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Dr Michael Naughton

Dr Michael Naughton

Dr Michael Naughton
BSc, PhD(Bristol)

Reader in Sociology and Law

Office 3.26
Wills Memorial Building,
Queen's Road, Clifton BS8 1RJ
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 954 5323


Michael Naughton's research centres on how legal structures, procedures and/or working cultures can cause forms of social harm and/or injustice or prevent patent forms of social harm and/or injustice from being remedied and/or redressed. More specifically, the focus of the bulk of his work over the last 15 years has been concerned with "miscarriages of justice" and the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of the innocent.



Dr Naughton is the author of two monographs, a sole edited book and a practical guide to understanding and challenging alleged wrongful convictions:

In addition, he has over 50 publications in peer-reviewed academic journals, edited book collections, articles in professional journals, magazines, broadsheet newspapers and official reports.

Many of Dr Naughton's publications are freely avaiable on his personal website at:

Knowledge Transfer and Public Engagement

Dr Naughton has been invited to consult with Members of Parliament, Parliamentary Committees and criminal justice system policy makers domestically and internationally and to give presentations to a host of other specialist conferences and events. This includes giving oral evidence on my research to the UK Parliamentary Justice Committee, two invited presentations in the UK House of Commons, an invited presentation to the US. Department of Justice in Washington D.C., several other invited consultations and conference papers in the United States, China, Armenia, Italy, Norway and several in Ireland, and more than 40 invited presentations on issues relating to my work to professional, public and third sector conferences in the UK.

Media work

Michael is a regular contributor to national newspapers and television and radio programmes on a range of criminal justice issues, including for The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, BBC 1, BBC Panorama, BBC Rough Justice, BBC News 24, ITV, GMTV, HTV, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC World Service, as well as international newspapers, radio and television programmes in Norway, Armenia, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland.

Awards and Prizes 

  • Michael Young Prize, sponsored by The Young Foundation and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Attorney General's Pro Bono Committee Award
  • Bristol Law Society Award
  • University of Bristol Engagement Award
  • Radical Statistics Group Prize


Reader in Sociology and Law with a split role between the University of Bristol Law School and the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS). BSc (Hons) in Sociology (First Class) (1996) and PhD in Sociology (2003) from the University of Bristol. Doctoral thesis was entitled: 'Miscarriages of Justice: Exception to the Rule?'. 2003-04, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Bristol. Appointed to a Lectureship at Bristol in 2004, progressed to Senior Lecturer in 2007 and was promoted to a Readership in 2012.


In 2016/17, I am teaching on the following units:

  • A Sociology of Crime and Justice - SOCI30047 (U/G Sociology. Unit Coordinator)
  • Criminology - LAWD30100 (U/G Law, Unit Coordinator)
  • Crime, Justice and Society - LAWD20034 (U/G Law)

I welcome proposals for PhD supervision in the general area of criminology, criminal justice and penology. I am especially interested in proposed research associated with any aspect of miscarriages of justice/wrongful conviction and imprisonment. 

Selected publications

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Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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