Dr David Hayes

School of Law

Senior Lecturer

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+44 114 222 6778

Full contact details

Dr David Hayes
School of Law
Bartolomé House
Winter Street
S3 7ND

This role is my first academic post, which I took up in September 2014, after completing my PhD at the University of Nottingham. My PhD thesis examined the experience of community penalties supervised by the Probation Service (as it then was) as punishments in their own right. The research identified a range of penal impacts of community penalties that suggest they are not (always, or necessarily) the ‘soft option’ that public discourse tends to dismiss them as.

Since 2014/15, I have published a number of journal articles drawing on my doctorate and my increasingly theoretical interest in the measurement of penal severity more generally. My first monograph, Confronting Penal Excess: Retribution and the Politics of Penal Minimalism, was released in November 2019.

  • PhD 
  • MA Socio-Legal and Criminological Research, University of Nottingham
  • LLM Criminal Justice, University of Nottingham
  • LLB(Hons) Law, University of Nottingham
Research interests
  • Criminal law theory
  • Penal theory (especially retributive theories)
  • Law and mythology
  • Sentencing
  • Measurement of punishment

Journal articles


  • Hayes D (2019) Retribution and rehabilitation: Taking punishment seriously in a humane society, The Routledge Companion to Rehabilitative Work in Criminal Justice (pp. 56-65). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hayes D (2019) Pain, harm, and punishment, The Routledge Companion to Rehabilitative Work in Criminal Justice (pp. 1040-1048). RIS download Bibtex download

Book reviews

Research group

I am a member of the Centre for Criminological Research.


Title/Description: Leverhulme Research Fellowship - 'Over-Criminalisation and the Mythic Functions of Criminal Law'

  • Awarding Body: The Leverhulme Trust
  • People Involved: David Hayes
  • Dates: 1st August 2022 - 31st January 2024
  • Amount (£): £48,840
Teaching interests

For me, the study of law and criminology are part of a course of personal development towards a capacity for critical citizenship – that is, political participation enriched by an awareness of context and a capacity to identify the costs and values of particular courses of action at a personal, community, societal, and international levels. In my teaching, I therefore try to emphasise the way in which law is contingent upon its social, political, and cultural contexts.

Central to this process is the individual development of one’s own skills and values. In my role as a Personal and Academic Tutor I encourage students to reflect upon their strengths and weaknesses, and to think about legal and criminological phenomena outside of and across modular and disciplinary boundaries.

In 2022/23 I am on research leave and will not be teaching on any undergraduate or postgraduate modules.

Teaching activities

Currently on Research leave so I do not undertake any teaching at the moment. However I have taught on the following modules 


  • Criminal Law and Justice.
  • Advanced Criminal Law and Justice.
  • Punishment and Penal Policy.
  • Criminal Evidence.


  • Issues in Comparative Penology.
  • Theorising Punishment in a Global Perspective.
Professional activities and memberships

I am a member of the European Society of Criminology (ESC), the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA), and the network for Empirical Research on Sentencing (ERoS).

I am on the Editorial Board of the journal Incarceration.

Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures

  • David Hayes, ‘Putting the “Mass” in Mass Supervision’, European Society of Criminology Annual Conference, 8th-10th September 2021 (online).
  • David Hayes, ‘Ben Crewe on the Bench: Bringing the Dimensional Pains of Punishment into the Courtroom’, Turning the Lens: Researching Sentencers (N-ERoS seminar series), 17th September 2020 (online).
  • David Hayes, ‘Confronting Penal Excess: Retribution and the Politics of Penal Minimalism’. Centre for Criminological Research Seminar, 14th October 2020 (online), Author Meets Critics session, with Prof Lucia Zedner and Prof Dirk van Zyl Smit discussing.
  • David Hayes, ‘Retributivism and the Criminological Imagination: Notes towards a Research Agenda’, European Society of Criminology Annual Conference, 10th-11th September 2020 (online).
  • David Hayes, ‘Confronting Penal Excess: Retribution and the Politics of Penal Minimalism’. Criminal Justice Research Centre (University of Nottingham), 25th March 2020 (online), Author Meets Critics session, with Prof Nicky Padfield and Prof Rob Canton discussing.
  • David Hayes, ‘Retributivism and Penal Minimalism: Notes on a Penal Theory of Political Action’, Society of Legal Scholars, Annual Conference 2019, University of Central Lancashire, 3rd-6th September 2019.
  • David Hayes, ‘To the Pain: Towards Measuring Penal Severity in Terms of the Pains of Punishment’, Centre for Criminological Research, Methods and Data in Sentencing Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, University of Sheffield, UK, 11th-12th July 2019.
  • David Hayes, ‘Inclusion and Exclusion within and beyond the Prison: Exploring the Punishment of Men Convicted of Sex Offences in England & Wales and Norway: Comment’, COMPEN, Punishment and Imprisonment in the Nordic Countries: Comparative Perspectives, University of Agder, Norway 13th-14th June 2019.
  • David Hayes, ‘The Power Behind the Thrown: Navigating between Reform and Abolition’, Centre for Criminological Research/Humanities Research Institute, Humanities Perspectives on Crime and Justice, 31st May 2019.