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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Graeme Brown, LLB (Hons), LLM, MSc, MJur (Dunelm), PhD (Edin), Dip LP, Cert FMS, NP, Solicitor

Assistant Professor in Criminal Law in the Durham Law School

Contact Dr Graeme Brown (email at


Dr Graeme Brown joined Durham Law School as an Assistant Professor in Criminal Law in September 2018. Prior to joining the Law School, Graeme was a professional support lawyer to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh for 13 years.

Dr Brown holds two Masters degrees in law, a third Masters degree in criminal justice, and a PhD in law. He is a graduate of the Universities of Aberdeen (LLB (Hons), Dip LP); Northumbria (LLM with Distinction in Advanced Legal Practice); Glasgow and Strathclyde (MSc with Distinction in Criminal Justice); Durham (MJur); and Edinburgh (PhD). He also holds a Certificate in Forensic Medicine and Science from the Division of Pathology, University of Edinburgh. Graeme is an enrolled solicitor in Scotland (non-practising, admitted 2001), and a member of University College Durham. He is a former Honorary Fellow in Law at the University of Edinburgh.

Both Dr Brown's MJur and PhD theses were passed without corrections. His PhD thesis on judicial decision making in sentencing was supported by a studentship from the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research ( It reported the results of an interview-based study with 25 serving Scottish judges and comprised the first empirical study of judicial sentencing in Scotland in a decade.

Dr Brown has lectured on sentencing at judicial training events and at seminars for the legal profession in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. He has previously been a guest lecturer at the University of Strathclyde and a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Glasgow Caledonian University, where he devised and led a new course on evidence and forensic identification. Dr Brown regularly writes on sentencing issues in the practitioners’ journal Green’s Criminal Law Bulletin, in which he has authored over 50 articles and over 80 case notes. He has also published in the Criminal Law Review and the Irish Judicial Studies Journal.

Dr Brown's first monograph, Criminal Sentencing as Practical Wisdom, was published by Hart in hardback in 2017, and in paperback in 2019 ( His second monograph, Sentencing Rape – A Comparative Analysis, was published by Hart in 2020 (

Graeme’s current research focuses on sentencing theory, law and practice, in particular comparative approaches to sentencing.

Research supervision

Dr Brown welcomes expressions of interest from prospective PhD and MJur students, particularly in the fields of sentencing law, theory and practice (including comparative studies of sentencing). 

Research Groups

Durham Law School

  • Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Research Interests

  • Comparative sentencing law and practice
  • Criminal justice
  • Criminal law and procedure
  • Judicial decision making
  • Philosophy of punishment
  • Sentencing theory, law and practice


Authored book

Journal Article

Conference Paper

  • Brown, G (2019), 'Current issues in sentencing', CLT Criminal Law Conference. Glasgow, 12 March 2019.
  • Brown, G (2018), 'Judicial Reasoning in Sentencing', Committee for Judicial Studies National Conference. Dublin Castle, 16 November 2018.


Selected Grants

  • 2007: PhD Studentship (Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research)
  • 2005: MSc Studentship (Clark Foundation for Legal Education)