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Dr Michael Naughton is a Reader in Sociology and Law across the Law School (click here) and the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS) (click here), University of Bristol.

He is the Founder and Director of Empowering the Innocent (ETI), a targeted campaign that calls for the urgent reform of the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) or for it to be replaced with a new body that is fit for the purpose of assisting innocent victims to overturn their wrongful convictions (click here for more information).

Between 2004-2015, he was Founder and Director of Innocence Network UK (INUK), which saw him facilitate and support the subsequent running of a national network of a total of 36 innocence projects in UK universities and beyond (click here for more information).

Between 2005-2015, he was Founder and Director of the University of Bristol Innocence Project (UoBIP), the first innocence project in the UK dedicated to investigating alleged wrongful convictions, which also became the template for the setting up of the innocence projects under the auspices of Innocence Network UK (INUK) (click here for more information)

Research

Michael’s research centres on the forms of injustice and harm that derive from the dominant discourses, structures, procedures and operations of the criminal justice system. He has researched and written extensively on the causes, scope and harmful consequences of “miscarriages of justice” and the limitations and/or outright failings of the parole and criminal appeals systems and the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) in dealing with alleged innocent victims of wrongful conviction and/or imprisonment.

Publications

Michael is the author or editor of four books: The innocent and the criminal justice system (2013, Palgrave Macmillan) (click here); Rethinking miscarriages of justice: Beyond the tip of the iceberg (2012 [2007], Palgrave Macmillan) (click here); The Criminal Cases Review Commission: Hope for the innocent? (Editor, 2012 [2009], Palgrave Macmillan) (click here); and, Claims of innocence: An introduction to wrongful convictions and how they might be challenged (with Tan, G., 2010, University of Bristol/LexisNexis) (click here).

In addition, he has 60 further publications in peer-reviewed academic journals, edited book collections, professional journals, broadsheet newspapers and official reports, many of which are freely available on this website (click here).

To share his research within academia, he has given some 20 refereed conference papers on his researches to leading academic conferences relating to his fields of interest, including to the annual conferences of the British Society of Criminology, European Society of Criminology, Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA), Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) and the European Group for the Study of Deviancy and Social Control (click here for details).

Public Engagement

He has also given more than 50 invited presentations on issues relating to his research to professional, public and third sector conferences in the UK, including for LawWorks (Solicitors Pro Bono Group), PILnet (Public Interest Lawyers Network), Association of Prison Lawyers, Parole Board of England and Wales, Independent Monitoring Board for Prisons (IMB), Law Society for England and Wales, South West, Law Society of Wales, Law Society of Ireland, Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association (CALA), Progressing Prisoners Maintaining Innocence (PPMI),  Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (MOJO), United Against Injustice (UAI) and Falsely Accused Teachers and Carers (FACT) (click here for details).

Media

Michael has given over a hundred interviews to national newspapers and television and radio programmes on his work and a range of criminal justice issues, including for The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, BBC 1, BBC Panorama, BBC Rough Justice, BBC News 24, ITV, GMTV, HTV, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service, as well as international newspapers, radio and television programmes in Norway, Armenia, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland (click here for details).

Impact

Michael has been invited to consult with Members of Parliament, Parliamentary Committees and criminal justice system policy makers domestically and internationally and to give presentations to a host of other specialist conferences and events. This includes giving oral evidence on his research to the UK Parliamentary Justice Committee, two invited presentations in the UK House of Commons, an invited presentation to the US. Department of Justice in Washington D.C., several other invited consultations and conference papers in the United States, China, Armenia, Italy, Norway and several in Ireland.

These activities have contributed to several major reforms at home and abroad, including reforms to the prison rules on the treatment of prisoners maintaining innocence and to the Attorney General’s guidelines on disclosure and access to evidence post-conviction for alleged victims of wrongful convictions who seek to mount an appeal or make an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. He also influenced a new right of appeal for alleged victims of wrongful convictions in South Australia (click here further details).

Awards and Prizes

Michael has received a number of awards and prizes including:

  • Attorney General’s Pro Bono Award
  • Bristol Law Society Annual Pro Bono Award
  • University of Bristol Public Engagement Award
  • Michael Young Prize, sponsored by the ESRC and The Young Foundation
  • Radical Statistics Group Critical Essay Prize

Click here for Michael’s academic CV

Important note: Any views expressed on this website do not represent those of Michael Naughton’s employer.