Dr Abenaa Owusu-Bempah

Dr Abenaa Owusu-Bempah

Associate Professor of Law

LSE Law School

Room No
Cheng Kin Ku Building 6.27
Key Expertise
Criminal justice, criminal law, evidence and criminal procedure

About me

Abenaa joined the LSE in 2017 and is an Associate Professor of criminal law and criminal evidence. Prior to joining the LSE, Abenaa was Lecturer in Law at City, University of London. She has also held positions as Lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex, Teaching Fellow at UCL, and as a research assistant at the Law Commission for England and Wales.  Abenaa holds a PhD from UCL, an LLM in Criminology and Criminal Justice from UCL, and an LLB from the University of Bristol. Abenaa is a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy and an Associate Fellow of the Ghana Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

Abenaa’s research interests lie primarily in the areas of criminal procedure, the law of evidence and criminal law. Her current research focuses on the admissibility and use of rap music as evidence in criminal trials. Abenaa also researches fair trial rights and the participatory role of defendants in criminal proceedings, and she has expertise in hate crime legislation and the legal process for prosecuting hate crime.

Administrative support: Law.Reception@lse.ac.uk

Research interests

  • The law of evidence
  • Criminal procedure
  • Criminal law
  • Criminal justice



Defendant Participation in the Criminal Process (Routledge, 2017) 

Requirements for the defendant to actively participate in the English criminal process have been increasing in recent years such that the defendant can now be penalised for their non-cooperation. This book explores the changes to the defendant’s role as a participant in the criminal process and the ramifications of penalising a defendant’s non-cooperation, particularly its effect on the adversarial system.

The book develops a normative theory which proposes that the criminal process should operate as a mechanism for calling the state to account for its accusations and request for official condemnation and punishment of the accused. It goes on to examine the limitations placed on the privilege against self-incrimination, the curtailment of the right to silence, and the defendant’s duty to disclose the details of his or her case prior to trial. The book shows that, by placing participatory requirements on defendants and penalising them for their non-cooperation, a system of obligatory participation has developed. This development is the consequence of pursuing efficient fact-finding with little regard for principles of fairness or the rights of the defendant.

click here for publisher's site



Hate Crime and the Legal Process: options for law reform  (University of Sussex, October 2017) (with Mark A. Walters, Susann Wiedlitzka, Kay Goodall)