School of Law

Professor Michael Thomson

Professor of Law

I am a graduate of the Universities of Southampton (LLB) and Birmingham (PhD Law). I joined the School of Law in July 2013, having previously held a Chair in Law at Keele University.

I have held visiting positions at the University of Sydney, and Cornell and Emory Universities.

Research Interests

My research interests span the fields of health law, children’s rights, and legal theory with a particular focus on legal embodiment. In health law, I have written extensively on the legal regulation of reproduction and non-therapeutic interventions on children.

My current work explores alternative decision-making frameworks and the pursuit of social justice in health law.


I teach Tort Law, Health Care Law and run a Jurisprudence option on the place of the body in legal and political theory.

PhD Supervision

I have supervised doctoral students in health law, family law, feminist theory, and legal humanities. I currently supervise students working on informed consent, the sentencing of sex offenders, transgender rights, and genetic testing.

I am happy to supervise PhD research in my fields of interest. I am also very happy to discuss the development of PhD research projects and proposals with individuals.

Key Publications


  • Fineman PMA, thomson M, Exploring Masculinities Feminist Legal Theory Reflections (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2013)

    Written by leading experts in the area, this volume investigates the ways in which emerging masculinities theory in law could inform feminist legal theory in particular and law in general.

  • Thomson M, Endowed: Regulating the Male Sexed Body (New York: Routledge, 2008)

    Acknowledging this work and building upon it, Endowed considers the interaction of law and ideas of male reproductivity.

  • Thomson M, Reproducing Narrative Gender, Reproduction, and Law (Dartmouth Publishing Company, 1998)

    Reproducing Narrative interrogates medico-legal reproductive discourses in their broader social, political, economic and gendered discourses.

  • Sheldon S, Thomson M, Feminist Perspectives on Health Care Law (Routledge, 1998)

Journal articles

  • McGuinness S, Thomson M, ‘Medicine and abortion law: complicating the reforming profession’, Medical Law Review, 23.2 (2015), 177-199
    DOI: 10.1093/medlaw/fwv012

    Author URL []

    The complicated intra-professional rivalries that have contributed to the current contours of abortion law and service provision have been subject to limited academic engagement. In this article, we address this gap. We examine how the competing interests of different specialisms played out in abortion law reform from the early twentieth-century, through to the enactment of the Abortion Act 1967, and the formation of the structures of abortion provision in the early 1970s. We demonstrate how professional interests significantly shaped the landscape of abortion law in England, Scotland, and Wales. Our analysis addresses two distinct and yet related fields where professional interests were negotiated or asserted in the journey to law reform. Both debates align with earlier analysis that has linked abortion law reform with the market development of the medical profession. We argue that these two axes of debate, both dominated by professional interests, interacted to help shape law's treatment of abortion, and continue to influence the provision of abortion services today.

  • Thomson M, Fox M, ‘Realising social Justice in public health law’, Medical Law Review 2013, 278-309

  • Thomson M, ‘Abortion Law and Professional Boundaries’, Social and Legal Studies: an international journal 2013, 191-210

  • Thomson M, Fox M, ‘The changing politics of circumcision: HIV/AIDS, public health and social justice’, Legal Studies 2012, 255-281

  • Thomson M, ‘Foreskin is a feminist issue’, Australian Feminist Studies 2009, 195-210

  • Thomson M, ‘Older minors and circumcision: Questioning the limits of religious actions’, Medical Law International 2008, 283-311

Media Contact Areas

I am happy to talk to the media on areas of health law within my expertise.

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