Doctoral theses have always had an important place in the historiography of crime, and indeed much of the discipline's most influential research has emerged from postgraduate study. For many years, the investigation of crime and justice in Britain was a staple topic of doctoral research, and theses by members of E.P. Thompson's ‘Warwick School’ had a shaping influence on the early debates of the discipline. In the British context, these early debates were concerned with questions about who could access the law and the extent to which the courts were used to enforce the values of particular social groups. More recently, scholars have given an increased amount of attention to the influence of newspaper reporting on perceptions of crime, and on the importance of printed accounts of crimes, trials and executions as texts which represented the function and effectiveness of the law in particular ways. Furthermore, over the last few decades our knowledge of policing and punishment in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe has greatly expanded, providing important insights into two very important aspects of the judicial process.