Dr Alex Louise Pearl

Dr Alex Louise Pearl


I am an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow based in the School of Law. My Fellowship focuses upon achieving academic, policy and real-world impact to improve financial flourishing outcomes for disabled adults living in the community.

I obtained a first-class undergraduate degree in Law from Leeds University, before completing a master’s in International and European Human Rights Law for which I received the highest marks ever awarded by the School of Law. I received the ‘School of Law Teaching and Research Scholarship’ to undertake my doctoral research.

My PhD research involved a sociolegal examination of how support can help mitigate the legal, policy and practical challenges facing adults with cognitive impairments in managing their financial lives. Developing a novel approach to capability theory, I worked with disabled people, leading support provider organisations and the banking sector to explore the impact of diverse and overlapping spheres of legal and policy regulation on the financial experiences of disabled people. My research addresses issues around mental capacity law, support provision, the social care and benefits system, equality and non-discrimination law, access to banking and the operation of contractual relations.

During the ESRC Fellowship, I hope to translate my research findings into real-world impact through academic publications, policy engagement activities and working closely with disabled people’s organisations to improve the financial flourishing experiences of disabled people.

As a disability researcher and activist, I am very interested in engaged sociolegal disability research. I am actively involved in the Centre for Disability Studies and the Centre for Law and Social Justice, having introduced and coordinated an ongoing seminar series exploring innovative methodological and theoretical approached to engaged sociolegal research. I am also involved in the ‘U-Lead East Asia Disability Rights Forum Project’ alongside Professor Anna Lawson FBA, FAcSS, Visiting Professor Stephen Hallett and several human rights-focused disabled people’s organisations. The U-Lead project explores new frontiers in disability research and activism across the globe and I am a co-editor of the forthcoming U-Lead book, due for publication in 2024.


  • ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Researcher on the 'U-Lead East Asia Disability Rights Forum' Project

Research interests

My research interests focus upon disability law, social justice, support provision, mental capacity law, financial inclusion, equality and non-discrimination law, social care law, feminist theory, the capabilities approach, human rights-based disability advocacy, and engaged sociolegal research.

I have published in the field of disability rights, mental capacity law and the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. I have contributed written submissions  to House of Lords Select Committees on behalf of the University of Leeds Centre for Disability Studies and the Centre for Law and Social Justice, which have been cited in final reports.  I also have a forthcoming edited book based upon the 'U-Lead East Asia Disability Rights Forum' Project due for publication in 2024, and sit on the board of trustees for international disability rights charity Ability Beyond Boarders. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Law
  • LLM in International and European Human Rights Law (First Class)
  • LLB in Law (First Class)

Student education

I am currently teaching the legal capacity topic on the ‘Human Rights and Disabled People 1’ module at masters level. I also have four years of experience teaching on the undergraduate Foundations of Law and Constitutional Law modules within the School of Law. I have designed course content at both masters and undergraduate level and I have supervised three undergraduate dissertations in the fields of equality and non-discrimination law.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Disability Studies
  • Centre for Law and Social Justice