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Prof Tim Wilson


Department: Northumbria Law School

Tim Wilson’s academic interests and funded research include the governance of forensic bioinformation, the role and organisation of forensic science and medicine, transnational offending, international criminal justice cooperation and institutions, criminal justice resource allocation and marketization within the criminal justice system.

The focus of these collaboratively conducted inquiries is how various interfaces between law, ethics, science and medicine, geography, economics and politics evolve as a result of (a) increasing globalisation within societies and (b) exposure to rapid technological development. More recently he has become involved in parliamentary, professional and academic deliberations about the consequences for criminal justice of Brexit.

Since joining the University Professor Wilson has worked with colleagues in developing a multidisciplinary programme of research (resulting in grant income of approximately 600,000) funded by the European Commission and various research councils, including ESRC. This has covered aspects of international criminal justice cooperation involving forensic biometrics and has now been extended to the policing of part of the Dark Web.

As well as being a frequent contributor at national and international academic conferences and meetings, Professor Wilson is committed to sharing insights from his research in public engagement. In January 2017 he was invited together with Francis FitzGibbon QC, Chair, Criminal Bar Association and Michael Gray, Chair, the Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association to give oral evidence to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee’s inquiry on Implications of Brexit for the justice system (The Committee’s report can be accessed at Some of the issues discussed at the hearing had been covered earlier in a chapter about international forensic science cooperation commissioned for the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser’s 2015 Annual Report Forensic Science and Beyond: Authenticity, Provenance and Assurance: Evidence and Case Studies.

Professor Wilson joined the School of Law in September 2012 and is a member of Northumbria Centre for Evidence and Criminal Justice Studies (NCECJS).

Previously he was Professor of Forensic Sciences and Public Policy in the former School of Life Sciences of Northumbria University. He has also served as the lay chair of the Home Office sponsored Forensic Pathology Disciplinary Committee and for several years was a Visiting Fellow at the PEALS (Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences) research centre at Newcastle University.

Professor Wilson was made a Fellow of the Forensic Science Society (now the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences) in 2011. He is a member of the European Criminal Law Association (UK) and the Socio-Legal Studies Association.

Prior to his academic career Professor Wilson was a member of the Senior Civil Service. After graduating (with the Joseph Hamwee Prize) in history from Aberystwyth and joining the Civil Service Fast Stream he undertook a wide variety of policy work, mainly in the Home Office, relating to criminal justice issues, including resource management, criminal justice infrastructure development, and forensic science and pathology. His international experience included serving as an adviser on criminal justice infrastructure procurement in South Africa during the Mandela presidency and a secondment to the ILO (International labour Organisation) for an EU funded transition programme in Russia.

He has given oral evidence on several occasions to select committees at Westminster and has briefed parliamentary delegations from France, Russia, South Africa and Japan on criminal justice and public infrastructure issues. He has lectured on six continents at events organised by the FCO, DFID, the British Council, the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, universities, business schools, a Canadian think tank and commercial bodies such as Adam Smith Conferences.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • EU-UK criminal justice and security cooperation after Brexit: A Perspective, Wilson, T. 2021, In: Forensic Science International: Synergy
  • Over-optimistic and over-sold: The UK ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) system, Wilson, T. 14 Jun 2021
  • Prisoner Transfer within the Irish-UK Common Travel Area (CTA) after Brexit: human rights between politics and penal reform, Wilson, T. 1 Apr 2021, In: The Journal of Criminal Law
  • A comparative Analysis of Anglo-Dutch approaches to “cyber policing”: checks and balances fit for purpose?, Brants, C., Jackson, A., Wilson, T. Oct 2020, In: The Journal of Criminal Law
  • Collaborative justice and harm reduction in cyberspace: policing indecent child images, Wilson, T. 1 Oct 2020, In: The Journal of Criminal Law
  • New Wine in Old Bottles: Alternative Narratives of Cybercrime and Criminal Justice?, Brants, C., Johnson, D., Wilson, T. 1 Oct 2020, In: The Journal of Criminal Law
  • Police functional adaptation to the digital or post digital age: discussions with cybercrime experts, Johnson, D., Faulkner, E., Meredith, G., Wilson, T. 1 Oct 2020, In: The Journal of Criminal Law
  • Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and Forensic Science, Wilson, T., Carr, S. 4 Feb 2019, Brexit and Internal Security, UK, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Not quite anyone's guess: Brexit, forensic science and legal medicine, Wilson, T. 1 Feb 2019, In: Journal of Forensic Science and Legal Medicine
  • The Impact of Brexit on the future of UK forensic science and technology, Wilson, T. Sep 2019, In: Forensic Science International

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History BA (Hons) September 01 1969

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