Mandy Burton

Mandy-Burton-profile.jpgProfessor of Socio-Legal Studies 
Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2340

Personal details

LLB (Leicester) DPhil (Oxford), Fellow HEA

My research lies in the fields of criminal law, criminal justice and family law. I am particularly interested in police and prosecution decision-making, criminal courts, victims’ rights and domestic violence. I have considerable experience in carrying out externally-funded socio-legal research projects and have produced numerous research reports for UK government departments. Examples of my empirical work include a project commissioned by the Home Office to evaluate special measures to protect vulnerable and intimidated witnesses, two projects commissioned by the Crown Prosecution Service to examine specialist domestic violence courts and a major study commissioned by the Ministry of Justice to examine how the criminal justice system handles cases of rape and serious violence. I am currently working as a co-investigator on a project commissioned by the Sentencing Council to examine the Sexual Offences and Robbery Guidelines (see the profile of my colleague Anna Carline who is the principal investigator).

I have a strong commitment to policy relevant research in family law and criminal justice. Achieving impact beyond academia is a key component of my research. I have contributed to the development of policy and practitioner responses to domestic violence at both local and national level as a member of several advisory and project implementation groups. In October 2017 I was invited as an expert witness by the Scottish Parliament to give evidence in the proceedings related to the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill on the efficacy of emergency barring orders in domestic violence cases (Justice Committee, 31 Oct 2017). My research on domestic abuse and child contact has recently attracted the attention of policy makers in England and Wales.

Many strands of my empirical and theoretical work relating to domestic violence and abuse are brought together in my monograph Legal Reponses to Domestic Violence (Routledge Cavendish, 2008). I am now working on a new book entitled Domestic Abuse, Victim’s Rights and the Law.

As part of my broader research interests in criminal justice and the English legal system, I am co-author (with Professors Cownie and Bradney) of English Legal System in Context (6th ed, OUP, 2013) and co-author (with Professors Sanders and Young) of Criminal Justice, (4th ed, OUP 2010). My interest in research methods, in particular empirical socio-legal research, has led to a collaboration with my colleague Professor Dawn Watkins on two editions of the book Research Methods in Law (Routledge, 2013; 2017).


  • Socio-legal studies
  • Criminal law
  • Criminal justice
  • Family law

Research Supervision

I welcome applications from potential Phd students, especially those interested in doing empirical work in my areas of expertise.


I currently teach criminal law and criminal justice at undergraduate level. At postgraduate level I have a particular interest in socio-legal research methods, including research ethics. I supervise a number of students who are working on PhDs in the fields of family law and criminal justice, many of them adopting empirical approaches.


  • Burton, M (2018) ‘Specialist Domestic Violence Courts for Child Arrangement Cases: Safer Courtrooms and Safer Outcomes?’ Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Vol. 40 (4), published online 26 September 2018.
  • Burton, M (2017) ‘Doing empirical research in Law’ in Watkins, D and Burton, M (eds) Research Methods in Law, Routledge.
  • Burton, M (2016) ‘Fresh Approaches to Policing Domestic Violence’ in Hilder, S and Bettinson, V (eds) Domestic Violence: Interdisciplinary perspectives on protection, prevention and intervention, Palgrave Macmillan  DOI
  • Burton, M (2015) ‘Emergency barring orders in domestic violence cases: What can England and Wales learn from other European countries?’ Child and Family Law Quarterly, 25.
  • Burton, M (2013) ‘How different are ‘false’ allegations of rape from false allegations of GBH?’ Criminal Law Review, 203-213.
  • Burton, M, Mcleod, R, de Guzman, V, Evans, R, Lambert, H and Cass, G (2012) Understanding the progression of serious cases through the criminal justice system, Ministry of Justice Research Series 11/12, Ministry of Justice: London.

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