Nottingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre

Image of Matt Thomason

Matt Thomason

PhD Researcher, Faculty of Social Sciences



Matt undertook his LLB at the University of Nottingham in 2011, graduating with a 2:1 in 2014. Immediately following this he began his LLM in Criminal Justice at the University of Nottingham, graduating with a Distinction in 2015 and receiving a Distinction for his dissertation: Obscenity and Indecency in Personal and Private Correspondence: The Creeping Criminalization of Fantasy? During his time on the LLM, Matt applied for, and succeeded in gaining, a 1+3 scholarship from the Economic and Social Research Council. In 2015 Matt started the MA in Socio-Legal and Criminological Research Methods at the University of Nottingham, where he also conducted an empirical project entitled: Judging the Doctrinal Method: Academic Perceptions of Classic Legal Research at the University of Nottingham. In 2016 Matt began work on his PhD, which will examine the uses of character evidence (including bad character and previous sexual history) against non-defendant witnesses in Crown Court criminal trials.

Expertise Summary

Matt has a broad range of interests and skills. His primary research interests are in areas of criminal justice including: philosophical principles of criminalization, penology and justifications for punishment, and the law relating to criminal evidence and procedure. Although Matt also has a particular interest in the law of copyright as it relates to artistic works, and the law related to trademarks.

Matt has considerable experience in utilizing the doctrinal method of legal research, and wrote his MA dissertation on the meta-literature as it relates to the state of doctrinal research. Matt is also well acquainted with quantitative and qualitative methods of research, and has had experience of undertaking his own empirical project during the MA.

Teaching Summary

Matt co-teaches seminars in the School of Law with Professor Dirk van Zyl Smit on Criminal Justice and the Penal System B: From Sentence to Appeal.

Matt also leads seminars in the School of Sociology on The Criminal Justice 'System': Function, Processes and Policy.

Research Summary

Matt is currently undertaking his PhD entitled: A Socio Legal Study in to the Uses of Non-Defendant Character Evidence.

The project is being funded by a scholarship from the Economic and Social Research Council, and is being co-supervised by Dr Candida Saunders and Professor Paul Roberts.

The research aims to provide a holistic account of the law of character evidence as it relates to non-defendant witnesses in criminal trials. This will involve the combining of the classically separate discourses concerning evidence of bad character and evidence of previous sexual history. In addition to a classic doctrinal analysis of the law, the research will involve a major empirical element in order to ascertain how the law related to character is operating 'on the ground'.

Recent Publications

Nottingham ESRC Doctoral Training Centre

University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 748 4507

Page setup