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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  • 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 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 and Lucia Zedner, 'Punishment Paradigms and the Role of the Preventive State' in A.P. Simester, A. Du Bois-Pedain, U. Neumann (ed), 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, 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, 'Die Rettungspflicht im englischen Recht' in Andreas von Hirsch, Ulfrid Neumann and Kurt Seelman (eds), Solidaritat im Strafrecht (Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, Baden-Baden 2013)
    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, 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.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 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, '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, 'Should Strict Criminal Liability be Removed from all Imprisonable Offences?' in (ed), Positive Obligations in Criminal Law (Hart Publishing 2013)
    ISBN: 978-1-84946-505-2
  • 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, 'The Exclusion of Evidence obtained by Violation of a Fundamental Right: Pragmatism before Principle in Strasbourg Jurisprudence' in Paul Roberts and Jill Hunter (eds), Criminal Evidence and Human Rights: Reimagining Common Law Procedural Traditions (Hart Publishing 2012)
    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, 'Ignorance of the Criminal Law, and Duties to Avoid it' (2011) 74 Modern Law Review 1
    A critique of the doctrine that ignorance of the criminal law is no excuse, showing how preposterous the doctrine is and arguing that, even if it should continue in a muted form, it should be accompanied by positive duties on the State to publicise its criminal laws.
    ISBN: 0026-7961
  • A Ashworth, 'Attempts' in John Deigh, David Dolinko (ed), 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, The Criminal Law's Ambivalence about Outcomes (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, '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, '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, '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 (ed), 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, Sentencing and Criminal Justice (5th edn Cambridge University Press 2010)
    ISBN: 978-0-521-74875-9




His current interests fall within the fields of English criminal law, sentencing, and the criminal process, and the application of human rights standards in those fields.

Research projects

Research Interests

Sentencing, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Options taught

Jurisprudence, Criminal Law (Mods), Criminology and Criminal Justice, Philosophical Foundations of the Common Law

Research projects