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Hannah Quirk is Reader in Criminal Law. She read Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge, followed by a M.Phil in Criminology. Her PhD is in Legal Studies from the University of Wolverhampton. She was Senior Researcher at the Legal Services Research Centre (the research unit of the Legal Services Commission). Her research interests develop her previous work as a Case Review Manager at the Criminal Cases Review Commission, investigating claims of wrongful conviction and sentence. In 2005, she spent six months on a research sabbatical at the Innocence Project New Orleans, before joining the Law School at the University of Manchester. She was a visiting scholar at the University of Melbourne, Queen's University Belfast (both 2009) and Fordham University Law School (2012). She has supervised 7 successful PhD students and is willing to consider applications in her research areas. Dr Quirk is on the editorial boards of The Criminal Law Review and Legal Studies. She appears regularly in the media discussing aspects of criminal justice and is hosting a series of talks with the attorneys from the Netflix documentaries Making a Murderer and The Staircase. She is a trustee of Transform Justice and the Sentencing Academy.

Research Interests

My research examines the changing culture of the criminal justice system and the increased difficulties that defendants face following the curtailment of the right of silence and the system for getting disclosure of unused material. This feeds into my work on miscarriages of justice (why these cases happen and how the system does and should put them right). I am also interested in sentencing and the criminal law, in particular, homicide offences and the partial defence of loss of control.


Criminal Law

Selected Publications

  • The Rise and Fall of the Right of Silence (Routledge, 2016) Identifying miscarriages of justice: why innocence in the UK is not the answer
  • The Significance of culture in criminal procedure reform: Why the revised disclosure scheme cannot work Quirk, H. S. 2006 In : International Journal of Evidence and Proof. 10, 1, p. 42-59
  • The 2011 English 'Riots': Prosecutorial Zeal and Judicial Abandon Lightowlers, C. & Quirk, H. Jan 2015 In : The British Journal of Criminology. 55, 1, p. 65-85 Contribution to journal › Article
  • Sentencing White Coat Crime: The Need for Guidance in Medical Manslaughter Cases Quirk, H. 2013 In : CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW. 2013, 11, p. 871-888 Contribution to journal › Article