Jeremy Horder

Jeremy HorderEmail:
Administrative support: Alison Grant
Room: New Academic Building 7.07
Tel. 020-7955-7246 

Jeremy Horder is Professor of Criminal Law at the LSE, and Head of the Law Department. He graduated from the Universities of Hull (1984) and Oxford (1986) before taking up a Research Fellowship at Jesus College, Oxford, from 1987-1989. He then became the Porjes Trust Tutorial Fellow in Law at Worcester College, Oxford, from 1989-2010. He was Chairman of Oxford’s Faculty of Law from 1998-2000. From 2005-2010, he was a Law Commissioner for England and Wales, with responsibility for criminal law reform, before becoming Edmund Davies Professor of Criminal Law at King’s College London, from 2010-2013. He is an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple and holds an Honorary LL.D from the University of Hull.

Research Interests

History, philosophy and politics of English criminal law, and criminal law reform. More particularly, homicide, bribery and corruption, and the intersection of criminal law and other forms of sanction.

External Activities

As Law Commissioner, I was responsible for the Law Commission Report on bribery reform (Law Com No 313, 2009) and draft Bill, that became the Bribery Act 2010. I advise, and lecture to, a variety of organisations on the importance and implications of the 2010 Act. I am a member of the steering committee for ‘Justice after Acquittal’, a voluntary organisation helping families after one of their members has been unlawfully killed but the main suspect has been acquitted.


Principles of Criminal Law (7th Edition, Oxford University Press, 2013), co-authored with Andrew Ashworth)

This book seeks to explain major crimes and doctrines in criminal law. The law is analysed in the light of key principles of criminal law, such as the principle of maximum certainty, the right to a fair trial, and other important human rights principles.

Modern Bribery Law (Cambridge University Press, 2013), co-edited with Peter Alldridge

This collection of essays considers the recent radical reform of bribery law in the UK, and sets these developments in a European and International context, with contributions from practitioners as well as scholars.

Homicide and the Politics of Law Reform (Oxford University Press, 2012)

This book critically examines many aspects of the law of homicide, and considers the prospects for law reform. A significant theme is way in which the direction of reform has been captured by judges, academic and professional experts, whose views may be at odds with the views of (professionally researched) public opinion. A way is sought to find more space for public opinion in the law reform effort, and to broaden the role of the jury in determining mitigating factors in murder cases.

Excusing Crime (Oxford University Press, 2004)

This book seeks to distinguish between different kinds of defence to crime, depending on whether the defence is a justification (such as self-defence), an excuse (such as provocation), or an exemption (such as insanity). A distinction is also drawn between excuses (such as duress) where someone remains morally more ‘active’ in relation to their conduct, and cases (such as diminished responsibility) where that person is morally more ‘passive’, due to mental disorder. Problem cases are discussed in which these two phenomena influence one another, leading someone to commit a crime.

Selected articles
and chapters in books

(with Kate Fitz-Gibbon) 'When sexual infidelity triggers murder: examining the impact of homicide law reform on judicial attitudes in sentencing' Cambridge Law Journal (2015)

In October 2010, the UK Parliament brought into effect law that replaced the partial defence to murder of provocation with a new partial defence of “loss of control”, applicable to England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Although it retained some key features of its controversial predecessor, the new partial defence was in part designed better to address the gendered contexts within which a large number of homicides are committed. In examining the impact of the reforms, we will focus on long-held concerns about the treatment of sexual infidelity as a trigger for loss of control in murder cases. The article undertakes an analysis of English case law to evaluate the way in which sexual infidelity-related evidence has influenced perceptions of a homicide defendant's culpability, for the purposes of sentencing, both before and after the implementation of reform. The analysis reveals that, in sentencing offenders post reform, the higher courts have failed to follow the spirit of the reforms respecting the substantive law by effecting a corresponding change in sentencing practice.

(with Karen Yeung) 'How can the criminal law support the provision of quality in healthcare?' BMJ Quality & Safety (2014) [online first edition]

The egregious failings in patient safety at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust between 2005 and 2009 identified by Sir Robert Francis QC in his public inquiry prompted him to recommend the introduction of a new criminal offence into English law in circumstances where a patient dies or is seriously harmed by a breach of fundamental standards. The authors evaluate whether, from the perspective of fairness and justice, a new criminal offence in this context is necessary and desirable.

'Bureaucratic ‘Criminal’ Law: Too Much of a Bad Thing?’ LSE Law Society and Economy Working Paper Series, 01-2014

My main aim is to argue for the legitimacy of ‘regulatory’ criminal law. Historically more significant as a feature of statecraft than its critics have been prepared to admit, I defend a number of the controversial characteristics of such law. Such features include its tendency to come in the form of numerous discrete offences (where the common law was satisfied with one or two general offences), its preoccupation with less ‘serious’ forms of wrongdoing, and its reliance on omission-based liability. The plausibility of these claims comes through shifting the focus away from the favoured moral high ground of traditional critics of bureaucratic criminal law: the interests and concerns of the individual, as the object of criminalisation. A very large proportion of bureaucratic criminal law is aimed at companies, as objects of criminalisation. Whilst companies must be dealt with in a fair and proportionate manner by the criminal law, as entities they lack the capacity for emotional suffering, dignity and autonomy that would otherwise place greater constraints on the scope for the criminalisation of their activities. In developing my views, I try to maintain a healthy scepticism about the viability of identifying a set of laws that are uniquely and distinctively ‘criminal’.

‘Bureaucratic “Criminal” Law: Too Much of a Bad Thing?’, in R A Duff, Lindsay Farmer, S E Marshall, Massimo Renzo, Victor Tadros (eds), Criminalization: The Aims and Limits of the Criminal Law. Oxford University Press (2014)

I seek to defend the use of regulatory offences, and explode the myth that large-scale criminalisation in England and Wales is a post 1945 phenomenon.

‘Deterring Bribery: Law, Regulation and the Export Trade’, in Jeremy Horder and Peter Alldridge (eds), Modern Bribery Law (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

I argue that there is a need for regulatory intervention in the arms trade, to reduce the risk of bribery, alongside the modernisation of the criminal law.

‘Criminal Attempt, the Rule of Law, and Accountability in Criminal Law’, in Lucia Zedner and Julian Roberts (eds), Principles in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice: Essays in Honour of Andrew Ashworth, (Oxford University Press, 2012)

I argue that the test of liability in criminal attempts in English law - was the act 'more than merely preparatory'? - is consistent with the demands of the rule of law. Misuse of its breadth is a matter best addressed through holding prosecutors to account for the practices, not by changing the substantive law.

‘On Her Majesty’s Commercial Service: Bribery, Public Officials and the UK Intelligence Services’ (2011) 74 (6) MLR  pp.911–931

This article considers the special protection from prosecution for some bribery offences, under the Bribery Act 2010, granted to the UK intelligence services. The section 13 exemption is criticised as unnecessary, and arbitrary, insofar as it applies to the role of the intelligence services in furthering the 'commercial' interests of the UK.

‘Harmless Wrongdoing and the Anticipatory Perspective on Criminalisation’, in Ian Dennis and GR Sullivan (eds), Seeking Security: Pre-empting the Commission of Criminal Harms (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2011)

I argue that there may be as much or more reason to criminalise conduct that anticipates harm-doing as there is the criminalise the causing of harm itself. This is especially, but not exclusively, so in regulatory contexts.