Frenzied Law Making and Overcriminalisation

Professor James Chalmers

Professor James Chalmers

11 March 2014

Professor James Chalmers, Regius Professor of Law at the University of Glasgow will deliver a lecture entitled ‘Frenzied Law Making and Overcriminalisation: false problems and false solutions’ at Aberystwyth on Wednesday 12 March 2014.

The Law and Society Lecture takes place at 7.00pm in Medrus Mawr, Penbryn on the Penglais Campus.

The New Labour government was accused of frenzied law making, creating a criminal offence for every day spent in office. Halting the supposed tide of criminalisation became a priority of the current government as a result.

The reality, though, is that our understanding of criminalisation is so poor – and criminal offences are so readily created – that we know little about what the supposed problem is, much less what the solution might be.

This lecture examines the accusations of overcriminalisation made against recent governments, arguing that a misunderstanding of the problem of overcriminalisation means that the government’s work on combating it is doomed to failure.

James Chalmers was appointed to the Regius Chair of Law at the University of Glasgow in 2012, having previously taught at the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

He is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen and Tulane University, in New Orleans, and in 2012 he was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize for this research on criminalisation.