Alex Sharpe

Year of Call: 1988

Alex Sharpe is a social and legal theorist, legal historian and gender, sexuality and law scholar and activist.


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Alex Sharpe is a Professor of Law at the University of Warwick and a non-practising barrister. She is a legal theorist, legal historian, and gender, sexuality and law scholar and activist.

In particular, she helped constitute the field of trans/law study with her monograph, Transgender Jurisprudence: Dysphoric Bodies of Law (London: Cavendish, 2002).

Trans Rights


Trans Activism and Law Reform

Alex regularly provides advice on trans rights to government departments, members of parliament, law firms and public interest advocacy organisations both in the UK and overseas. She has appeared before parliamentary select committees in Australia and the UK and has made a series of written submissions to parliamentary inquiries held by the Ministry of Justice, the Women and Equalities Select Committee and the Public Bills Committee, and has been cited in parliamentary and amicus curiae intervention submissions, as well as judicially in Australia, Argentina, Hong Kong, the United States and by the European Court of Human Rights (Hämäläinen v Finland [2014] ECHR 877 (Joint Dissenting Opinion of Judges Sajo, Keller & Lemmens, para 13).

Recent Work: Challenging 'Gender Identity Fraud' Prosecutions

During the period 1/10/16 – 1/10/17 Alex completed a Leverhulme Trust funded Re-search Fellowship (£42,319). During the fellowship, she considered recent successful sexual offence prosecutions brought against young trans and other gender non-conforming people for so-called ‘gender identity fraud’ (R v Gemma Barker [2012] Southwark Crown Court, unrep; R v Chris Wilson [2013] Edinburgh High Court, un-rep; R v Justine McNally [2013] EWCA Crim 1051; R v Gayle Newland [2015] Chester Crown Court, unrep; R v Kyran Lee (Mason) [2015] Lincoln Crown Court, unrep; R v Jason Staines [2016] Bristol Crown Court, unrep; R v Gayle Newland [2017] Manchester Crown Court, unrep). This work culminated in the publication of her third monograph, Sexual Intimacy and Gender Identity ‘Fraud’: reframing the legal & ethical debate (London: Routledge, 2018).

Notable Cases


R v Gayle Newland [2017] Manchester Crown Court, unrep

R (on the application of C) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2017] UKSC 72

R v Gayle Newland [2015] Chester Crown Court, unrep

R v Kyran Lee (Mason) [2015] Lincoln Crown Court, unrep

R v Justine McNally [2013] EWCA Crim 1051

Contact Alex


Key publications:

Sexual Intimacy and Gender Identity 'Fraud': Reframing the Legal & Ethical Debate (London: Routledge, 2018) pp. 204.

Foucault's Monsters and the Challenge of Law (London: Routledge, 2010) pp. 184.

Transgender Jurisprudence: Dysphoric Bodies of Law (London: Cavendish, 2002) pp. 230.

Publications on the Gender Recognition Act and Equality Act

Refereed Journals

‘Will Gender Self-Declaration Undermine Women’s Rights and Lead to an Increase in Harms?’ (2020) Modern Law Review (published online 11/1/20) 

Alex has also published elsewhere on this topic including in The Guardian, The Conversation, the Inherently Human blog and (with chambers colleague, Dr Peter Dunne) the Oxford Human Rights Hub.​

Publications on 'Gender Identity Fraud'

Refereed Journals

  1. 'The Ethicality of the Demand for (Trans)parency in Sexual Relations (2017) 43(2) Australian Feminist Law Journal 161-183.
  2. 'Queering Judgement: The Case of Gender Identity Fraud' (2017) 81(5) Journal of Criminal Law 417-435.
  3. 'Expanding Liability for Sexual Fraud Through the Concept of Active Deception': A Flawed Approach' (2016) 80(1) Journal of Criminal Law 28-44.
  4. 'Sexual Intimacy, Gender Variance and the Criminal Law' (2015) 33(4) Nordic Journal of Human Rights 380-391.
  5. 'Criminalising Sexual Intimacy: Transgender Defendants and the Legal Construction of Non-Consent' (2014) Criminal Law Review 207-223.
  6. 'Transgender Marriage and the Legal Obligation to Disclose Gender History' (2012) 75(1) Modern Law Review 33-53.

 Alex has also published elsewhere on this topic including a series of articles on the Inherently Human Blog and articles in The Conversation, Legal Voice, and the New Statesman

A full list of Alex’s academic and journalistic publications can be found on her University homepage.

Training and Seminars

Alex regularly presents keynote addresses, public lectures and appears at many other academic and public speaking events involving, but not confined to, transgender rights concerns. In recent years, she has been invited to speak in New York, Prague, Tel Aviv, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Lund, Oslo, Vienna, San Francisco, Zurich, Berlin, Rome, Paris as well as in the UK. She has a significant media profile and is widely consulted and interviewed by various media (e.g. Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, LBC London, ABC National Radio Australia, CBC National Radio Canada) and publishes regularly in national newspapers (e.g. The Independent, The Guardian, New Statesman) and other media outlets (e.g. Oxford University Human Rights Hub, Diva Magazine, The Conversation).


  • LLB (Warwick), LLM (UWA), PhD (Keele)
  • Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Western Australia (1990) and the High Court of Australia (1991)

Professional Membership

Social and legal Studies Association
International Legal Committee of WPATH (World Professional Association of Transgender Health (former member)
Amnesty International, Expert Committee on Criminalisation of Sexual and Reproductive Conduct (former member)


We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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