Gabrielle Watson is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Law and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford. Her current research, on 'keywords' and criminal justice, considers how institutionally-approved terms such as 'courtesy', 'tolerance', 'fairness', 'decency', 'humanity' and 'respect' - together with the legal values that these terms represent and reflect - shape the practice of policing and imprisonment. The project aims to offer a challenging corrective to current scholarship which, at best, gestures towards the significance of our linguistic choices for those we seek to police and punish.

In 2016, Gabrielle was awarded a DPhil from the University of Oxford, with a thesis on Respect and Criminal Justice written under the supervision of Professor Ian Loader. She also holds an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice with Distinction from the University of Oxford, for which she was awarded the Roger Hood Prize for the best performance, and an LLB with First Class Honours from the University of Edinburgh.

Gabrielle has been engaged in over 40 research projects at Oxford and has assisted in the production of six edited collections and three monographs on topics in criminology and criminal justice. She recently contributed to a major review of the experiences of older prisoners by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland. She was formerly an ESRC Scholar at the Centre for Criminology and Martin Senior Scholar at Worcester College, Oxford.


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Research projects

Research Interests

The institutions, values and language of criminal justice

Research projects