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Dr Caroline Keenan

Dr Caroline Keenan

Senior Lecturer in Law

 01326 255473

 Peter Lanyon A093


Peter Lanyon Building, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Treliever Road, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


I have more than two decades experience as a lecturer in law in Russell Group universities and have won awards for my teaching, including Academic Fellowship of the Inner Temple. I have convened several modules, including foundation law subjects, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and have been commended for the innovations I have introduced.  I have developed specialist experience in teaching law to international undergraduate and postgraduate students.  I am very pleased that my teaching has been consistently highly rated by students. Most recently I was nominated for a teaching award by international students on the Law Foundation Programme at INTO Exeter.

My research has always explored how people use and understand law in action. My doctoral research was in criminal and family law. I went on to conduct research for the Home Office which contributed to   major reform of the law on sexual offences . I  wrote (with Laura Hoyano) Child Abuse Law and Policy Across Boundaries, which won the first Inner Temple Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Research. Most recently (2014-2017) I have been  a Senior Research Fellow in the Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, researching human conflict relating to the environment. During this time I worked on the ESRC funded project Doing TB Differently and with the Cornwall TB eradication group on knowledge exchange. I have given evidence to the National TB Advisory Committee on governance of TB control. 

I convene the Legal Foundations and Criminal Law modules in the first year of the LlB in Law with Business. I am part of the teaching team in our Environmental Law and Access to Justice modules, available to all across campus.

I am Director of Admissions. I am responsible for the design and delivery of the Law Widening Participation programme on the Penryn, Cornwall Campus. I am co-leader (with Kate Holtaway) of Grand Challenges Penryn Campus 2019.


PhD, University of Sheffield, 1994
The Development of the Law and its Implementation in the Investigation of Child Abuse
ESRC Postgraduate Scholarship and University of Sheffield Scholarship

LLB (Hons. 2.1), University of Sheffield, 1991
Graysons Prize for Family Law

Higher Practicing Certificate in Mediation  (Legal Aid Board accreditation), Family Mediation
Council, 2016


Teaching and Research in Law

September 2018 - Present Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Exeter, Cornwall (Penryn) Campus

  • Design of Legal Foundations and Criminal Law modules to include clinical legal and socio-legal skills.
  • Redesign of personal tutor system to include employability skills.
  • Lecturer in Environmental and Heritage Law.
  • Design and delivery of the Law Widening Participation programme on the Penryn, Cornwall Campus.
  • Co-leadership (with Kate Holtaway) of Grand Challenges Penryn Campus 2019

January –May 2018 INTO University of Exeter LLP. Teacher (Law)
• Created and convened bespoke foundation law module “Introduction to English Law and the
English Legal System” for international students
• Developed and delivered lectures, seminars and tutorials in Tort and Human Rights Law
• Teaching innovations include guided research tasks, debates and student self-assessment

December 2014–December 2017. Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter
• Research Fellow on ESRC grant Doing TB Differently
• Senior Research Fellow. Local decision-making and Knowledge Exchange in Bovine TB
• Visiting Research Fellow. Social Impact Assessment of Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project

January 2014 - December 2017  Accord Mediation, Truro, Cornwall

​​​Mediator, including for high conflict family mediations. Legal Aid qualified.

October 2013–October 2016. University of Bristol Law School.

October 2011–July 2012. University of Birmingham, Birmingham Law School. Senior Teaching Fellow
• Module convenor in Child Law
• Developed and delivered lectures, seminars, tutorials and formative marking at short notice
• Quality of teaching commended by External Examiner (including use of formative assessment
and use of feedback to support development of analytical research and writing skills)

October 2009–October 2013. University of Bristol Law School. Senior Teaching Fellow
• Lectured in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
• Elected Academic Fellow of The Inner Temple in recognition of “Outstanding contribution to
legal teaching”
• Developed training materials in formative and summative assessment for academics

2007–2009. Parental leave career break, during which I maintained several roles in legal
scholarship, including:
• University of Sheffield, External Examiner in Family Law
• Visiting Academic Fellow, Wadham College, University of Oxford
• Edited and prepared new content for Child Abuse Law and Policy Across Boundaries (2nd
edition, OUP, 2009)
• Family Law Bar Association. Keynote Speaker on ‘Reform of the law on safeguarding following
the death of Baby P’

2004–2007. Queen’s University Belfast, School of Law. Lecturer in Law
• Module Convenor for Criminal Justice. .
• Module Convenor for two LLM modules in Women’s Rights and Children’s Rights
• Continuing Professional Development programmes developed and delivered to all staff at
Women’s Aid and Northern Ireland Commission for Children
• Successful supervision of doctoral, masters and undergraduate research projects
• Deputy Director of the Human Rights Centre
• Winner of the inaugural Inner Temple Book Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship for Child
Abuse Law and Policy Across Boundaries, Oxford University Press, 2007. Described by Lord
Justice Rix (Chair of judging panel) as a ‘masterly book on a hugely important subject’, ‘an
inspiring achievement’ and ‘an invaluable source of ideas and law, theory and practice’.
• Returned in Law for RAE 2008, in which QUB was rated 7th law school in UK

2002–2003. University of Durham, Durham Law School. Lecturer in Law
• Module Convenor for Family Law, lectured the whole course and led tutorials and seminars
• Lecturer  in Criminal Law at undergraduate and masters levels

1995–2002. University of Bristol Law School. Lecturer in Law
• Deputy Chair of Curriculum Review for LLB Law programme
• Module Convenor for Family Law. I re-wrote the course, developing an interactive style of
lectures and practical seminars in which students developed socio-legal analysis of the law.
• Module Convenor for Criminology, comprising delivery of all lectures, seminars and tutorials.
• Lecturer in Legal Method and Skills. Using examples in contract and criminal law, I developed
and applied a Socratic method of seminars and mock-trials.
• Lecturer in Criminal Law, including lectures, seminars and tutorials
• Supervision of doctoral, masters and undergraduate research projects
• Initiated and developed a specialised Overseas Student Study Skills module
• Developed and delivered commercial Continuing Professional Development courses for
practicing solicitors
• Initiated and developed self-assessment and peer-assessment practice
• Co-Investigator on Home Office research grant ‘Assessment of the Admissibility and
Sufficiency of Evidence in Child Abuse Prosecutions’
• Principal Investigator for a Home Office review of law on sexual offences against children and
vulnerable adults, which contributed to reform contained in the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
• Visiting Professor at Washburn University, USA
• Visiting Fellow at University of Waikato, New Zealand






Supervision / Group

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