James Edwards joined the Faculty in October 2014. He is an Associate Professor of Law, a Tutorial Fellow of Worcester College, and a Lecturer 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 a Stipendiary Lecturer in Law at Hertford College, then returned to Christ's as a Fellow and Lecturer in Law before taking up his current post. 

James is interested in legal, moral and political philosophy. Most of his current work focuses on the criminal law--on its general justification, the limits of permissible criminalisation, and the roles properly played by state officials and private individuals in the criminal justice system.


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  • J Edwards, 'Explaining Ourselves to Others ' in Michelle Madden Dempsey and François Tanguay-Renaud (eds), From Morality to Law and Back Again: Liber Amicorum for John Gardner (Oxford University Press 2021)
  • J Edwards, 'No Offense' in KK Ferzan and L Alexander (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Ethics and Criminal Law (Palgrave 2019)
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-22811-8
  • J Edwards, 'An Instrumental Legal Moralism' in J Gardner, L Green and B Leiter (eds), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Law: Volume 3 (Oxford University Press 2018)
    ISBN: 9780198828174
  • J Edwards, 'Review of Rationale-Based Excuses in Criminal Law by Mark DSouza' (2018) 81 Modern Law Review 385 [Review]
  • J Edwards and AP Simester, 'What's Public About Crime?' (2017) 37 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 105
    DOI: 10.1093/ojls/gqw010
  • J Edwards, 'Master Principles of Criminalisation' (2016) 7 Jurisprudence 138 [Review]
  • J Edwards, 'Harm Principles' (2014) 20 Legal Theory 253
    DOI: 10.1017/S135232521500004X
  • J 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)
  • J Gardner and J Edwards, 'Criminal Law' in H LaFollette (ed), International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley 2013)
    DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee640
  • L Duarte d'Almeida, J 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)
  • J Edwards, 'Review of Crimes, Harms and Wrongs by AP Simester and A von Hirsch' [2012] Criminal Law Review 75 [Review]
  • J Edwards, 'Review of The Ends of Harm by Victor Tadros' (2012) Law Quarterly Review 466 [Review]

Research programmes

Research projects

Research Interests

Jurisprudence; moral and political philosophy; philosophy of criminal law; criminal law

Options taught

Jurisprudence, Criminal Law (Mods), Moral and Political Philosophy, Jurisprudence and Political Theory, Philosophical Foundations of the Common Law

Research projects