Dr. Matt Gibson researches criminal law doctrine and theory. Increasingly, his work focusses on Ashworth's principle of 'fair labelling' - the idea that widely felt distinctions between kinds of offences and degrees of wrongdoing should be signalled by the law, with offences subdivided and labelled so as to represent fairly the nature and magnitude of the law-breaking.
He also researches more general issues of criminalisation, offence definition and offence classification. In particular, he is currently a member of the Criminal Law Reform Now Network's project on reforming the law of consent and deception in sexual offences. Additionally, he has research interests in crime and religion, notably the extent to which - if at all - criminal law can/should accommodate religiously motivated conduct. Prior to re-specialising in criminal law, his doctoral thesis investigated religious accommodation in civil law.
Matt is a Senior Lecturer in the Law School, having previously taught at the Universities of Durham and Newcastle. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Penal Theory and Penal Ethics, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge; and will be a Visiting Research Scholar at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, in Hilary Term 2022. He is a graduate of the University of Durham (LLB; LLM), Northumbria University (PgDip - Bar Vocational Course) and the University of Liverpool (PhD). In addition, he is a non-practising barrister, member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Potential postgraduate students are welcome to contact Matt regarding supervision of research degrees falling within his areas of expertise. He also welcomes media queries on these areas.
Prizes or Honours
- Peer reviewer (Cambridge Law Journal, 2021)
- Peer reviewer (Routledge, 2021)
- Peer reviewer (Criminal Law Review, 2020)
- Peer reviewer (Criminal Law and Philosophy, 2020)
- Peer reviewer (Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 2020)
- Peer reviewer (Hart Publishing, 2020)
- Member, Advisory Board (Journal of Criminal Law, 2019)
- Peer reviewer (Modern Law Review, 2018)
- £2,000 funding award in support of research leave activities (Research Development Fund, School of Law and Social Justice, University of Liverpool, 2018)
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Higher Education Academy, 2017)
- £2,500 funding award (with Dr. Mark Dsouza, UCL) for the 2016 conference: 'Joint Enterprise after Jogee: Reconsidering Law and Policy'. (Society of Legal Scholars: Small Projects and Events Fund, 2016)
- Peer reviewer (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
- Expert consultant (Equality and Human Rights Commission (review of interpretation/effectiveness of equality law relating to religion or belief), 2015)
- Peer reviewer (Routledge, 2013)
- Shortlisted (1 of 6): LawCareers.Net 'Law Lecturer of the Year' 2013 (LawCareers.Net, 2013)
- Doctoral scholarship 2008 - 2011 (Liverpool Law School, 2008)