School of Law

Ms Amber Marks

Lecturer in Criminal Law and Evidence and Co-Director of the Criminal Justice Centre

Email: a.marks@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44(0) 20 7882 3964
Room Number: Mile End
Website: http://www.law.qmul.ac.uk/cjc

Profile

Amber Marks is a barrister and is Director of the Criminal Justice Centre and Convenor for the Law of Evidence and Criminal Justice and Surveillance Technologies at Queen Mary, University of London, where she lectures in the law of evidencecriminal law and criminal justice and surveillance. She is a co-founder of the multi-disciplinary network 'Bayes and the Law', and sits on the ethical advisory board to both NANOSMELL (Horizon 2020 project funded by the European Commission); and New Operational Sensing System (EC funded research project).  Amber is a trustee of RELEASE.

Amber’s principal area of research is at the intersection between science, criminal justice and human rights with a focus on drug regulation, forensic science, due process and technology. In the field of human rights Amber’s focus is on autonomy, privacy and associated personality rights.

Amber has used stand-up comedy to communicate controversial legal issues to lay audiences. She has given talks on the science of sniffer dogs and on legal and zoological definitions of prostitution in a variety of London pubs and in the literary tents of Latitude Festival,  Standon Calling, Bestival and Laugharne.

Amber has also written and presented on the law in the printed media and on the radio.  She has been a regular contributor to The GuardianThe Register and Wired. Her articles have also appeared in The Times, Prospect and The Register, and she has worked as a columnist on criminal justice for the Big Issue and assistant editor for Benchmark. Amber has made several radio appearances (BBC Radio 4 and 3, Resonance FM, Talksport, Radio New Zealand) to discuss criminal justice and surveillance.  In 2012 she co-wrote, co-produced and presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary on the science of smell.

A Gray's Inn scholar, Amber was called to the bar in 2000 and worked as a criminal barrister (3 Raymond Buildings and 3 Temple Gardens) before joining the Government Legal Service as a lawyer in the Criminal Appeal Office, and King’s College London as a Visiting Lecturer. She lectured on miscarriages of justice (Anglia Ruskin) and the English legal system (King’s College London) and taught criminal law (London School of Economics) before joining Queen Mary University of London, as a lecturer in the Law of Evidence and Criminal Law.

Undergraduate Teaching

Postgraduate Teaching

  • QLLM313 Criminal Justice and Surveillance Technologies

Research

Amber’s principal area of research is at the intersection between science, criminal justice and human rights. In the field of human rights Amber’s focus is on autonomy, privacy and associated personality rights.

Amber is presently researching (i) comparative drug regulation and (ii) forensic science, technology and due process.  She welcomes proposals for postgraduate research in both these areas.

Publications

Legal Opinions and Briefing Papers and Collaborations with NGOs

Selected Legal Journalism

  • BBC Radio 4 programme on the Science of Smell, Sniffing out Danger
  • 'Don't Kill Me: Can we trust new weapons that are supposed to be non-lethal?' Prospect, 4 July 2009.
  • 'Smells Suspicious.' The Guardian, 31 March 2008.
  • 'Neuromancing the law: Regulating the techno-regulators'. The Register, 16 April 2007.
  • Criminal Justice and Surveillance Technologies:
    In 2016 Amber participated in several workshops of the Isaac Newton Institute (e.g. Probability and Statistics in Forensic Science Dissemination workshop ) the final outcome of which is Twelve Guiding Principles and Recommendations for Dealing with Quantitative Evidence in Criminal Law: For the Use of statisticians, forensic scientists and legal professionals (2017)10. One of our recommendations is that ‘law schools should teach sufficient statistical and probabilistic thinking to recognise and avoid common fallacies such as the prosecutor’s fallacy’; it is one we adhere to in the law of evidence undergraduate module.

Public Engagement

Amber is regularly consulted by NGOs, governmental bodies, private companies, professional associations and the media.

Amber has written and presented on the law in the printed media and on the radio.  She has been a regular contributor to The Guardian, The Register and Wired. Her articles have also appeared in The Times, Prospect and The Register, and she has worked as a columnist on criminal justice for the Big Issue and assistant editor for Benchmark. Amber has made several radio appearances (BBC Radio 4 and 3, Resonance FM, Talksport, Radio New Zealand) to discuss criminal justice and surveillance. In 2012 she co-wrote, co-produced and presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary on the science of smell.

Amber has used stand-up comedy to communicate controversial legal issues to lay audiences. She has given talks on the science of sniffer dogs and on legal and zoological definitions of prostitution in a variety of London pubs and in the literary tents of Latitude Festival, Standon Calling, Bestival and Laugharne.

2019

  • Participated in ‘Fair Trade Options for The Cannabis Market’,  London, UK, 4-5 February 2019

2018

  • (2018) Lead drafter and researcher for West Africa Commission on Drugs, Model Drug Law for West Africa: A Tool for Policymakers
  • (2018) Contribution to the Alan Turing Institute’s Submission to the House of Lords inquiry into Forensic Science in Criminal Justice
  • Speaker and workshop facilitator at Drug Policy Alliance Workshop on Model Drug Law Legislation, New York (2018)
  • Key note speaker at Expo Weed Mexico, August 2018 La Ley y Las Clubes Sociales –plenary speech on comparative and constitutional law on the cannabis clubs model (in Spanish) at cannabis trade fair legal panel (2018)

2017

  • Presenter on the Penal Provisions of UN drug control conventions, West Africa Civil Society Institute, Meeting of Expert, Accra, Ghana (2017)
  • Participant in KCL Algorithmic Government Workshops including ‘Big-Data-Driven Decision Making in UK Criminal Justice and Regulation’ (2017)
  • Panellist on the Right to Consume Drugs, Drug Policy Reform Conference, Atlanta, USA (2017)

2016

2015

2014

Recent Sponsored Workshop Participation, Conference Panels and Key Note Talks

  • Fair Trade Options for The Cannabis Market’,  London, UK, February 4th – 5th 2019
  • Speaker and workshop facilitator at Drug Policy Alliance Workshop on Model Drug Law Legislation, New York (2018)
  •  Key note speaker at Expo Weed Mexico, August 2018 La Ley y Las Clubes Sociales –plenary speech on comparative and constitutional law on the cannabis clubs model (in Spanish) at cannabis trade fair legal panel (2018)
  • Presenter on the Penal Provisions of UN drug control conventions, West Africa Civil Society Institute, Meeting of Expert, Accra, Ghana (2017)
  • Participant in KCL Algorithmic Government Workshops including ‘Big-Data-Driven Decision Making in UK Criminal Justice and Regulation’ (2017)
  • Panellist on the Right to Consume Drugs, Drug Policy Reform Conference, Atlanta, USA (2017)

Selected Conference Papers and Workshop Presentations

  • Marks, A. and Bowling B., (2017) ‘Automatic Justice’ The Centre for Technology, Ethics, Law & Society (TELOS) at the Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College.
  • Marks, A, (2016) ‘Relevance’ Probability and Statistics in Forensic Science, Turing Gateway to Mathematics, Isaac Newton Institute, Cambridge
  • Marks A (2016) ‘Personal Consumption in Spanish Drug Law’ Staff Work in Progress Presentation, Queen Mary, University of London
  • Marks A (2013) ‘Are Judges Enthralled to Science?’ at the annual judge's conference of the Canadian Provincial Court Judges, ‘From CSI to the SCC: The Impact of Science on the Judicial Process’;
  • Marks A (2013) ‘Sniffing out the Boundaries of Privacy’ at the Workshop Law and Senses (Ontario, Canada) (funded by Carleton University, Canada)
  • Marks A (2013) ‘Criminal Smells’ at Law and the Senses Conference (Westminister University)
  • Marks A (2013) ‘Legal Highs and Organised Crime‘ at the Renmin University and Queen Mary University of London Joint Conference: Policy and Criminal Justice: How to meet the challenges of organized crime in the context of globalisation in Beijing.
  • Marks A (2012) ‘Tracing the Fault Line in Forensic Science’ Staff Work in Progress Presentation, Queen Mary, University of London
  • Marks A (2011)‘Expert Evidence of Drug Traces’ at The Future of Expert Evidence Conference, Queen Mary, University of London
  • Marks A (2009) ‘Canine identification evidence: the need for reform’ at the UK Law Enforcement Agencies Dog Systems Bi-Annual Conference
  • Marks A (2009) 'The journey of the Mosquito: A case study on the legal and public acceptability of sonar deterrence in crime control' at the 5th European Symposium on Non-Lethal Weapons, Ettlingen, Germany
  • Marks A. (2009) ‘From Biological to Biotechnological Surveillance:
  • Towards an Analytical Framework and Research Agenda’ at ESRC/SSN Seminar Series, The Everyday Life of Surveillance, Newcastle University
  • Bowling, B. and Marks, A.  (2007) ‘Crime Control Technologies’, Regulating Technologies, TELOS, KCL
  • Marks A. (2007) ‘The ethical implications of olfactory research presented at The UK Semiochemistry  Network Workshop on Chemical Signals in Vertebrates
  • Marks A. (2005) ‘Forensic Olfaction:  The Legal Challenge Ahead presented at Gordon Research Conference on Detecting Illicit Substances
  • Marks A. (2004) ‘The Legal Implications of an expansion in olfactory surveillance’ presented at the DSTL (MoD) conference on The Security Applications of Olfaction.

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