Mavis Maclean

Mavis Maclean

Mavis Maclean CBE has carried out Socio Legal research in Oxford since 1974, and founded OXFLAP in 2001. She has acted as the Academic Adviser to the Lord Chancellor’s Department , and served as a panel member on the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry between 1998 and 2001, a major public inquiry into the National Health Service.She is a Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law and St. Hilda's College.

In 1993 she was elected President of the Research Committee for the Sociology of Law, International Sociological Association, in 2000 a Trustee of the Law and Society Association, and in 2002 a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 2012 of the Academy of Social Sciences. She was awarded the first SLSA Annual Prize for Contributions to the Socio Legal Community in 2012. In 2013 she was made an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple.

She has served on a number of grant making committees, notably the Children and Family Justice Committee, Nuffield Foundation 1996-, the Research Liaison Group for Children’s Services, Department of Health 1996-, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Social Policy Committee. She was a member of Lord Chancellor’s Legal Aid Advisory Committee 1992-4, and is a Fellow of the IISL, Onati, Spain. She chairs the TCRU Advisory Committee at the Institute of Education, and is a member of the Management Committee of the Centre for Family Research, Cambridge.

She is an editor of the Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, and a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family and the International Journal of Law in Context. Her research interests are Family Law and Family Policy, particularly from a comparative perspective.

An Onati Workshop was held on Digital Family Justice: from ADR to ODR in April 2018, and a book with the same title is in press with Hart Bloomsbury edited by Maclean , describing the failure of mediation and the rapid ongoing digitalisation of family justice systems in countries from Turkey to Canada.

Since the Legal Aid Punishment and Sentencing  of Offenders Act  2012 Maclean has carried out a study of the response to new needs for legal support from government, the professions and the voluntary sector. Maclean contributed to the Post Implementation Review of this legislation, and her research  findings are published in “After the Act” , Maclean and Eekelaar, Bloomsbury 2019.  


For information on current research into the family judiciary and the justice system, contact

Mavis Maclean and John Eekelaar eds. (2019) After the Act: Access to Family Justice after LASPO (Hart/Bloomsbury)

Maclean, Mavis ed. (2017) Delivering Family Justice in Late Modern Society in the wake of Legal Aid Reform (Routledge, Abingdon) 

Maclean, Mavis (2017) Semantics or Sustainability: Socio legal Research in Family Law, or Sociology of Law and Family Justice in Journal of Law and Society Vol 44 Special Supplement October 2017  S61

Main Currents of Contemporary Sociology of Law

Maclean, Mavis and Eekelaar, John (2016) Lawyers and Mediators: the Brave New World of services for Separating Families. Oxford: Hart

Maclean,Mavis (2016) "The place of the child in mediation: vulnerable or paramount third party", Mediation Theory and Practice  1: 1 

edited Mavis Maclean (2016)Delivering Family Justice in Late Modern Society in the wake of Legal Aid Reform. London: Routledge

ed Maclean,Mavis, Eekelaar John, Bastard Benoit  (2015)Delivering Family Justice in the 21st Century. Hart,Oxford

Maclean, Mavis (2014) "The Changing Professional Landscape", Farming Law 44 177-183

Maclean, Mavis and Eekelaar John (2013)Managing Family Justice in Diverse Societies. Oxford: Hart Publishing

Eekelaar, John & Maclean, Mavis  (2013) Family Justice: the work of family judges in uncertain times. Oxford: Hart Publishing

Maclean, Mavis & Kurczewski, Jacek (2011)Making Family Law. A Socio Legal Account of Legislative Process in England and Wales, 1985 to 2010. Oxford: Hart Publishing

Buss, Emily and Maclean, Mavis (2010)The Law and Child Development. Ashgate:

Maclean, Mavis (2010) "Edited a Special Issue: Mediation: the Questions", Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 32: 2 

Maclean, Mavis and Eekelaar, John,  (2010)Family Law Advocacy. How Barristers Help the Victims of Family Failure.. Oxford.: Hart

Maclean, Mavis and Eekelaar, John (2009)Family Advocacy: How barristers help victims of family failure.. Oxford: Hart

Fehlberg, Belinda and Maclean, Mavis (2009) "Child Support Policy in Australia and England: Changing Policy But A Similar Tough Deal For Children?", International Journal of Law, Family and Policy  23: 1 1-24

Maclean, Mavis and Eekelaar, John (2009) "'Legal representation and parental autonomy: the work of the English Family Bar in contact cases", Sclater, Shelley., Ebtehaj, Fatemeh, Jackson, Emily and Richards, Martined.,Regulating Autonomy: Sex, Reproduction and Family. Oxford: Hart

Maclean, Mavis (2009) "The many advantages and disadvantages of a no blame culture regarding medical errors", Hurwitz, Brian and Sheikh, Aziz ed.,Health Care Errors and Patient Safety. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell