Author of criminal law bible profiled in Mail Online as relationship guru

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By Katie King on

Jonathan Herring — of ‘Criminal Law: Texts, Cases and Materials’ fame — has diversified


A top Oxford law academic and textbook author has turned his hand to relationship advice, with his skills feted in the Mail Online.

Students may be surprised to discover that Jonathan Herring, the author of law school favourite ‘Criminal Law: Texts, Cases and Materials’ and fellow classic ‘Family Law’, is also behind a five-step guide to winning any argument with your partner.

Herring’s no-holds-barred guide to arguing effectively, ‘How to Argue’, draws upon experience gleaned studying squabbling couples in his academic research to help everyday people resolve domestic bust-ups.

And it turns out that Herring, a professor at Oxford University’s Exeter College, is far more than a legal geek.

Alongside his legal interests, Herring is fascinated how real-life legal disputes can provide an insight into the human psyche. Speaking at an event in 2013, he reflected:

I’m sure you’ll find, amongst some of the tedious details [of the law], some also fascinating insights into human nature and to how people are.

And what of Herring’s relationship bust-up advice itself?

To emerge triumphant from a row, it is vital, the academic states, to think about what you are going to say before you begin arguing. He notes:

Before starting an argument think carefully about what it is you are arguing about and what it is you want. This may sound obvious. But it’s critically important.

Other top tips include considering the time and place of the quarrel, and preparing a “get out” plan to ensure that the row does not end in deadlock.

Herring also suggests letting your partner do the talking for 75% of the argument, to give you time to listen, think, and construct an appropriate response. He ends by recommending that couples remain friends, regardless of past and ongoing conflict.

How would have thought that the author of ‘Criminal Law: Texts, Cases and Materials’ had such depths (or be so adorable: check him out in the video below!)?