News Item

October 2011

Oxford Professor is Law Foundation's 2012 Distinguished Visiting Fellow

ANDREW ASHWORTH is visiting New Zealand in February and March 2012 as the New Zealand Law Foundation’s 2012 Distinguished Visiting Fellow.  His visit is being hosted by the Faculty of Law at the University of Canterbury.

Professor Ashworth is Vinerian Professor of English Law at the University of Oxford, a post he has held since 1997.  He is also a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and a member of the Centre for Criminology.  Previously he was the Edmund-Davies Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at King’s College London (1988-1997), Fellow and Tutor in Law at Worcester College Oxford (1978-1988), and Lecturer then Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester (1970-1978).  In 1980 he was appointed a member of the Criminal Law Revision Committee, which was abolished in 1985.  From 1989-1992 he served as Chairman of the Select Committee of Experts on Sentencing at the Council of Europe.  In 1999 he was appointed as a member of the Sentencing Advisory Panel, and he became the Panel’s chairman in 2007 until its abolition in 2010.

While in New Zealand Professor Ashworth will give public lectures on:

  • The fundamental right to liberty of the person, looking at the ways in which this basic individual right has been interpreted and negotiated by courts, so as to apply to situations involving police stops, house arrest, and the detention of ‘dangerous’ people.  When is a deprivation of liberty arbitrary, and when is it justifiable?
  • The foundations and limits of criminal liability for omissions.  Is it right to convict a person for doing absolutely nothing, or are there situations when citizens ought to have a duty to act and to intervene, reinforced by the criminal sanction?  Beyond some well-established duties, should we recognise some broader civic responsibilities to help others?

Dates for these lectures will be advertised early in 2012.

Professor Ashworth has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 1993, was appointed honorary Q.C. in 1997, and was awarded a C.B.E. in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2009.  His books include Principles of Criminal Law (6th ed., 2009), The Criminal Process (4th ed. with Mike Redmayne, 2010), Sentencing and Criminal Justice (5th ed, 2010), and Human Rights and Criminal Justice (3rd ed. forthcoming 2012, with Ben Emmerson Q.C. and Alison Macdonald). At present he is the co-holder (with Professor Lucia Zedner) of a large grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, for a three-year study of the justifications for using coercion for preventive purposes, looking at a whole range of preventive laws from the criminal law to quarantine, from civil preventive orders to the indeterminate detention of ‘dangerous’ offenders.  His main teaching subject is European human rights law, which he teaches to undergraduates, to B.C.L. students, and to students on the M.Sc. in Criminology.

For further information see http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/profile/ashwortha

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