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 at the intersection of criminal law, criminal justice, and jurisprudence.

Gabrielle's first book, Respect and Criminal Justice, is forthcoming in Autumn 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 on Keywords: Ethical Discourse and Criminal Justice. It charts the shift towards an ethical vocabulary in criminal justice in recent decades, and examines how terms such as 'fairness', 'humanity', 'hope', 'dignity', 'respect' and 'justice' - together with the legal values that these terms represent and reflect - shape 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 in Oxford and Berlin. 

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

In Spring 2019, Gabrielle was elected to the Inaugural Visiting Fellowship in Law at the newly-instituted Cambridge Centre for Criminal Justice. In Spring 2020, she will return to Cambridge as a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Penal Theory and Penal Ethics, and spend time as a Guest Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg.


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Research Interests

Criminal law; criminal justice; jurisprudence

Options taught

Jurisprudence, Criminal Law (Mods)

Research projects