What is your position and what do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am a lecturer in law at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow of Jesus College. When I'm not teaching (family law and criminal law), I spend my time researching and writing. My main focus is on children's rights, and I am currently writing a book on the way in which the European Court of Human Rights has dealt with claims by children and alleged violations of their rights. I am also working on the issue of international surrogacy, and the legal implications on a domestic, regional, and international level.
Over the past few years I have also done a lot of work with the United Nations, working with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva on issues relating to children and youth. This has allowed me to work on overarching issues of policy, such as sexual exploitation of children online, investing in children's rights, and systems of birth registration.
How long have you been in this role and what brought you here?
I am originally from Australia, and did my undergraduate degree there before coming to the UK eight years ago.
I have only been a lecturer at Cambridge for a year. Before that, I taught at King's College London, where they have a fantastic centre for transnational law. Academia was something I almost fell into - I kept going back to university and learned more and more, and in the end never wanted to leave!
What are the people you work for/with like? Any memorable stories?
One of the best parts of my job is getting to work with students every day, and see their understanding of the law grow from first principles to challenging my papers and telling me how and why they think I am wrong! It's fantastic to see that evolution in their thinking, and know they will go on to become great lawyers.
I am also very lucky to be part of a (relatively) big team of family lawyers at Cambridge - there are four of us who all have very diverse areas of interest, but complement each other in our work.
What is the best and worst part of the day for you?
The best part of my day is waking up and thinking, 'What shall I read about today?'. There is a wonderful freedom in academia to focus on the things that interest you most and to follow your passion. There are not a lot of jobs that let you do that.
The worst part is marking essays!