Ekow N. Yankah

Professor of Law


B.A. 1997, University of Michigan;
J.D. 2000, Columbia University;
B.C.L. 2002, Oxford University

Areas of Expertise

Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure
Election Law


Professor Yankah hold degrees from the University of Michigan, Columbia Law School and Oxford University.  His work focuses on questions of criminal theory and punishment and political theory and particularly, questions political obligation and its interaction with justifications of punishment.  His work has appeared in law review articles and peer reviewed legal theory journals and books including NOMOS, Ratio Juris, Law and Philosophy, Criminal Law and Philosophy and the Illinois Law Review.  He has been a visiting fellow at the Israeli Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), a Visiting Professor of Law at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya and a Distinguished Visiting Faculty Member at the University of Toronto School of Law.

He has been recognized numerous times by his students for his dedication to teaching; most recently he was awarded the Cardozo Alumni of the Year Award by Cardozo BALLSA, becoming the first non-Cardozo graduate or faculty member to be recognized.  His interests have also led him to develop expertise in voting rights and election law and he serves as the co-chair of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, the voting rights arm of the New York Democratic party and the coordinating arm of the DNC believed to be the largest voting rights group in the country.  He sits on the Board of the Innocence Project and was awarded as an Advocate of Justice (2017) and has served on the Board of the American Constitution Society (NY Chapter).  He maintains a public presence writing for publications spanning The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Huffington Post, among others, and has been a regular commentator on criminal law issues on television and radio including MSNBC, BBC, BBC International, PBS and NPR. 



Criminal Law, Race and Equality in Palgrave Handbook on Applied Ethics and the Criminal Law (forthcoming 2018)

Stitching Us Back Together - Duties to Repair and Legal Obligations.  Symposium on Thomas Shelby’s Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform in _ Crim. Law and Phil. _ (forthcoming 2018)

Policing and The Polity in Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Criminal Procedure (forthcoming 2018)

A Republican Vision of Policing: Policing and Franchise, in The Challenge of Policing in America: Security, Dignity, Democracy (forthcoming Cambridge University Press 2018)

The Common Good and Political Legitimacy, _ NOMOS _ (forthcoming 2017)

Book Review:  The Failure of “Rights” in Racial Justice: Comments on From Slave Abuse to Hate Crime by Ely Aaronson, 14 Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 192 (2017)

Facing Terror Together: Public Agents and Civic Worth, 2 Critical Analysis of Law 244 (2015)

Republican Responsibility in Criminal Law.  9 Crim. Law and Phil. 457 (2015)

Legal Vices and Civic Virtue.  7 Crim. Law and Phil.  61 (2012)

Reprinted in Aristotle and the Philosophy of Law: Theory, Practice and Justice (Ius Gentinum: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice) (Eds. Liesbeth Huppes-Cluysenaer & Nuno M.M.S. Coelho) (forthcoming 2013)

When Justice Can’t Be Done: The Obligation to Govern and Rights in the State of Terror.  31 Law and Phil. 643 (2012)

Book Review: Crime, Freedom and Civic Bonds: Arthur Ripstein’s Force and Freedom. 6 Crim. Law and Phil. 255 (2012)

Liberal Virtue in Law, Virtue and Justice (Alalia Amaya and Ho Hock Lai eds.; Oxford: Hart Publications) (with reply by Anthony Duff) (2011)

A Paradox in Overcriminalization. 14 New Criminal Law Review 1 (2011)

Book Review: Peter de Marneffe, Liberalism and Prostitution, in Notre Dame Philosophical Review (2010)

Virtue’s Domain. 2009 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1167 (2009)

The Law of Duty and the Virtue of Justice.  27 Crim. Just. Ethics 67 (2008) (symposium including Anthony Duff, Jeff McMahan, Andrew Von Hirsch and Andrew Ashworth; reply by George Fletcher)

The Force of Law: The Role of Coercion in Legal Normativity.  42 U. Rich. L. Rev. 1195 (2008)

Good Guys and Bad Guys: Punishing Character, Equality and the Irrelevance of Moral Character to Criminal Punishment.  25 Cardozo L. Rev. 1019 (2004)