Centre for Criminal Law

Centre for Criminal Law

About the centre

ThinkerCriminal law is a major subject of academic and practical importance. This has always been so in England, where the subject has a rich history and occupies a very prominent place in popular awareness of the legal system. The many questions raised by the use of criminal law as a means of social control continue to engage the attention of scholars in law and many other disciplines, to say nothing of politicians, policymakers, the judiciary, the legal profession and many other groups and individuals. New challenges are presented by the growth in terrorism, organised crime and money-laundering, frequently across national boundaries. In addition, in recent years criminal law studies have taken on a very substantial European dimension, by virtue of the impact of the European Convention on Human Rights and the growing significance of EU harmonisation and co-operation in criminal justice enforcement. The development of international criminal law and its associated tribunal jurisdiction has generated new issues and provided a further stimulus to the ‘globalisation’ of the subject.

As London’s global university UCL has recognised the significance of criminal law and its increasing international dimensions by the establishment of the Centre. The Centre stands alongside the Department of Crime Science, with its broad interdisciplinary focus on crime prevention, and its work similarly addresses including the issue of security in UCL's Grand Challenges research programme.

The Centre aims to promote research and teaching at UCL in criminal law subjects, namely substantive criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence, the criminal justice system, criminology and the philosophy and practice of punishment. Its work includes the organisation of courses, conferences, seminars and lectures; the preparation of responses to Government legislative proposals, Law Commission consultation papers, and other law reform proposals; the building of networks of contacts with government departments, the judiciary, the criminal Bar, solicitors’ firms, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Prison Service and other institutions and groups with interests in criminal justice; co-operation with other universities with special interests in criminal law subjects, with a view to developing programmes of visits, staff exchanges, and collaborative research; increasing the profile of criminal law studies at UCL with the aim of attracting greater numbers of LLM and PhD students.

The Centre for Criminal Law is sponsored by:

Kingsley Napley

Kingsley Napley LLP is an internationally recognised law firm. The firm was founded in 1937 by David Napley and Sidney Kingsley both of whom became well known and respected solicitors in their fields of practise. The firm is well known for criminal litigation, business crime and public law, and also has an excellent reputation for clinical negligence, family, business immigration and real estate.

The firm has acted on some very significant and high profile cases including acting for:

  • Ejup Ganic (former Bosnian President)
  • No10 and Cabinet Office witnesses (Hutton Inquiry)
  • Sir Ian Blair
  • Damian Green MP
  • Kate and Gerry McCann
  • ‘Oil for Food’ inquiry

Many of our lawyers are leaders in their field. The firm is recognised in the leading legal directories, including Chambers & Partners (A Client’s Guide to the Legal Profession) where we are listed as, “absolutely top-class” and having an “established reputation for quality.”