Gender non-conformity at the Bar- Alex Benn writes for Counsel

July 11, 2022

Drawing on personal experience, Alex Benn has written an opinion piece for Counsel Magazine discussing being gender non-conforming at the Bar.

The article looks at:

  • helping those who may not be familiar with the topic
  • encourage those who want to practise at the Bar without limiting themselves to the two boxes of the traditional gender binary
  • making first decisions eg, mode of address
  • use of pronouns
  • dress in court
  • having mentors and champions

Alex says:

“The start – as empty as it may sound – is to back yourself. It is daunting to stand up in a court if you have never done so before. Being gender non-conforming adds another layer. To dress in a way that doesn’t slot into an assigned, gendered box. To use terms that judges and magistrates may have never come across. There is a pressure to represent yourself that bit better, in case one encounter colours the other person’s perception of gender non-conforming people as a whole.”

RLC member Alex is also a senior lecturer in law at University College, Oxford, specialising in criminal and discrimination law, and the author of various articles, including for the Criminal Law Review and the Oxford Human Rights Hub Journal.

Read full piece here: [Counsel Magazine]