Gerry Johnstone MSP_9787

Professor Gerry Johnstone

Professor of Law

Faculty of Business, Law and Politics

01482 465040

Professor Johnstone joined the University in 1989, after completing a PhD at the University of Edinburgh.

He was appointed Professor of Law in 2003 and served the Law School as Head of Department (2003-2006) and Research Director (2000-2002, 2009-2013).

He is the author of several books, including Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates (2nd edition, Routledge), which has been translated into Chinese and Japanese.

He is on the editorial boards of Restorative Justice: An International Journal and Crime Law and Social Change. He is currently writing a book analysing the concept of overcriminalisation.


Research Interests

  • Punishment and social control

  • Restorative justice

  • Overcriminalisation

Research groups

Professor Johnstone has recently completed a European Union-funded research project, ‘Building Bridges: Restorative Dialogues between Victims and Offenders’, in partnership with eight European partners.



Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates (2nd edition) (Routledge, 2011)

A Restorative Justice Reader (2nd edition) (Routledge, 2013)

Forthcoming works include:

Building Bridges: Prisoners, Victims and Restorative Justice (a book, co-authored with Iain Brennan)

'Restorative Justice for Victims', an article for a special issue of Restorative Justice: An International Journal on 'Recalibrating Victimhood: Restorative Justice and Social Transformation in the EU and Canada'




Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Criminal Law

  • Criminalization

Research PhDs

Professor Johnstone is interested in supervising PhD research which will contribute to knowledge of criminalisation, restorative justice, punishment, and social control.

Completed PhDs 

Anna Carline, Women who Kill their Abusive Partners: an Analysis of Queer Theory, Social Justice and the Criminal Law, awarded 2002.

Margarita Zernova, Restorative Justice: Aspirations of Proponents and Experiences of Participants in Family Group Conferences, awarded 2005.

Kai Adegbembo, Implementing New Regimes of Accountability and Performance Management: an Empirical Study of one Police Force, awarded 2006.

Jarem Sawatsky, The Ethic of Traditional Communities and the Spirit of Healing Justice, awarded 2008.

David Wilkins, Giving Voice to the Dead: Education and Commemoration as Vehicles for the Restorative Repair of the Historical Injustice and Legacy of Transatlantic Slavery, awarded 2013.

Helen Nichols, Researching the Experiences of Incarcerated Learners, awarded 2016.

Yang Sun, Criminal Reconciliation following the Legislation: through the Lenses of Prosecutors in China, awarded 2017.

Current PhD supervisions 

Professor Johnstone is currently supervising six PhD projects on topics including restorative justice in educational settings and human trafficking.

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BA, National University of Ireland

  • MSc, PhD, University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Criminology and the Social and Philosophical Study of Law

External roles

Professor Johnstone is a member of the European Forum for Restorative Justice and the European Society of Criminology.

He has worked as a consultant for Belgian Science Policy and the Council of Europe’s Working Group on Penological Cooperation. He is currently serving on the Law Panel of the Undergraduate Awards.