Distinguished Global Fellow

Nicola Lacey

Nicola Lacey is School Professor of Law, Gender and Social Policy at the London School of Economics.  From 2010 until September 2013 she was Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, and Professor of Criminal Law and Legal Theory at the University of Oxford.   She has held a number of visiting appointments, most recently at Harvard Law School.  She is an Honorary Fellow of New College Oxford and of University College Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy.

Nicola's research is in criminal law and criminal justice, with a particular focus on comparative and historical scholarship. Over the last few years, she has been working on the development of ideas of criminal responsibility in England since the 18th Century, and on the comparative political economy of punishment.  She is currently working, with David Soskice, on American Exceptionalism in crime, punishment, and social policy. Nicola also has research interests in legal and social theory, in feminist analysis of law, in law and literature, and in biography.


  • LLB, University College, London, First Class Honours, Hurst Prize in English Law, Maxwell Law Prize (1978), Maxwell Medal for top degree of year (1979)
  • BCL., University College, Oxford First Class


  • Elected Fellow of the British Academy, 2001
  • Swiney Prize, 2004
  • Elected to a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, held 2006-9
  • Elected an Honorary Fellow of New College, Oxford, 2007
  • Clarendon Law Lectures, 2007
  • Hamlyn Lectures, 2007
  • Elected an Honorary Fellow of University College, Oxford, 2010
  • Elected an Honorary Bencher, Inner Temple, 2011
  • Awarded the Hans Sigrist Prize by the University of Bern, for scholarship on the rule of law in modern societies, 2011

Representative Publications

  • Women, Crime and Character: From Moll Flanders to Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Oxford University Press 2008) (The Clarendon Law Lectures)
  • The Prisoners’ Dilemma: Political Economy and Punishment in Contemporary Democracies (Cambridge University Press 2008) (The Hamlyn Lectures)
  • A Life of HLA Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream (OUP 2004). (Winner of the RSA’s Swiney Prize 2004 and shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Biography and for the British Academy Book Prize.)