Professor Jane Scoular



Personal statement

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. 

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Area of Expertise

  • Socio-legal studies
  • Law and society
  • Gender and law
  • Prostitution policy and politics

Prize And Awards

SLSA Best Article Prize 2020

More prizes and awards

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Understanding sexual violence in sex working populations - law, legal consciousness and legal practice in four countries (2021–2023) : study protocol v2.5
Scoular Jane, Sanders Teela, Balderston Susie, Abel Gillian, Brents Barbara, Ellison Graham, Marriott Nigel
PLoS ONE Vol 18 (2023)
Sex work, hate crime and the criminal law
Sanders Teela, Scoular Jane, Campbell Rosie
The Journal of Criminal Law Vol 86, pp. 109-125 (2022)
Why decriminalise prostitution? Because law and justice aren't always the same
Scoular Jane, FitzGerald Sharron
International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy Vol 10, pp. 52-65 (2021)
Male independent sex workers in the digital age
Sanders Teela, Pitcher Jane, Scoular Jane, Campbell Rosie, Cunningham Stewart
The Routledge Handbook of Male Sex Work, Culture and Society (2021) (2021)
England and Wales
Campbell Rosie, Hubbard Phil, Sanders Teela, Scoular Jane
Assessing Prostitution Policies in Europe (2019) (2019)
Beyond the Gaze and well beyond Wolfenden : the practices and rationalities of regulating and policing sex work in the digital age
Scoular Jane, Pitcher Jane, Sanders Teela, Campbell Rosie, Cunningham Stewart
Journal of Law and Society Vol 46, pp. 211-239 (2019)

More publications

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I have taught across a range of subjects on the LLB, BA and at post-graduate level and also have extensive experience of supervising Honours dissertations, LLMs and PhDs. I teach on the following courses:

  • Legal Theory
  • Legal Process
  • Law and Society
  • Gender, Sexuality and Law
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Professional Activities

Queensland University of Technology
Visiting researcher
Queensland University of Technology
Visiting researcher
Sex work Research Hub (External organisation)
Scottish Government (External organisation)
COST ACTION IS1209 (External organisation)
Socio-Legal Studies Association (External organisation)

More professional activities


Understanding Sexual Violence in Sex Working Populations: Law, Legal Consciousness and Legal Practice in Four Countries
Scoular, Jane (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2024
Beyond the Gaze: Regulation, Safety and Internet based sex work in the UK
Scoular, Jane (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2018
Enforcing Welfare: investigating the use of Enforcement and Support Orders in the context of street sex work
Scoular, Jane (Principal Investigator)
Enforcing Welfare: investigating the use of Enforcement and Support Orders in the context of street sex work
07-Jan-2013 - 31-Jan-2014
IS1209: Comparing Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Culutres of Governance
Scoular, Jane (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2013 - 01-Jan-2017
Re-thinking Responses to Rape
Scoular, Jane (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2011 - 31-Jan-2011
Regulating the spaces of sex work: assessing the impact of prostitution law
Scoular, Jane (Co-investigator)
Full Research Report. (£48,000) ESRC End of Award Report, RES-000-22-1001. Swindon: ESRC
01-Jan-2007 - 31-Jan-2009

More projects

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Professor Jane Scoular

Tel: 548 4464