Dr Gabrielle Watson

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow and Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Law

Faculty of Law and Christ Church, Oxford


I am a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Law and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Law at Christ Church, Oxford. Mentored by Professor Lucia Zedner FBA, I work on topics in criminal justice theory and practice.

My first book, Respect and Criminal Justice, is forthcoming in 2019 with Oxford University Press. It offers the first sustained examination of the role and value of ‘respect’ in policing and imprisonment in England and Wales, where the term is elusive but of persisting significance. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, I am currently working on a second book entitled Keywords: Linguistic Ambiguity and Criminal Justice. It considers how vague institutional appeals to ethical terms such as ‘fairness’, ‘decency’, ‘dignity’, ‘humanity’, and ‘respect’ affect the legal process of calling individuals to account for their alleged wrongdoing. I am also involved in an interdisciplinary project on Key Legal Concepts with colleagues at Oxford and the Freie Universität Berlin.

In summer 2019, I will take up the Inaugural Visiting Fellowship in Law at the newly-instituted Cambridge Centre for Criminal Justice in association with the Faculty of Law and Trinity College, Cambridge.


Keywords: Linguistic Ambiguity and Criminal Justice (in preparation).

Respect and Criminal Justice (forthcoming, 2019). Oxford: Oxford University Press.


‘Concepts without Boundaries in Criminal Justice’ (in preparation).

‘Stop and Search and Bodily Integrity’ (in preparation).

‘Review Essay: Value Pluralism and the Will to Punish’ (forthcoming, 2019) Oxford Journal of Legal Studies.

‘Reducing Female Admissions to Custody: Exploring the Options at Sentencing’ (2017) Criminology and Criminal Justice 17(5) 546-567 (with Julian V Roberts).

Knowledge exchange

The Literature on Older Prisoners. Report commissioned by Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons for Scotland (ahead of the first thematic inspection of Scotland’s ageing prison population) (2017). Edinburgh: Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland.

Women in Prison: Proposals for Reform. Briefing paper distributed to journalists, practitioners and policymakers at Oxford Law conference on Contemporary Dilemmas in Criminal Justice (2016). Faculty of Law, University of Oxford (with Julian V Roberts).

Book review

‘Review of Michael J Coyle, Talking Criminal Justice: Language and the Just Society’ (2015) Theoretical Criminology 19(3) 445-448.


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Faculty of Law and Christ Church, Oxford

Christ Church, St Aldates, Oxford OX1 1DP

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