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Research Projects

Laura Lammasniemi

Sexual consent project: Narratives of sexual consent in English criminal courts, 1870-1950

In this project, Dr Laura Lammasniemi from Warwick Law School explores how sexual consent was understood in every-day criminal trials before the legal definition of the term. She asks what that legal history can tell us about the very nature of this contested concept. The project is based on archival research on courtroom narratives on consent in areas of rape, prostitution and trafficking, and sexual activity with girls under the age of consent. Through historical analysis, the project will bring crucial insights on contemporary legal debates on sexual consent at a time when conviction rates are at an all-time low.

Maryna Utkina

The effectiveness of financial monitoring (intelligence) in corruption prevention, anti-money laundering and financing terrorism.

This project, funded by the British Academy (2023-2025) explores the place of financial intelligence (monitoring) as one of the most effective measures of combating money laundering compared to financial intelligence units of different countries. The high level of development of the shadow economy, corruption, ineffectiveness of regulatory and legal support, and duplication of functions of individual authorities have become prerequisites for the financial monitoring system formation.

The Protection of IP Rights of Researchers and Research Institutions in Ukraine: Best EU Practices

This project aims to foster dialogue and collaboration between academia, policymakers, and industry actors on the protection of the intellectual property rights of researchers and research institutions in Ukraine and the promotion of open practices in scientific and research activities issues. The project is expected to result in improved understanding and protection of intellectual property rights among researchers and research institutions and increased adoption of open practices in scientific and research activities. This is a project being conducted in Ukraine and co-funded under the Erasmus+ Programme.

Vanessa Munro

    Operation Soteria: Improving CPS responses rape complaints and complainants

    Vanessa Munro has been working with the CPS to provide independent research into their initiatives under Operation Soteria. This operation is a collaborative programme funded by the Home Office, with the goal of bringing together police forces, academics and policy leads in order to enable forces to transform their response to rape and serious sexual offences. This work has been conducted alongside Dr Alice King and Lotte Young Andrade (Warwick University), and commenced in July 2022. An interim findings report was published alongside the CPS’s New National Operating Model for Rape in July 2023. The interim findings report can be found here. A final report is due to the CPS by end of November 2023.

    An analysis of domestic homicide reviews in cases of domestic abuse suicide

    This project, funded by the Home Office and conducted with the AAFDA (Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse), reviews domestic homicide reviews in suicide cases. Vanessa’s interest in this topic dates back to 2010 where she argued that psychological injury in the context of a domestically abusive relationship could constitute 'bodily harm', and as such could provide a foundation for manslaughter liability where as a result of such abuse, a victim took their own life. In 2023, through reviewing domestic homicide reviews in suicide cases, and through a series of semi structured interviews and focus groups, Vanessa and her colleagues produced a report that found that investigations into cause of death after suicide were often inadequate and lacking a trauma-informed approach. The report can be read here.

    Understanding coercive control in Scotland and England

    This ongoing project aims to explore current legislative developments as it pertains to coercive control in Scotland and England, and what the implementation of this legislation looks like on the ground in terms of the framing of offences, investigative and trial processes and wider training and education around the complexities of harm and domestic abuse. A key aim of the project is to understand the effects that coercive control can have on a victim, specifically as it pertains to committing criminal offences (for example, assaults rising from ‘violent resistance’) and taking their own lives. The project’s report can be found here.

    JICSAV (Justice in Covid-19 for Sexual Abuse and Violence)

    Vanessa Munro is part of a project team, co-led by Dr Lorna O’Doherty (Associate Professor of Violence & Health Research at Coventry University) and Dr Siobhan Weare (Senior Lecturer in Law at Lancaster University), which has been awarded funding by the ESRC to conduct research into the justice journeys of adult and child survivors of sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault during the Covid-19 pandemic. Working with a team of interdisciplinary collaborators and project partners across policing, prosecution, the judiciary and third sector, the study will explore the ways in which challenges facing the investigation, prosecution and conviction of complaints of sexual violence before the pandemic may have been exacerbated by the impact of Covid 19 and associated lockdowns. But it will also examine whether innovations in practice across the criminal justice and victim support process, initiated in response to Covid-19, may have offered up learnings and adjustments that might serve to improve survivors’ journeys through the justice process. Drawing on the perspectives of key stakeholders, with a strong focus on involving survivors at various levels of the research, the project will inform the development of policy and practice in relation to sexual offences during and beyond the current pandemic. Read more on the JICSAV project.

    Complainers’ Experiences of Not Proven in Scottish Rape Cases

    Following a major study in mock jury decision-making, funded by the Scottish Government, and conducted with colleagues at the University of Glasgow and IPSOS Mori Scotland, Vanessa Munro has been involved with a follow up project exploring the impact upon rape complainers in Scotland of receiving a 'not proven' verdict at trial. Scotland is unique in having this third verdict available to jurors, which has the same effect as 'not guilty'. To date, little research has been undertaken to systematically explore when, and why, jurors use this verdict to acquit an accused, and the work for the Scottish Government has played an important role in redressing this knowledge gap. This new report, conducted by Vanessa Munro with support from Rape Crisis Scotland, was designed to better understand the verdict from another perspective: that of complainers who received in in their trial. In a context in which her research suggested that jurors often use the verdict to signal some level of belief in the complainer's account or to impose a level of stigma and suspicion on the accused, was that signal received by complainers and how did it impact their experience?

    Research with Refuge

    Vanessa Munro is currently involved in publishing and publicising the results of her collaboration with Refuge (ESRC Impact Acceleration Award), which involved analysis of more than 3,500 client case files, together with a series of stakeholder interviews, in order to explore the scale, mediators and moderators of suicidality amongst victims of domestic abuse and to evaluate the adequacy of existing state responses. The Briefing Report emerging from this research will be launched at Refuge HQ in July 2018.

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    The unique aspects of the Scottish jury in criminal trials

    Vanessa is continuing with her current fieldwork – together with colleagues at the University of Glasgow and IPSOS Mori – into the ways in which the unique aspects of the Scottish jury in criminal trials (15 person juries, 3 verdict options, simple majority rule) impact upon deliberation and outcomes. This research, which has been funded by the Scottish Government, will produce ground-breaking insight into what goes on behind the closed doors of the jury room, involving a series of 64 mock jury deliberations with volunteer members of the public. Two Evidence Reviews related to this research have already been produced; and a further Evidence Review based on key fieldwork findings will be produced in early 2019, along with a series of related research publications.

    Scottish Feminist Judgments Project

    Finally, Vanessa is continuing to co-organise (with Professor S Cowan and Dr C Kennedy, Edinburgh) the ‘Scottish Feminist Judgments Project’ which will lead to an edited collection of judgments (under contract with Hart) in 2019, alongside a series of creative events and book launches at venues including the Scottish Parliament and the Women’s Library in 2018. As part of this project, Vanessa has co-written a feminist judgment with S. Cowan on a key case on necessity and domestic abuse; and the contributors intend to take the Scottish Feminist Judgments Project ‘on tour’ to Scottish University Law Schools in 2018/19.

    Jackie Hodgson

    Jackie’s forthcoming monograph "The Metamorphosis of Criminal Justice" (2020, New York: OUP analyses several decades of legal and political change, contrasting domestic and European drivers within criminal justice across Britain and France and evaluating the ways that procedural models are able to influence, structure or limit reform. Adopting a comparative empirical and policy lens, she questions the extent to which modern criminal justice systems continue to reflect core values of the adversarial and inquisitorial traditions, or whether concerns with managerialism, efficiency and securitisation prevail, producing a kind of facsimile of justice and fair trial.

    In April 2020 she is organising a conference on “The McDonaldisation of justice and the disappearance of fair trial?” linking to her forthcoming monograph “The Metamorphosis of Criminal Justice”. This is part of the longstanding collaboration with colleagues in the Universities of Basel, Bologna, Duke and North Carolina in the series on the future of adversarial and inquisitorial systems.

    Her other recent publications include an article in the Journal of Law & Society (2019) on “The challenge of universal norms: securing effective defence rights across different jurisdictions and legal cultures” ( and a chapter (with Yu Mou) in The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Process (OUP, 2019) “Empirical Approaches to Criminal Procedure” (

    She is currently researching the treatment of female detainees in police custody, working with lawyers, criminologists and a variety of criminal justice stakeholders.

    Jackie is co-director of the Centre for Operational Police Research (COPR and recently led a team of lawyers, psychologists and behavioural scientists in an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) funded project with West Mercia police, evaluating the impact of forensic property marking and other preventive interventions on public confidence in, and victim satisfaction with, policing (Hodgson et al, 2018) (

    Together with Dr Juliet Horne and Dr Laurène Soubise, and with the cooperation of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) Jackie carried out research into the CCRC’s handling of applications where there has been no prior appeal. Their research report “The Criminal Cases Commission – Last resort or first appeal?” was published in 2018 and was also funded by the ESRC IAA. (

    Last year, Jackie played an instrumental role set up a new cross-faculty mental health research centre at Warwick University. Jackie is also on the Council of JUSTICE and is part of the ‘What is a Trial’ Working Party chaired by Sir Nicholas Blake QC.

    In the recent past, Jackie along with Dr Juliet Horne and Dr Laurène Soubise published their research report ‘The Criminal Cases Commission – Last resort or first appeal?’. This project was approved by the Research Committee of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC).

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    Jackie has also been serving as Co-Director the Centre for Operational Police Research (COPR). With COPR, Jackie has been involved in a public engagement project on forensic property marking and crime prevention. Both projects (CCRC and COPR) are funded by the Impact Acceleration Account of the Economic and Social Science Research Council (ESRC).

    Jackie has also supported a study by the European Parliament which led to a research paper on the future EU-UK relationship in the field of Police Cooperation and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters. In the recent past, Jackie and co-authored another paper titled 'Truth-tellers stand the test of time and contradict evidence less than liars, even months after a crime' with Divya Sukumar and Kimberley Wade in Law and Human Behavior. Jackie has also contributed a chapter to the latest edition of the Oxford Handbook of Criminal Process with Dr Grace (Yu) Mou titled ‘Empirical Approaches to Criminal Procedure’.

    Jackie has also supported a study by the European Parliament which led to a research paper on the future EU-UK relationship in the field of Police Cooperation and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters. In the recent past, Jackie and co-authored another paper titled 'Truth-tellers stand the test of time and contradict evidence less than liars, even months after a crime' with Divya Sukumar and Kimberley Wade in Law and Human Behavior. Jackie has also contributed a chapter to the latest edition of the Oxford Handbook of Criminal Process with Dr Grace (Yu) Mou titled ‘Empirical Approaches to Criminal Procedure’.

    Currently, Jackie is working with CJC member Vanessa Munro, Dr Layla Skinns, Dr Roxanna Dehaghani and other academics as well as the Head of the Independent Custody Volunteers Association to launch a project on women, girls and police custody. Jackie recently completed her monograph titled 'The Metamorphosis of Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: A Comparative Account' which will be published by Oxford University Press this year. In an upcoming Special Issue of the Journal of Law and Society, Jackie will be contributing a paper titled 'People or Procedures? Securing Effective Defence Rights Across Legal Cultures'.

    Ana Aliverti

    Ana's current project documents existing arrangements and practices in the policing of immigration status and examines the everyday operation of immigration-police cooperation in England under the remit of Operation Nexus. Nexus aims to bring together operational and intelligence capabilities and resources in the police and immigration services to deal effectively with offending by foreign national citizens, reduce costs involved in pursuing them through the criminal justice system, and enhance public security.

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    Focused on two major regional police forces, the project will evaluate the joint enforcement operation between the police and the regional branches of the Home Office’s Immigration Compliance and Enforcement team. It will also examine the cross-border dimensions of migration policing in key migration sending countries. The ultimate objective of Ana’s research is to document and scrutinize how the new policy emphasis on foreign nationals in British domestic policing has brought to the fore the role of the police in mediating belonging and has legitimized extraterritorial interventions. Drawing on policing scholarship and post-colonial theory, her research will offer new insights on the internationalization of criminal justice and will chart a new, exciting research agenda on policing mobility and globalization.

    This project has been generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the University of Warwick’s Impact Fund.

    Oliver Davis
    19th century French Prisons

    Oliver Davis is currently working on a research project on the nineteenth-century system of individualised prisoner record-keeping in French prisons known as le compte moral and its relation to the early development of criminological statistics.

    Publications & Drones

    Oliver will be writing an article on drones as techniques of domestic paramilitary policing (which considers the killing by Dallas police of Micah Johnson in 2016 in light of theoretical work by Chamayou, Stiegler and others on drones).

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    Oliver will also be writing a chapter on pastoral and coercive governance in contemporary UK drug control policy, focusing on two case studies (‘Chemsex’ and the New Psychoactive Substances Act 2016).

    Henrique Carvalho
    The Vulnerable State: Appraising the Ambivalent Economies of State Power (PI: Ana Aliverti; CoIs: Henrique Carvalho and Anastasia Chamberlen)
    This project explores the ambivalent and shifting governance of socially marginalised groups in the criminal and administrative justice domains. It hypothesises that the state’s treatment of these groups produces a dissonance between objectives of care and control, which reveals profound dilemmas in the exercise of state power in a globalised, unequal world. It empirically examines these moral and emotional dilemmas through the everyday work of frontline officers. Methodologically, it reconceptualises the study of the state, from the bottom up. Conceptually, it advances a new theory of the state which places moral sentiments and emotions at the heart of its analysis.

    This project has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust (Research Project Grant) (RPG-2022-218)
    The Dangerous Essence of Criminal Law

    This project, funded by an Early Career Fellowship from the Independent Social Research Foundation, advances the proposition that dangerousness lies at the core of the conceptual framework of criminal law, as something essential to what it is, and to what it does. It suggests that the questions of what and who is considered dangerous to society, and why, are the fundamental issues underpinning the entire criminal law, from the general development of criminal offences to the way in which the law is put in practice on the streets, in the courts and by the penal system. Through an innovative interdisciplinary methodology, this project advances a thicker conception of danger and dangerousness as affective socio-political phenomena which are inherently linked to specific notions of civil order. Danger and Dangerousness are conceptualised as historically and culturally constructed, emotionally driven, and socially and politically conditioned.

    Punishing Politics

    This collaborative research project (with Anastasia Chamberlen, Warwick Sociology) examines the role of punishment and the urge to punish in contemporary societies, deploying an interdisciplinary perspective to better understand their socio-political, subjective and affective dimensions. The aim of this research is to challenge the rationale behind normative and discursive justifications for punishment, and to propose a holistic and trans-disciplinary theory of punitiveness, punishment and justice in contemporary societies that sees these concepts as broad, emotive and deeply problematic social phenomena.

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    'Law and Violence'

    In addition, Henrique has also been working on a collaborative research network on the theme of ‘Law and Violence’, together with colleagues from the University of Warwick, the University of Glasgow, and the Universidad Austral de Chile and PUC Valparaiso, in Chile. This network, aimed at examining the links between law and violence from social, political and economic perspectives, held its first meeting in June 2018 at the University of Warwick, and is currently organising a two-day workshop to take place at PUC Valparaiso in January 2019. Finally, Henrique is also part of the Socio-Legal Journals Global South Initiative, a collaborative effort by several socio-legal journals to organise a series of writing workshops in the Global South. Henrique is one of the organisers of one of these workshops, which will take place in Recife, Brazil in December 2018.

    Sharda Murria
    Body Worn Videos

    Sharda Murria is currently focusing on her PhD and researching how Body Worn Videos (BWV) affect police stop and search powers. Working with West Midlands Police, Sharda is currently reviewing body worn video footage of stop and search powers and recording methods to analyse whether BWV can help us better understand how the police conduct stop and searches and whether BWV can provide additional benefits of strengthening transparency and accountability.

    Victor Tadros

    Victor has just completed a book called To Do, To Die, To Reason (forthcoming with OUP) on why on the ethics of armed conflict. The book also considers how legal and social institutions should regulate and respond to wrongdoing in war.

    He is also working on a range of issues in responsibility, including how social decisions should be made about the distribution of responsibility for wrongdoing itself; the difference between treatment and accountability, including a discussion of how we should respond to non-responsible wrongdoing; the relationship between responsibility and culpability; and some more fundamental issues about the concept and nature of responsibility.

    He is also doing some further work on consent to sex; both on the nature, role and importance of consent, and what makes consent valid. This includes a discussion of the extent to which consent can be valid in unjust and unequal societies, where there are inegalitarian power relations between sexual partners.