Christopher Harding obituary

·2-min read

My brother, Chris Harding, who has died aged 70, had a long academic career in the department of law and criminology at Aberystwyth University, first as a lecturer in European law and from 1995 as professor of law. He published a large body of work on legal, criminological and historical subjects, including research on EU criminal law and policy such as the legal control and criminology of business cartels.

Chris was the eldest of four children and grew up in Shepperton, Middlesex, with his parents, Irene (nee Hook), a seamstress, and Tony Harding, a toolmaker, and three sisters. He attended Hampton grammar school (now Hampton school) and in time met his future wife, Jenny (nee Horsnell), who attended the neighbouring girls’ grammar school.

He then started his move westward – first to study for a BA in jurisprudence at University College, University of Oxford, where he discovered a passion for criminal jurisprudence and penal theory, and then to the University of Exeter, for more specialist postgraduate work in the newly emergent field of European law.

This led to a full-time academic post at Aberystwyth University in mid-Wales, in what was, in the mid-1970s, quite an idiosyncratic law school. Looking back at that time, Chris described himself as “something of a new species of academic, with the opportunity to carry out some pioneering work in what proved to be a stimulating environment”. Chris and Jenny married in 1974.

Chris had a passion for writing, often in collaboration with others, and his many books, edited works and research papers ranged from texts on EEC competition law and EU criminal law to historical texts on criminal justice. His specialist field in recent years was the normative, social scientific and cultural aspects of the interrelation between individuals and groups and organisations, both historically and in contemporary society, and at national, European and international levels.

He once said: “As time went on, I found it harder to describe, categorise or label myself, in both professional and personal terms, but ending up as a researcher and writer seems about right.”

In his spare time Chris enjoyed cycling, listening to music, reading and painting the odd watercolour. He loved travelling and so it was fortuitous that his research and writing interests took him to numerous European countries.

He also loved mid-Wales, where he and Jenny raised their three daughters, Nicola, Laura and Anna. He felt it was one of the best places to live, and that his time there had enabled him to meet and work with talented and interesting people.

Chris is survived by Jenny, their daughters, Nicola, Laura and Anna, and grandchildren, Siskin, Teal, Gaspard, Henrietta and Penelope, and by his sisters, Val, Diane and me.

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