Richard Taylor

Prof. Richard Taylor

Professor of English Law

School of Law and Social Science

Harris Building HB205

+44 (0) 1772 89 3069

Subject Areas: Law

Professor Richard Taylor was Head of Lancashire Law School for 14 years and is Professor of English Law. He is the founding contributor, since 1991, of six major chapters on substantive criminal law  to Blackstone's Criminal Practice (published annually by OUP and in daily use in the Criminal Courts) and is also co-author of Contract Law Directions (OUP) 7th edition 2019. He is President of the Society of Legal Scholars for 2018-19, the learned society for  university lawyers in the United Kingdom and Ireland which has a membership of 3,000.

Full Profile

Professor Richard Taylor studied law at Oxford University (M.A.) and the London School of Economics (LL.M.) and qualified for the Bar before joining the Law School at the University of Central Lancashire. He has written numerous books and articles on copyright, criminal law and the law of contract and co-authored a series of books on key new legal developments. These commenced with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act of 1988 and included a series of four books on the Criminal Justice legislation of the 1990's culminating in a further book on the Criminal Justice Act of 2003 (for OUP).

Richard is also the co-author of an innovative textbook on contract law, the first to be published by Oxford University Press in 2007 in their “Directions” series and written in an approachable style very much with students in mind and which has been well received both by students and lecturers (now in its 7th edition 2019).

He is the  founding contributor, since 1991, of six chapters on substantive criminal law  to Blackstone's Criminal Practice (published annually by OUP and in daily use in the Criminal Courts), his ongoing work in which has been cited with approval on several occasions in the Court of Appeal in decisions which have made new law. These contributions include significant chapters on Homicide, Parties, Defences, Mens Rea and others.  A member of the UK Funding Councils’ Law Panel for the 1996 and 2001 Research Assessment Exercises, he has given invited papers or lectured at many different universities and institutes in Europe and further afield including in Hong Kong, Montreal, New Delhi and Manila. He has been an external examiner for the Bar Vocational Course and for a wide range of academic courses in Universities both in the UK and abroad and has been a visiting Professor at the University of Poitiers.  He is also an accredited mediator.

Richard has previously been a member of the Executive Committee of Heads of University Law Schools and a member of the Steering Committee of the National Centre for Legal Education and an external member of the Academic Quality Council and Academic Board, of the College of Law (2003 to 2009). He is currently an independent member of the Academic Council of BPP University.  From 2009 to 2011, he was the Chair of the Legal Education Committee of the Society of Legal Scholars, which is the Learned Society for University Lawyers in the UK and Ireland with approximately 3000 members. From October 2011 to December 2016, he was the Hon. Secretary of the Society.  He was  elected as Vice President of the Society for 2017/18 and is  President of the Society for 2018/19.

In addition to the nine different books of which he is an author, Richard’s significant journal publications include:

Expectation Reliance and Misrepresentation, (1982) 45 Modern Law Review 139
Complicity and Excuses, [1983] Criminal Law Review 656
An Impossible Reappearance, (1983) 46 Modern Law Review 777
Exclusive Conspiracies, (1984) 100 Law Quarterly Review 363
A Criminal Result (with G Stephenson), (1985) 48 Modern Law Review 340
Distinctive Conspiracies, (1987) 103 Law Quarterly Review 14
By Accident or Design, (1990) European Intellectual Property Review 33 (Reprinted in Readings In Intellectual Property, Firth Lane & Smyth eds,  Sweet and Maxwell, 1998)
Jury Unanimity in Homicide, 2001 Criminal Law Review 283 (adopted in Appendix H of Law Commission Consultation Paper on Murder, December 2005)
 “The Nature of Partial Excuses and the Coherence of Second Degree Murder (2007 Criminal Law Review, 345)
Procuring, Causation, Innocent Agency and the Law Commission (2008 Crim LR 32)
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (with David Ormerod) 2008 Criminal Law
 Law Review 589

Further outputs are listed under the publications heading to the right.

Richard has been a Professor of  Law since 1990 and was Head of Lancashire Law  School from 1991-2005 despite which he has managed to retain a healthy sense of humour (of necessity, perhaps, as a Blackburn Rovers supporter) and he continues to nurture a persistent delusion that he can still play competitive tennis and also reduce his golf handicap.

Richard was until  2016 Director of Research in the Law School and continues now as Professor of English Law. He also sits part time as a first tier tribunal judge.  As a native of Lancashire, he has a personal commitment to, and takes great pleasure in, the continued growth and successful development of the School of Law and Social Science as a nationally and internationally respected centre of high quality legal education.  He is delighted to be able to continue to contribute to its development and to have the honour of bringing the prestigious Society of Legal Scholars Annual Conference to the University and its Law School in Preston at the conclusion of his year as President of the Society in September 2019 when the Society will be celebrating its 110th year.


‘Complicity, Legal Scholarship and the Law of Unintended Consequences’, 2009 (29) Legal Studies, 1-18, which won the Best Paper Prize at the Society of Legal Scholars 2008 Annual Conference at the LSE.

“The Model of Tolerance and Self- Restraint” in “Loss of Control and Diminished Responsibility”, (Reed & Bohlander ed) (Ashgate, Dec 2011).

“The Role of Aggravated Offences in Combating Hate Crime – 15 years after the CDA 1998 – Time for a change?” (2014 Contemporary Issues in Law 76), which was copiously cited in the Law Commission Report on Hate Crime (2014) and has been frequently cited in the subsequent literature.

“The Contours of Involuntary Manslaughter – A Place for Unlawful Act by Omission” (2019 Criminal Law Review 205).

President 2018-2019 Society of Legal Scholars.