Dr Elizabeth Shaw

Dr Elizabeth Shaw
PhD, LLM (dist.), LLB (hons)

Senior Lecturer

Dr Elizabeth Shaw
Dr Elizabeth Shaw

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272417


Elizabeth Shaw joined the law school at Aberdeen University as a lecturer in September 2012. She received her LLM by research (on the topic of the criminal responsibility of psychopaths) and LLB from Aberdeen University. She undertook her PhD at Edinburgh University on the implications of free will scepticism for the criminal justice system and successfully defended her thesis in November 2013. Her research interests are interdisciplinary, involving criminal law, philosophy and neuroscience.


Research Interests

  • moral enhancement
  • criminal responsibility
  • free will
  • theories of punishment
  • criminal law
  • moral uncertainty

Teaching Responsibilities

Criminal Law Honours (co-ordinator)

Criminal Law LLM (co-ordinator)

Criminology Honours (co-ordinator)

Criminological Theories LLM (co-ordinator)

English Criminal Law Ordinary (co-ordinator)

Core Skills for Research Students (temporary, joint co-ordinator)


Further Info


Conference Presentations

  • ‘Retributivism and the Biomedical Moral Enhancement of Offenders’ (Exeter University, July 2016)
  • ‘Direct Brain Interventions in Criminal Rehabilitation Programmes’ (Cornell University, June 2016)
  •  ‘Free Will Scepticism and Criminal Behaviour’ (Research Seminar Presentation, NUI Galway, March, 2016)
  • 'The Non-voluntary Moral Enhancement of Offenders Through Direct Brain Interventions' (Oxford University, January 2016)
  • 'Compulsory Moral Enhancement of Offenders: Respect and the Rights to Bodily and Mental Integrity' (Salzburg University, December 2015) 
  • 'Reforming Insanity and Automatism in English Law' (Royal College of Psychiatrists, London, September 2015)
  • 'Against the Use of Mandatory Neurointerventions in Criminal Sentencing' (Oxford University, April 2015)
  • 'The Implications of Free Will Scepticism for Criminal Defences' (Aberdeen University, April 2015)
  • 'Brain Interventions and Responsibility Enhancement' (Swansea University, December 2014)
  • ‘The Right to Bodily Integrity and the Moral Enhancement of Offenders Through Biomedical Interventions’ (Oxford University, August 2014)
  • ‘The Use of Direct Brain Interventions in Offender Rehabilitation Programmes: Should It Be Mandatory, Voluntary or Prohibited?' (Oxford University, October 2013)
  • ‘Reforming Mental Incapacity Defences in Scots Law: An Opportunity Lost’ Royal College of Psychiatrists (Edinburgh, October 2013)
  • ‘Why it is worse to Punish the Innocent than to Acquit the Guilty’ Gerald Gordon Seminar on Criminal Law (Glasgow University, June 2013)
  •  ‘Cognitive Enhancement and Criminal Behaviour’, Cognitive Enhancement: An International Conference for Young Scholars (Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany 2011).
  • ‘Free Will, Punishment and Neurotechnologies’ TILTing Perspectives: Technologies on the Stand (Tilburg University Law School, The Netherlands 2011)