I joined the Law School in 1995 and was promoted to Professor in 2012.
I am a socio-legal scholar working across issues relating to law and gender and sexuality. Researchers investigating the legal regulation of commercial sex place my publications amongst the primary reference works in the field.
My work has influenced both academic and policy debate and law reform. My publications include original theoretical expositions in books and internationally peer-refereed journals as well as ground-breaking national and international empirical studies. This work has been funded by government, the ESRC, The British Academy and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, amongst others.
With colleagues, I recently undertook the largest study of internet-based sex work and its regulation, in the ESRC-funded project 'Beyond the Gaze' [2015-2018]. Among the project’s publications, which included a monograph and numerous articles, was the winner of the SLSA Best Article Prize in 2020: 'Beyond the Gaze and Well Beyond Wolfenden: The Practices and Rationalities of Regulating and Policing Sex Work in the Digital Age 2019 Journal of Law and Society, Vol. 46, Issue 2, pp. 211-239.
I am currently the Principal Investigator on an ESRC-funded project ‘Sex work and Sexual Violence (2021-23) which explores how socio-legal contexts shape the experiences of sexual violence among people engaging in sex work. Working with international colleagues, we will be comparing experiences across four different legal environments: legalisation (Nevada USA), criminalisation (Northern Ireland), decriminalisation (New Zealand) and partial criminalisation (Great Britain):
I have been a Visiting Scholar at New York University and at the University of Stockholm, where I researched the Swedish law relating to prostitution. I served as a member of the Scottish Parliament's Expert Panel on Prostitution and continue to advise policy in this area. I served on the Management Committee and co-chaired the scientific programme on 'Prostitution Policies and Politics' in the COST European research network IS1209: Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance (2013-2017).
I teach in the areas of Legal Theory and Law and Society and am the Law School's Research Director.