Robina names Brown, Chiao 2014 Visiting Scholars

Posted Date: December 2, 2013

The Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice has chosen Elizabeth Brown of Niagara University and Vincent Chiao of the University of Toronto as the Robina Visiting Scholars for spring 2014. Both Brown and Chiao will be in residence at the Law School in April 2014.

The purpose of the Robina Visiting Scholars program is to help younger scholars pursue research projects that connect with the Institute’s work and purposes. Visiting Scholars engage with the Institute’s activities; they have an office and access to the Institute’s administrative resources and the libraries; and they are able to discuss their projects with the Institute’s members and other scholars in the Law School and in other departments.

“We look forward to welcoming these two impressive scholars to the Robina Institute,” said Antony Duff, the Russell M. and Elizabeth M. Bennett Chair in Excellence in the Law School and one of the Institute’s directors. “Their projects connect closely with the Institute’s work and address some of the key issues that confront anyone who seeks to rethink, and to improve, our existing criminal justice policies and practices.”

Brown is assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice at Niagara University. Her research explores why incarceration practices vary among U.S. states, and also vary within states over time.

“I am looking forward to sharing my research and collaborating with faculty, staff, and students during my time in residence,” Brown said. “My research focuses on explaining variations in patterns of punishment across U.S. states over time, and I believe the Robina Institute is the ideal forum for considering this interdisciplinary work. I am confident that my research, which has far-reaching implications for reforming criminal justice practices, will be strengthened by input from the innovative and distinguished scholars at the Robina Institute.”

Chiao is assistant professor of law at the University of Toronto. He works in criminal law theory, and his current research examines different conceptions of the criminal law’s role in a liberal democratic society. He will work closely with Duff and will focus on two projects while in the Twin Cities.

“The first deals with criminalization in the age of the administrative state, and considers the possibility that content-based ‘limits’ on the criminal law are neither possible nor perhaps even desirable in this institutional context,” Chiao said. “The second is an attempt to bring republican political theory to bear on institutional design in criminal justice, with a special focus on police and prosecutorial discretion.”

“I’m particularly looking forward to the opportunity to learn from the extraordinary roster of leading criminologists, sentencing experts and historians affiliated with the Robina Institute,” he added. “Building these connections seems to me to be particularly important at this early stage of my career, so I’m really very grateful for this opportunity.”

Past Robina Visiting Scholars have included Kieran McCartan (spring 2013), a senior lecturer in criminology at the University of the West of England; and Nicole Vincent (spring 2012), who is now an associate professor of philosophy, law, and neuroscience at Georgia State University.

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