Major gift establishes new professorship in Penal Theory and Ethics

Major gift establishes new professorship in Penal Theory and Ethics

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The University's Institute of Criminology is pleased to announce the establishment of a Professorship in Penal Theory and Ethics following a generous donation from Professor Andreas von Hirsch.  

I wanted a new chair which emphasises normative concerns of fairness rather than merely trying to maximise crime preventive concerns.

Professor Andreas von Hirsch

The creation of this professorship is an important moment in the Institute’s history, which reflects its long-standing commitment to penal theory and ethics. 

Andreas von Hirsch, Honorary Professor of Penal Theory and Penal Law at the University of Cambridge, is a legal philosopher and penal theorist and the founding Director of the Centre for Penal Theory and Ethics at the Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge. He is also an Honorary Fellow of  Wolfson College

Commenting on the gift, Director of the Institute of Criminology, Loraine Gelsthorpe said: ‘We are incredibly grateful for Professor von Hirsch's generosity in supporting this professorship. The new professor, when in post, will undoubtedly make valuable contribution to wide debates on penal theory and ethics.’

Andreas von Hirsch has also been Adjunct Professor of Penology in the Law Faculty of the Uppsala University, Sweden. He holds an honorary doctorate of laws from Uppsala University, and an LL.D. from Cambridge University. In 2007, von Hirsch was named Honorary Professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Frankfurt, Germany, where he is founder and director of a research centre dedicated to penal theory entitled Forschungsstelle für Strafrechtstheorie und Strafrechtsethik. Since 2018, von Hirsch has also held the honorary title of Emeritus Professor of the Rosario University in Bogotá-Colombia

Notable publications include:

  • A. von Hirsch, (1985), Doing Justice: The Choice of Punishments, Northeastern University Press;
  • A. von Hirsch, D. Garland, & A. Wakefield (eds) (2000), Ethical and Social Issues in Situational Crime Prevention, Oxford: Hart Publications;
  • A. von Hirsch, J. Roberts, A.E. Bottoms et al. (2003) (eds), Restorative Justice and Criminal Justice: Competing or Reconcilable Paradigms?  Oxford: Hart Publications;
  • A. von Hirsch and A. P. Simester (eds) (2006), Incivilities: Regulating Offensive Behaviour;
  • J.V. Roberts and A. von Hirsch (eds) (2010), Previous Convictions at Sentencing; Oxford: Hart Publishing;
  • A. von Hirsch with Andrew Simester (2011), Crimes, Harms, and Wrongs: On the Principles of Criminalisation, Oxford: Hart Publishing;
  • A. von Hirsch, (2017), Deserved Criminal Sentences, Oxford: Hart Publications. 


For further information, please contact:

Clare Gordon

Associate Director — Humanities and Social Sciences

This opportunity is part of

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The Faculty of Law hosts specialists in almost every aspect of English law and its history, the laws of other countries (especially European), European Community law, public and private international law, Roman law, legal philosophy, and criminology. At any one time around 6% of Cambridge undergraduates are reading law.