Law and Sexuality

A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests


The Blog

This blog is primarily written by Chris Ashford, Professor of Law and Society at Northumbria University Law School in the UK.

This blog seeks to explore law and sexuality in a broad socio-legal framework.  It is unashamedly biased, controversial and irreverent, providing a radical space for ideas and debates in contemporary law and sexuality studies.

The views on this blog are the authors own, and do not necessarily reflect those of an employer.

About Chris


Chris has published widely on the area of law and sexuality and legal education. A queer theorist; his research explores the intersection of law, sexuality and technology and has focused upon the phenomena of public sex, male for male sex work and more recently, barebacking. He has advised LGBT community and health groups, the NHS, Police and UK Parliament.   Pink News – the most read British gay news service – named Chris as 26th in the top 50 Twitter users who influenced LGBT lives the most in 2011.  His legal education research has explored and documented the rise of the apprenticeship route to qualification, and the impact upon Law Schools, whilst his pedagogic research has focused upon the use of technology and media.

During the passing of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013, the British Member of Parliament Sir Gerald Howarth identified Chris’ ideas (along with those of UK activist Peter Tatchell) as the basis for his remarks about an “aggressive homosexual community” (which spawned a series of satirical responses).  He went on to clarify that he should have branded Chris and Tatchell ‘militant homosexuals’.  Also in 2013, Chris was identified by US Conservative magazine LifeSite – along with the late Paula Ettelbruck, Prof. Nan Hunter, and Michelangelo Signorile – as a leading voice in the world LGBT movement.  Neither was meant as an accolade but Chris takes them as such.


Delivering a keynote at St Mary’s University, London in September 2014

External Roles & Activities

Chris is Chair of the Association of Law Teachers (ALT).  He is also a member of the Society of Legal Scholars Legal Education Sub-Committee.  Additionally, he organises the Gender, Sexuality and Law Stream at the annual SLSA conference. Chris has previously served as a member of the Legal Education Research Network (LERN) steering group, as the SLS’s Legal Education Convenor, and as Secretary and Executive Committee member of the Socio-Legal Studies Association.

He is a member of the 2014 QAA Law Benchmark Review panel and the Bar Standards Board Committee reviewing the Academic Stage of qualification.

RPRNHe is  Editor of The Law Teacher: The International Journal of Legal Education (published by Routledge) and  and the Open Access journal, The International Journal of Gender, Sexuality and Law (launching in 2015).   He is a member of the Centre for Sex Work Research and Policy, the Scottish LGBT and Sexualities Network, and the Global Alliance for Justice Education.  He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and External Examiner at the University of Hull, Middlesex University and the University of Winchester.

He is also a member of the editorial board of Porn Studies.   He has previously guest edited special issues of Sexualities, Liverpool Law Review, Web Journal of Current Legal Issues and Information & Communications Technology Law.

HeRALT  co-edited (with Jessica Guth) The Legal Academic’s Handbook (Palgrave, 2016) and Perspectives on Legal Education (with Nigel Duncan and Jessica Guth) (Routledge, 2016).

He is also working on a monograph entitled ‘Public Sex and the Law: Silent Desire’ to be published by Routledge-Cavendish.

Chris is always willing to exchange and explore ideas with students and academics alike.  He is also available for consultancy.



Chris currently supervises the following doctoral students:

Principal Supervisor:

(DLaw) Cath Sylvester: An interpretive enquiry into the content and delivery of the law undergraduate curriculum in the UK, May 2016-present.

(PhD) Alexander Maine: Same-Sex Marriage and the Homonormative Legal Identity: The emergence and effect of the Homonormative and Homoradical identities on LGBTQ legal narratives, October 2015-present.

(PhD) Sara Mohammadzadeh: Queer Legal Theory and Illicit Sex, October 2014-present.

(PhD) Katharine Parker: Public Sex and Security: Perceptions of Safety held by Men using Public Sex Sites in Newcastle upon Tyne, October 2014-present.

Second Supervisor:

(Phd) Tribe Mkwebu: Clinical Legal Education: Bridging the academic skill of thinking like a Lawyer to the professional skill of Lawyering: A model for educating Lawyers in Zimbabwe, 2013-present, Second Supervisor.


Chris with some of his postgraduate students

Chris teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students at Northumbria on the following modules:  Law and Legal Skills, Legal Research (on campus), Legal Research (distance learning) and Gender, Sexuality and Law.  He also supervises undergraduate and postgraduate research projects.

A passionate and innovative teacher, Chris was also one of the founding judges of the Routledge/ALT Teaching Law with Technology Prize.

He is always interested in hearing from potential doctoral students and is willing to supervise students in the areas of law & sexuality, queer theory, and legal education.  Please contact Chris directly at:

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