Dr Gabrielle Watson

Postdoctoral Research Fellow; Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Faculty of Law


LLB, MSc, DPhil

Academic background

Inaugural Visiting Fellow in Law, Cambridge Centre for Criminal Justice, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge (Spring 2019)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Law, Christ Church, Oxford (since 2017)
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford (since 2017)
Postgraduate, DPhil, Respect and Criminal Justice, University of Oxford (from 2012 to 2016)
Postgraduate, MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice with Distinction, University of Oxford (from 2011 to 2012)
Undergraduate, LLB with First Class Honours, University of Edinburgh (from 2007 to 2011)

Undergraduate teaching

At Oxford, I teach Criminal Law (Law Moderations), Jurisprudence (Finals), and an optional course on the Philosophy of Punishment (Finals). I am also a Guest Lecturer in Criminal Law at the London School of Economics.

Research Interests

Mentored by Professor Lucia Zedner FBA, I work on topics at the intersection of criminal law, criminal justice, and jurisprudence. My first book, Respect and Criminal Justice, is forthcoming in Autumn 2019 with Oxford University Press. It offers the first sustained examination of the role and value of ‘respect’ in policing and imprisonment in England and Wales, where the term is elusive but of persisting significance. Supported by the award of a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, I am currently working on a second book on Keywords: Ethical Discourse and Criminal Justice. It charts the shift towards an ethical vocabulary in criminal justice in recent decades, and examines how terms such as ‘fairness’, ‘humanity’, ‘hope’, ‘dignity’, ‘respect’ and ‘justice’ – together with the legal values that these terms represent and reflect – shape the process of calling individuals to account for their alleged wrongdoing. I am also involved in an interdisciplinary project on Key Legal Concepts with colleagues in Oxford and Berlin. 

Publications include:

Keywords: Ethical Discourse and Criminal Justice (in preparation).
Respect and Criminal Justice (forthcoming, 2019). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Journal articles

‘Speaking of Criminal Law and Justice: Vagueness in Vogue’ (in preparation).

‘“Upskirting” and Bodily Integrity’ (in preparation).

‘Procedural Justice and Narrow Instrumentalism’ (under review).

‘“Upskirting” in England and Wales: Implementation and Scope’ (forthcoming, 2019) Criminal Law Review.
‘Review Essay: Value Pluralism and the Will to Punish’ (forthcoming, 2019) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies.
‘Reducing Female Admissions to Custody: Exploring the Options at Sentencing’ (2017) Criminology and Criminal Justice 17(5) 546-567 (with Julian V Roberts).

Book review
‘Review of Michael J Coyle, Talking Criminal Justice: Language and the Just Society’ (2015) Theoretical Criminology 19(3) 445-448.

Policy and practice
Ageing Prisoners. A review of the international literature commissioned by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland (2017). Edinburgh: Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland.
A contribution to the first thematic inspection of Scotland’s ageing prison population, as reported on BBC News, and in The Times, The Sunday Times, The Scotsman, The Herald and Holyrood Magazine.

Women in Prison: Proposals for Reform. Briefing paper distributed to lawyers, journalists, practitioners and policymakers at Oxford Law conference on Contemporary Dilemmas in Criminal Justice (2016). Faculty of Law, University of Oxford (with Julian V Roberts).

Jurisprudence in Oxford: Featured Scholar (2019). Interviewed by Carolina Flores (Rutgers). Available at: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-and-subject-groups/jurisprudence-oxford/faculty-features.

Review of David Garland, American Penal Power: Its Forms, Functions and Social Foundations. 50th Anniversary Lecture (2016). Oxford: Centre for Criminology blog, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford.

Available at: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/centres-institutes/centre-criminology/blog/2016/05/american-penal-power-its-forms-functions-and.