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Dr Mawhinney leads education in criminal law at the University both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. He has previously taught law at Oxford and UCL, amongst others.

His research embraces both substantive criminal law and criminal justice more widely, especially sentencing. He is particularly interested in the debate around whether transmitting illness should be a criminal offence, and has published on the subject in both legal and medical journals, including The Lancet, and been cited by the Law Commission.

His doctoral thesis undertaken at Oxford examined the sentencing of murder and other serious offences against the person. The British constitution, including questions around Parliamentary Supremacy, the role of the courts, the House of Lords, and freedom of speech, are also research interests.


  • criminal law and justice, including sentencing
  • the British constitution
  • academic freedom