School of Law

Dr Ruth Fletcher, LLB (TCD), MA (UCC), LLM (Osgoode), DJur (Osgoode)


Senior Lecturer in Medical Law

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 3955
Room Number: Mile End


Ruth Fletcher joined Queen Mary’s School of Law in September 2013, where she teaches and researches in medical law. Before that she was a Senior Lecturer at Keele University where she taught on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, including Healthcare Law and Medical Ethics and Law. During her time at Keele, Ruth was Director of the Centre for Law, Ethics and Society, Postgraduate Director for Social Sciences, and Associate Director of the AHRC Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality.

Undergraduate Teaching

Postgraduate Teaching

  • QLLM077 Medical Jurisprudence


Ruth’s research addresses the relationship between law, health and society through the lens of reproduction. She has an ongoing interest in law’s reproductivity: the generation of new legal forms through the synthesis of already existing legal forms. This has produced critical readings of new governance as it emerges through civic exchange on public health issues. It has also led to more abstract critiques of Pashukanis’ concept of legal form.  

Secondly, Ruth’s research is concerned with the practical everyday ways in which health, sexuality and reproduction become objects of legal struggle. Much of her work in this area has focused on documenting and critiquing the kinds of arguments and strategies that are generated in the regulation of abortion. Ruth’s current major project, a monograph-in-progress entitled Peripheral Life: Governing Travel for Abortion Care, investigates the significance of shifting abortion restrictions and transnational travel strategies, and draws on ESRC funded research into support networks for abortion-seeking women.  

Thirdly, Ruth is interested in reproduction as a key site of law and gender. She is Co-investigator of the AHRC ReValuing Care network an international, interdisciplinary network which aims to create spaces for dialogue about care across a range of contexts. Ruth was Associate Director of the AHRC Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality between 2004 and 2009.  




  • ReValuing Care in Theory, Law and Practice: Cycles and Connections, edited with Rosie Harding and Chris Beasley, in Routledge’s Social Justice Series (2017)
  • ‘ReValuing Care: Cycles and Connections’, with Rosie Harding and Chris Beasley, an introduction to ReValuing Care in Theory, Law and Practice Abingdon: Routledge, 2017, 1-13
  • ‘Negotiating strangeness on the abortion trail’ in Harding, Fletcher and Beasley (eds.) ReValuing Care in Theory, Law and Practice Abingdon: Routledge, 2017, 14-31.
    • A post-print version is available here and here
  • ‘Judgment: Attorney General v X and others (1992)’ in Enright, O’Donoughe and McCandless (eds.) Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments: Judges’ Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity London: Bloomsbury 2017 details here.
    • A post-print is available here and here
  • ‘Wench Tactics? Openings in Conditions of Closure’, with D. Ashiagbor et al Feminist Legal Studies (2017) 25(1): 1-23; available open access here.



  • ‘Abortion Law Reform in Ireland: A Model for Change’ and ‘General Scheme of Access to Abortion Bill’ with Enright et al Feminsts@Law 5(1)  
  • ‘Civic feminism and voluntary abortion care: A story of ESCORT’s contribution to reproductive justice’, in Sinead Kennedy, Catherine Conlon and Aideen Quilty eds. The Abortion Papers Ireland: Volume 2 Cork: Cork University Press, 2015. A post-print version is available here
  • ‘FLaK: Mixing Feminism, Legality and Knowledge’, Feminist Legal Studies 23(3): 241-252; open access here
  • ‘Touchstones’, Feminist Legal Studies 23(2): 121-126; available open access here
  • ‘Responding to Submissions’, Feminist Legal Studies 23(1): 1-6; available open access here
  • ‘Making Law Liveable?’ReValuing Care 28 February.







  • ‘Legal Embodiment: Analysing the Body of Healthcare Law’, with Marie Fox and Julie McCandless, Medical Law Review (2008) 16(3): 321-345
  • ‘Theorising Legal Embodiment’ with Marie Fox (eds.), a special issue of Medical Law Review 16(3): 321-457
  • ‘Reproductive Justice and Article 40 3 3’, in J. Schweppe ed. The Unborn Child, Article 40 3 3 and Abortion in Ireland: 25 years of Protection? (Dublin: Liffey Press) 319-348.  Translated into Spanish and published as “La justicia reproductiva y la Constitución irlandesa (art. 40.3.3)”, available here.


  • Review of Tamara Hervey and Jean McHale, Health Law and the European Union (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), European Law Journal 13(5): 688-689.





  • ‘Feminist Legal Theory’, in Reza Banakar and Max Travers (eds.) Introduction to Law and Social Theory (Oxford: Hart) 135-154. A post-print version is available here.






Ruth welcomes the opportunity to advise research students on topics in medical law, socio-legal engagement on health issues, feminist thought and practice, and socio-legal theory. Ruth has supervised a range of PhD projects to completion in critical socio-legal studies on topics such as teenagers’ reproductive rights, the bar dancing controversy in India and feminist theory. Prospective PhD students are welcome to solicit an ‘initial opinion’ on their PhD applications. 

Public Engagement

Ruth is an Editor of Feminist Legal Studies and welcomes inquiries from prospective contributors. She has worked with civil society groups on healthcare issues, presented to a Parliamentary Health Committee and been interviewed by a range of news media. 

She is also a member of the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC).

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