Mirroring sex worker campaigns (ECP; SCOTPEP; NUM), official consultations (Home Office, 2004, 2006, 2008; APPG, 2014; HASC, 2016), and wider debates, over the last two decades there has been much academic interest in the legal responses to sex work (Scoular and O’Neill, 2007; Graham, 2017; Munro and Della Giusta (eds), 2008). Much of this work in England and Wales has evaluated the current legal response(s) to sex work, how they impact sex workers’ lives, and how the law might be reformed. There is also significant academic and governmental interest in comparative research looking at legal responses in other jurisdictions (Armstrong and Abel (eds), 2020; Levy, 2014).
Interest is sought for a project which develops an original approach to the question of sex work, law and justice. Some themes which could be of interest are, inter alia: human rights; social justice; and redistributive justice. Human rights arguments are increasingly significant in debates and campaigns around sex work and its regulation (Graham, forthcoming; Amnesty International, 2016). Research around social and redistributive justice is also increasingly important, especially with significant crises facing the sex industry, such as the aftermath of COVID-19 and Brexit (Fitzgerald and McGarry (eds), 2018). These suggestions are non-exhaustive, and applicants should indicate clearly the proposed focus of their research.
This research project will be conducted within the Gender, Sexuality, and Law Research Group in the Faculty of Business and Law where you will join a rich and thriving research community. Examples of doctoral work that has been undertaken within this group include: same sex relationships and normative expectations; kink pornography and legal consciousness; equality and anti-discrimination law; international law, detention and sexual orientation and gender identity; and dating apps and HIV disclosure.
Applicants should have a good knowledge of the sex industry and its regulation. The research may have an empirical, doctrinal, socio-legal, or comparative focus (feminist and queer perspectives particularly welcome), but you should clearly articulate your proposed approach and methodology.