Gabrielle Watson (LLB, MSc, DPhil) is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Law and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Law at Christ Church, Oxford. Mentored by Professor Lucia Zedner FBA, she works on topics in criminal justice theory and practice.

Gabrielle's first book, Respect and Criminal Justice, is forthcoming in 2019 with Oxford University Press. It offers the first sustained examination of the role and value of 'respect' in policing and imprisonment in England and Wales, where the term is elusive but of persisting significance. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, she is currently working on a second book entitled Keywords: Ethical Discourse and Criminal Justice. It charts the shift towards an ethical vocabulary in criminal justice scholarship and practice in recent decades, and examines how terms such as 'fairness', 'decency', 'dignity', 'humanity', and 'respect' have become implicated in the process of calling individuals to account for their alleged wrongdoing. Gabrielle is also involved in an interdisciplinary project on Key Legal Concepts with colleagues at Oxford and the Freie Universität Berlin.

This academic year, Gabrielle teaches Criminal Law (Law Moderations), Jurisprudence (Finals), and an optional course on the Philosophy of Punishment (Finals) at Oxford. She is also a Guest Lecturer in Criminal Law at the London School of Economics.

Gabrielle has been elected to the Inaugural Visiting Fellowship in Law at the newly-instituted Cambridge Centre for Criminal Justice. She will take up this Fellowship in Spring 2019 in association with the Faculty of Law and Trinity College, Cambridge.


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  • G Watson, 'Concepts without Boundaries in Criminal Justice' (2019) (in preparation)
  • G Watson, Respect and Criminal Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2019) (forthcoming)
  • G Watson, 'Stop and Search and Bodily Integrity' (2019) (in preparation)
  • G Watson, 'Value Pluralism and the Will to Punish' (2019) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (forthcoming)
  • G Watson, The Literature on Older Prisoners. Report commissioned by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland (Edinburgh: Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland, 2017)


Research projects

Research Interests

Criminal justice; penal theory; socio-legal studies

Options taught

Jurisprudence, Criminal Law (Mods)

Research projects