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YOU CAN POINT to Colin Diver’s record as dean and call him a dynamic speaker, prodigious fund-raiser, and skilled leader, but two words best describe his decade-long tenure: productive and creative. Those same words fit Paul Robinson, who now calls Penn Law home.
Introducing the new holder of the Colin S. Diver Distinguished Professorship.
Robinson joined the faculty in spring 2003 from Northwestern University, where he was the Edna & Ednyfed Williams Professor of Law. Among the world’s leading criminal law scholars, Robinson is a brilliant theorist, a distinguished author, and the foremost expert on American criminal law doctrine. Considering his record, he was quite a catch.
“Penn Law already had an enviable complement of criminal law scholars,” said Dean Michael A. Fitts. “With the addition of Paul, Penn Law clearly has the best criminal law faculty in the United States.”
Robinson’s career exhibits several strands of scholarship. He has assisted in criminal code reform throughout the world, and is renowned for his Oxford monograph on criminal law, innovative coursebooks, and groundbreaking research with social scientists.
Drawing on that research, Robinson has finished a book, Law Without Justice (Oxford University Press), that explores the chasm between America’s criminal justice system and community perceptions of fairness. Using case studies, Robinson attempts to show how the United States “adopts rules that predictably or regularly produce results that are inconsistent with our notions of justice,” which he says undermine moral credibility and, in the end, compliance with the law.
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