School of Law and Politics

Professor Gerry Johnstone


Professor Gerry Johnstone

Professor of Law
Postgraduate Taught Tutor

Course Director, MA in Restorative Justice
Tel: +44 (0) 1482 46 5040
Office: 402 Wilberforce
Qualifications BA(NUI), MSc, PhD(Edin)


Gerry Johnstone joined the Law School in 1989, after completing a PhD at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Criminology and the Social and Philosophical Study of Law. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2000 and Reader in 2002 and appointed Professor of Law in 2003. He served the Law School as Head of Department (2003-2006) and has twice served the Law School as Research Director (2000-2002, 2009-2013). He is the Founding Director of the University’s MA in Restorative Justice which is taught in collaboration with the Department of Social Sciences.

Professor Johnstone is a member of the editorial team of Restorative Justice: an International Journal which commenced publication in 2013. He is a member of the European Forum for Restorative Justice and the European Society of Criminology. He has worked as a consultant for Belgian Science Policy and the Council of Europe’s Working Group on Penological Cooperation. He is a regular contributor to debates about the nature and purpose of legal education and has published journal articles and book chapters on this subject.

Professor Johnstone has served as an external examiner for law courses at a number of Universities College (University of London), Brunel University, King’s College London, and the University of Strathclyde. He is currently an external examiner at the University of Leicester and the University of Ulster and the University of Middlesex.

Selected Publications

Authored books

  • Johnstone G, Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates (2nd edn, Routledge 2011)
  • Johnstone G and Ward T, Law and Crime (Sage 2010)

Edited books

  • Clucas B, Johnstone G and Ward T (eds), Torture: Moral Absolutes and Ambiguities (Nomos 2009)
  • Johnstone G (ed) A Restorative Justice Reader (2nd edn, Routledge 2013)

Guest edited special issues of journals

  • Johnstone G and Quirk J, ‘guest editors’ (2012) 21 Special issue: Repairing Historical Wrongs, Social and Legal Studies

Journal Articles

  • Johnstone G, ‘Editorial: Towards a 'Justice Agenda' for Restorative Justice’ (2014) 2 Restorative Justice: an International Journal 115
  • Green S, Johnstone G and Lambert C, ‘Reshaping the Field: Building Restorative Capital’ (2014) 2 Restorative Justice: an International Journal 43
  • Green S, Johnstone G and Lambert C, ‘What harm, whose justice: excavating the restorative movement’ (2013) 16 Contemporary Justice Review 445
  • Johnstone G and Quirk J, ‘Repairing Historical Wrongs’ (2012) 21 Social & Legal Studies 155

Chapters in books

  • Clucas R and Johnstone G, ‘Enquiry into Learning and Teaching in the Professions: The Case of Law’ in Cleaver E, Lintern M and McLinden M (eds), Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Disciplinary Approaches to Educational Inquiry (Sage 2014)
  • Johnstone G, ‘The Teachings of Restorative Justice’ in Artinopoulou V and Gavrielides T (eds), Reconstructing the Restorative Justice Philosophy (Ashgate 2013)
  • Johnstone G, ‘The Standardization of Restorative Justice’ in Gavrielides T (ed), Rights and Restoration within Youth Justice (de Sitter 2012)



  • Johnstone G and Moore L, Talking Justice: With Gerry Johnstone and Larry Moore’ (Heartspeak Productions 2010)


The overarching aim of Gerry Johnstone’s research is to deepen our understanding of punishment and social control. He pursues this aim through interdisciplinary studies of social movements which seek to push punishment to the margins of social life and replace it with ‘alternatives’ such as penal treatment and restorative justice.

Since 2000, the focus of much of Johnstone’s work has been upon analysing the ideas, practices, and activities of the restorative justice movement. He has often worked with leaders of this movement and activists and scholars in adjacent fields (such as transitional justice, slavery studies and education) in efforts to develop restorative justice theory and explore new directions for restorative justice thought and action.

His most recent books are Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates (2nd edition) (Routledge, 2011) and A Restorative Justice Reader (2nd edition) (Routledge, 2013). Recent articles include an editorial titled “Towards a ‘Justice Agenda’ for Restorative Justice’, published in Restorative Justice: an International Journal. His books have been translated into Chinese, Japanese and Russian. He has recently completed a European Union funded Action: ‘Building Bridges: Restorative Dialogues between Victims and Offenders’, conducted in partnership with eight European partners. Johnstone is currently researching a book analysing the concept of overcriminalization.

PhD Supervision

Gerry Johnstone has supervised PhD research in the fields of restorative justice, policing, prison studies, criminal legal doctrine and repairing historical wrongs. He is currently supervising research on restorative justice in educational settings and human trafficking.

He is interested in supervising PhD research which will contribute to knowledge of criminalization, restorative justice, punishment, and social control.



  • Criminal Law (Convenor)
  • Criminalization (Convenor)


  • Principles of Restorative Justice
  • Crime, Justice and Punishment
Back to top