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Professor Sparks receives honorary doctorate from KU Leuven

Wed 1 May 2019


On 25th April, Professor Richard Sparks of the Edinburgh Law School was awarded an honorary doctorate by the KU Leuven Faculty of Law.

Prof Sparks was recommended for this honour in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the further development and institutionalisation of criminology in Europe and beyond, and his key role in stimulating reflection and debate on the role and function of criminology in contemporary democracies. 

Rector of KU Leuven, Prof. Dr. Luc Sels, stated that Prof Sparks’ “work on crime and insecurity, on prisons and punishment, as well as on the place of crime and punishment and the role of knowledge in democratic debate have been exemplary for what criminology, at its best, is able to achieve. Moreover, [his] personal academic career demonstrates, and serves as an example to all of us, how attention for theory, empirical research, as well as service to the university and society at large can be reconciled in one person. Taken together, [his] contributions to both academia and public debate therefore warrant our University’s highest honour.”

Richard Sparks is Professor of Criminology at the University of Edinburgh. From 2014-17 he was Head of the School of Law and from 2006-16 he was a founding Co-Director of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research. He is a member of the editorial board of several international journals including Punishment & Society, of which he was editor-in-chief 2000-2004.