Matthew Weait, FAcSS FRSPH

Director of the Department for Continuing Education, Professor of Law and Society and Fellow of Harris Manchester College

Other affiliations

Harris Manchester College


Matthew Weait is Director of the Department for Continuing Education, Professor of Law and Society and Fellow of Harris Manchester College. He was formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Law and Society at the University of Hertfordshire (2020-22), Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Portsmouth (2015-20) and Pro-Vice-Master of Birkbeck, University of London (2011-2015).

Matthew graduated with a BA(Hons) in Law, and an MPhil in Criminology from the University of Cambridge before completing his doctoral research under the supervision of Professor Keith hawkins at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, where he was also a Research Officer.  He has taught at New College, Oxford, the Open University, Keele University, and Birkbeck, University of London (where he was a founding member of the Law School), and was Parliamentary Research Officer for Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC at the Odysseus Trust, in which capacity he worked on Lord Lester’s Private Member’s Bills (Civil Partnerships and Equality) and supported him in his work on the Joint Committee on Human Rights.  Matthew was awarded a Queen Mother Major Scholarship by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple and was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1999, but does not practise.  He was elected a Bencher of Middle Temple in 2016, where he is Vice-Chair of the Education and Training Committee.  In 2017 he was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and in 2020 a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health

Matthew's research and scholarship centres on the impact of law on effective HIV prevention and on people living with HIV and AIDS.  He has worked with a number of national, regional and international organisations including the National AIDS Trust, the European AIDS Treatment Group, WHO and UNAIDS.  In 2010 he was appointed a member of the Technical Advisory Group for the Global Commission on HIV and Law, which reported in 2012.  He is Lead for Track F (law, human rights, policy, ethics) for the International AIDS Conference 2022.

Matthew has been a member of the Joint Academic Stage Board of the Bar Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Expert Advisory Group on AIDS (UK Dept of Health), a Trustee of River House, and a member of the Programme Advisory Committee at Cumberland Lodge. Windsor.  He has held visiting academic positions at the American Bar Foundation, Cardozo Law School and the University of British Columbia. 

Research Interests

Criminal law / criminal justice and HIV, public health, health and human rights