School of Law

Contact Details

Dr Jen Hendry

Associate Professor in Law and Social Justice

I completed my PhD in Law at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence (2009), before which I studied at the University of Glasgow (LLB Hons, 2002) and the University of Edinburgh (LLM, 2003). Before joining the School of Law in September 2009 I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Tilburg Institute for Comparative & Transnational Law at Tilburg University.

I have been a visiting research scholar at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law (2015), the University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy (2013), and the University of Sydney’s Department of Philosophy (2011).

I am Director of the Centre for Law & Social Justice (L&SJ) and Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research Studies.

Research Interests

My research interests are in the fields of social and legal theory, socio-legal studies, and comparative legal studies. I am currently writing on issues of Indigenous justice, legal culture, and legal pluralism, and on theoretical and comparative perspectives on civil/criminal procedural hybrids, specifically civil recovery. I also write on systems theory and autopoiesis.

I am a member of the ESRC peer review college, the senior editorial board of the German Law Journal, and the Executive Committee of the UK Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA), where I serve as the Vice-Chair. 


I am the module coordinator for both the level 2 core module Law and Society (LAW 2620) and the level 3 elective module Concepts of Law (LAW 3122).

PhD Supervision

I am happy to consider potential doctoral candidates with projects in any of my research areas. I currently supervise postgraduate researchers writing on issues of European Union legal integration and governance, international human rights, and Japanese legal culture.

Key Publications


  • Hendry J, Farran S, Gallen J, Rautenbach C, The Diffusion of Law The Movement of Laws and Norms Around the World (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2015)

Journal articles

  • Hendry J, Tatum ML, ‘Justice for Native Nations: Insights from Legal Pluralism’, Arizona Law Review, 60.1 (2018), 91-113
    Repository URL:

    This Article makes the case that, despite being underused by U.S. scholars in the field of Indian and Indigenous peoples law, a legally pluralist approach can and does provide vital conceptual insights. Not only does legal pluralism supply an important framework through which to conceptualize and address existing power imbalances between Indian tribes and the federal government, but it also makes instances of interaction between these different and yet connected normative orders—or legal cultures—readily more apparent. Scholarly arguments within this research field in the United States tend to take the form of either wholehearted reliance on constitutional and human rights advocacy to address injustices or the wholesale rejection of the Anglo-American legal system as simply incompatible with indigenous norms and traditions. By contrast, and in proposing an alternative to this academic deadlock, this Article submits that these distinct legal cultures must necessarily interact, and that these interactions are always fertile ones. Drawing on Robert Cover’s concept of “jurisgenerativity” to inform an interactive conception of legal culture, it is argued that this has the capacity to lay a foundation for discursive approaches capable of giving rise to new, mutual traditions.

  • Hendry J, King C, ‘Expediency, Legitimacy, and the Rule of Law: A Systems Perspective on Civil/Criminal Procedural Hybrids’, Criminal Law and Philosophy, 11.4 (2017), 733-757
    DOI: 10.1007/s11572-016-9405-6, Repository URL:

    In recent years an increasing quantity of UK legislation has introduced blended or ‘hybridised’ procedures that blur the previously clear demarcation between civil and criminal legal processes, typically on the grounds of normatively-motivated political expediency. This paper provides a critical perspective on instances of procedural hybridisation in order to illustrate that, first, the reliance upon civil law measures to remedy criminal law infractions can raise human rights issues and, second, that such instrumental criminal justice strategies deliberately circumvent the enhanced procedural protections of the criminal law. By conceptualising the rule of law as a structural coupling between the political and legal systems, and due process rights as necessary and self-imposed limitations upon systemic operations, this paper employs a systems-theoretical approach to critique this balancing act between expediency and principle, and queries the circumstances under which legislation contravening the rule of law can be said to lack legitimacy.

  • Earp BD, Hendry J, Thomson M, ‘Reason and paradox in medical and family law: Shaping children's bodies’, Medical Law Review, 25.4 (2017), 604-627
    DOI: 10.1093/medlaw/fwx027, Repository URL:

    © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press; all rights reserved. Legal outcomes often depend on the adjudication of what may appear to be straightforward distinctions. In this article, we consider two such distinctions that appear in medical and family law deliberations: the distinction between religion and culture and between therapeutic and non-therapeutic. These distinctions can impact what constitutes 'reasonable parenting' or a child's 'best interests' and thus the limitations that may be placed on parental actions. Such distinctions are often imagined to be asocial facts, there for the judge to discover. We challenge this view, however, by examining the controversial case of B and G [2015]. In this case, Sir James Munby stated that the cutting of both male and female children's genitals for non-therapeutic reasons constituted 'significant harm' for the purposes of the Children Act 1989. He went on to conclude, however, that while it can never be reasonable parenting to inflict any form of nontherapeutic genital cutting on a female child, such cutting on male children was currently tolerated. We argue that the distinctions between religion/culture and therapeutic/non-therapeutic upon which Munby LJ relied in making this judgement cannot in fact ground categorically differential legal treatment of female and male children. We analyse these distinctions from a systems theoretical perspective-specifically with reference to local paradoxes-to call into question the current legal position. Our analysis suggests that conventional distinctions drawn between religion/culture and the therapeutic/non-therapeutic in other legal contexts require much greater scrutiny than they are usually afforded.

  • Hendry J, Tatum ML, ‘Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples, and the Pursuit of Justice’, Yale Law and Policy Review, 34.2 (2016), 351-386
    Repository URL:

    There are three major problems with the use of the rights-based approach to tackle issues of Indigenous justice: 1. It privileges (the worldview of) the dominant legal culture; 2. It artificially restricts the conversation about causes of and solutions to problems of Indigenous justice; and 3. It masks the inherent tension between human rights and legal pluralism. We explore the first of these problems in Part I by examining what is meant by a “rights-based approach,” how those ideas came into being, and how they differ from Indigenous conceptions. We address the second problem in Part II, which examines six representative U.S. cases and the patterns that can be derived from those cases. In Part III we turn to the third issue, which we operationalize in order to begin building possible solutions to the problem and possible alternate approaches to achieving justice for Indigenous people.

  • Hendry J, King C, ‘How far is too far? Theorising non-conviction-based asset forfeiture’, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LAW IN CONTEXT, 11.4 (2015), 398-411
    DOI: 10.1017/S1744552315000269, Repository URL:

    Author URL []


  • Hendry J, Tatum ML, ‘Constitution as Dialogue: Legal Pluralism and the American Experience’, in Constitutional Recognition of First Peoples in Australia: Theories and Comparative Perspectives, ed. by Young S, Nielsen J and Patrick J (Sydney, Australia: Federation Press, 2016)
    Repository URL:

    This collection of essays explores the history and current status of proposals to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the Constitution of Australia. The book had its genesis in a colloquium co-hosted by the University of Southern Queensland and Southern Cross University, attended by scholars from Australia and overseas and prominent participants in the recognition debates. The contributions have been updated and supplemented to produce a collection that explores what is possible and preferable from a variety of perspectives, organised into three parts: 'Concepts and Context', 'Theories, Critique and Alternatives', and 'Comparative Perspectives'. It includes work by well-regarded constitutional law scholars and legal historians, as well as analysis built from and framed by Indigenous world views and knowledges. It also features the voices of a number of comparative scholars – examining relevant developments in the United States, Canada, the South Pacific, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and South America. The combined authorship represents 10 universities from across Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. The book is intended to be both an accurate and detailed record of this critical step in Australian legal and political history and an enduring contribution to ongoing dialogue, reconciliation and the empowerment of Australia's First Peoples.

  • Hendry J, ‘Legal comparison and the (im)possibility of legal translation’, in Comparative Law - Engaging Translation ([], 2014), 87-103
    Repository URL:

  • Hendry J, ‘Legal Pluralism and Normative Transfer’, in Order from Transfer: Comparative Constitutional Design and Legal Culture, ed. by Frankenberg G, Studies in Comparative Law and Legal Culture series (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2013), 153-170
    Repository URL:

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