Jessica is a law lecturer at the Open University. She took her undergraduate law degree at Durham University and her masters in international human rights law and European Union law at Bristol University. She studied theology at the Open Theological College and theology of law at Spurgeon’s College. She qualified as a Solicitor in 1991 and transferred to the bar in 2016. She has worked as a law reporter for the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales in the Chancery, Queen’s Bench and Administrative Divisions of the High Court as well as in the Court of Justice of the European Union. She has taught EU external relations law at Bristol University and a level 1 module, Rules, rights and justice, and a level 2 module, Understanding law covering English legal systems and EU law, at the Open University. She gained her Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2015 and Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy in 2016.
Jessica’s area of research interest is the synthesis between law & religion studies and constitutional theory and philosophical theology. This involves research into freedom of thought conscience and religion and related fundamental rights and the legal scope of religious freedom in public life. She is currently working on the theoretical basis for freedom of thought conscience and religion in a comparatiave theological context.
Jessica is Director of the Project on Interdisciplinary Law and Religion Studies at the Open University: http://law-school.open.ac.uk/research/PILARS.
Jessica carries out scholarship research in the field of online learning having led a team to win the Stan Marsh prize for best paper at the Association of Law Teachers’ Conference 2016.
Jessica is currently module chair of the OU masters degree module W822 'Business Law, Social Responsiblity and Human Rights' and on the module teams of a masters module W820 on international law and an undergraduate module W203 on public and criminal law.
Jessica is an APPLAUD mentor, mentoring colleagues for FHEA and SFHEA.
Jessica is an associate editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion and member of the council of the Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics. She is a member of the Law and Religion Scholars Network and the International Consortium of Law and Religion Scholars.
She enjoys working with the highly successful OU student law soceity mooting team.