Faculty of Business and Law

Swinburne Law School

Professor Tapio Lappi-Seppälä

Director of the Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy, University of Helsinki

Tapio Lappi-SeppalaTapio Lappi-Seppälä is a professor of criminal law and criminology and the director of the Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy at the University of Helsinki. The Institute conducts social-legal studies in criminology and general legal policy. The Criminological Unit undertakes research and proposes solutions to contemporary problems in the criminal justice system, including sentencing. Prior to his present position he has worked in the Ministry of Justice as counsellor of legislation and in the Academy of Finland as researcher.

In 1996 he was appointed as the director of National Research Institute of Legal Policy under the Ministry of Justice. In 2015 the institute was merged into the University of Helsinki under the name Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy.

His career covers central positions in national policy planning, as well as major contributions in cross-comparative research in crime and criminal justice policy. Former activities include the membership of the Board in the Task Force for the Penal Law Reform in Finland (1989-1999) and chairmanships and memberships of several committees including the working group preparing the general part of the criminal code (chairman 1993-1999), the committee preparing new prison law (member 1999-2001), and the committee reforming the juvenile sanction system (vice-chairman 2001-2003).

Lappi-Seppälä has taken actively part in international co-operation in the Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology (member of the Board 1991-1997), Council of Europe, International Penal and Penitentiary Foundation (Vice-President 2005-2008), United Nations, and in the European Society of Criminology (member of the Board 2009-2011). He has published extensively (over 250 titles in several languages) on substantive criminal law, comparative penal policy, sentencing and comparative historical analyses on crime and punishment. In 2015 Lappi-Seppälä was awarded by the American Society of Criminology’s Sellin-Glueck Award for his comparative research.