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Durham Law School

Staff profile

Prof Liz Campbell, Phd, LLM, BCL

Professor in the Durham Law School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42812
Room number: PCL120

(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 adjunct professor at Queensland University of Technology School of Justice. I was appointed to the Home Office Biometrics and Forensics Ethics Group in 2017.


My research looks at how the criminal law is deployed to address serious crime. I’m interested in how legal definitions are constructed, and how the politics of definitions determines and affects criminal law responses. I'm also increasingly concerned with the interfaces between criminal law and regulation, and beween criminal and (ostensibly) legal behaviour. I use these perspectives to analyse laws relating to organised/organisational crime, white collar crime and corruption, the presumption of innocence, biometric evidence, and the trial more broadly. 

My approach 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 in the 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), an edited collection on Corruption in Commercial Enterprise (Routledge, 2018), 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). I am working on the fifth edition of The Criminal Process with Professor Andrew Ashworth (OUP, forthcoming 2019).

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 and enhanced key connections with global scholars. 

Current projects

My primary research focus is on corporate crime and the interface between criminal/corporate law and regulation in this context. In particular I am analysing the use of indirect omissions liability against corporate actor, through the criminalisation of failure to prevent certain crimes. 

I’m co-Investigator for 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 working on an N8 Policing Research Partnership -funded project on Policing Ethics. The briefing paper is available here.

Research Supervision

I would be delighted to hear from potential students interested in researching any area of criminal law/justice, particularly organised crime, corruption, corporate/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

Journal Article

Show all publications