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Andrew Ashworth

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Emeritus Vinerian Professor of English Law*

Andrew Ashworth was the Vinerian Professor of English Law from 1997 to 2013, and is now Emeritus Professor. He obtained his LL.B. from the London School of Economics (1968), and then took the B.C.L. at Oxford (1970). He obtained a Ph.D. from Manchester University (1973). In 1993 he was awarded the degree of D.C.L. at Oxford and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy. In 1997 he was appointed a Q.C. Honoris causa. In 1999 he was appointed a member of the Sentencing Advisory Panel,becoming its chair in 2007 until its abolition in 2010. He was awarded the degree of LL.D.honoris causa at De Montfort University in 1998, the degree of Jur. D. honoris causa at Uppsala University in 2003, and the degree of LL.D. honoris causa by the London School of Economcis in 2014 . His first teaching position was as Lecturer (1970-76) then Senior Lecturer (1976-78) at Manchester University. From 1978 to 1988 he was Fellow and Tutor in Law at Worcester College, Oxford, and he served as Acting Director of the University's Centre for Criminological Research from 1982 to 1983, and again from 2003 to 2005. In 1988 he was appointed Edmund-Davies Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at King's College London, and held that post until moving to All Souls College to take up the Vinerian chair in 1997, retiring from that chair in 2013..


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Journal Articles


A Ashworth, 'Manslaughter by Omission and the Rule of Law' [2015] Criminal Law Review 563 [...]

A critique of the law of manslaughter in cases of omission, demonstrating its incompatibility with rule-of-law ideals.

ISBN: 0011-135X


A Ashworth, 'A Decade of Human Rights in Criminal Justice' [2014] Criminal Law Review 325 [...]

A review of the impact of European human rights law on criminal law and criminal justice between 2003 and 2014.

ISBN: 0011-135X


A Ashworth, 'Departures from the Sentencing Guidelines' [2012] Criminal Law Review [...]

A critique of the law and practice relating to departues from the sentencing guidelines in England and Wales

ISBN: 0011-135X


A Ashworth, 'Ignorance of the Criminal Law, and Duties to Avoid it' (2011) 74 Modern Law Review 1

A Ashworth, 'The Unfairness of Risk-Based Possession Offences' (2011) 5 Criminal Law and Philosophy 237 [...]

The article argues that certain criminal offences of possession, i.e. 'risk-based possession offences', cannot be justified within current criminal law doctrines.

ISBN: 1871-9791


A Ashworth, 'Sentencing Guidelines and the Sentencing Council' [2010] Criminal Law Review 389 [...]

A critical assessment of the provisions of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 relating to sentencing guidelines and the new Sentencing Council.

A Ashworth, 'Should Strict Liability be Removed from all Imprisonable Offences?' (2010) 45 Irish Jurist 1 [...]

This is a principled attack on the propensity of the English and Irish legislatures to impose strict liability for criminal offences that carry a sentence of imprisonment.

ISBN: 0021-1273


A Ashworth, 'A Change of Normative Position: Determining the Contours of Culpability in Criminal Law' (2008) 11 New Criminal Law Review 232

A Ashworth, 'Defending the Criminal Law: Reflections on the Changing Character of Crime, Procedure and Sanctions' (2008) 2 Criminal Law and Philosophy 21


A Ashworth, 'Principles, Pragmatism and the Law Commission's Recommendations on Homicide Law Reform' [2007] Criminal Law Review 333 [...]

Appraisal of the structure and detail of recent Law Commission recommendations.

ISBN: 0011 135X


A Ashworth, 'Four Threats to the Presumption of Innocence' (2006) 10 International Journal of Evidence and Proof 241 [...]

A revised and improved version of my SALJ article, written for a British readership and dealing with attacks on the presumption of innocence.

A Ashworth, 'Four Threats to the Presumption of Innocence' (2006) 123 South African Law Journal 62 [...]

An exploration of the justifications for the presumption of innocence, and the various arguments for curtailing it by reversing the burden of proof in certain types of case.


A Ashworth and Elaine Player, 'Criminal Justice Act 2003: the Sentencing Principles' (2005) 68 Modern Law Review 822 [...]

A critical review of the major sentencing provisions introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

ISBN: 0026-7961


A Ashworth, 'Criminal Justice Reform: Principles, Human Rights and Public Protection' [2004] Criminal Law Review 516 [...]

Critique of foundations for recent criminal justice legislation

ISBN: 0011-135X

A Ashworth and Michelle Strange, 'Criminal Law and Human Rights' (2004) European Human Rights Law Review 121 [...]

Review of recent developments on human rights and criminal law

ISBN: 1361 1526

A Ashworth and Dirk van Zyl Smit, 'Disproportionate Sentences as Human Rights Violations' (2004) 67 Modern Law Review 541 [...]

A study of the application of human rights law to disproportionate sentences

ISBN: 0026-7961

A Ashworth, 'Social Control and 'Anti-Social Behaviour': the subversion of human rights?' (2004) 120 Law Quarterly Review 263

A Ashworth and others, 'The Sexual Offences Act 2003: Rape, Sexual Assaults and the Problem of Consent' [2004] [2004] Criminal Law Review 328 [...]

Analysis and critique of new legislation

ISBN: 0011 135X


A Ashworth and Michelle Strange, 'Criminal Law and Human Rights in 2002' (2003) European Human Rights Law Review 139 [...]

Review of judicial decisions on human rights and crime in 2002

ISBN: 1361-1526


A Ashworth, 'Re-Drawing the Boundaries of Entrapment' [2002] Criminal Law Review 161 [...]

Evaluation of impact of HL decision in LOOSELEY

ISBN: 0011-135X

A Ashworth, 'Responsibilities, Rights and Restorative Justice' (2002) 42 British Journal of Criminology 578 [...]

DOI: 10.1093/bjc/42.3.578

Critical assessment of principles and practices of restorative justice

ISBN: 1464-3529

A Ashworth, 'Robbery Re-Assessed' [2002] Criminal Law Review 851 [...]

Critical analysis of law and sentencing on robbery

ISBN: 0011-135X


A Ashworth, 'Criminal Proceedings after the Human Rights Act: the First Year' [2001] Criminal Law Review 855 [...]

Critical analysis of first year's criminal cases on the Human Rights Act

ISBN: 0011-135X



A Ashworth and Lucia Zedner, Preventive Justice (Oxford University Press 2014) [...]

An exploration and analysis of the various forms of coercive preventive measures used by the state, with a focus on measures involving deprivation of liberty; and a discussion of the rationales and limiting principles appropriate for such measures.

ISBN: 978-0-19-871252-7


A Ashworth, Postitive Obligations in Criminal Law (Hart Publishing 2013) [...]

A series of essays on issues of principle in criminal law, with two new essays -- one on criminalizing omissions, and the other on human rights and positive obligations to create particular offences.

ISBN: 978-1-84946-505-2

A Ashworth and J.C.N. Horder, Principles of Criminal Law (7th edn, Oxford University Press 2013) [...]

An updated version of my text on criminal law, co-authored for the first time.

ISBN: 978-0-19-967268-4


A Ashworth, The Criminal Law's Ambivalence about Outcomes (Rowan Cruft, Matthew Kramer, Mark Reiff, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2011) [...]

Revisiting and developing a debate with Antony Duff about intentions, outcomes and the criminal law.

ISBN: 978-0-19-959281-4


A Ashworth, Sentencing and Criminal Justice (5th edn, Cambridge University Press 2010)

A Ashworth and Mike Redmayne, The Criminal Process (Oxford University Press 2010)


A Ashworth, Principles of Criminal Law (Oxford University Press 2009)


A Ashworth, A Change of Normative Position: Determining the Contours of Culpability in Criminal Law (11, New Criminal Law Review 2008) [...]

DOI: 10.1525/nclr.2008.II.2.232

Critical re-examination of the doctrine of 'change of normative position' in criminal law theory, comparing it with forms of constructive liability.

ISBN: 1933-4206

A Ashworth, Conceptions of Overcriminalization (5, Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law 2008) [...]

Re-assessment of Kadish's work on criminalization, and proposal of further principles.

ISBN: ISSN 1546-7619

A Ashworth and L H Zedner, Defending the Criminal Law: Reflections on the Changing Character of Crime, Procedure and Sanctions (2, Criminal Law and Philosophy 2008) [...]

DOI: 10.1007/s11572-007-9033-2

Re-assessment of the trend away from traditional criminal law and criminal procedure, and re-assertion of the normative significance of criminal law principles and protections.

ISBN: 1871-9791


A Ashworth, Ben Emmerson and Alison Macdonald, Human Rights and Criminal Justice (Thomson Sweet & Maxwell 2007) [...]

Co-written and co-edited basic text for practitioners.

ISBN: 97 80421876101


A Ashworth, Principles of Criminal Law, 5th edition (Oxford University Press 2006) [...]

New edition of text on criminal law.

ISBN: 0-19-928114-9


A Ashworth and Andrew von Hirsch, Proportionate Sentencing: Exploring the Principles (Oxford University Press 2005) [...]

An exploration and refinement of the application of the proportionality principle in the theory of punishment and sentencing.

ISBN: 0-19-927260-3

A Ashworth, Sentencing and Criminal Justice (Cambridge University Press 2005) [...]

This edition was revised extensively, to analyze and criticize the major changes introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003, as well as other legislative changes and case-law.

ISBN: 978-0-521-67405-8

A Ashworth and others, The Criminal Process (Oxford University Press 2005) [...]

The third (expanded) edition of a critical text on the English criminal process and criminal procedure.

ISBN: 0-19-927338-3


A Ashworth, Principles of Criminal Law (4th edn, Oxford University Press 2003) [...]

New edition of established text

ISBN: 0-19-925980-1

A Ashworth and others, The Criminological Foundations of Penal Policy (Oxford University Press 2003) [...]

Co-edited Festschrift for Roger Hood

ISBN: 0-19-926509-7


A Ashworth, Human Rights, Serious Crime and Criminal Procedure (Sweet & Maxwell 2002)


A Ashworth and Ben Emmerson, Human Rights and Criminal Justice (Sweet and Maxwell 2001) [...]

Analysis of effects of European human rights law on English criminal proceedings

ISBN: 0421 639 105



A Ashworth and Lucia Zedner, 'Punishment Paradigms and the Role of the Preventive State' in A.P. Simester, A. Du Bois-Pedain, U. Neumann (eds), Liberal Criminal Theory: Essays for Andreas von Hirsch (Hart Publishing 2014) [...]

An exploration of punishment theory in the light of the state's preventive obligations.

ISBN: 978-1-84946-514-4


A Ashworth, 'Die Rettungspflicht im englischen Recht' in Andreas von Hirsch, Ulfrid Neumann and Kurt Seelman (eds), Solidaritat im Strafrecht (Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden 2013) [...]

Abstract: A theoretical examination of the principles on which English criminal law grounds liability or non-liability for omissions.

ISBN: 978-3-8487-0213-8

A Ashworth, 'Eroding the Structure of the Convention? The Public Interest in Prosecutions for Serious Crime' in K.S. Ziegler and P.M. Huber (eds), Current Problems in the Protection of Human Rights (Hart Publishing 2013) [...]

An examination of the European Court of Human Rights' tendency to give increasing weight to public interest considerations, moving away from older doctrines.

ISBN: 978-1-84946-124-5

A Ashworth, 'Should Strict Criminal Liability be Removed from all Imprisonable Offences?' in Positive Obligations in Criminal Law (Hart Publishing 2013)

A Ashworth, 'The Struggle for Supremacy in Sentencing' in A. Ashworth and J.V. Roberts (eds), Sentencing Guidelines: Exploring the English Model (Oxford University Press 2013) [...]

An analysis of the politics of sentencing in the first decade of this century, assessing the positions of the judiciary, the government and the sentencing guideline bodies and their respective influences on sentencing policy.

ISBN: 978-0-19-968457-1


A Ashworth, 'The Exclusion of Evidence obtained by Violation of a Fundamental Right: Pragmatism before Principle in the Strasbourg Jurisprudence' in Paul Roberts and Jill Hunter (eds), Criminal Evidence and Human Rights: Reimagining Common Law Procedural Traditions (Hart Publishing 2012) (forthcoming) [...]

A principled analysis of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights on the admissbiility of evidence obtained through violation of a Convention rights.

ISBN: 9781849461726


A Ashworth, 'Attempts' in John Deigh, David Dolinko (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, New York 2011) [...]

An assessment of issues in the law of criminal attempts.

ISBN: 978-0-19-531485-4

A Ashworth, 'Criminal Justice, not Criminology?' in Mary Bosworth and Carolyn Hoyle (eds), What is Criminology? (Oxford University Press 2011) [...]

An attempt to discuss the distinctions and interrelations between criminology, criminal justice and criminal law.

ISBN: 978-0-19-957182-6

A Ashworth and Lucia Zedner, 'Just Prevention: Preventive Rationales and the Limits of the Criminal Law' in R.A. Duff and Stuart P. Green (eds), Philosophical Foundations of Criminal Law (Oxford University Press 2011) [...]

A critical assessment of the role of preventive rationales in, and on the boundaries of, the criminal law.

ISBN: 978-0-19-955915-2


A Ashworth, 'Child Defendants and the Doctrines of the Criminal Law' in James Chalmers, Fiona Leverick and Lindsay Farmer (eds), Essays in Criminal Law in Honour of Sir Gerald Gordon (Edinburgh University Press 2010) [...]

An examination of the extent to which familliar requirements and defences in criminal law apply to child defendants, with or without adaptation.

ISBN: 978 0 7486 4070 6

A Ashworth and Lucia Zedner, 'Preventive Orders: a Problem of Undercriminalization?' in R.A. Duff, L. Farmer, S.E. Marshall, M. Renzo & V. Tadros (eds), The Boundaries of the Criminal Law (Oxford University Press 2010) [...]

An examination of the nature of civil preventive orders, and an argument that they are anomalous and that, given their effects, they should attract all the safeguards of criminal proceedings.

ISBN: 978-0-19-960055-7


A Ashworth, 'Criminal Law, Human Rights and Preventative Justice' in Bernadette McSherry, Alan Norrie and Simon Bronitt (eds), Regulating Deviance: the Redirection of Criminalisation and the Futures of Criminal Law (Hart Publishing 2009)


A Ashworth, 'Criminal Procedure, Human Rights and Balance' in Thomas Elholm et al (ed), Ikke kun Straf: Festskrift til Vagn Greve (Jurist- og Okonomforbundets Forlag 2008) [...]

Critique of developments in criminal procedure in the European Court of Human Rights, notably in relation to Article 6 and self-incrimination.

ISBN: 978-87-574-1693-0


A Ashworth, 'Plea-Bargaining, Pragmatism and Rights' in H. Muller-Dietz, E. Muller, K.-L. Kunz, H. Radtke, G. Britz, C. Momsen, H. Koriath (eds), Festschrift fur Heike Jung (Nomos 2007) [...]

Exploring the compatibility of plea bargaining with the presumption of innocence.

ISBN: 978-3-8329-2537-6

A Ashworth, 'Security, Terrorism and the Value of Human Rights' in Benjamin J Goold and Liora Lazarus (eds), Security and Human Rights (Hart 2007) [...]

Essay exploring the structure of the European Convention on Human Rights and the role of public protection in human rights law.

ISBN: 978-1-84113-608-0


A Ashworth, 'General Principles of Criminal Law' in D.J. Feldman (ed), English Public Law (Oxford University Press 2004)


A Ashworth, 'Exploring the Integrity principle in Evidence and Procedure' in P. Mirfield and R.J. Smith (eds), Essays for Colin Tapper (Butterworths 2003)

A Ashworth, 'Kriterien fur die Proportionalitat der Strafe' in W. Frisch, A. von Hirsch and H.-J. Albrecht (eds), Tatproportionalitat (C.F. Muller Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany 2003) [...]

Contribution to book entitled TATPROPORTIONALITAT, edited by W. Frisch, A. von Hirsch and H.-J. Albrecht

ISBN: 3-8114-5145-6

A Ashworth, 'Sentencing and Sensitivity' in L. Zedner and A. Ashworth (eds), The Criminological Foundations Of Public Policy (Oxford University Press 2003)

A Ashworth and others, 'Specifying Aims and Limits for Restorative Justice: a 'Making Amends' Model' in A von Hirsch, J. Roberts and A.E. Bottoms. (eds), Restorative Justice and Criminal Justice (Hart Publishing 2003)


A Ashworth, 'Further Notes on Coherence in Criminal Justice' in P. Asp, C.E. Herlitz and L. Holmqvist (eds), Flores Iuris et Legum: Festskrift till Nils Jareborg (Iustus Vorlag, Uppsala, Sweden 2002)

A Ashworth, 'Sentencing' in M. Maguire, R. Morgan and R. Reiner (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 3rd Edn, (Oxford University Press 2002) [...]

Review of law and research on sentencing

ISBN: 0-19-925609-8

A Ashworth, 'Testing Fidelity to Legal Values: Official Involvement and Criminal Justice' in S. Shute and A.P. Simester (eds), Criminal Law Theory: The General Part (Oxford University Press 2002) [...]

Analysis of cases and writings

ISBN: 0-19-924349-2

Edited books


A Ashworth, L.H. Zedner and P.R. Tomlin (eds), Prevention and the Limits of the Criminal Law (Oxford University Press 2013) [...]

An edited volume (with editors' introduction) on the insections between the criminal law and preventive justice, presenting arguments from leading international scholars.

ISBN: 978-0-19-965676-9

A Ashworth and J. V. Roberts (eds), Sentencing Guidelines: Exploring the English Model (Oxford University Press 2013) [...]

An edited book of essays on the English sentencing guidelines, reflecting critically on their merits both intrinsically and as compared with guidelines in other jurisdictions.

ISBN: 978-0-19-968457-1


A Ashworth (ed), General Principles of Criminal Law (Oxford University Press 2009)

Research Projects

Preventive Justice Project


Teaching: Criminology and Criminal Justice; Criminal Law; Philosophy of Law; Criminology

Research: Sentencing, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Other details

Correspondence address:

All Souls College
Oxford OX1 4AL

other affiliation(s):

Centre for Criminology

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