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Durham Law School

Staff Profiles

Prof Liz Campbell, Phd, LLM, BCL

Professor in the Durham Law School

(email at

I am Professor of Criminal Law at Durham Law School and convenor of the Centre for Criminal Law and Criminal Justice. I am also the School’s Director of Research Funding, and a member of the AHRC Peer Review College.


My research looks at how and in what ways the criminal law and criminal process responds to politicised social problems. I’m interested in how legal definitions are constructed, and how the politics of definitions determines and affects legal measures. I use this lens to explore laws on organised crime, white collar crime and corruption, the presumption of innocence, and the trial process more broadly. My work is socio-legal in considering the law in context, and often involves a comparative dimension. There is an empirical element to some of my work, such as the latest project on Corporate Vehicles – Understanding the use of ‘Licit’ Corporate Entities by Transnational Organised Crime Groups in the Concealment, Conversion and Control of Illicit Finance”.

I publish widely in leading international and domestic journals. My publications include a research monograph on Organised Crime and the Law (Hart, 2013), a jointly written book on The Collection and Retention of DNA from Suspects in New Zealand with Nessa Lynch (Victoria University Press, 2015) and a textbook on Criminal Law in Ireland (Clarus, 2010).

Funding for research 

My research has been funded by the RCUK’s Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Law Foundation of New Zealand, the Fulbright Commission, the Modern Law Review, and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

I was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Maryland in 2011-2012, and Principal Investigator for an Arts and Humanities Research Council network on “Corruption in commercial enterprise” (2015-17). Through these collaborative, interdisciplinary research projects and networks, I’ve developed connections with global scholars. 

Current projects

I’m currently co-Investigator on a project on “Corporate Vehicles – Understanding the use of ‘Licit’ Corporate Entities by Transnational Organised Crime Groups in the Concealment, Conversion and Control of Illicit Finance”, funded by the RCUK’s Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security (PaCCS) Research. This project examines how licit entities are used by organised crime groups for the concealment, conversion and control of illicit finance cross-jurisdictionally and the domestic and international economic/social impacts of such practice. It is analysing the impact on organised crime groups of the changing legal and policy conditions governing the transparency of beneficial ownership of legal entities in the UK and the Netherlands. Police Scotland and the Center for Information & Research on Organised Crime (Netherlands) are partners in both the production of the proposal and realisation of the project.

I’m funded by the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account to explore the implications of Brexit for the investigation and policing of organised crime. The briefing paper is available here and full recommendations on negotiations here

I'm beginning work on an N8 Policing Research Partnership -funded project on Policing Ethics.

Research Supervision

I would be delighted to hear from potential students interested in researching any area of criminal law/justice, particularly in relation to organised crime, corruption, white collar crime, and the presumption of innocence. 

Research Interests

  • Criminal justice
  • Criminal law
  • Law of evidence
  • Organised crime

Selected Grants

  • 2016: Corruption in Non-Criminal Commercial Enterprise: Law, Theory and Practice (£8213.94 from AHRC)
  • 2016: The use of corporate vehicles by transnational organised crime groups in the concealment, conversion and control of illicit finance (£28931.30 from ESRC)
  • 2015: 2015: AHRC Research Networking Grant on Corruption in (Non-)Criminal Commercial Enterprise: Law, Theory and Practice £33,000 (PI).
  • 2014: Law Foundation of New Zealand award to study the use of DNA powers in pre-trial processes in New Zealand $30,000 (with Nessa Lynch).
  • 2011: Fulbright research fellowship on Legal Responses to Organised Crime $10,000
  • 2011: Modern Law Review seminar fund on The Presumption of Innocence £12,544

Selected Publications

Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Edited book

  • Campbell, Liz. & Lord, Nicholas. (2017). Corruption in Criminal Enterprise: Law, Theory and Practice. Routledge.

Journal Article

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