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Warwick Law Welcomes New Professor

Warwick Law School welcomes a new Professor to our team.

Professor Alex Sharpe joins us from Keele University. She has been involved in transgender law reform and activism for over twenty years. During that time, she has provided advice to various government agencies and departments, members of parliament, law firms, public interest advocacy organisations, and a variety of professional bodies, both in the UK and internationally. Alex has also represented transgender groups at parliamentary hearings. She sits on the International Legal Committee of the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH). This committee makes law reform interventions in transgender litigation worldwide by way of amicus briefs. She also sat on Amnesty International's Expert Committee on the Criminalisation of Sexual and Reproductive Conduct.

Before Keele, Alex worked over in Australia at Macquarie University (1996-2004), and had brief teaching spells at the University of Sydney (1994) and the University of Western Australia (1993) and she has also worked at the London School of Economics (1995). Before teaching, she worked for a couple of law firms in Western Australia having commenced her legal career at the CPS in London. Alex remains a door tenant at Garden Court, a human rights chambers in London which she joined in 2016.

We spoke with Alex to find out a little more…


What will you be doing at Warwick?

I will lead on impact and public engagement and will teach on the modules, Modern English Legal System, Legal Theory, and Gender and the Law.

What are your research interests?

My research interests lie in and between the areas of social and legal theory; legal history; criminal justice; gender, sexuality and the law; and law and popular culture. These interests are reflected in my books: Transgender Jurisprudence: Dysphoric Bodies of Law (2002); Foucault’s Monsters and the Challenge of Law (2010); Sexual Intimacy and Gender Identity ‘Fraud’: Reframing the Legal & Ethical Debate (2018); and forthcoming, David Bowie at the Limits of Law: Essays on Difference, Authenticity, Ethics, Art and Love (forthcoming, 2021). My most recent book was conceived as a form of public engagement around a series of ideas, methods and debates and so is written for both academic and non-academic audiences.


Why did you want to study law?

I studied law because I wanted to become a barrister. I chose Warwick however, because I care about social justice and at the time (1984) Warwick was the only Law School in the UK teaching law in a socio-legal way, locating it within its political, economic and social contexts. Warwick was a hugely formative experience for me and it is lovely to return; a kind of coming home. It kindled in me both a love of the law and an appreciation of the need to view it at a distance and with a critical eye.


University can be very stressful, what do you do to unwind?

I read, practice yoga, and listen to David Bowie, especially 1971-1977.

Andrew Sanders, Head of Warwick Law School commented, “The School warmly welcomes Alex. Like me, she has ‘come home’ to Warwick. She has held academic posts in Australia (where she currently holds an Adjunct Professorship as well as her post in Keele) and the UK. She has had Visiting Professorships in many countries, and she is a barrister as well as an academic. Her books include studies of modern legal theory, transgender jurisprudence, and the legal-ethical debates around Sexual Intimacy and Gender Identity 'Fraud'. She has been involved in transgender law reform and activism for over twenty years. She therefore continues the ‘Warwick tradition’ of internationalism, studying law in context, and using the law as a force for good.”

Good luck in your first term Alex, we are thrilled to have you with us.

Find out more about Alex’s research: 

Tue 01 Sep 2020, 09:30 | Tags: Feature