This year, in which the Centre for Criminology turned 50, has been busy and successful.  In addition to organizing multiple anniversary celebrations, our staff and students have been busy with all their usual activities.  In this blog post we will touch on some of the highlights of the year, before closing down the blog for a well-earned holiday. Meanwhile, we hope you all have a relaxing break and take time off to recharge.  See you all at the start of the new term!

Carolyn Hoyle and Mary Bosworth.

Julian Roberts, Ben Bradford, Rachel condry, Carolyn Hoyle, Ian Loader, Mary Bosworth, Lucia Zedner, Alpa Parmar

Graduate School

The MSc Criminology and Criminal Justice programme continues to attract high quality students from around the world. This year we welcomed to the Centre our biggest cohort yet of MSc students, with 33 taking up places in October 2015.  In addition, seven new DPhil students began their doctoral study and we welcomed our first two part time DPhil students, Brett Hartley and Arthur Rizer.

Our thriving graduate community participates fully in the intellectual life of the Centre, attending formal seminars as well as the informal lunchtime seminar series and Research Stream meetings. The DPhil students run their own Criminology discussion group and many are members of other student groups in the wider law faculty.

Our students organize high-profile events for partners within and beyond the academy, produce reports for external criminal justice and governmental bodies (e.g., Lyndon Harris and Gabrielle Watson) and serve on committees within the UN (Rudina Jasini). Two of our DPhils (Rob Blakey and Mia Harris) were appointed to the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Bullingdon. DPhil Criminology student Marie Tidball was heavily involved in another successful disability moot at Wadham College and in May was elected to represent the Labour Party in Hinksey Park, Oxford with 68% of the vote share, an impressive result at her first election.

Our students have also published their work in academic journals and given presentations at seminars and conferences within and beyond the UK, including – in Richard Martin’s case – in Australia. And they have successfully bid for external research funding for empirical and knowledge exchange projects (Laura Tilt and Leila Ullrich).

Some took up visiting positions in other universities to further develop their research. Rachel Wechsler was the McDougall Visiting Professor of International Law at West Virginia University College of Law from August - September 2015, where she taught International Human Rights Law. She was also a visiting PhD student at University College Dublin in autumn 2015. Roxana Willis has taken up a temporary associate professor position at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, lecturing on Crime Policy. Chloe Deambrogio, Marion Vannier, and Leila Ullrich spent time as visiting scholars at the Universities of Villanova in Pennsylvania, Edinburgh and Berkeley. And Rudina Jasini has recently been awarded a post-doctoral global fellowship at New York University.

Meanwhile, closer to home, our students have contributed to the work of the Oxford Human Rights Hub: Richard Martin was Managing Editor of the Hub Blog and Arushi Garg was Deputy Chairperson for Oxford Pro Bono Publico (OPBP). Dominic Aitken, Alice Gerlach, Andrew Roesch-Knapp and Valerie King are also involved in the work of Border Criminologies.

Finally, we congratulate our doctoral students who have been awarded their DPhil during the year: Rudina Jasina and Joanna Simons. We wish them all the best with their future careers.

More information about our alumni can be found here:

 

New Staff

This year we welcomed a number of new staff. 

Dr Francesca Menichelli, a British Academy postdoctoral fellow joined us in September 2015 and has been making good progress with her research, under the mentorship of Professor Ian Loader. Her project understands security as a governmental strategy and adopts a comparative perspective in order to analyse how its deployment has opened up new spaces for governing in three different countries: Italy, France and England and Wales.

Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll joined the centre in July 2015 as a Researcher on Professor Mary Bosworth’s European Research Council (ERC) project on ‘Subjectivity and Penal Power’, contributing an artist and art historian’s perspective and working with Mary on the Immigration Detention Archive. 

 

Research

The quality of the research at the Centre is reflected in the high-level publications produced and in the amount and range of research funding we attract. A full list of publications produced by members of the Centre is provided below, as are details of new research funding. This year, Centre members have published 7 new monographs and 9 edited collections, as well as numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and books.

Members also disseminate their work to audiences (academic, policy and practitioner) around the world. While many presentations were given in England and Wales, over the past year, Centre members have also been invited to present in the following countries: America, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, and Spain. In addition, we have continued our ongoing collaboration with colleagues in universities in America, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, India, and Spain.

Run successfully by Leila Ullrich and her team, Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR) continues to be at the forefront of new and bold research that explores justice processes in societies that undergo or recover from mass violence. OTJR’s weekly seminar series continues to bring leading scholars and practitioners including judges, artists and activists to Oxford. In 2015-2016, OTJR hosted ICTY Judge Theodor Meron, ICC Judge Cuno Tarfusser, Professor Ruti Teitel and Professor Kai Ambos among many others.

Centre members continue to build on research started in previous years: Mary Bosworth and her team of post-doc and doctoral researchers have made further progress on their various projects on immigration detention, border control, deportation, and the postcolonial prison; Lucia Zedner continues her research on preventive justice and security and criminal justice; our policing scholars, Ben Bradford, Ian Loader and Alpa Parmar are studying policing in the UK and beyond its borders; Carolyn Hoyle and colleagues are working on various projects on wrongful convictions; Julian Roberts and his students are focusing on various aspects of sentencing policy and practice, in particular, sentencing multiple and repeat crimes; Carolyn Hoyle and Roger Hood are still working on death penalty scholarship; Rachel Condry continues to disseminate her work on violence in the family; and Ian Loader has recently received funding to continue his work on politics and criminal justice. To find out more about our work see www.law.ox.ac.uk/centres-institutes/centre-criminology/research

 

Knowledge Exchange and Contributions to Public Life

Our commitment to knowledge exchange remains. In 2015-16, we continued with our series of one-day seminars for Thames Valley Police, providing the service with up-to-date empirical and theoretical research on the themes that are the focus of our scholarship.

Many of us have been interviewed for radio programmes and our research has been discussed in newspapers. We have hosted seminars aimed at disseminating our work and engaging with policy makers and practitioners within the academy and beyond, and presented our research at various practitioner conferences, as well as providing expert testimony to public reviews.

Dr Condry’s research on adolescent to parent violence has continued to attract a great deal of media coverage and is making a significant impact on government policy, not least through the presentation of her films about adolescent to parent violence. She serves on the MARAC Scrutiny Panel and has contributed to workshops bringing together practitioners and policy makers. Julian Roberts work on the Sentencing Council of England and Wales is a pertinent example of academic research feeding in to criminal justice practice, something his doctoral student Lyndon Harris is keen to continue. In May 2016 Mary Bosworth was awarded a grant from the ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund (IAA-ESRC) at the University of Oxford to host Dr Hindpal Singh Bhui, the inspection team leader on immigration from HM Prison Inspectorate, as KE Fellow.  Hindpal will take up this post in August 2016.

In 2015, together with their partner, the media NGO, Fondation Hirondelle, OTJR launched the ‘Innovative Media for Change’ project to explore the role of new and traditional media in conflict and post-conflict contexts (funded by an IAA-ESRC Kick-Start Award, led by Julia Viebach and Leila Ullrich). They organized a two-day workshop in Oxford in June 2015 to bring together leading academics, practitioners and journalists to discuss the challenges of media cooperation in Transitional Justice. In May 2016, OTJR launched the project report, ‘Innovative Media for Change: What Role for the Media in Transitional Justice?’ This provides comprehensive analysis of the workshop presentations and discussions with many case studies ranging from Sierra Leone to Syria, from the former Yugoslavia to Colombia, Rwanda and Ethiopia. The report concludes that both new and traditional media are susceptible to manipulation, bias and misguided expectations in different ways. At the same time, it emphasizes that better cooperation between media, practice and academia can be a fruitful way to maximize their informational and analytical roles while reducing their divisive potential. The Final Report was published at our 50th Anniversary Conference on June 4.

Our students engage in other knowledge exchange activities too. From Shona Minson’s important work with the Prison Reform Trust, on the sentencing of mothers, to Rob Blakey’s engagement with visitors to the National Theatre to talk about their perceptions of young offenders, they demonstrate that the new generation of scholars are keen to make their research accessible and of use beyond the academy.

The Centre blog, twitter and Facebook accounts provide an active forum for showcasing our research and keeping in touch with alumni, visitors, and the wider academic and criminal justice community around the world. Our academics and students regularly write about their own research and the work of other scholars who present in our various seminar series. We have been extremely lucky to draw on the support and expertise of Dr Sarah Turnbull, our Blog and Social Media Manager, in keeping these accounts active and engaging.

 

50th Anniversary Celebrations

2016 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Centre for Criminology. We put together an exciting programme of events and activities to commemorate the Centre’s anniversary and to capture the life of the Centre in 2016.

Throughout the year we have hosted our 50th Anniversary lectures. These were launched in January by Professors David Downes, Tim Newburn, and Paul Rock, from the London School of Economics, who gave a lecture entitled ‘In the Beginning: Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice’. Other lectures in Hilary term included: Professor Lisa Miller, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University, on ‘The Myth of Mob Rule’; and Frances Crook OBE, Chief Executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, in conversation with Jamie Bennett, Governor, HMP Grendon.

Trinity term had anniversary lectures from David Anderson Q.C, Independent Reviewer of Terrorism legislation, in conversation with Professor Liora Lazarus, University of Oxford; and Professor David Garland, School of Law, New York University, on Penal Power: It’s forms, functions and foundations’.

In March, we also held a very successful conference in collaboration with (and funded by) Green Templeton College, on ‘Crime and Mental Health: Vulnerability and Resilience in the Face of Trauma’, hosted by Carolyn Hoyle, Rachel Condry and Jasmina Arnez. A few days later, the Centre hosted a drinks reception at the Howard League Conference in Keble College, Oxford. Professors Bosworth and Zedner presented plenary lectures at the conference.

In May, a lecture and reception was hosted on our behalf by Lady Edwina Grosvenor in London. The theme ‘Transforming Incarceration’ built on research conducted by Centre members and others over the past decades to improve the conditions of those held in British prisons and detention centres. This event provided an opportunity to further develop our working relationships with NGOs, government and other academics working in this field.

Professor Lucia Zedner, University of Oxford, delivered the 11th Annual Roger Hood lecture on Criminal Justice in the Service of Security on June 3.  Finally, on June 4, the Centre hosted its Anniversary Conference on ‘Contemporary Dilemmas in Criminal Justice’ at the Andrew Wiles Building. This high profile event brought together MPs, QCs, senior police and many other well-known figures in the world of criminal justice to discuss ‘Criminal Justice, Security and Human Rights’, Women in Prison’, and ‘Criminal Justice in an Age of Austerity’.

 

Congratulations To…

Rachel Condry who was runner up in the ESRSC Outstanding Impact in Public Policy award;

Ben Bradford, who won an Oxford Teaching Excellence award;

Alpa Parmar who was nominated for an OUP Law Teacher of the Year award;

Rachel Weschler, winner of the Centre Book Review Competition;

Mary Bosworth, Andriani Fili, Ines Hasselberg, and Sarah Turbull who won an OxTALENT award for ‘Outreach and Public Engagement’ for their Border Criminologies website and blog;

Mary Bosworth for her John Fell Research Fund award on policing migration and her ESRC-IAA grant for a KE fellow;

Lucia Zedner who was elected as an Overseas Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law;

Andrew Ashworth who won the Halisbury Legal Award for Aacademic contribution in September 2015;

and Ian Loader who was awarded an ISRF Mid-Career Fellowship for a project on ‘In Search of a Better Politics of Crime’.

 

And, Finally, Goodbye To…

Ambrose Lee left us in April 2016 at the end of his 3 year Leverhulme post-doctoral fellowship to take up a new post at Derby University.

Sarah Turnbull will leave us in September to take up a lectureship in Criminology at Birkbeck university and Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll will also be going, to take up a Professorship in Global Art at the University of Birmingham.