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Dr Jonathan Rogers
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Faculty of Laws

Dr Rogers graduated from Nottingham University in 1993 and started his PhD at UCL the following year. He accepted his first full-time lectureship at Brunel University in September 2000 and moved to UCL in September 2002. He became the first Academic Fellow at Middle Temple in 2009 and was promoted to a Senior Lectureship in 2010. In 2017 he co-founded (with Dr John Child of Sussex University) the Criminal Law Reform Now Network, which seeks to co-opt academics and practitioners in writing proposals for law reform directed at policymakers. He also joined the Editorial Board of the Criminal Law Review in 2017.

He was Legal Advisor to the script writers of The Innocence Project, a criminal justice drama set in law school (aired on BBC1 in 2006/7) but "the legal points were lost on the audience, it seems. It didn't help that life in a law school simply isn’t very dramatic".

He has delivered several public lectures, on human rights and prosecutions, review of decisions not to prosecute suspects, self-defence, domestic violence, hearsay, and bad character. "But I suppose that as time goes by, I look back on speaking on the proposed new Code for Crown Prosecutors in December 2012, when the other speaker was the then DPP - and who knows what else, in the future - Keir Starmer. I was amazed that one of the audience questions in the Q & A session afterwards was put to me!"

Outside academia, he is known as a strong chess player, and holds the Federation Master title. He was graded as the 40th strongest player in England at the start of the 2017/2018 season. 

Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary
Dr Rogers wrote his PhD on exculpatory defences in criminal law, where he sought to draw distinctions between public authorities acting in the execution of their duties and all other persons who might plead an exculpatory defence. Some of these ideas were developed in his first article, which remains the seminal piece on the use of firearms by soldiers and policemen, and he returned to them in delivering a paper at the first Conference of UCL's Centre for Criminal law in September 2010, subsequently published in the well known collection of essays Seeking Security

In 2006, Dr Rogers` first article on prosecutorial discretion was published in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. “The Code for Crown Prosecutors can be much better structured than it presently is. Yet the Scottish and Northern Ireland Codes still model themselves upon the English structure, as though it were incapable of improvement”. A follow-up article on abuse of process appeared in the Current Legal Problems volume of 2008, and is the first prescriptive work to discuss what the boundaries of this common law doctrine ought to be. In 2010, he wrote the leading article on the Purdy litigation, explaining why the House of Lords erred and also outlining how the problems of over-inclusive law (such as assisted suicide) should be addressed by prosecutors.He has since written on the role of the prosecutor in applying and developing the substantive law and in 2017, he examined in the Criminal Law Review the aims of the evidential test, and the ways in which decisions not to prosecute can be reviewed, following the European Court of Human Rights' ruling concerning the decision not to prosecute for murder over the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Dr Rogers has also contributed the first prescriptive articles on the effect of the Human Rights Act 1998 on substantive criminal law. His article on positive obligations in the Criminal Law Review (2004) examined the pressures which might be applied to member states to expand their criminal law to protect vulnerable victims of crime. He returned to the doctrine in 2017 when discussing decisions not to prosecute (see above). In his Current Legal Problems lecture in December 2004, he addressed the situation where a defendant claims that his prosecution or punishment would violate any of the rights in Articles 8-11 of the ECHR.

Most recently he has given a Conference paper, to be published in 2018, on the problems encountered in prosecuting incidents of underage sexual intercourse alleged to have been committed before 1 May 2004. The work combines his interests in criminal procedure, prosecutorial discretion and human rights.

Dr Rogers remains interested in “traditional” areas of substantive criminal law. He writes regularly on self-defence, wrote one of the leading critiques of the Law Commission's Consultation paper on Homicide, and later criticized the Law Commission's “timidity” in its proposals to reform the law on criminal attempts. He wrote the proposal in 2010 that the Law Commission should examine the law on misconduct in public office, which was adopted by the Law Commission in 2011 and led to consultation papers in 2016.  More recently he has addressed the various anomalies which arise when the supply of an illegal drug leads to death, and has outlined the proper role of deception in vitiating consent in sexual offences.

Teaching Summary
LLB (Undergraduate)

Criminal Law (Co-convenor of first year course)

Laws of Evidence

LLM (Graduate)

Criminal Process and Human Rights (Co-convenor)

Academic Background
1999 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Criminal Law University College London
1993 LLB Bachelor of Laws – Law University of Nottingham
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