Derk Pereboom

Derek Pereboom is Susan Linn Sage Professor of Philosophy and Stanford H. Taylor '50 Chair of the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University. He is the author of Living Without Free Will (2001) and Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life (2015) among other books. He is a leading proponent of free will skepticism and one of the foremost philosophers of agency. His research interests include free will, philosophy of mind, and the history of modern philosophy. 

  • Are the arguments for free will skepticism valid?
  • Are there good reasons (philosophical or practical) for abandoning retributive punishment? 
  • Can non-retributive approaches to punishment adequately deal with criminal behavior?
  • What specific non-retributive programs could be introduced to reduce offending?
  • Are legal assumptions concerning free will and retribution conceptually coherent? Are they justified?


Elizabeth Shaw is a Lecture at the University of Aberdeen School of Law. She received her LLM by research (on the topic of the criminal responsibility of psychopaths) and LLB from Aberdeen University. She undertook her PhD at Edinburgh University on the implications of free will skepticism for the criminal justice system and successfully defended her thesis in November 2013. Her research interests are interdisciplinary, involving criminal law, philosophy and neuroscience.


The network was founded by Elizabeth Shaw, who organized the first Justice Without Retribution Conference at the University of Aberdeen, April 2-3, 2015. The University of Aberdeen School of Law remains the host institution, with Cornell University, Ghent University, and Corning Community College (SUNY) serving as partner institutions. 

The University of Aberdeen JWRN website can be found here.


Gregg D. Caruso

Gregg D. Caruso is Professor of Philosophy at SUNY Corning and Honorary Professor at Macquarie University. His research interests include free will, moral responsibility, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and punishment. His most recent work focuses on exploring the implications of free will skepticism for our interpersonal relationships, society, morality, meaning, and the law.


The Justice Without Retribution Network is funded through the generous support of Cornell University, the University of Aberdeen School of Law, Corning Community College, and Ghent University. 

Farah Focquaert

Farah Focquaert is a Research Fellow at the Bioethics Institute Ghent, Ghent University. Her work focuses on (1) the ethics of moral enhancement, (2) the ethics of neuro-modulation for treatment and enhancement, and (3) the implications of the philosophy and neuroscience of free will for the criminal justice system.