First event as Emeritus Professor: Family Court in Lockdown, 25 June

Gresham College, London’s oldest Higher Education Institution, is delighted to announce the appointment of Jo Delahunty QC as Emeritus Gresham Professor of Law for life.  Professor Delahunty will also take up a position on the College Council and will be appointed to a College fellowship.

Jo Delahunty was Gresham Law Professor for the statutory term of three years from 2016 to 2019, extended for a fourth and final year for 2019-20 in light of the excellence of her contribution. She has delivered 22 free public lectures for the College to date. As a result of COVID-19 arrangements, she will give her first lecture as Emeritus Professor of Law on 25 June, 6pm, an event with several other senior legal speakers called Family Court in Lockdown.

A lecture by Professor Delahunty focusing on diversity issues will be presented in the 2020-2021 academic year.

Professor Delahunty said: 

“It has been a privilege and pleasure to become part of the Gresham World with its unrivaled commitment to free access for all to learning of the highest order. I have used this unique platform not only to explain the workings of the family court but also to openly discuss controversial issues that the legal profession needs to confront if it is to represent the society it seeks to serve: such as sexual harassment and bullying, racial and gender inequality and lack of social mobility. I am delighted to welcome Leslie as my successor. He is a friend as well as a colleague. He is a superb appointment. I continue my work with and for Gresham. It is, quite simply, too special an institution to leave."

Sir Richard J Evans, Provost of Gresham College, said:

“A huge thank-you to Professor Jo Delahunty for her hard work for the College over the last four years. Her lectures have been inspirational and have attracted widespread public attention. I am particularly grateful to her for the way in which she has covered controversial areas in the legal profession, including sexual harassment at the Bar, and given helpful advice to young lawyers just beginning their career. I am delighted that she has agreed to join our board of trustees, Gresham College Council, so that we will continue to benefit from her wisdom. And I look forward to the lectures she will give from time to time as Emeritus Professor of Law.”

Family Court in Lockdown, Thursday 25th June 2020, 6pm-7pm, online

How has lockdown affected the Family Court? Gresham Law Professor Jo Delahunty QC chairs a panel of senior lawyers and journalists discussing the issues faced by family courts and by families during lockdown.

How has COVID-19 affected child protection? How have lawyers maintained professional and family links under lockdown?  Have vulnerable clients been locked out from Court and their lawyers? Have families lost face to face contact with babies and children in foster care under social isolation policies and the closure of contact centres? What of the pain of permanent loss: is it humane to have “ farewell contact ‘ under COVID-19? Is that happening?

The discussion will explore how the family court is adapting and functioning and how legal professionals are working and coping inside and outside the court.

This will be a frank look at how lawyers are trying to deliver justice to the most vulnerable members of society, especially the child, whether they are succeeding, at what cost, and who cares.

Gresham During Coronavirus/ COVID-19

During the lockdown period in the UK Gresham College has been trying to live-stream as many lectures as possible online direct from Professors’ homes.

Note to Editors: 

There are no responsibilities or formal obligations for Emeritus Professors, other than to collaborate and work with the Provost, Committees and Staff of the College to promote the College’s best interests, so far as is possible.

Further information from Lucia Graves in the press office: 07799 738 439 or

As lockdown eases, press tickets will be available for lectures, and embargoed transcripts are sometimes available ahead of time: please email Lucia to ask.