In my thesis I query whether behaviour orders are preventive measures and/or punishment. With this aim in mind, I 1. develop a new taxonomy of behaviour orders; 2. critically assess ECtHR case law on articles 5 (liberty), 6 (fair trial), and 7 (non-retrospectivity); and 3. aim to develop on current conceptions of both prevention and punishment. 

I did an LLB at the University of York (2011-2014) and then an MSc at the University of Oxford (2014-2015). After that, I was a research assistant on the criminal law team at the Law Commission of England and Wales (2015-2016). I have since been working toward a DPhil (2016-current). During this time I have also tutored criminal law, penal theory and advanced criminal law; and have been an editor for the Oxford Human Rights Hub.


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  • Rory Kelly, 'Sentencing Terrorism Offences: No Harm Intended?' [2019] Criminal Law Review 772
    In this article, I examine the Sentencing Council’s new Definitive Guideline for Terrorism Offences and its application in Rahman, with a particular focus on assessing harm in terrorism cases.
  • Rory Kelly, 'Reconsidering the punishment-prevention divide' (2019) 135 LQR 12 [Case Note]
    Jerome Jones v Birmingham City Council and Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 1189 concerned the grant of an interim injunction, ex parte without notice, against Jones. The injunction was made pursuant to section 1 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (the 2014 Act) and section 34 of the Policing and Crime Act 2009 (the 2009 Act). The note considers, first, the divide drawn between preventive measures and punishment in the case (in the context of assessing whether there had been a criminal charge), and, secondly, what the appropriate evidential standard for the imposition of the injunction ought to have been.
  • L Harris and Rory Kelly, 'A dangerous presumption for risk-based sentencing?' (2018) 134 LQR 353 [Case Note]
  • Rory Kelly, 'Reforming Maximum Sentences and Respecting Ordinal Proportionality' (2018) Crim LR 450
    It is the fortieth anniversary of the review of maximum sentences by the Advisory Council on the Penal System. This article examines the ongoing issues with setting statutory maxima and reflects on the Advisory Council’s review. It argues that when appraising the appropriateness of a maximum sentence, comparison to the maxima of other offences is theoretically grounded. Yet problems arise in practice due to the historical contingency of statutory maxima. It argues that there is too much scope for the rhetorical use of comparison to increase maxima and, indirectly, to drive-up sentencing levels. The time has come for a new review.
  • Rory Kelly and Andrew Ashworth, 'State Responses to Criminal Offences in England and Wales and the Problem of Equality' in Matthew Dyson and Benjamin Vogel (eds), The Limits of Criminal Law (Intersentia 2018)
  • L Harris, Rory Kelly, J Roberts and L Tai, 'A response to Scottish Sentencing Council's consultation on the Principles and Purposes of Sentencing Draft Guideline' (2017) S. News 9
    This piece was submitted to the Scottish Sentencing Council as a response to the consultation exercise conducted in relation to the Principles and Purposes of Sentencing Draft Guideline.
  • Rory Kelly, 'The right to a fair trial and the problem of pre-inchoate offences' (2017) EHRLR 596
    Pre-inchoate offences, often found in the counter-terrorism laws, present a problem. The heightened criminal fair trial safeguards in art.6(2)– (3) of the European Convention on Human Rights are meant to be a protection against unfair state punishment. Yet some pre-inchoate offences can conceivably be made out in similar circumstances to those in which preventive orders can be imposed. Preventive orders have tested the limits of art.6 through their use of hybrid civil-criminal procedure. By comparison, pre-inchoate offences affect what has to be evidenced not by changing the relevant procedure, but by changing the form of the offence. As such, art.6 does not limit these offences; somewhat ironically, this means we must defend against pre-inchoate offences "further up-field".
  • Rory Kelly and L Harris, 'A response to the Sentencing Council's consultation paper on breach offences' (2016) S. News 12
    This brief article attempts to identify key areas which consultees may wish to consider when responding to the Sentencing Council's Breach Offences Guideline Consultation.. Additionally, it identifies some overarching questions as to the approach taken by the Council in producing the draft guideline.
  • Rory Kelly, 'Setting sights on reform: Government adopts the Law Commission's recommended reforms of firearms law' (2016) Archbold Review 7
    On the 16 December 2015, the Law Commission published its Report on firearms law. The majority of its recommendations have recently been accepted by the Government and are included in Pt 6 of the Policing and Crime Bill 2015-2016. The recommendations followed the publication of a Scoping Consultation Paper that sought consultees' views on a range of provisional proposals intended to remedy the most pressing problems undermining the effectiveness of the law governing the use and possession of firearms. The Commission received responses from over 200 consultees including individual members of the licensed firearms community in addition to a number of representative organisations, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the Scottish Government. Set out below are the recommendations for resolving the pressing problems within firearms law, an explanation of the relevant clauses of the Policing and Crime Bill and the case for the codification of the law.


Research programmes

Research Interests

penal theory, criminal law, sentencing, human rights

Options taught

Criminal Law (Mods)

Research projects