Junior Research Fellow in Law; British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
I teach Criminal Law at University College and Lincoln College, and I lecture on “critical perspectives on the insanity defence” at the Faculty of Law. Since Criminal Law is a first-year subject, I have the pleasure of working with students in the early days of the undergraduate degree, supporting orientation and study skills development alongside lively discussions.
In previous years, I taught Criminal Law at New College, Balliol College, Mansfield College, and St Edmund Hall. In addition to lecturing in Oxford, I have enjoyed working as an Associate Professor in Crime Policy at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, and teaching criminal law, land law, and jurisprudence in Cameroon.
My areas of teaching interest include criminal law, crime policy, restorative justice, land law, and jurisprudence.
My postdoctoral research examines the intersection of mental health, youth offending, and social class. I am investigating how socioeconomic background may affect the ways in which mental disorders manifest, what type of agencies respond (e.g. medical, or criminal justice), and routes to recovery. This work builds on my ethnographic doctoral project which looked at the impact of social class on conflict responses, with a focus on language usage during restorative justice interventions.
A further research interest I have is housing law. Following the doctorate, I worked with Prof. Sue Bright on the Oxford Tower Blocks Project, which explored the social, legal, and environmental implications of Oxford City Council’s refurbishment of five tower blocks. Participating in this project has sparked my ambition to eventually revisit a piece of research I conducted for the LLM, studying the effect of the “right to buy” on the dilapidation of my council estate in Corby, UK. Housing issues, socioeconomic disadvantage, mental disorder, and high rates of crime often overlap in environments such as my home estate. In time, I hope to weave these strands of thought together.
Willis, R., “Three Approaches to Community in Restorative Justice”. (2016), Restorative Justice: An International Journal 4(2), 1-27.
Hoyle, C., & Willis, R., “The challenge of integrating restorative justice into the ‘deep-end’ of criminal justice” (2016), in Blomberg, T., et al. (eds.) Advancing Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy, Routledge.
Willis, R., “Observations Online: Finding the ethical boundaries of Facebook research” (forthcoming), Journal of Research Ethics.
Willis, R., “A comparative analysis of widow dispossession in anglophone and francophone Cameroon” (forthcoming) Journal of African Law.