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Professor Joan Hunt

Honorary Professor

School of Law and Politics

Law Building, Room 3.10, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX


Joan Hunt has been an empirical researcher in family law since 1985. She began her career in Bristol University’s Socio-Legal Centre for Family Studies. In 1998 she joined the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies as a Senior Research Fellow, transferring in 2001 to the Department of Social Policy and Social Work (now the Department for Social Policy and Intervention) where she was a member of the Oxford Centre for Family Law and Policy. Having retired from Oxford in September 2013 Professor Hunt became an Honorary Professor in Cardiff University Law School.

Her research interests are in child and family law, the operation of the family justice system and the interface between law and legal institutions, families and social welfare agencies. Recent work covers three main areas: the operation of the family justice system; disputes about child contact and residence following parental separation or divorce; and kinship care (ie the full-time substitute care of children who cannot live with their birth parents by members of their extended families), particularly the legal regulation of such arrangements. In addition to directing many empirical research projects, she has produced overviews of national and international research and policy briefing papers.

In January 2015 Professor Hunt was awarded an OBE for services to Children in the New Year Honours List.