Monday 10 May 2021

100 Years of the Infanticide Act: Legacy and Impact

Call for abstracts and titles.

Emma Milne and Karen Brennan are developing an edited collection on the offence/defence of infanticide to coincide with the centenary of the Infanticide Act 1922 and are inviting contributions from academics and researchers as well as legal professionals.

The collection will be titled 100 Years of the Infanticide Act: Legacy and Impact and the deadline for 200-word abstracts is 31st May 2021. 

The editors say:

"The collection will focus on the impact, legacy, and future of the infanticide law, starting with its enactment in 1922 and focusing on the current law as found in the Infanticide Act 1938. We are interested in receiving contributions which consider the infanticide law in England and Wales and in other jurisdictions from doctrinal, theoretical, socio-legal, medico-legal, and legal history perspectives.

Our intention is to bring together a range of scholars who have made important contributions to our understanding of this law. This includes scholarship from across the globe that engages with the criminal law and criminal justice responses to infanticide in other jurisdictions, whether they have enacting specific legislation on this issue or taken a different approach.

In particular, we are interested in contributions which consider (but are not limited to) the following issues: 

  • How the infanticide law has been interpreted and used as part of the criminal justice response to women who kill their babies
  • Theoretical and doctrinal analyses of the offence/defence of infanticide 
  • How the infanticide doctrine fits in with and relates to the broader framework of capacity-related criminal defences 
  • Evidential issues arising from the use of the infanticide law 
  • The future outlook for this law, particularly with regard to considerations for abolishing or reforming it 
  • Medico-legal critiques of the medical rationale of the law
  • Feminist critiques of the law
  • Infanticide laws (or lack thereof) in other jurisdictions 

We have interest from and are working with Hart Publishing to develop a book proposal. The editors warmly welcome submissions from academics and researchers, as well as legal professionals. Please submit a 200-word abstract of your proposed chapter to on or before May 31st 2021. We will be asking authors to work to the following deadlines:


Deadline for abstracts

End of May 2021

Informal online workshop to present chapter focus

September 2021

Author first drafts due

End of March 2022

Final chapters (following editorial review) due

June 2022



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