Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law & Evidence

PhD, LLM, BCL

Biography

I joined the Law School in 2012 as senior lecturer in criminal law and evidence, after being based at the University of Aberdeen since 2007. Before this I carried out doctoral study at University College Cork as a Government of Ireland scholar. 

My principal areas of research are criminal law and justice, with a particular interest in the legal responses to organised crime, DNA databases, and the presumption of innocence. 

In 2011 I was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to support my research on the legal reactions to organised crime in the UK and Ireland, and spent 2011-12 at the University of Maryland. Organised Crime and the Law: A Comparative Analysis was published by Hart in February 2013; reviews can be read herehere and here.

Mu current research projects focus on the definitions of organised crime, and on organised crime and corruption. I am also involved in comparative research with Nessa Lynch of the University of Wellington (NZ) on DNA collection and retention. This project is funded by the Law Foundation of New Zealand.

I frequently provide expert commentary for local and national media, and was a key participant in an RTE documentary on organised crime in Ireland. I contribute to the blog www.humanrights.ie (read my contributions here), and I tweet at @lizjcampbell.

I welcome proposals for postgraduate research in the areas of (comparative) criminal law and justice, counter-organised crime law/policy, money laundering law, and the presumption of innocence.  

Courses Taught

Criminal Law B (Honours)

Evidence and Criminal Law (Ordinary)

Organised Crime and the Law (LLM) (Course Organiser)

Responding to Global Crime and Insecurity (Msc)

Sexual Offending and the Law (LLM)

Books

Liz Campbell Organised Crime and the Law: A Comparative Analysis (Hart, 2013)
Abstract: Organised Crime and the Law presents an overview of the laws and policies adopted to address the phenomenon of organised crime in the United Kingdom and Ireland, assessing the degree to which these justice systems have been recalibrated, in terms of the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of organised criminality. While the notion of organised crime itself is a contested one, States' legal responses often treat it and its constituent offences as unproblematic in a definitional sense. This book advances a systematic doctrinal critique of relevant domestic criminal laws, laws of evidence, and civil processes. Organised Crime and the Law constructs a theoretical framework on which an appraisal of these legal measures may be based, focusing in particular on the tension between due process and crime control, the demands of public protection and risk aversion, and other adaptations. In particular, it identifies parallels and points of divergence between the different jurisdictions in the UK and Ireland, bearing in mind the shared history of subversive threats and counter-terrorism policies. It further examines the extent to which policy transfer is evident in the UK and Ireland in terms of emulating the US in the reactions to organised crime.

Liz Campbell, Shane Kilcommins Criminal Law in Ireland: Cases and Commentary (Clarus Press, 2010)

Journal Articles

Liz Campbell 'Organised Crime and the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010' (2014) Edinburgh Law Review 18(2) 225-244
Abstract: Organised crime has been described, in rather lurid terms, as a blight and a cancer in Scotland. Regardless of whether such rhetoric is warranted, defining what organised crime actually is, in an effort to criminalise and punish it, poses significant theoretical and legal problems. This paper considers the attempt to define (serious) organised crime in the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, analyses the separate provisions which are predicated on this concept, and examines their ability to address this particular type of crime effectively.

Liz Campbell 'Organized Crime and National Security: A Dubious Connection?' (2014) New Criminal Law Review 17(2) 220251 [Download]
Abstract: This article problematizes the growing tendency to characterize organized crime as a national security threat, referring primarily to the situation in the United Kingdom but also drawing on international and comparative examples. Three distinct arguments are presented contesting this comparison. First, it is ques- tionable whether either concept is sufficiently clear in a definitional sense for the comparison to be meaningful analytically. The second empirical argument suggests that organized crime, as it is defined and encountered usually in the United Kingdom, does not yet constitute such a threat. Third, and regardless of the validity of the preceding arguments, it is argued in a normative sense that such a comparison should be resisted to the greatest extent possible, given the extraordinary legal consequences it entails. These claims indicate how caution must be exercized in making such a connection.

Liz Campbell 'The prosecution of organised crime: removing the jury' (2014) International Journal of Evidence and Proof 18(2) 83-100
Abstract: Serious organised crime groups may enjoy virtual impunity through the corruption and coercion of parties involved in the criminal justice process. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, this is most evident in the intimidation of witnesses and jurors, leading to difficulties in successful prosecution of organised criminality. One notable response to this phenomenon is to hold juryless trials for serious indictable offences, mirroring a similar approach in counter-terrorism legislation arising from the political violence in Northern Ireland. Despite common rationales, such trials have been operationalised differently in these neighbouring jurisdictions: in England, Wales and Northern Ireland 'ordinary' legislation was introduced, whereas in Ireland juryless trials are permitted under existing counter-terrorism laws. This article reviews the problematic dimensions of both legislative schemes, and considers their application by the courts since enactment. After outlining viable alternatives, it concludes that juryless trials may be necessary in limited instances, and if so, the English model is to be preferred.

Liz Campbell 'Criminal Labels, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Presumption of Innocence' (2013) Modern Law Review 681-707
Abstract: This article explores whether the presumption of innocence is compromised by state declarations that a person is other than innocent, but which are neither predicated on nor equivalent to a criminal conviction. The task ultimately is threefold: in a descriptive sense, to establish the existing parameters of the presumption, in particular tracing its incremental expansion by the European Court of Human Rights; secondly, to present a normative argument as to what I believe the presumption should further entail, drawing on its recent doctrinal extension but moving beyond this in certain respects; and then finally to ascertain whether any labels or declarations by the state either before or absent a finding of criminal liability are problematic as regards the presumption of innocence as I propose it should be construed, and what ought to be done about this.

Liz Campbell, Nessa Lynch 'Competing Paradigms? The Use of DNA Powers in Youth Justice' (2012) Youth Justice 12 13-31
Abstract: DNA is an important tool for criminal investigations and prosecutions. There has been considerable comment on its collection and retention from adult suspects and convicted persons, but little analysis of the particular situation of young people in the youth justice system. This article considers the competing paradigms at play when young persons' DNA is collected and stored. The tensions between expanded DNA powers and norms of youth justice such as reintegration and best interests are considered as well as the implications for young persons' rights.

Liz Campbell ''Non-Conviction' DNA Databases in the USA and England: Historical Differences, Current Convergences' (2011) International Journal of Evidence and Proof 281 - 310
Abstract: Collecting DNA from crime scenes and individuals and storing it in databases is regarded increasingly as critical for criminal investigation and prosecution. This paper considers the development of non-conviction DNA databases in the United States and England and Wales, and examines why current legal trajectories are in opposite directions, with the US becoming more permissive in terms of database expansion and England and Wales less so. It posits that any such trend is contingent on many factors. Political and cultural variables in England and Wales prompted database expansion, facilitated by the absence of robust constitutional protection for privacy. Nevertheless, the jurisprudence of the European Convention on Human Rights now limits this scheme. In contrast, classical liberal ideology and the construal of the norm of privacy provided a brake in the American context, yet it appears that non-conviction databases will become more common there given extant interpretation of the US Constitution.

Liz Campbell ''Non-Conviction' DNA Databases and Criminal Justice: A Comparative Analysis' (2011) Journal of Commonwealth Criminal Law 55-77
Abstract: Common law countries share a growing receptiveness to the use of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in criminal investigation and prosecution, with the formalisation and steady expansion of schemes of DNA collection and retention. Despite a general consensus regarding the significance and value of genetic material in criminal justice, there is considerable divergence in terms of the populations from whom DNA may be collected and the length of time for which DNA may be retained. This article takes a comparative approach by assessing the trajectory of the law relating to DNA collection and retention in a range of common law jurisdictions, and ascertains how aspects of particular countries‟ laws seek to resolve common problematic issues that arise concerning human rights, in particular the rights to bodily integrity, of privacy and the presumption of innocence. It identifies a common international movement to a risk- based approach and concludes that of the comparator jurisdictions the Canadian model provides the most fitting accommodation for human rights in DNA database expansion.

Liz Campbell 'DNA Databases and Innocent Persons: Lessons From Scotland?' (2010) Juridical Review 285-296

Liz Campbell 'A Rights-based Analysis of DNA Retention: "Non-conviction" Databases and the Liberal State' (2010) Criminal Law Review 889-905

Liz Campbell 'The Recovery of 'Criminal' Assets in New Zealand, Ireland and England: Fighting Organised Crime in the Civil Realm,' (2010) Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 15-36

Liz Campbell 'Responding to Gun Crime in Ireland' (2010) British Journal of Criminology 414-434
Abstract: From stereotypical views of Ireland as a peaceful and 'low crime' society, the media and policy makers now report the worsening of gun crime, in particular crimes of homicide committed by firearm. Despite this sometimes hyperbolic popular commentary, serious and fatal gun crime has indeed increased. In reacting through extraordinary legal measures, the Irish state adopts an unduly narrow perspective, predicated on a rational actor model; what this paper seeks to do is put forward two more profitable and persuasive means of analysis, by focusing on social deprivation and the expression of masculinity.

Liz Campbell 'Organised Crime, Anonymous Witnesses and Fair Trials in Ireland: Responding to R v Davis' (2008) International Commentary on Evidence 1-18

Liz Campbell 'Criminal Justice and Penal Populism in Ireland' (2008) Legal Studies 559-579

Liz Campbell 'Reconstituting Sentencing Policy in the Republic of Ireland' (2008) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 291-303

Liz Campbell 'Reconfiguring the Pre-trial and Trial Processes in Ireland in the Fight against Organised Crime' (2008) International Journal of Evidence and Proof 208-233

Liz Campbell 'The Culture of Control in Ireland: Theorising Recent Developments in Criminal Justice' (2008) Web Journal of Current Legal Issues

Liz Campbell 'From Due Process to Crime Control: The Decline of Liberalism in the Irish Criminal Justice System' (2007) Irish Law Times 281-288

Liz Campbell 'Theorising Asset Forfeiture in Ireland' (2007) Journal of Criminal Law 441-460

Liz Campbell 'The Criminal Justice Act 2007 - A Theoretical Perspective' (2007) Irish Criminal Law Journal 8-15

Liz Campbell 'The Case for Living Wills in Ireland' (2006) Medico-legal Journal of Ireland 5-21

Liz Campbell 'Decline of Due Process in the Irish Justice System: Beyond the Culture of Control?' (2006) Hibernian Law Journal 125-158

Liz Campbell 'Garda Diversion of Young Offenders: An Unreasonable Threat to Due Process Rights?' (2005) Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies 13-26

Chapters

Liz Campbell, Greg Gordon, Michael Plaxton 'Business Regulation' in Gillian Black Business Law in Scotland (W. Green, 2008)

Notes and Reviews

Liz Campbell 'DNA Collection After Charge: Lukstins v HM Advocate' (2013) Edinburgh Law Review 235-240

Liz Campbell 'The Development of a DNA Database in Ireland - Assessing the Proposed Legislation' (2010) Irish Law Times 106-110

Liz Campbell 'The Scottish DNA Database and the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill' (2010) Edinburgh Law Review 290-294

Liz Campbell 'The Evidence of Intimidated Witnesses in Criminal Trials' (2006) Irish Law Times 246-250

Liz Campbell 'Taxing Illegal Assets: The Revenue Work of the Criminal Assets Bureau' (2006) Irish Law Times 316-321

Working Papers

Liz Campbell 'Organised Crime and the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010', School of Law Working Paper Series, 2014-08 (SSRN, 2014) [Download]
Abstract: Describing and defining organised, in an effort to criminalise and punish it, poses significant theoretical and legal problems. Nonetheless, the Scottish Parliament addressed this issue in the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, in the first such legislative effort in the United Kingdom. The 2010 Act defines the foundational concept of "serious organised crime", and includes a number of separate provisions predicated on it, concerning involvement, direction, and failure to report, as well as sentence aggravation. This paper presents a critical appraisal of the definition of "serious organised crime" in the first instance, and then of each of these provisions. The analysis is both doctrinal and normative, and raises a number of concerns, centring on scope, necessity and effectiveness. Overall, the provisions are expansive and capture some unproblematic actions; they often duplicate existing law; and their value in addressing this particular type of crime has yet to be established.

Liz Campbell 'Criminal Labels, The European Convention on Human Rights and the Presumption of Innocence.', School of Law Working Paper Series (SSRN, 2012) [Download]
Abstract: This article explores whether the presumption of innocence is compromised by State declarations that a person is other than innocent, but which are neither predicated on nor equivalent to a criminal conviction. The task ultimately is threefold: in a descriptive sense, to establish the existing parameters of the presumption, in particular tracing its incremental expansion by the European Court of Human Rights; secondly, to present a normative argument as to what I believe the presumption should also entail, drawing on its recent doctrinal extension but moving beyond this in certain respects; and then finally to ascertain whether any labels or declarations by the State either before or absent a finding of criminal liability are problematic as regards the presumption of innocence as I propose it should be construed, and what ought to be done about this.