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School of Law

David Ormerod


Visiting Professor


Professor David Ormerod is Visiting Professor at Queen Mary University of London and Chair in Criminal Law at University College London.

David is the General Editor of the Criminal Law Review (2012-date) and (jointly) Editor in Chief of Blackstone's Criminal Practice (2008-date).

He is in part time practice as a barrister (Door Tenant, Chambers of Anthony Shaw QC and Gillian Jones QC, 18 Red Lion Court, London. He is a Bencher of the Middle Temple (2009) and was made an Honorary Bencher of the Inn of the Court of Northern Ireland in 2017.

David was appointed Queen’s Counsel (Honoris Causa) in 2013, and as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2018 (Queen's Bench Division)

In 2021 he was appointed a CBE in recognition of his services to criminal justice.

Between 2010-2019 David was the Criminal Law Commissioner for England and Wales. He was responsible for leading on all criminal law related projects produced by the Law Commission.

In 2014-15 he chaired a sub-committee of the Leveson Review of Efficiency in Criminal Justice (2015).

He regularly appears before Parliamentary Committees (recent appearances include House of Lords Constitution Committee, on Legislative Standards (2017); Liaison Committee (2018); House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on Forensic Science (2018); Special Public Bill Committee on Sentencing (2019)).

David makes regular media appearances to highlight and explain matters of criminal law reform. Recent appearances include Radio 4 Today Programme; Law in Action; Women’s Hour, BBC TV and radio for local and national broadcast and Sky TV interviews.

David lectures throughout the year on behalf of the Judicial College on Criminal Law, Expert Evidence, Hearsay, Bad Character, Fraud, Homicide and on Sexual Offences. His audiences range from Court of Appeal judges to part-time Recorders of the Crown Court and District Judges. In 2010 he was responsible with Lord Justice Pitchford for redrafting the Specimen Directions to be used by Crown Court judges in directing juries – see the Crown Court Bench Book (2010) and supplement (2011). He has also completed a manual on expert evidence for the Judicial Studies Board’s training purposes. Along with three judges David was responsible for drafting the Judicial College Bench Book – “The Crown Court Compendium” which is the daily guide for every judge sitting in criminal court. The Compendium published in 2016. It has been revised every 6 months since. David is one of the editors responsible for ongoing updates. Since February 2008 David has co-authored a monthly newsletter for all those judges sitting in criminal courts in England and Wales. The newsletter analyses recent developments in criminal law, evidence and procedure.

View Professor Ormerod's CV [PDF 220KB] for more information.


As Director of the Criminal Law Centre at UCL, and a legal academic of 30 years, David has written a wide range of academic articles, practitioner text and teaching materials on the criminal law. His published work is widely cited by academics, frequently relied upon by practitioners and cited by the appellate courts in this jurisdiction and abroad.

David’s research interests are in all areas of criminal justice and related areas. He seeks to provide comprehensive and thorough doctrinal analysis of the current law and to identify practical and constructive reform. David’s research has always demonstrated a strong commitment to law reform. The focus of much of his research involves comprehensive analysis of case law and proposed or recently enacted legislation.


Books edited and authored:

  • Smith, Hogan and Ormerod’s Criminal Law (6 editions; 4 co-authored with Karl Laird)
  • Halsbury’s Laws of England Criminal Procedure and Evidence (2010, 2016 and 2021) Contributor and Consultant Editor
  • Halsbury’s Laws of England Criminal Law (2010; 2015 and 2020) Contributor and Consultant Editor
  • Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod’s Essential of Criminal Law (4 editions with John Child)
  • Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod’s Text Cases and Materials on Criminal Law (5 editions; 3 with K Laird)
  • Blackstone’s Criminal Practice (2015-2022) Editor in Chief with David Perry QC
  • Blackstone’s Criminal Practice (2015) Editor in Chief
  • Blackstone’s Criminal Practice (2008 - 2015) Editor in Chief with Lord Justice Hooper
  • Fraud: Criminal Law and Procedure (2008) OUP ed with Clare Montgomery QC (with annual supplements)
  • Smith’s Law of Theft (9th ed 2007) OUP with David Williams
  • The Modern English Legal System (4th ed 2002) Sweet and Maxwell (with S. H. Bailey, M. J. Gunn & J. Ching)
  • Civil Liberties Cases & Materials (5th ed. 2001) Butterworths (with D.J. Harris, & S.H. Bailey)

View Professor Ormerod's CV [PDF 220KB] for a comprehensive list of his works.

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