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Sydney Institute of Criminology

An internationally recognised research centre

Our experts are pioneering a multidisciplinary, critical approach to criminology, criminal law and criminal justice.

The Sydney Institute of Criminology is an internationally recognised research centre of criminological, criminal law and criminal justice expertise. Positioned within the University of Sydney Law School, the institute’s members are strategically positioned to apply their collective crimino-legal experience in the critical analysis of contemporary practice and policy, with a particular focus on progressing social justice and law reform.

The institute represents a matrix of excellence in research, teaching and industry engagement.

Established more than 50 years ago, the institute draws upon a rich archive of criminological research and long-term relationships with key stakeholders from criminal justice agencies, law enforcement, law reform, the legal profession and judiciary.

Such a deep knowledge bank provides a platform for the institute to be a hub for 21st century research in some of today's most pressing issues, including:

  • technologies in criminal procedure
  • technologies in policing and law enforcement
  • technologies as emergent conduits for crime and anti-social behaviour
  • policing, crime prevention and public safety initiatives
  • hate crime and cyber-racism
  • wrongful convictions and corrections and punishment

Members of the institute contribute diverse and comprehensive perspectives founded upon their academic and professional engagement with multiple disciplines: law, sociology, psychology, gender studies and visual media.

Such multidisciplinary capabilities ensure original and innovative research and thorough and rigorous approaches to criminal justice research, practice, policy and debate. 

Our strong commitment to research and social justice values underpins the teaching of criminology and related legal subjects such as criminal law and procedure, evidence and punishment.

Criminology, offered to undergraduate and postgraduate students, is taught using innovative methods that connect criminological theories with the real world.

Higher degree research candidates have the opportunity to be supervised by our team of outstanding scholars. The institute also provides mentorship to criminology/criminal law students.

Through our interdisciplinary criminological research, we seek to have real-world impact and influence by engaging with criminal justice agencies, legal professionals, the judiciary and law reform bodies.

The institute aims to serve industry and the broader community via the Hate Crime Network resources, our weekly CrimNet newsletter and our series of public seminars.

In 2016 the Sydney Institute of Criminology celebrated 50 years of innovative and critical criminological, criminal law and criminal justice research, teaching and community engagement.

For more information on the events and celebrations around the 50th anniversary, please download the following documents:

Associate members

Current Issues in Criminal Justice is our prestigious peer-reviewed international journal that provides a forum for contemporary academic debate from leading experts.

In addition, institute members publish and present their research outputs in high-quality international journals, research monographs, texts and conference proceedings and contribute to media analysis of current crimino-legal matters.

CrimNet is a fortnightly electronic criminal justice e-newsletter, sponsored by the Sydney Institute of Criminology. It provides regular communication between criminal justice professionals, academics and students in Australia and overseas.

Subscribe to the CrimNet newsletter.

If you would like to advertise a publication, event or job opportunity in CrimNet, please email us at

CrimNet digest

To access previous editions of CrimNet please contact the Sydney Institute of Criminology.

A primary objective of the institute is to lead, stimulate and contribute to public debate and education. It continues its proud tradition of hosting seminars and events involving an array of world renowned and local experts. Sponsored seminar series and the Professional Development Program contribute to the institute's calendar of events.

If you would like to receive information on jobs, events, reports and research in criminology, criminal law and criminal justice, sign up to CrimNet by emailing us at  

Visit our events calendar for all upcoming events

Sponsored seminars

We value the contributions and commitment of our partner organisations that support our public seminars and events.

  • Beyond Punishment, Corrective Services NSW: Since 2002 Corrective Services NSW has sponsored the Beyond Punishment seminar series established as a forum for research presentations, lectures, panel discussions and formal networking. This program focuses on key issues relevant to criminal justice and the correctional systems.
  • Juvenile Justice Seminar Series: We are pleased to announce the renewal of the Juvenile Justice seminar program sponsored by Juvenile Justice NSW. The seminar series began in 2010 and is a key element of Juvenile Justice’s community engagement program, which aims to better educate the public on aspects of the juvenile justice system. 

Centre for Continuing Education

The Centre for Continuing Education and the Sydney Institute of Criminology hold courses throughout the year aimed at criminal justice practitioners, students and others. The Centre for Continuing Education courses focus on delivering practical and applied learning opportunities. 

Publicising events

Other organisations are encouraged to submit information about upcoming criminology events, so that we may publicise them through CrimNet. 

Internships are offered periodically and will be advertised in the law student newsletter. For more information on internships, visit Resources - Sydney Law Students (in Canvas).

Our leadership team

Carolyn McKay

Dr Carolyn McKay, Co-Director

Areas of interest

  • Crime and criminal justice
  • Technologies in justice / digital criminology
  • Prisons and penology
  • Visual criminology
  • Surveillance and policing
  • Interdisciplinary research methodologies.

Visit Dr McKay's academic profile.

Andrew Dyer

Andrew Dyer, Co-Director

Areas of interest

  • Criminal Law doctrine
  • Criminal Law theory
  • Sentencing
  • Human/constitutional rights law
  • Free speech law

Visit Mr Dyer's academic profile.

Dr Helen Paterson

Dr Helen Paterson, Deputy Director

Areas of interest

  • Social and cognitive psychology in legal settings
  • Trauma, memory and psychological wellbeing
  • Techniques in capturing eyewitness evidence
  • Detection of deception

Visit Dr Paterson's academic profile.

Dr Allan McCay, Deputy Director

Areas of interest

  • Neuroethics, neurolaw, behavioural genetics and crime 
  • Legal and ethical issues relating to emerging technologies
  • Criminal responsibility and free will
  • Artificial intelligence and brain-computer interfaces

Visit Dr McCay's profile.

Contact details

  • Law School Building (F10) Eastern Avenue, Camperdown Campus The University of Sydney NSW 2006 AUSTRALIA
Media enquiries
Please direct media enquiries to the University of Sydney Media and PR team:

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