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Dr Gary Betts

Head of School

College of Business and Law

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Dr Gary Betts is Head of Coventry Law School, and provides strategic leadership across all of the School’s areas of activity. He has extensive and varied experience of teaching Law at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has a keen interest in innovation in legal education, particularly around assessment practices, and has designed and developed a number of innovative courses and modules in law. Gary teaches on the LLB Law programme and is recognised as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Career Overview

Prior to taking up his current position as Head of School, Gary has held various positions within the Law School. He was the LLB Law Course Director before becoming Associate Professor in Law and Associate Head of School in 2016. During this time, Gary was responsible for teaching, learning and assessment, and the wider student experience across the School. He then became Deputy Head of School in 2020.


Dr Betts researches in the areas of criminal law and sentencing. In particular, he is interested in sentencing policy and the use of judicial discretion in sentencing. He has written on the courts’ application of sentencing guidelines, the relevance of previous convictions on sentencing decisions, and the criminal liability of corporations.

External Activities

Dr Betts is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He sits on both the Council and the Legal Education sub-committee of the Society of Legal Scholars, and is a member of the Socio-legal Studies Association, British Society of Criminology, and Association of Law Teachers

Publications and Press

Selected publication:

  • Betts G, ‘The Principle of Fair Labelling’ Elgar Encyclopedia of Crime and Criminal Justice (2022)
  • Betts G & Kaur J, ‘Maintaining Academic Standards and Protecting Student Interests in UK Law Schools Following Covid-19’ (2021) 3(1) Journal of Ethics and Legal Technologies 73-94
  • Betts G, ‘Robbery and the Principle of Fair Labelling’ (2019) 83(3) Journal of Criminal Law 205
  • Betts G, ‘Sentencing Very Large Corporations’: R v Merlin Attractions (2016) Journal of Criminal Law 403
  • Betts G, ‘Rethinking Robbery: A Plea for Fair Labelling’ (2016) 21(2) Coventry Law Journal 102
  • Betts G, ‘The Impact of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 on Theft and the Custody Threshold’ (2015) 54(2) Howard Journal of Criminal Justice 176
  • Betts G, ‘The Role of Proportionality in Sentencing Repeat Theft Offenders’ (2015) 13(3) Contemporary Issues in Law 155
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