Professor Jonathan Herring

Professor of Law; Fellow of Exeter College


Jonathan Herring writes on criminal, family and medical law. He focuses on how the law interacts with the important things in life: not money, companies or insurance; but love, friendship and intimacy. In his work he seeks to develop ways in which the law can recognise and value the goods in activities such as carework and sex, while protecting people from the harms that so often result.

He has written on a broad range of areas including theoretical issues in family law, domestic abuse, children’s rights, the nature of marriage, the regulation of pregnancy, enforced medical treatment, the medical and legal definition of sex with particular consideration of intersex people, the law on sexual offences, crimes against corpses, failures of parents to protect children from death, the law’s treatment of older people, legal issues surrounding dementia, the law’s treatment of caring and how adopting an ethic of care could transform the law.


  • Family law
  • Criminal law
  • Elder law
  • Medical law and ethics
  • Sexual offences law

Media experience

Professor Herring has experience of working with the media, including broadcast work with BBC Radio 4 and 5.