Professor Matthew Weait

Profile details


Director of the Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford


BA(Hons) (Cantab), MPhil (Cantab), PG Dip (City), MA (Birkbeck), DPhil (Oxon), FHEA, FAcSS, FRSPH

Matthew is Director of the Department, Professor of Law and Society, and Governing Body Fellow of Harris Manchester College. After completing his Undergraduate and Master’s studies in law and criminology at the University of Cambridge, he undertook the research for his DPhil at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies in Oxford, where he was also a Research Officer and a Stipendiary Lecturer in Law at New College. From there he moved to Birkbeck, University of London, where he was one of the founding members of the Law School. After periods as a Lecturer at the Open University and Keele University he returned to Birkbeck where, in 2011, he was promoted to Professor of Law and Policy and Pro-Vice-Master (Academic and Community Partnerships). From 2015-2020 he was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Portsmouth, and from 2020 until joining the Department he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hertfordshire.

Matthew has a longstanding commitment to promoting higher and continuing educational opportunities for non-traditional learners, and to equality, diversity, and inclusion in higher education. He has been a Governor of Morley College, Athena SWAN Champion at Portsmouth and was Senior LGBTQ+ Champion at Hertfordshire. He is a keen writer of fiction and has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck.


Matthew’s research is in the field of law and public health, in particular the impact of criminal law and criminal justice processes on people living with HIV and AIDS. He has published widely, and supervises research students, in this area and provided expert consultancy to the National AIDS Trust, the British HIV Association, the European AIDS Treatment Group, UNAIDS, and WHO (Europe). He was an advisor to the Global Commission on HIV and the Law and is the lead for law, human rights, politics, and ethics at the International AIDS Conference 2022. Matthew was called to the Bar of England and Wales as a Queen Mother Scholar of the Middle Temple in 1999, and in 2015 was elected a Bencher of the Inn, where he serves as one of the Vice-Chairs of the Education and Training Committee. In 2017 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and in 2021 to the Royal Society for Public Health.

Select publications

Kasoka K. and Weait M. (2022) ‘HIV Testing Autonomy: The Importance of Relationship Factors in HIV Testing to People in Lusaka and Chongwe, Zambia’, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, Feb 24. doi: 10.1007/s11673-022-10169-9.

Weait, M. (2020) ‘The healthcare rights of people living with HIV and AIDS’, pp. 457-470 in Ashford, C. and Maine, A. (eds), Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and Law, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Weait, M. (2019) ‘Limit Cases: How and Why We Can and Should Decriminalise HIV Transmission, Exposure, And Non-Disclosure’, Medical Law Review, 27(4) 576–596.

Weait, M. (2016), ‘HIV and the meaning of harm’, pp. 18-34 in Stanton, C. and Quirk, H. (eds), Criminalising Contagion: Legal and Ethical Challenges of Disease Transmission and the Criminal Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dodds, C., M. Weait, A. Bourne, and S. Egede (2015) ‘Keeping confidence: HIV and the criminal law from HIV service providers’ perspectives’, Critical Public Health, 25:4, 410-426.