Dr Thomas Smith

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About me

I am an Associate Professor in Law and member of the Global Security, Crime and Justice research group, within the Faculty of Business and Law. My research is focused on criminal justice and procedure generally, with areas of specialism including remand (pre-trial detention and bail); disclosure of evidence in criminal proceedings; criminal defence lawyers and defence rights; access to justice and criminal legal aid; court reporting and open justice; and issues related to neurodivergence (particularly autism) in the context of the criminal justice system. 

I completed my PhD in 2010, entitled 'The Zealous Advocate in the 21st Century: Concepts and Conflicts for Criminal Defence Lawyers'. This included an empirical study examining how practising defence lawyers resolve ethical dilemmas, using 'vignettes' - scenarios designed to reflect real-life conflicts.

I am the Module Leader for Dissertations; Law Projects;  and Sexual Offences and Offending. I teach and have taught on a range of modules, including Criminal Procedure and Punishment, Organised Crime and Criminal Justice; Criminal Law; Legal Ethics, Foundations for Law, and Civil Liberties.

I supervise undergraduate dissertations and post-graduate doctoral students, primarily in areas related to criminal justice and criminal procedure.

I have worked on cross-jurisdictional projects related to criminal defence and pre-trial detention, and have acted as an Expert Consultant for a law reform project in China, and have delivered training for the Judicial College and College of Policing. I am currently involved in projects examining media reporting in criminal courts during the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of law reform on remand practice. I am the Co-ordinator of the Neurodivergence in Criminal Justice Network (NICJN): a research and knowledge-exchange group focused in challenges related to neurodivergence at all stages of the criminal justice system.

Area of expertise

Criminal Justice and Procedure, Legal Aid, Pre-trial Detention, Legal Ethics, Criminal Defence Lawyers, Access to Justice, Disclosure, Open Justice, Court Reporting, Neurodivergence in Criminal Justice


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