

Andrew’s research interests also cover aspects of legal education. His chapter entitled ‘Capitalising on Clinical Legal Education: Insights from Bourdieu’ features in a volume edited by Hugh McFaul and Omar Madhloom published by Routledge in 2021. Andrew leads the law school's Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) curriculum development work and he has blogged on why the SQE can't guarantee competent solicitorslaw schools' responses to the SQE and ChatGPT passing SQE1 with flying colours. He has recently published with OU colleagues one of the first discussions about ChatGPT and the future of legal education and practice. He was the academic consultant on the justice episode of the OU/BBC production 'Darren McGarvey: The State We're In' which aired on BBC Two and BBC Scotland in February 2024.

Andrew has over nine years’ experience of supervising PhD students, including supervising students to completion, examining, and chairing vivas. He is happy to be approached about PhD supervision in any of his areas of interest.

Teaching interests

Prior to working at The Open University, Andrew led a range of undergraduate modules including Family Law, Child Law and Constitutional & Administrative Law. He is currently involved in the production of W322 SQE: Property and Private Client Law and, having worked on its production, the presentation of W230 Family Law.


ChatGPT and the Future of Legal Education and Practice (2023)
Ajevski, Marjan; Barker, Kim; Gilbert, Andrew; Hardie, Liz and Ryan, Francine
The Law Teacher, 57(3) (pp. 352-364)

Family Law by Frances Burton (2016)
Gilbert, Andrew
The Law Teacher, 50(1) (pp. 138-139)

From ‘pretended family relationship’ to ‘ultimate affirmation’: British conservatism and the legal recognition of same-sex relationships (2014-12)
Gilbert, Andrew
Child and Family Law Quarterly, 26(4) (pp. 463-488)

British Conservatism and the Legal Regulation of Intimate Relationships (2018-08-23)
Gilbert, Andrew
ISBN : 9781509915880 | Publisher : Hart/Bloomsbury | Published : Great Britain

Capitalising on Clinical Legal Education: Insights from Bourdieu (2022)
Gilbert, Andrew
In: Madhloom, Omar and Mcfaul, Hugh eds. Thinking About Clinical Legal Education: Philosophical and Theoretical Perspectives (pp. 49-68)
ISBN : 9780367273491 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon

An Unnatural Union? - British Conservatism and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (2015)
Gilbert, Andrew
In: Diduck, Alison; Peleg, Noam and Reece, Helen eds. Law in Society: Reflections on Children, Family, Culture and Philosophy (pp. 489-508)
ISBN : 978-9004-26148-8 | Publisher : Brill | Published : Leiden