Dr Ruth Flaherty

Senior Lecturer in Law

+44 (0)1473 338114
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Ruth Flaherty staff profile photo

Dr Ruth Flaherty joined University of Suffolk in September 2019 as a Lecturer in Law. She leads on the core EU Law, Land Law and Equity & Trusts Law modules, and the optional Intellectual Property Law module. She also teaches on the Legal Methods & Advocacy and Dissertation modules. She is Head of the David White Trust Mooting Competition, and runs several wellbeing initiatives for Law students. Additionally, Ruth is Admissions Tutor for all Law courses, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and an External Examiner for Solent University. Before joining Suffolk, she was an experienced Associate Tutor at UEA, teaching on core modules such as Contract Law and Equity & Trusts, as well as the employability module Law in Practice.

She is passionate about wellbeing and sport and is an avid cyclist and runner. 

Leading: EU Law, Equity and Trusts Law, Land Law, Intellectual Property Law

Co-Leading Dissertation, Legal Methods and Advocacy

Ruth is skilled in doctrinal, empirical and mixed methods research. She has an ESRC SeNSS (South-East Network for Social Sciences) funded PhD from UEA, where she was an active member of the Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) and Media, Information Technology and Intellectual Property Research Group. Her innovative empirical doctoral thesis, ‘‘Lextual Poaching’: An empirical investigation into the importance of unauthorised derivative works to society in the digital age and how Article 17 undervalues them’ focused on the interaction between self-published online fanfiction and other works in the fiction market.  Her Intellectual Property law and Economics research aims specifically to evaluate how intellectual property law should interact with cultural works and creativity.

Publications and Knowledge Transfer:

Journal Articles:

Written Response to Government Committees:



Book reviews:  

  • Collaborative Production in the Creative Industries, Cultural Sociology 12(3) 422-424

  • Copyright and Information Privacy: Conflicting Rights in Balance, SCRIPTed 15(1) 135-140


  • “Pandemics and Fandemics: Implications for Copyright in a Digital Single Market”, Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference, online (Durham University), 2nd September 2021

  • “Criticisms of Copyright in a Pandemic”, British and Irish Legal Education and Technology Association Conference, online (Newcastle Law School), 14th April 2021

  • “Culture? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Culture!”, British and Irish Legal Education and Technology Association Conference, Queens University, Belfast, 15-17 April 2019

  • “If It Weren’t For You Meddling Kids”, Socio-Legal Scholars Association Conference, Leeds University, Leeds, 2-5 April 2019

  • Law’d of the © - A Doctrinal Review of Copyright Exceptions in the Digital Age, UEA Law School Research Seminar, UEA, Norwich, 6 February 2019

  • Fannish Social Interactions – More Than Produsage? Understanding the Social In a Digital Age Conference, UEA, Norwich, 8 January 2019

  • A Tale of Two Systems: Fair Dealing and Fair Use, Fan Studies Network Annual Conference, Cardiff University, Cardiff, 29-30 June 2018

  • Interpretations of the Effect of Fan Fiction on the Fiction Market, Joint Workshop of the ECREA ‘Communication Law and Policy’ and ‘Media Industries and Cultural Production’ Sections, UEA, Norwich, 15-16 September 2017

  • Diverse Interpretations of the Effect of Fan Fiction on the Fiction Market – A Quantitative Study, Society for Legal Scholars 108th Annual Conference, University College Dublin, Dublin, 4-8 September 2019

  • Does Self-Published Fan Fiction have a Fan-tastic Effect on the Fiction Market? Fan Studies Network Annual Conference, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, 24-25 June 2017

  • The Benefits of a Recognised Parody Exception in UK Law Following The Hargreaves Review of IP – Will It Enable Greater Creative Freedom Under the Fair Dealing Exceptions To Copyright Infringement? European Policy for Intellectual Property Conference, University of Oxford, Oxford, 3-5 September 2016

Ruth is Social Media Champion for the Law, Criminology, Politics and Sociology courses, and has been highly involved in many media projects for the Law Courses.

She is passionate about developing the Business Engagement and Enterprise skills she developed during her previous career in executive administration, procurement, and governance where she worked for eight years.  She is highly trained in engagement and events planning, having organised functions for a variety of corporate and non-corporate stakeholders in Social Housing and academia.  She is very interested in engaging with creative professionals to enable them to protect and use their works efficiently both online and offline.

Ruth has presented at many international conferences, including the Society for Legal Scholars, British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association, and European Policy for Intellectual Property. Her full list of publications is available on OARS. She is a peer-reviewer for several international publications, including New Media and Society and Popular Cultural Studies Journal.

British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association; Centre for Competition Policy; Fan Studies Network; Media, IP and IT Research Group; New IP Lawyers; Society for Legal Scholars; Socio-Legal Studies Association; World IP Women; Society for Computers and Law; Higher Education Academy Fellow.