Skip to content
Emma Ireton

Dr Emma Ireton

Associate Professor

Nottingham Law School

Staff Group(s)
Nottingham Law School staff


Emma is an Associate Professor in Law. Her main research specialisms are public inquiry law and procedure and inquests.  She was a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Practice 2022 for her research. Her PhD thesis examined political and legal influence on the form and nature of post-2005 public inquiries. She is a member of the Centre for Rights and Justice and the Centre for Advocacy.

Emma’s role includes curriculum development and course design for vocational and practitioner courses. Her focus is on bridging the gap between legal academia and practice. She works closely with leading solicitors, barristers and members of the judiciary to enhance curriculum design, write academic and practitioner publications and on practice-focused research projects.

Emma is a member of the Nottingham Trent University Academic Board, the Nottingham Law School Relationship Manager for the Visiting and Honorary Professors Faculty, and a member of the Nottingham Law School Employers' Advisory Board.

Emma teaches civil litigation, dispute resolution, negotiation, advocacy, research, cognitive interviewing, professional legal practice and professional written and oral skills on the LLB, Legal Practice Course (LPC) and practitioner LLM courses.

Career overview

Prior to joining Nottingham Law School, Emma spent 12 years as a solicitor in commercial practice in the fields of public inquiries, commercial litigation, and environmental law. Her work included working on the Saville Inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday and heading up a team of specialist civil environmental lawyers dealing with multimillion pound disputes.

During her time at Nottingham Law School, Emma has taught on the LLB, GDL, LPC, BPTC and practitioner LLM programmes. She was a reviewer and assessor for the SRA's innovative Work Based Learning pilot, a scheme that enabled LPC graduates to qualify as solicitors outside the training contract regime.

Emma works with a team of lawyers dedicated to maintaining links with practice and practitioners, which ensures that Nottingham Law School programmes are constantly developed and enhanced to reflect current best practice.

Research areas

Emma's research areas are:

  • public inquiries
  • inquests

She was a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Practice 2022 for her research. Emma’s current projects include working with leading legal practitioners on projects relating to identifying and disseminating public inquiry procedure best practice.

External activity

Emma is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Emma was a member of the JUSTICE working party ‘When Things Go Wrong’. It considered and made recommendations to reform institutional responses to deaths or other serious incidents where a “systemic pattern of failure” is evident, in particular looking at inquests and public inquiries. A copy of the report can be found here.


MITCHELL, I., WATKIN JONES, P., JONES, S. and IRETON, E., 2020. The practical guide to public inquiries. Oxford: Hart Publishing. ISBN 9781509928330

IRETON, E., 2018. How public is a public inquiry? Public Law (April), pp. 277-298. ISSN 0033-3565

IRETON, E., 2017. The Grenfell Tower public inquiry: managing expectations. Solicitors Journal. ISSN 0038-1047

IRETON, E., 2016. The ministerial power to set up a public inquiry: issues of transparency and accountability. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly NILQ 67(2): 209–29

IRETON, E., 2016. Bowing to public pressure: the child abuse inquiry. The Conversation.

IRETON, E., 2015. Waiting for Chilcot: are threats from families and politicians really the answer? The Conversation.

IRETON, E., 2014. The Inquiries Act 2005 – fit for purpose? London: Local Government Lawyer

IRETON, E., 2014. The Inquiries Act 2005 – fit for purpose? The Law Society Gazette ISSN 1355-7971

IRETON, E., JARMAN, J., ROBSON, J. and CHING, J., 2010. Response to Joint Advocacy Group proposals for a quality assurance scheme for criminal advocates. Research report for external body. Reditch: SRA; BSB; IPS.

See all of Emma Ireton's publications...

Course(s) I teach on