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Prof Chris Ashford

Professor of Law and Society

Department: Northumbria Law School

Professor Ashford joined Northumbria Law School in May 2013 as Professor of Law and Society. He graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2001 and worked as a Research Assistant in the Human Rights Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University 2001-2002.

Professor Ashford joined Northumbria Law School in May 2013 as Professor of Law and Society.  Chris is currently the Director of Research and Innovation for the Law School and is also leading the Law REF 2021 submission.


Chris is active within the Gender, Sexuality and Law, Law and Society and Legal Education and Professional Skills (LEAPS) groups at Northumbria.


Chris is involved in a number of national and international academic networks and has held a number of high-profile roles.  He is currently a member of the Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association (LAGLA) North East Advisory Board.  Chris is a former Chair of the Association of Law Teachers (ALT) (2015-2017), Secretary of the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) (2013-2015), and a member of the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) Legal Education Sub-Committee.  Additionally, he previously organised the Gender, Sexuality and Law Stream at the Annual SLSA conference, significantly developing and growing the stream. Chris has also previously served as a member of the Legal Education Research Network (LERN) steering group, a member of the Academy of Social Sciences Open Access Working Group, and as the SLS’s Legal Education Convener.


He was a member of the 2016-17 Bar Standards Board (BSB) Future Bar Training Task Completion Group on pathways to qualification, the 2015 BSB Academic Stage Working Group, and the 2014 QAA Law Benchmark Review panel.


He is Editor of The Law Teacher: The International Journal of Legal Education (published by Routledge), and 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.

Campus Address


0191 227 3010


FHEA, MA (Teaching and Learning in HE), LLB (Hons)

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Chris has published widely on the area of law and sexuality and legal education, engaging with a range of criminal justice issues. 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 previously guest edited special issues of Sexualities, Liverpool Law Review, the Web Journal of Current Legal Issues and Information & Communications Technology Law.

Chris is a member of the ALT, SLS, SLSA, the Centre for Sex Work Research and Policy, the Scottish LGBT and Sexualities Network, the Onscenity Network, and the Global Alliance for Justice Education.

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. Chris regularly presents his research in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and continental Europe.

Current/Recent Projects

‘LGBTQ Students Identities and the Law School’, Legal Education Research Network, 2013

‘LGBTQ Identities and the Law School’, Social & Legal Studies (with Jessica Guth), 2013

‘Consent, Compulsion and Sexual Offenders: The Compulsory Treatment of Sex Offenders ‘, Modern Law Review (with Nicola Wake), 2013

‘Same-Sex Male Social Dating and Encounter Networks: Identity Formation and Protection’, British and Irish Law Education and Technology Association, (with Kevin Brown) 2013

Key Publications

Guth, J and Ashford, C (2014) ‘The Legal Education and Training Review: Regulating Socio-Legal and Liberal Legal Education?’ The Law Teacher 48(1) 5-19.

Ashford, C (2012) ‘From Cruising to Dogging: The Surveillance and Consumption of Public Sex’, in I.Rivers and R.Ward, Out of the Ordinary: Representations of LGBT Lives (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing) 77-92.

Ashford, C (2012) ‘Heterosexuality, Public Places and Policing’, in P.Johnson and D.Dalton, Policing Sex (Abingdon and New York: Routledge) 41-53.

Ashford, C (2012) ‘Dissertations’ in Pearson’s Legal Skills Database (Harlow: Pearson).

Ashford, C (2011) ‘(Homo)normative Legal Discourses and the Queer Challenge’, 1(1) Durham Law Review 77-98.

Ashford, C (2011) ‘Sexualities and the Law’, Special Issue, Sexualities 14(3).

Ashford, C (2010) ‘Barebacking and the Cult of ‘Violence’: Queering the Criminal Law’, Journal of Criminal Law, 74(4): 339-357.

Ashford, C (2010) ‘Socio-Legal Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality and Law’, Liverpool Law Review, 31(1): 1-12.

Ashford, C (2009) ‘Queer Theory, Cyber-Ethnographies and Researching Online Sex Environments’, Information and Communications Technology Law, 18(3) 297-314.

Ashford, C (2009) ‘Legal Education in Practice: An Initial Survey’, 3 Web Journal of Current Legal Issues.

Ashford, C (2009) ‘Male Sex Work and the Internet Effect: Time to Re-evaluate the Criminal Law?’, Journal of Criminal Law 73(3) 258-280.

Ashford, C (2008) ‘Sex Work in Cyberspace: Who Pays the Price?’ 17(1) Information and Communications Technology Law, 37-49.


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