LLM in Human Rights Law (University of Hong Kong); BA Hons in English Law and German Law (University of Kent, UK); Diploma in German Law (University of Marburg, Germany); Postgraduate Certificate in Gender, Sexuality and Law (Keele University); Solicitor: England and Wales and Hong Kong.

Robyn worked as a corporate solicitor for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in the UK, Germany and Hong Kong, before pursuing her passion for human rights. She went on to be an Assistant/Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong, and Deputy Director of its LLM Human Rights Programme. Robyn has also taught the international human rights of women course on the MA in Human Rights at SOAS. After a break from academia, Robyn started a PhD at Keele University in 2013. Robyn also works as a magistrate.



Emerton, Adams, Byrnes and Connors, International Women’s Rights Cases (Cavendish: London 2005). 


Emerton, Joe Laidler and Petersen, “Trafficking of Mainland Chinese Women into Hong Kong’s Sex Industry: Problems of Identification and Response”, 2 Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law, 35-87(2007).

Joe Laidler, Petersen and Emerton, “Bureaucratic Justice: The Incarceration of Mainland Chinese Sex Workers in Hong Kong”, 51 International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 68-83(2007).

Emerton, “Finding a Voice, Fighting for Rights: The Emergence of the Transgender Movement in Hong Kong”, 7(2) Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Journal, 243-269 (2006).

Emerton, “Respecting Privacy and Affirming Equality: the Dual Significance of Leung v Secretary for Justice for Hong Kong’s Gay Community”, 36(1) Hong Kong Law Journal, 143-170 (2006).

Emerton “Translating International and Regional Trafficking Norms into Domestic Reality: A Hong Kong Case Study”, 10 Buffalo Human Rights Law Review, 215-260 (2004).

Emerton “Trafficking of Women into Hong Kong for the Purpose of Prostitution: An Assessment of Law and Policy Responses in the Context of Recent International and Regional Developments”, Human Rights Law Review 20 –36 (2004).

Emerton, “Time for Change: A Call for the Legal Recognition of Transsexual and Other Transgender Persons in Hong Kong”, 34(3) Hong Kong Law Journal, 515-555(2004).

Emerton, “Neither Here nor There: the Current Status of Transsexual and Other Transgender Persons under Hong Kong Law, 34(2) Hong Kong Law Journal, 245-277(2004). 

Emerton, “Marital Rape and Related Sexual Offences: A Review of the Proposed Amendments to Part XII of the Crimes Ordinance”, 31(3) Hong Kong Law Journal, 415-434 (2002).

Book Chapters

Emerton and Petersen, “Filipino Nightclub Hostesses in Hong Kong: Vulnerability to Trafficking and Other Human Rights Abuses”, in Hewison and Young (eds), Transnational Migration and Work in Asia (Routledge: Oxon and New York, 2006), 126-143.

Research project

Thesis Topic (AHRC Funded Studentship): Transgender Prisoners: Rights, Bodies and Penal Power.

Robyn is examining recent developments in UK human rights law, prison policy and case law to consider how gender is regulated in prison, and to question the power of human rights to transform the situation of transgender prisoners, when confronted with the realities of the prison system.

Prof. Alex Sharpe
Dr. Mary Corcoran

Keele experience

I was attracted to Keele University because of the opportunity to study under Professor Alex Sharpe, a leading expert in the field of transgender and law. Keele University also has a strong reputation in the field of gender, sexuality and the law, and I enjoyed taking a few modules in the Gender, Sexuality and Law masters programme, before being persuaded by Professor Sharpe to put in a PhD application. In addition to Professor Sharpe’s supervision, I have also benefited from the supervisory input of Dr Mary Corcoran, from the Criminology Department and Dr Fabienne Emmerich from the School of Law (whose seminar inspired my PhD proposal).

There is a strong sense of community among PhD students at Keele. Although I live a long way from Keele, there is always someone to go for lunch or coffee with when I am up at Keele, or to share experiences with on-line.

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