I am a 37 year old Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice within the School of Media, Culture & Society at the University of the West of Scotland, and currently the Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Criminal Justice degree. On the criminal justice degree, I coordinate both the criminal law and victimology provision. Immediately prior to my current position, I was a lecturer in law between September 2007 and January 2014 (on an associate basis between September 2007 and December 2009, then full time between January 2010 and January 2014), and have previously coordinated and taught a wide variety of law related subjects and areas including Criminal Law, Rules of Evidence, Public International Law / Law of the European Union, Employment Law, Family Law, Contract Law, Media Law, Constitutional Law, Children and the Law, and Administrative Law.
In addition to my responsibilities at UWS I am currently an external examiner for the LLM (Masters) programmes in International Law and International Human Rights Law at De Montfort University in Leicester, and have recently started as external examiner for the LLB Law at Glasgow Caledonian University. Previously I have completed 4 and 5 year contracts respectively as external examiner for the University of Westminster in London for their LLB Law, LLB Law with French, and LLB European Legal Studies, and for Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen on their LLB Law and BA Legal Studies programmes.
My own qualifications and professional membership currently include: a PhD in Law, Criminology and Psychology; a first class honours degree in law; a PgCert in Research Methods; a PgCert in Teaching & Learning in Higher Education; FPC certification accredited by the CII; Fellowship of the HEA; Fellowship of the RSA; Membership of the Society of Legal Scholars; Membership of the International Association of Genocide Scholars; Membership of the Scottish Institute for policing Research (Police – Comunity Relations Network).
In terms of CPD I have completed and passed MOOCs through both edX and FutureLearn in the Psychology of Criminal Justice (University of Queensland), Terrorism and Counterterrorism (Georgetown University), and Forensic Science (University of Strathclyde). I have completed all externally offered training (CPD certified) offered by Victim Support Scotland in areas such as victims of sexual offences, victims of domestic abuse, and victims of hate crimes, and completed a suite of three certificates in the area of conflict analysis and prevention through the United States Institute for Peace.
In terms of research, I have significant interests in a number of areas including, but not limited to:
- Genocide studies (particularly though not exclusively Rwanda)
- Transitional Justice
- Conflict studies
- Demobilisation and Reintegration from armed forces to society
- Human Rights Laws and Issues (domestically and internationally)
- Criminal Law and Procedure
- Rules of Evidence
- Media Law
- Justice Architecture, Courtroom Environment, and Courtroom Behaviour
- International Law and Politics (Including EU, UN, AU, and NATO)
- Criminal Justice and Social Policy
- Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictions
- Restorative Justice
Linked to my research, I do not work from afar regarding the comparative studies that I carry out, and have been fortunate to be able to visit locations such as the Netherlands, France, Rwanda, and Kenya multiple times in furtherance of my research activities (during 2017 alone I was able to visit Rwanda twice and Kenya three times, and in 2018 I have already set plans to visit France, Rwanda, and Kenya). I believe it is of absolute paramount importance to visit a location you intend to research or write about to avoid ethnocentrism and misunderstanding the full context regarding the region in question. I believe that if drawing heavily critical conclusions regarding a region, the validity of such criticism and conclusions is highly questionable (or at least open to legitimate challenge from those that have significant experience of the region in question) if it is based upon purely desk-based research.
I have been proud in my time at UWS to be nominated for four teaching awards; ‘Lecturer of the 21st Century’ and ‘Interactive Lecturer of the Year’ at the Students’ Association of the University of the West of Scotland (SAUWS) awards in 2010; then in 2014 and 2017, I was delighted to be nominated in the UWS STARS awards, on both occasions for the ‘Outstanding Teaching’ category chosen by students of the University.
Outside of law and education I have a wide variety of interests that I may also blog / comment on from time to time including:
- Running – My usual distance for racing is 10km and when fit I complete the distance in sub-45 minutes. Having sustained a serious injury to one of my legs in late 2010 (a complicated series of breaks to my left leg and ankle during a football match resulting in surgery and permanent insertion of titanium screws / pins to the leg), my times naturally took a big hit on my return to running, but by September 2012 I was again running times circa 44 minutes for 10km. I have completed the Great Scottish Run half marathon three times, raised several hundreds of pounds for charities, and in the past five or six years have finished a total of somewhere around a dozen half marathons, fifteen – twenty 5k’s, forty – fifty 10k’s and various races of other distances.
- Football – I play once or twice a week at present. Prior to my injury in 2010 I was playing three – four times a week and in 2010 I was part of a team that won our local league. I have not played competitively since my major injury, and unless I received an unexpected offer or plea from a friend I would consider that my competitive football days are likely over.
- Golf – I play golf at the Old Course Ranfurly Golf Club in Bridge of Weir. Currently with a hadicap of twelve. I have been substantially lower, and as a junior player represented my club for three years until the age of 18 in league matches, but with lack of time to practice consistently, the handicap has crept up over the past 15 years. On my day, I can still muster a good score, and I have a personal best round of two under par (two birdies with the rest pars – no dropped shots) from Inchmarlo (near Aberdeen) set as recently as July 2011 on a particularly lucky / good round.
- Tennis – I used to play to intermediate level at the David Lloyd club in Renfrew.
- Motor Racing – Not competing! Just watching. I’ve been a Fan of F1 for some 30 years and follow the sport in depth. I also watch pretty much every race in a select number of series including Indycar and DTM. To a slightly lesser degree I do watch races in the BTCC and WTCC. I used to drive a sports car but have upgraded to a slightly more boring Chevrolet Cruze… much more practical with a family…