The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School
(023) 8059 3418

Professor David Gurnham LLB (Lancaster), PhD (Warwick)

Professor of Criminal Law and Interdisciplinary Legal Studies

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Dr David Gurnham is a Professor of Criminal Law and Interdisciplinary Legal Studies within Southampton Law School at the University of Southampton.

I came to Southampton as a Reader (Associate Professor) in 2012, having previously been a Lecturer in Healthcare Law and Ethics at the University of Manchester (2005 - 2012), and a Lecturer in Law at the University of Reading (2003 – 2005).








Research interests

  • Criminal law
  • Healthcare Law
  • Law and Literature
PhD supervision

I am in principle available to supervise on any topic within my research expertise. I am currently supervise Hector Olivas (with Mark Telford) on the legitimacy of prisons privatization in Mexico and the UK, James Thornton (with Mark Telford) on reforms to criminal procedure and fees structures in England and Wales, and Ana Fuentes (with Harry Annison) on public bodies’ responses to human trafficking.

PhD research

PhD (Warwick) 2004: ‘Judicial Rhetoric and Ethical Dilemma: The Role of Liberal Principle in Legal Language’.

Research projects

1. Edited volumes in progress:

Gurnham, D. Special Journal Issue: ‘Law’s Metaphors’, Journal of Law and Society, Spring 2016 [as guest editor].

2. Writing in progress:

Gurnham, D. ‘Story of the Eye: ocular metaphors in law and critique’.

Gurnham, D., ‘Rethinking sexual victimization: a critique of feminist arguments’.

Gurnham, D. ‘Victim blame and the criminal law’. [invited book chapter contribution]

Gurnham, D. and Ashworth, A. ‘Revisiting the criminal law on the transmission of disease’. [invited book chapter contribution]

Gurnham, D. ‘Criminalizing Contagion: findings and reflections on an interdisciplinary seminar series’ [commissioned editorial for Sexually Transmitted Infections, forthcoming June 2015].

3. Other projects in progress:

Principal Investigator for ‘Criminalizing Contagion: Legal and Ethics Challenges of Disease Transmission and the Criminal Law’: ESRC Seminar Series (£14,949) 2012-2014. Final report under construction.

Member of the Informal Expert Panel, for Amnesty International human rights advocacy project: ‘Criminalization of Sexuality and Reproduction: Exploring the Limits of Punitive State Regulation’. October 2014 – January 2015. 

Research group(s)

The Institute of Criminal Justice Research

Affiliate research group(s)

Health Ethics and Law

  • Director of Research, School of Law
  • Assistant editor of ‘Contemporary Issues in Law’ (Lawtext Publishing)
  • Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the ‘International Journal of Law in Context’ (CUP)


Editor: Special theme in Sexually Transmitted Infections

Edition: 'Criminalizing Contagion' special theme in Sexually Transmitted Infections Vol.89(4)
Editorial: Criminalising contagion: ethical, legal and clinical challenges of prosecuting the spread of disease and sexually transmitted infections

Editor: Special issue of Medical Law International

Edition: 'Best Interests in an Age of Human Rights' special issue of Medical Law International Vol 13(1)
Editorial: 'Best interests in an age of human rights'

Guest Co-Editor: New Criminal Law Review: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal

Edition: New Criminal Law Review: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol 17(1) 
(Guest-edited with Imogen Jones)



Book Section(s)

  • Lectures and seminars in Criminal Law (LAWS1014).
  • Module convenor and teacher for all classes for ‘Violence and Sex in Law, Literature and Culture’ (LAWS3098)
Professor David Gurnham
Faculty of Business, Law and Art, Building 4 University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ UK

Room Number: 4/3059

Telephone: (023) 8059 3418
Facsimile: (023) 8059 3024

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