Gabrielle Watson


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Personal profile


Gabrielle Watson LLB (Edinburgh) MA, MSc, DPhil (Oxford) is a specialist in criminal law and justice. At Edinburgh, she is the recipient of the Chancellor's Fellowship for ‘cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and innovation’ and ‘a vision for future leadership’ in her field. She is the author of the award-winning Respect and Criminal Justice (OUP 2020) and Editor of the forthcoming volume Sentencing, Public Opinion, and Criminal Justice: Essays in Honour of Julian V Roberts (OUP 2024).

Gabrielle is currently leading a five-year interdisciplinary research programme entitled Justice and Well-being in the Criminal Court. Located in three domains – the entering of plea, the trial, and the sentencing hearing – the research explores well-being as a new analytic category for criminal justice scholarship and an institutional commitment that courts should be required by justice to support and maintain. She is also writing about police misconduct and sentence mitigation for publication by Hart Bloomsbury.

Gabrielle has held Visiting Fellowships at the Cambridge Centre for Criminal Justice (2019, 2021), Downing College, Cambridge (2021), and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law in Freiburg, Germany (2023). She collaborates regularly with the Sentencing Academy, a London-based research institute dedicated to developing expert and public understanding of sentencing in England and Wales.

Gabrielle was formerly based at the University of Oxford as Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in the Faculty of Law and at Christ Church (2017-19), and subsequently as Shaw Foundation Fellow and Tutor in Law at Lincoln College (2019-23). She remains affiliated to Oxford as a Research Associate in the Centre for Criminology.

Research Interests

Criminal Law, Criminal Justice, Sentencing, Ethics, Philosophy of Punishment

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, (Honorary), University of Oxford


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Criminal Justice, University of Oxford


Master of Science, Criminology and Criminal Justice with Distinction, University of Oxford


Bachelor of Laws, Law with First Class Honours, University of Edinburgh


External positions

Research Associate, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford

2022 → …

Advisor, Sentencing Academy

2022 → …

College Research Themes

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Identities and Inequalities


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