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Portrait of Alex Powell

Alex Powell

Research Student

The City Law School,


Postal address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Alex's thesis investigates the compatibility of Home Office policy and practice for determining the identity of asylum seekers within asylum claims made on the basis of sexual diversity with how sexually diverse asylum seekers and refugees experience their identities. The project draws on a series of semi-structured interviews with people who have secured refugee status in the UK on the basis of their sexual diversity. These interviews are then examined through a narrative analysis method to determine whether there is a mismatch between the Home Office's Asylum Policy Instructions, decision-maker practice, and how sexually and gender diverse refugees and asylum seekers understand their own identities.

Alex received a City Doctroal Studentship to support his studies 2017-2020. In September 2020, He will take up a position as a Teaching Fellow in Law at Oxford Brookes University. He has previously studied at the University of Reading (LLB; First Class Hons) from 2013 to 2016 and Birkbeck, University of London (LLM; Distinction) from 2016 to 2017. Alongside his research activities, Alex has taught on the LLB Law programme at City, leading seminars in Foundations of Public Law (2019-2020). He has previously taught Foundations of Public Law (2018-2019), Criminal Law (2017-2018), and English Legal Systems (2017-2018). Alex has also been employed as an Associate Lecutrer in Law at Royal Holloway, Univeristy of London where he lead seminars in Public Law (2019-2020). Additionally, Alex has provided guest lectures for the Law and Film Programmes at City (2018) and University of Hong Kong (2019) and a guest lecture to Masters students in Human Rights at Kingston Univeristy, London (2020).


  1. PhD, City, University of London, United Kingdom, Sep 2017
  2. LLM, Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom, Sep 2016 – Sep 2017
  3. LLB, University of Reading, United Kingdom, Sep 2013 – Jul 2016

Postgraduate training

  1. SRA Training: Qualitative Interviewing, Social Research Association, London, United Kingdom, Jun 2018


  1. Teaching Fellow in Law, Oxford Brookes University, Sep 2020 – present
  2. Associate Lecturer, Royal Holloway, University of London, Oct 2019 – May 2020
  3. Research Assistant, City, University of London, Dec 2018 – Dec 2019
  4. PhD Representative, UCU: City University Branch, Sep 2018 – present
  5. Research Assistant, City, University of London, Oct 2017 – Oct 2018
  6. Visiting Lecturer, City, University of London, Oct 2017 – Jul 2018
  7. Graduate Teaching Assistant, City, University London, Sep 2017 – Jul 2020

Memberships of professional organisations

  1. Associate Fellow, Higher Education Authority, Dec 2017 – present
  2. Member, Socio-Legal Studies Association, Sep 2017 – present


Chapters (2)

  1. Powell, A. (2020). Normative Understandings: Sexual identity, Stereotypes, and Asylum Seeking. In Ashford, C. and Maine, A. (Eds.), The Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and law (pp. 146–163). Cheltenham UK: Edward Elgar. ISBN 978-1-78811-114-0.
  2. Powell, A. The Will of 'The People’: The UK Constitution, (Parliamentary) Sovereignty, and Brexit. In Ahmed, T. and Fahey, E. (Eds.), On Brexit: Law, Justices and Injustices Edward Elgar (Forthcoming).

Conference papers and proceedings (6)

  1. Powell, A. (2019). I Want the Proof, the Whole Proof and Nothing but the Proof: Authenticity and Credibility in Sexual Identity Asylum Claims. Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference 2-5 April, University of Leeds.
  2. Powell, A. (2019). Law and the Cultural Imaginary: A Queer Discursive Analysis of “Victim” (1961). Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference 2-5 April, University of Leeds.
  3. Powell, A. (2018). (Inter)National Queers: Queer Solidarity Beyond Borders'. IDAHOBIT panel 17 May, City, University of London.
  4. Powell, A. (2018). Queering “Reckless” Transmission: HIV Criminalisation and Stigma in the Context of PrEP and TasP. Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference 27-30 March, University of Bristol.
  5. Powell, A. (2018). Queering “Credibility”: How Law Constructs the Truth of Sexual identity. Queer Identities and Philosophy 24-25 March, Kings College London.
  6. Powell, A. (2018). The Treatment of LGBT Asylum Seekers and How this is in contrast with how the UK and Other Countries Present Themselves in the World. LGBT Politics in Europe 20 March, City, Unviersity of London.

Internet publications (4)

  1. Powell, A. (2020). Interviews with asylum seekers reveal why the Home Office rejects so many LGBT claims. The Conversation.
  2. Powell, A. (2020). It felt like they were looking for something very specific’: Stereotypes and Essentialism in the Sexual Orientation Asylum Policy Instruction. SLSA Blog.
  3. Powell, A. (2019). Work Ban Forces Asylum Seekers into Destitution—But we Now Have a Chance to Change This Policy. The Conversation.
  4. Powell, A. (2018). Officials Working Within Hostile Government Departments Are Not Free From Blame. The Conversation.

Journal articles (2)

  1. Ashford, C., Morris, M. and Powell, A. Bareback sex in the age of PrEP and TasP: How new HIV medications challenge existing legal narratives. Journal of Criminal Law.
  2. Powell, A. Law and the Cultural Imaginary: Law, Film, and the Queer Narrative. Law and Literature (Targeted).

Professional activities

Keynote lectures/speeches (2)

  1. Law and Its Victims: Representations of Sexual Minorities in Law and Film. University of Hong Kong (2019).
  2. Law and its victims: Representations of Sexual Minorities in Law and FIlm. City, University of London (2018).

Media appearances (2)

  1. I didn't worry about getting HIV. (2018) BBC News Online (website).
  2. Life with HIV the Breakthrough People Don’t Know About. (2018) BBC Radio 5 Live (radio).

Online article

  1. If Sajid Javid Really Cares About the Impact of Drugs on Violent Crime, He Should Decriminalise Them. (2018). The Metro Online