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Hannah Wishart

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Lecturer in Law

I am a Criminal Lawyer who sits within youth justice, criminal justice, social justice, criminology and neurolaw.

My research uses neuroscience and psychology to inform changes in criminal law doctrine and legal practice for developmentally immature children. My main focus is the engagement of these scientific insights with the law to challenge/reform practices and legislation for developmentally immature children that kill.

I have published peer-review journal articles on the relevancy of neuroscience in youth justice, the abolition of the doctrine of doli incapax and the unfair treatment of developmentally immature children in the English criminal justice system.

I am currently co-editing a book with Ed Johnston (Northampton) for Routledge titled ‘Neurolaw in the Courtroom: Comparative Perspectives on Vulnerable Defendants’ to be published in late 2023. 

Teaching and supervision

I am module leader for the following modules on LLB (Hons) Law and LLM Law:

  • Criminal Law (LLB, Level 1)
  • Applied Legal Methods (LLM)
  • Advanced Legal Skills (LLM)

I also supervise students on the following:

  • Legal Research Project (LLM)
  • Dissertation (LLM)
  • Dissertation (LLB)

Research interests for potential research students

  • Youth Justice 
  • Criminal Law  
  • Neurolaw 


My research is on the English youth justice system with a particular focus on neurolaw, legal defences and adolescent brain development.

I am working towards my PhD in law. My PhD focuses on developmentally immature children, neuroscience and the defence of diminished responsibility.


Number of items: 12.


Wishart, Hannah/HW (2018) Empowering 16 to 17 Year Olds to Vote: What is Wrong With This Picture? Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, 182. pp. 16-18.

Wishart, Hannah/HW (2018) Young Minds, Old Legal Problems: Can Neuroscience fill the Void? Young Offenders & The Age of Criminal Responsibility Bill—Promise and Perils. Journal of Criminal Law, 82. pp. 311-320.

Wishart, Hannah/HW (2017) Definition of Substantial Impairment in the New Diminished Responsibility Defence. Criminal Law & Justice Weekly, 181 (1). pp. 269-272.

Wishart, Hannah/HW and Johnston, Ed (2016) Special Issue on ‘Criminal Responsibility and Neuroscience’. European Journal of Current Legal Studies, 22 (2).

Wishart, Hannah/HW (2016) Young Minds, Old Legal Problems: Can Neuroscience fill the Void? European Journal of Legal Studies, 22 (2).

Wishart, Hannah/HW (2013) Criminal Culpability, Criminal Attempts and the Erosion of the Choice Theory. Journal of Criminal Law, 77. pp. 78-90.

Wishart, Hannah/HW (2012) Was the Abolition of the Doctrine of Doli Incapax Necessary? United Kingdom Student Law Review, 1 (2). pp. 50-63.

Conference or Workshop Item

Wishart, Hannah/HW (2017) Mismatched Legal Distinctions, Adolescent Mens Rea and Immaturity. In: Annual School of Law PGR Conference, University of Manchester, Manchester.

Wishart, Hannah/HW (2017) Mismatched Legal Distinctions, Adolescent Mens Rea and Immaturity. In: Annual British Society of Criminology Conference, Sheffield Hallam University.

Wishart, Hannah/HW (2017) Taking Legal Assumptions about the Responsibility of Adolescents Seriously. In: Annual Socio-Legal Studies Association Conference, Newcastle University.

Wishart, Hannah/HW (2015) Neuroscience, Culpability and the Status of the Adolescent Offender. In: Montreal Neuroethics Conference for Young Researcher, Institute de Recherché Cliniques de Montreal, Canada.


Wishart, Hannah/HW and Berryessa, Colleen (2023) Neurolaw in the Courtroom Comparative Perspectives on Vulnerable Defendants. Routledge Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice and Procedure, 1 . Routledge, London. ISBN 9781032362670 (In Press)

This list was generated on Fri Sep 22 11:37:48 2023 BST.
  • Homicide law
  • Neurolaw 
  • Youth Justice 
  • Criminal law 

Last updated 22 September 2023