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    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Criminal Law, Criminal Justice, Sentencing, Victims' Rights, Law and Technology, Public Space.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Reader in Criminal Law and Justice 

Director of Internationalisation, School of Law 

Member of the Lady Chief Justice's Sentencing Group for NI

Research Statement

My research explores the relationship between the criminal law and society, particularly the impact of law on the most vulnerable. I am one of a minority of legal academics skilled in the use of qualitative and quantitative research methods.  I have a track record over the last decade of publishing in leading international journals, producing impactful commissioned reports and attracting research funding. 

 Two current areas of interest are:

1) PUBLIC SPACE AND THE LAW - use of law to exclude and curtail the freedoms of vulnerable members of society in their use of public space. This research builds on my previous research on the control of anti-social behaviour. In recent years, I have been exploring how current trends in law reform in the UK and elsewhere have been towards greater regulation of the use of public space in the name of gentrification, consumerism and crime control. I am exploring how recent law reforms are being used to exclude unpopular minority communities such as the homeless, young people and ethnic minorities.    

2) OLDER VICTIMS OF CRIME  - exploring crimes that impact on older people and the response of the justice system to this. This has included exploring the phenomenon of unequal access to justice for older victims of crime including commissioned work for the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland. It also involves exploring age as a protected characteristic in hate crime legislation. I was an expert panel member on the recent independent review of hate crime legislation in Northern Ireland.

My work has been published in leading academic journals including Legal Studies, the  Journal of Law and Society, the Criminal Law Review and Punishment and Society. I have presented on my work both nationally and internationally to academic and practitioner audiences.

I have been awarded funding from the ESRC, EPSRC and other funding bodies. I am a member of the peer review college for the ESRC. 

Prior to taking up my position at Queen's, I was a lecturer at Newcastle University and an associate lecturer at the University of Manchester. I have also held research assistant positions at the University of Manchester and the University of Aberdeen. I have been a visiting scholar at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto and Fordham Law School in New York City. 


Leadership Role

Director of Internationalisation

As Director, I oversee the design and implementation of the School of Law's internationalisation strategy. This includes promoting Queen's as a top destination for academically excellent law students from across the globe and creating exciting opportunities for current students to gain international experiences through study abroad opportunities. Under my leadership, new programmes have been introduced which have attracted more international students than ever to choose Queen's as their destination for obtaining a world class legal education. 


Previous Administrative Roles 

LLB (Senior Status) Programme Convenor (2017-2022)

LLB Programmes Director (2017-2020)

Law School Ethics Committee Member (2014-2017)

Director of Internationalisation (2016-2017)

UG Admissions Officer (2015-2016)

Advisor of Studies (Year 3 LLB) (2014-2015)

Director of the Newcastle Forum for Human Rights and Social Justice (2013-2014)

Deputy Admissions Selector for the LLB (2013-2014)

Co-ordinator of the Newcastle Law School External Advisory Board (2011-2014)

Staff Co-ordinator of the Student-Staff Relations Committee (2010-2012)

Staff Co-ordinator of the Client Interviewing and Client Negotiation Competitions (2009-2012)

Co-ordinator of Engagement and Alumni Relations (2009-2012)

Personal Tutor (2014-2021)



I am an award-winning educator whose excellence in teaching, educational innovation and leadership has been recognised at the institutional and national level.  I have been awarded the Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award by QUB and was a finalist in the UK-wide Oxford University Press Law Teacher of the Year Award 2018. QUB also nominated me for a National Teaching Fellowship in 2018, with feedback describing me as a gifted, innovative and student centred practitioner of legal education. I designed and implemented the LLB (Senior Status) programme at QUB.

Current Teaching

Criminal Liability (UG LLB) (Module co-ordinator)

Employability and Clinical Skills (Module co-ordinator)


Previous Teaching

Criminal Justice (UG; LLM)

Criminal Law (UG LLB) (Module co-ordinator)

Crime, Justice and Society (LLM) (Module co-ordinator)

Evidence Law (UG LLB)

Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Money Laundering and Financial Crime (LLM)

Legal Methods and Systems (UG)

Public Law (UG)

The Construction of Crime (UG)

Criminal Justice Processes (LLM)


External Examiner Appointments

University of Southampton (2022-2026) 

Open University (2018-2022)

University of Glasgow (2018-2022)

Lancaster University (2014-2017)

Sunderland University (2011-2015)



External Appointments

President of the Irish Association of Law Teachers (2021-2022)

Lay Member of the Lady Chief Justice's Sentencing Group (2018-)

Academic member of the Ministry of Justice's Evidence and Partnerships Hub Academic Network (2021-)

Academic Member of the Working Group on the Non-jury trial provisions in the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007 (2021-2022)

Expert Panel Member of the Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Northern Ireland (2019-2020)

Treasurer of the Irish Association of Law Teachers (2019-2021)

Secretary of the Socio-Legal Studies Association (2015-2017) 


Finalist in the Oxford University Press UK-wide Law Teacher of the Year Award (2018)

Winner of the Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award by Queen's University Belfast (2017)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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