Skip to main content

Alan Norrie





School of Law
University of Warwick
Tel: 02476 151107

Research Interests

Alan Norrie is interested in the critical and historical analysis of criminal law and in its ethical and doctrinal problems; in ideas of guilt, forgiveness and justice; in socio-legal theory; and in critical realist and dialectical philosophy.

He has recently published a third edition of Crime, Reason and History (2014), which contains new chapters on self-defence and loss of control. A collection of his recent essays on criminal law and justice, Justice and the Slaughter Bench: Essays on Law's Broken Dialectic, is published in 2016.

In September 2015, he took up a three year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship on 'Criminal Justice: the Blaming Relation'. In connection with that, he is currently exploring theoretical issues of guilt and forgiveness in the area of 'transitional justice'.

Philosophically, he works with critical realism, especially in its dialectical form, and is exploring the importance of realist metaphysics for understanding issues of guilt and responsibility.


Alan Norrie taught previously at the Universities of Dundee, Warwick and London. He was Edmund-Davies Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice at King's College London (1997-2009) and held the Drapers' Chair in Law at Queen Mary and Westfield College (1994-7). He returned to Warwick in 2009 and was Head of the Law School from 2011-2015. He is President of the International Association for Critical Realism, a Fellow of the British Academy and a Leverhulme Major Research Fellow.

His books include Law, Ideology and Punishment (Kluwer, 1991), Punishment, Responsibility and Justice (Oxford University Press, 2000), Law and the Beautiful Soul (Routledge, 2005), Dialectic and Difference: Dialectical Critical Realism and the Grounds of Justice (Routledge, 2010). A third edition of Crime, Reason and History (Cambridge University Press), originally published in 1993, appeared in 2014, and Justice and the Slaughter Bench: Essays on Law's Broken Dialectic is published in 2016.

Law and the Beautiful Soul won the Hart/SLSA Book Prize and was described as 'an important book which crosses a breathtakingly diverse terrain ... a beautifully written book, which ... demonstrates the author's own journey'. Dialectic and Difference won the Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize.

He has also edited a number of books, King's Law Journal and Social & Legal Studies. He serves on the editorial board of the latter and the Journal of Critical Realism.

Research Projects

View Current Projects        View All Projects


View All Publications

Update your user profile on Ideate