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Sharon McAllister is a Ph.D researcher at the University of Stirling.

Sharon also holds a B.A in Corporate Communications, LLB (Hons), an MSc in Applied Social Research & Criminology and an MSc in HRM. Sharon holds Fellowships with Advance HE, ILM, CMI and Associated Membership with CIPD.

Working Title of PhD: The Contemptuous [M]other’. An investigation into the use of Contempt of Court as an enforcement tool in child contact disputes in Scotland, England and Wales’.

Year commenced PhD study: 2017 Institution/Organisation: University of Stirling

Full or part-time: Full time

PhD Supervisors: Dr William Munro and Dr Sarah Wilson.

Synopsis of PhD

The thesis seeks to examine the law of contempt of court in relation to the enforcement of child contact orders in Scotland. The research is a socio-legal account of contempt of court and seeks to examine its construction within the Scottish court system.

Contempt of court is a unique and contentious law with regards to the due process of justice in relation to a legally recognised concern that the law of contempt may be used as a blunt tool in the enforcement of child contact orders. The research explores how it is understood by members of the judiciary, legal professionals, and how it is experienced by women who have been threatened with contempt or found in contempt. Women are particularly important to this research in a Scottish context as a father who flouts a child contact order has not yet been held in contempt and is unlikely to face any enforcement sanction.

Situating the research within this contemporary legal context allows contempt of court to be examined from the vantage point of a defined judicial framework and within a specific social setting contact with a child.



University of Stirling

Research Themes

Courts and Sentencing

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