UCL Faculty of Laws

Dr Mark Dsouza

Dr Mark Dsouza


Faculty of Laws


Joined UCL
1st Sep 2016

Research summary

Dr Dsouza’s principal research interest is in the theory and philosophy of the criminal law. His doctoral thesis was converted into a monograph titled Rationale-Based Defences in Criminal Law, and published by Hart Publishing in May 2017. In it, Dr Dsouza suggests a new account of the various types of rationale-based defences in the criminal law, and offers suggestions as to how they should be understood, interpreted, and applied. He has also published on topics like the theoretical foundations of consent in the criminal law (Law & Philosophy, 2014; SSRN, 2013), the supposed duty of retreat before using force in self defence (OJLS, 2015), and culpability in the criminal law (King’s Law Journal, 2015).

Additionally, Dr Dsouza is keenly interested in the doctrinal law relating to inchoate and accessorial liability. He co-organised a conference in September 2016 which brought together judges of the Supreme Court, representatives of the Law Commission, representatives of the CPS, members of the bar, legal and criminological academic, representatives from the police, campaign groups, and students, to discuss the Supreme Court’s judgement in R v Jogee & Ruddock (2016) and more generally, the law on accessorial liability. He is also interested in the theory and doctrine of corporate criminal liability. 

Dr Dsouza co-organises the Assize Seminar Series in Cutting Edge Criminal Law. The inaugural seminar was held at Oxford University in May 2017, and further seminars were held at UCL in November 2017, Cambridge in April 2018; and Oxford in November 2018. The next Assize Seminar will be hosted by the Criminal Cases Review Commission in Birmingham in May 2019.

Teaching summary

Taught Modules:

Criminal Law (Course Convenor), Jurisprudence, Philosophical Foundations of the Common Law

PhD Supervision:

Dr Dsouza welcomes approaches for supervision of PhD candidates in the theory, philosophy, and doctrine of criminal law.


University of Cambridge
PhD, Law | 2014
University of Cambridge
LLM, Law | 2009


Dr Dsouza took his undergraduate honours degree in arts and law (First Class) from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, India, and was awarded a gold medal for legal ethics. He then worked as a commercial litigator with the law firm Amarchand Mangaldas, in New Delhi, India, where he rose from Associate to Senior Associate. In 2009, he gained an LLM (First Class) from the University of Cambridge, where, although he specialized in commercial laws, he also secured a first class score in a module on the Philosophy of Criminal Law. This module provided the spark for his doctoral research proposal to study the philosophy of criminal law defences at the University of Cambridge. He was awarded a Cambridge International Scholarship for this doctoral research, which he completed in 2014.

Dr Dsouza accepted his first full-time lectureship at the University of Liverpool in 2013, and moved to UCL in 2016.