Criminal Law Expert to Speak During UA Law Lecture Series

Former UA faculty member Bernard E. Harcourt, who is now a professor at the University of Chicago, will speak at the law school this month.
Feb. 18, 2009
What: 
Darrow K. Soll Memorial Criminal Law and Justice Lecture
When: 
Thursday, Feb. 26, 3 p.m.
Where: 
UA Rogers College of Law, Room 126
Bernard E. Harcourt has published extensively on topics related to criminal law, mass incarceration and the sociology of punishment. Credit: (Bernard E. Harcourt)
Bernard E. Harcourt has published extensively on topics related to criminal law, mass incarceration and the sociology of punishment. Credit: (Bernard E. Harcourt)

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law is hosting criminal law expert Bernard E. Harcourt as part of a lecture series this month.

Harcourt, the Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and political science professor at the University of Chicago, will give the Darrow K. Soll Memorial Criminal Law and Justice Lecture at the law school on Feb. 26.

His 3 p.m. lecture, "Neoliberal Penality: The Birth of Natural Order, the Illusion of Free Markets," is free and open to the public and will be held in Room 164 of the law school, which is located at 1201 E. Speedway Blvd. Visit the College of Law's registration page to sign up to attend the event.

In a working paper first published in October then revised last month under the same title, Harcourt wrote about issues related to market regulation and efficiency, the sociology of punishment and the practice of mass incarceration.

He seeks to "question the meaning of the phrase 'the need for the regulation of the free market' and to suggest that it is precisely the belief in the duality of those two terms - regulation and free market - that is one of the greatest problems we face today," Harcourt noted in the article's abstract, which was published by the Social Science Research Network.

Harcourt referenced the recession, federal bailouts, the question of how to organize markets and other challenges, arguing that such instances are "forcing the American people to reexamine the need for the regulation of the free market."

Also the director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Chicago, Harcourt's research has focused on issues related to of crime and punishment, both from an empirical and also a social theoretic perspective.

He has published numerous books, including "Against Prediction: Profiling, Policing and Punishing in an Actuarial Age" and "Language of the Gun: Youth, Crime and Public Policy."

Harcourt earned his bachelor's degree in political science at Princeton University and holds his law degree and a doctorate degrees in political science from Harvard University.

After law school, Harcourt clerked for the Hon. Charles S. Haight Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. He later moved to Alabama, to represent death row inmates on direct appeal, in state post-conviction, in federal habeas corpus and at retrial.

Harcourt practiced at the Equal Justice Initiative and has continued to represent several death row inmates pro bono since that time. He also served on human rights missions to South Africa and Guatemala.

He was a member of UA law faculty from 1998 through 2001. During his years as a professor, Harcourt has been a visiting professor at law schools at Harvard, New York University, Université Paris X and Université Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III.