Ms Aileen Kennedy

Lectuer, LLB Course Coordinator , Law - School of Law

Aileen Kennedy

Phone: +61 2 6773 5210



Aileen Kennedy is an expert in health law, in particular on the law relating to intersex and transgender children. Aileen’s research focusses on the intersection of neuroscience and law. Aileen is active in law reform of family law, health law and consent processes for intersex children. Aileen is on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Expert Reference Panel for the inquiry on clinical treatment of intersex people. Aileen is a Board Member of Intersex Human Rights Australia.

Aileen researches legal and ethical issues relating to biotechnological innovation such as assisted reproductive technology, genetics and neuroscience.

Aileen is an experienced legal practitioner, having spent 10 years in legal practice prior to becoming an academic legal scholar. Aileen has expertise and practical experience in various branches of legal doctrine, including contract law, commercial law, family law and health law.


BA LLB (Hons) Macq, LLM (Sydney), Diploma in Legal Practice, Legal Practitioner (NSW)

Teaching Areas

LAW171& LAW272: Contract Law 1 & 2

LAW342: Medico-Legal

LLM539: Neuroscience and Law

LLM538: Current Issues in Health Law

Primary Research Area/s

health law; LGBTIQ and law; gender and law

Research Interests

Research in the area of health law, with a particular focus on law and gender, regulation of body transforming surgeries (such as sex assignment and reassignment, circumcision, FGM and cosmetic surgery) and  neuroscience. Research interests also include feminist legal perspectives and family law. Focus on legal regulation of medical intervention on intersex children.


Journal Articles

  • Kennedy A: ‘Fixed at Birth: Medical and Legal Erasures of Intersex Variations’  University of New South Wales Law Journal, (2016) 39, 813
  • Kennedy A: ‘Slice them up or Slice Them Out? Legal Liability for operating on the troublesome patient in cosmetic surgery’ Journal of Law and Medicine September 2015, 23(1), 121
  • Kennedy A: ‘Gender Identity: Reassessing the definition of sex and gender’  Alternative Law Journal 2013, 38(3), 186
  • Kennedy A: ‘Regulating bodily integrity: cosmetic surgery and voluntary limb amputation.’ Journal of Law and Medicine; 2012 Dec; 20(2):350-62
  • Kennedy A: ‘Mutilation and Beautification’ Australian Feminist Studies, June 2009, (24) 60, 211-231

Book Chapters

  • Kennedy, A: ‘Accounting for the Vagaries of Nature – the Importance of Biology in Identifying Parents’ Taking Responsibility: Law and the Changing Family  (1st Edition Ashgate Publications UK, 2010), 177-200

Conference papers (refereed)

  • LSAANZ Conference, Wollongong University, ‘Sex and Gender in the Family Court', December 2018
  • ‘Fixed at Birth: legal responses to intersex and the challenge to binary constructions of gender’ Law, Literature and the Humanities Association of Australasia Conference, University of Technology Sydney Law School, Sydney, Australia 9-12 December 2015
  • ‘Law and Intersex – regulating genital surgeries on intersex children’ Australasian Association of Health, Bioethics and Law Conference, Sydney University July 2013
  • ‘Regulating the Body of the Cerebral Citizen’ Australian Society of Legal Philosophers conference, Macquarie University July 2012
  • ‘The limits of consent – cosmetic surgery and voluntary amputation’ (Re)Figuring Sex: Somatechnical (Re)Visions Conference, Sydney 20 & 21 November 2009
  • ‘Australia’s Legal Response to Sex Trafficking – lessons from R v Wei Tang’ Terrorism, Transnational Crime, Crime Across Borders and International Criminal Justice Section, World Congress of Criminology Conference, Barcelona, Spain, 24 July 2008.
  • ‘Evaluating the Australian Federal Government’s Response to Trafficking – A Human Rights Approach’, 29th Congress of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, Paris France, July 2005.


  • Australian Human Rights Commission Inquiry into Intersex Human Rights - Member of Expert Reference Panel
  • Intersex Human Rights Australia - Board Member
  • Law and Society Association of Australia and New Zealand - Member

Community and Advocacy Organisation Collaborations

Board Member, Intersex Human Rights Australia