James Edwards joined the Law Faculty in October 2014. He is Tutorial Fellow in Law at Worcester College, and Lecturer in Law at Brasenose College.

James studied law as an undergraduate at Christ's College, Cambridge. He then moved to Oxford for the BCL, and stayed for the DPhil. James spent his final year as a doctoral student as Stipendiary Lecturer in Law at Hertford College, then returned to Christ's as Fellow and Lecturer in Law before taking up his current post. 

His current research focuses on the limits of the criminal law. He is particularly interested in the ends the state legitimately uses the criminal law to pursue, and in the means by which the criminal law legitimately makes its contribution. James is interested in most aspects of legal and political philosophy. Recent publications include Reading HLA Hart's The Concept of Law (Hart, 2013).


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  • Edwards and AP Simester, 'What's Public About Crime?' (2017) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (forthcoming)
  • Edwards, 'An Instrumental Legal Moralism' (2016) 3 Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law (forthcoming)
  • Edwards, 'Master Principles of Criminalisation' (2016) 7 Jurisprudence 138 [Review]
  • Edwards, 'Harm Principles' (2014) 20 Legal Theory 253
  • Edwards and AP Simester, 'Prevention with a Moral Voice' in AP Simester, A du Bois-Pedain, U Neumann (ed), Liberal Criminal Theory: Essays for Andreas von Hirsch (Hart 2014)
  • L Duarte d'Almeida and Edwards, 'Some Claims About Law's Claims' (2014) 33 Law and Philosophy 725
  • Edwards and AP Simester, 'Wrongfulness and Prohibitions' (2014) 8 Criminal Law and Philosophy 171
  • J Gardner and Edwards, 'Criminal Law' in H LaFollette (ed), International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley 2013)
  • L Duarte d'Almeida, Edwards and A Dolcetti, 'Hart's Readers' in L Duarte a'Almeida, J Edwards and A Dolcetti (eds), Reading HLA Hart's The Concept of Law (Hart 2013)
  • Edwards, 'Review of Crimes, Harms and Wrongs by AP Simester and A von Hirsch' [2012] Criminal Law Review 75 [Review]
  • Edwards, 'Review of The Ends of Harm by Victor Tadros' (2012) Law Quarterly Review 466 [Review]
  • Edwards, 'Coming Clean About the Criminal Law' (2011) 5 Criminal Law and Philosophy 315
  • Edwards, 'Justice Denied: The Criminal Law and the Ouster of the Courts' (2010) 30 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 725


Research programmes

Research Interests

Jurisprudence; political philosophy; philosophy of criminal law; criminal law

Options taught

Jurisprudence, Criminal Law (Mods)

Research projects