Elise Maes is a Stipendiary Lecturer in Law at St. Peter's College (University of Oxford), teaching Criminal Law on the BA in Jurisprudence. She was previously a Stipendiary Lecturer in Criminal Law at Pembroke College (University of Oxford, 2017-2018), a Graduate Teaching Assistant for Human Rights Law (University of Oxford, 2016-2017), and has taught Criminal Law at the University of Leuven (Belgium, 2014-2017). 

Elise completed her DPhil in Law at the University of Oxford. Her research examined offender agency at sentencing, under the supervision of Professor Lucia Zedner. Prior to the DPhil, she completed the MPhil in Law and the Magister Juris with distinction. She also holds an LLM from the University of Leuven (Belgium). She previously worked as a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law, and as a criminal litigation lawyer as a member of the Brussels bar (Belgium).

Languages: English, Dutch, French, German




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  • E M Maes, 'Legal implications of smoking (bans) in English prisons' (2019) Legal Studies
    The high prevalence of tobacco smoking in prison, and certain aspects inherent in prison culture make smoking in that environment particularly difficult to regulate. Over the last decade, the UK government has adopted and sought to implement gradually its plan to make all prisons smoke-free nationwide. The UK Supreme Court recently ruled in Black that the Health Act 2006, which prohibits smoking in most enclosed public spaces, does not bind the Crown and consequently does not apply to public prisons. Both developments have implications for the human rights protection of smoking and non-smoking prisoners. This paper considers how English smoking and non-smoking prisoners’ (human) rights are currently protected, and what the legal implications are of a complete ban on smoking in English prisons. The paper reflects on whether an indoor smoking ban might strike a better balance between the competing rights and interests of smoking and non-smoking prisoners than a complete ban.
  • E M Maes, A normative framework for offender agency in sentencing, paper presented at Gordon Seminar on Criminal Law, University of Glasgow, 7 June 2018
  • E M Maes, A Retributive and Therapeutic Framework for Offender Agency in Sentencing, paper presented at Crime, Punishment and Society Conference (Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield, 10-11 April 2017)
  • E M Maes, 'Del Rio Prada v Spain and the Execution of a Penalty Under Article 7: A Shifting Conception of Punishment?' (2017) European Human Rights Law Review 443
  • E M Maes and F Verbruggen, ''Dan is het kot te klein...': roken in de gevangenis (Smoking in prison)' in I Samoy and E Coutteel (eds), Het rookverbod uitbreiden? Juridisch onderzoek, casussen & aanbevelingen (Acco 2016)
  • E M Maes, 'Is een effectieve straf altijd zwaarder dan een straf met uitstel? De invloed van bestraffingsmodaliteiten op de relatieve zwaarte van straffen (Suspended sentences and their influence on the relative severity of criminal sentences)' (2015) Tijdschrift voor Strafrecht 251
  • E M Maes, 'Onrechtmatig verkregen bewijs in civiele zaken in België en Duitsland (Illegally obtained evidence in civil law in Belgium and Germany)' (2015) Rechtskundig Weekblad 682


Research Interests

Criminal Law; Criminal Justice; Criminology; Human Rights

Options taught

Criminal Law (Mods)

Research projects