Photo of Dr Matt Gibson

Dr Matt Gibson LLB (Hons), LLM, PgDip (BVC), PhD, FHEA

Senior Lecturer Law


Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Matt's research focusses on fair labelling in criminal law. He has written about fair labelling in his work on deceptive sexual relations, involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter and offences against the person.

Matt is currently developing a monograph on fair labelling. That monograph interrogates why fair labelling matters: what is its intrinsic and instrumental significance? How is this influenced by the nature of criminal convictions and the audiences to which those convictions speak? Do these factors impact the process of criminalising conduct - eg. should we consider these audiences' responses in deciding whether conduct should, or should not, be criminalised, along with their views on how to define and label crimes? Would this undermine or enhance the criminal law's credibility and legitimacy? Beyond this, the monograph also considers how fair labelling might be achieved in practice: the actual processes of defining and labelling offences. It focusses on separating sufficiently different wrongdoing into families of individually and appropriately named crimes; selecting which aspects of that wrongdoing should be reflected in the crime's name; and adopting appropriate terminology for those names.

Related to this work, Matt also looks at criminal justice policy and law reform as they relate to fair labelling. Elsewhere, his research extends to general matters of criminalisation, offence definition and offence classification.

Separately, Matt is interested in the interaction between criminal law and religion. His work on religious drug use has led to duties as a professional witness in criminal proceedings. He has also investigated criminal law responses to ritual male circumcision as part of a project led by the University of Strasbourg. These results have been published in a major edited collection (Strasbourg University Press, 2016). In connection with these interests, Matt also researches criminal lawmaking and the phenomenon of religious exemptions.