Criminal Justice Abroad

My wife and I arrived in London yesterday morning, where we will be spending the fall semester. In addition to serving as the faculty director for UNC’s honors study abroad program, I will be teaching an undergraduate course on criminal law and justice. Assuming I’ve done it right, below are pictures of the entrance to our home away from home for the next four months, UNC’s Winston House on Bedford Square in central London.


I am thrilled to have this opportunity—not just the chance to live for a short while in this amazing place but also the ability to step back from my day-to-day criminal law work and take a broader look at the challenges facing our criminal justice system. Getting ready for the fall, I’ve already been struck by both the similarities and differences between the U.S. and U.K. systems.

I am excited to hear the perspectives of the exceptional UNC students in the program, 25 in all and 16 in my criminal law and justice class. I fully expect they will challenge our assumptions and practices, some venerated, some merely entrenched.

I will blog each Thursday about our criminal law adventures in London. We will take advantage of our presence in the heart of England to explore iconic ideas, events, and places in British criminal justice and use them as a jumping off point for our discussions about poverty, race, mental health, and other challenges in both the U.S. and U.K.

I want to close this short post (shorter than several I’ve written, perhaps because I’m still jet lagged) by thanking my colleagues at the School of Government. Without their support, I would not be able to take this time away.

We kick off the course next week with an up-close viewing of an original Magna Carta, the source of many of our rights and just a few short blocks away at the British Library.


5 thoughts on “Criminal Justice Abroad”

  1. Glad to hear you’ve got this great adventure ahead. Always interested to see how our cousins across the pond do things better/worse/same than us.

  2. John,

    For years our organization has enjoyed your guidance and expertise in criminal law we can understand- since we are a criminal justice reform organization who work with people incarcerated in NC along with the families of the incarcerated and advocated for ten years for oversight to our prison system due to the abuse inside NC prisons is systemic and inhumane- should you have the opportunity to learn about the UKs IMB (Independent Monitoring Board) as system used to provide prison facility oversight, please share- Many thanks for all you do- NC-CURE


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