Keith Hawkins (LL.B Birm., Dipl Criminol., MA, PhD Cantab.) retired from active teaching in October 2006. His research interests are in the sociology of legal processes, and are concerned with legal decision making and the workings of governmental regulation in such areas as environmental control, and occupational health and safety regulations.


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  • K O Hawkins, 'Enforcing regulation: Robert Kagan’s contribution – and some questions' (2013) 38 Law & Social Inquiry 950–972
    Robert Kagan has been at the forefront of socio-legal research into regulation for more than thirty years. His work addresses in general the extent to which law fosters or impedes economic activity, and the conditions under which people and organizations both comply with the law, and sometimes fail to comply with it. This paper analyzes his contribution, and suggests some questions for further inquiry prompted by Kagan’s work. The survey takes as its starting point Kagan’s books Regulatory Encounters (ed. with Axelrad 2000) and Shades of Green (with Gunningham and Thornton, 2003), before going on to consider his more recent research which probes in some detail into the impact of enforcement and the ideas of compliance and deterrence.
    ISBN: 0897-6546
  • K O Hawkins, 'La aplicación coactiva de la regulación ambiental en los países de common law, con una mirada hacia el futura' in Vicente Ugalde (ed), El Derecho Ambiental en Acción: Problemas de Implementación, Aplicación y Cumplimiento (El Colegio de México 2013)
    ISBN: 978-607-462-538-7
  • K O Hawkins, Loraine Gelsthorpe and Nicola Padfield, 'Order, rationality, and silence: some reflections on criminal justice decision-making' in Loraine Gelsthorpe and Nicola Padfield (eds), Exercising Discretion: Decision-making in the criminal justice system and beyond (Cullompton: Willan Publishing 2003)
    ISBN: 1-903240-99-9
  • K O Hawkins, Law as last resort: prosecution decision-making in a regulatory agency (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2002)
    This book was awarded the Herbert Jacob Prize by the American Law and Society Association in June 2003. The Jacob Prize is awarded annually' to recognise new, outstanding work in law and society scholarship;. The Prize is 'open to books from all fields of, and approaches to, law and society scholarship', covering 'all aspects of the field and from any country of origin'. The book was described as 'a major contribution to law and society scholarship'.
    ISBN: 0-19-924388-3

Research Interests

Sociology of Law, Legal Processes, Government Regulation (in particular, decision-making and the use of discretion)

Research projects