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Seema Patel

Dr Seema Patel

Senior Lecturer

Nottingham Law School

Staff Group(s)
Academic Division Nottingham Law School staff


Seema is a senior lecturer in law. She leads, lectures and tutors on a number of law modules. Her area of expertise is Sports Law in which she module leads an optional final-year undergraduate module. Seema also leads modules on the LLM Sports Law course. She is involved in the supervision of Sports Law PhD projects.

Career overview

After completing LLB and LLM degrees at Nottingham Trent University, Seema was a senior lecturer in Sports Law and Management in the Sport Science department at NTU. One of her key roles included the management of a successful work placement module for final-year undergraduate sport students.

Research areas

Seema has a PhD in sports law, specifically discrimination and the regulatory balance between inclusion and exclusion in competitive sport. She is an international expert on gender discrimination in sport, and has offered extensive media commentary on the legal implications of gender eligibility rules. Her recent academic publications examine the regulatory gaps in the protection of athletes’ human rights in sport. Seema has been involved in sport policy in this field and has also contributed to government consultation on inclusion and participation in sport.

External activity

In September 2022, Seema participated in an international panel for the Lex Athleta three part virtual workshop on alternative forums for athlete human rights. She discussed the UK approaches.

In June 2022, Seema was invited to speak at an event hosted by the Sports Law and Policy Centre (SLPC) (, India. The session examined trans athletes in sport and she was asked to share my expertise on gender fairness and inclusion.

In May 2022, Seema was invited by the Faculty of Law, Criminal Justice and Public Administration at the University of Lausanne, to deliver a lecture on gender diverse athletes in sport at the Human Rights and Sports Day.

In March 2022, Seema was invited to deliver a guest lecture for a sport medicine masters course at Queen Mary’s University London (QMUL), on the participation of trans athletes and athletes with sex variations in sport.

In August 2021, Seema was invited to deliver a speech at the International Conference on Sports Law by the School of Law, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, Uttarakhand, REVA University Bangalore, and Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs (Government of India). Her presentation was delivered live online and examined Gender Discrimination in Sport.

In September 2021, Seema was invited to speak as an expert panel member at the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) Webinar, Malaysia on Women in Sport. The session was delivered live online and was streamed on social media platforms. Her contribution centred around gender discrimination in sport in the west and my personal experiences as a British Asian sport law academic.

In November 2020, Seema was invited to take part in a private seminar and submit oral evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on a National Plan for Sport and Recreation. She was invited to speak about the UK legislative framework regarding sport and comparative international models.  Her evidence and research was cited in the House of Lords report titled, ‘A national plan for sport, health and wellbeing report’ (footnote 59, page 21/22).

In February 2020, Seema was invited to contribute to a Transgender Working Group for World Rugby, the world governing body for rugby, tasked with formulating guidance for trans female players.



Sheree Bekker, Ryan Storr, Seema Patel & Payoshni Mitra (2023) Gender inclusive sport: a paradigm shift for research, policy, and practice, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 15:1, 177-185, DOI: 10.1080/19406940.2022.2161599

PATEL, S., 2022. Olympic Sport and Gender? Solicitors Journal, 20 March.

PATEL, S., 2022. Refreshing and Reimagining the Human Rights Framework to Protect Athletes’ Gender Rights and Remove Risks at Mega-Sporting Events. In: HEERDT D and SHUBHAM J, eds., Handbook on MSEs and Human Rights. London: Routledge. Forthcoming.

PATEL, S., 2022. Law and regulatory barriers to increasing inclusivity for trans athletes. In: G.L. WITCOMB and E. PEEL, eds., Gender diversity and sport: interdisciplinary perspectives on increasing inclusivity. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781003050568

PATEL, S., 2022. Sport and Brexit: athletes' sex and gender rights. In: J. KORNBECK, ed., Sport and Brexit: regulatory challenges and legacies. Routledge research insport business and management . Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 87-102. ISBN 9780367755195

PATEL, S., 2021. Gaps in the protection of athletes gender rights in sport—a regulatory riddle. The International Sports Law Journal. ISSN 1567-7559

PATEL, S., RIPPINGTON, S. and BOTELER, P., 2021. Supporting an athlete through legal action. In: N. CAMPBELL, A. BRADY and A. TINCKNELL-SMITH, eds., Developing and supporting athlete wellbeing: person first, athlete second. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 166-180. ISBN 9780367254612

PATEL, S., 2021. National Plan for Sport and Recreation: written evidence. Lords Select Committee. London: UK Parliament.

PATEL, S. and VARLEY, I., 2019. Exploring the regulation of genetic testing in sport. Entertainment and Sports Law Journal, 17 (1): 5. ISSN 1748-944X

VARLEY, I., PATEL, S., WILLIAMS, A.G. and HENNIS, P.J., 2018. The current use, and opinions of elite athletes and support staff in relation to genetic testing in elite sport within the UK. Biology of Sport, 35, pp. 13-19. ISSN 0860-021X

PATEL, S., 2015. Feature Article: The IAAF’s Hyperandrogenism Regulations Suspended. World Sports Law Report, 13(8), August.

PATEL, S., 2015. How should sporting regulators draw competitive lines? [online] LexisNexis PSL Arbitration. (Available online)

PATEL, S., 2015. Women’s sport is on the rise but old-fashioned regulators need to catch up [online]: The Conversation. (Available online)

PATEL, S., 2015. Faster, higher, stronger—tackling inequality in sport [online]: LexisNexis PSL Commercial. (Available online)

PATEL, S., 2015. Inclusion and Exclusion in Competitive Sport [online]: socio-legal and regulatory perspectives. London: Routledge.

PATEL, S., 2014. Expert opinion: The role of the law is critical when it comes to discrimination in sport. [online] Nottingham Trent University Website. 22nd December.

PATEL, S., 2014. Inclusion and Exclusion in Competitive Sport [online]: Solicitors Journal. 158(47). (Available online)

PATEL, S., 2014. Expert opinion: women challenge the boundaries of sport, but there are still barriers to overcome. [online] Nottingham Trent University Website. 29th August.

PATEL, S., 2014. A Legal View. SportsPro Magazine. September, pp.58.

PATEL S., 2010. Women's Ski Jumping and Olympic Programme Inclusion, World Sports Law Report, 8(7), pp.11-13.

PATEL S., 2008. Transsexuals in sport: inclusiveness and the level playing field [online], Papers in Law Series, Anglia Ruskin University, August 2008.

PATEL S., 2008. Creating a Level Playing Field: A study of the admissions and experiences of different groups onto a university sport management course [online]. JoHLSTE, 7(2).

PATEL S., 2006. Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference: Sport and Entertainment Law Stream, Review [online]. Entertainment and Sports Law Journal, 4(2).

PATEL S. and BOYES S., 2006. After Bosman: the rise of the Bos (wo)man? Sport and the Law Journal, 14(3).

Conference Papers Presented

The European Dimension of Sport as a Medium for Enhancing Participation. Patel S, Sport and EU Conference, NTU, 1st July 2011.

"What is Gender in Sport Competition" (oral paper) presented with international colleagues from Southern Illinois University, USA, at the "Conference on Law, Policy and the Olympic Movement" Ithaca College London Centre, UK, May 2010.

"Using Lived Experiences to Explore Inclusion and Exclusion in Sport: the case of the British Indian Female" (Oral Paper),presented at the "Sport and Society Conference" University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, March 2010.

"Transgender and Sport: A UK Perspective" (Oral Paper) presented at the "Ithaca College Sport, Sexuality, and Culture Conference" Ithaca College, USA, March 2009.

"The Level Playing Field: Balancing Inclusion and Exclusion in Sport" (Oral Paper) presented at the "22nd Annual Conference on Sport, Physical Activity, Recreation and Law" San Antonio, Texas, USA, March 2009.

"Women in Sport: An Anglo-American Comparison" (Oral Paper) presented at "Girls and Women Rock: Celebrating 35 years of sport and Title IX" Conference, Cleveland, USA, March 2007.

"The Value of Sport versus Inclusiveness: The Legal Regulation of Transsexuals in Sport" (Oral Paper) presented at the Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference, Stirling, Scotland, March 2006.

"Football: Legal and Regulatory Approaches to Women in a 'Men's Game'" (Oral Paper) co- presented with Mr Simon Boyes at the International Football Institute Conference, Preston, UK, June 2005.

See all of Seema Patel's publications...

Press expertise

  • Sports Law
  • Discrimination in sport
  • Sex and gender issues in sport
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Inclusion and exclusion

Course(s) I teach on

  • Athlete celebrating
    Postgraduate taught | Full-time / Part-time | 2023

  • woman reading a book at a library
    Undergraduate | Full-time | 2023