College of Law Welcomes Professors Craig and Kingsbury to Faculty

During the 2011-2012 academic year, the College of Law will welcome two prestigious visiting faculty, Robin Craig, from Florida State, and Benedict Kingsbury, from New York University.

  “We are thrilled to welcome Robin Craig and Benedict Kingsbury to the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law,” said Dean Hiram Chodosh. “Their important work on the vital issues of our times (including climate change and global governance) will complement our faculty’s existing scholarship and provide students with an excellent opportunity to work alongside and learn from two extraordinary scholars and teachers.”

After earning a Ph.D. at U.C. Santa Barbara in English literature, Robin Craig attended the Lewis & Clark School of Law in Portland, Oregon. There, she worked for the Natural Resources Section, General Counsel Division, of the Oregon Department of Justice, which allowed her to work on a variety of environmental law issues, from Clean Water Act work to CERCLA cleanups to salmon and tribal issues to the intersection of state tax law and environmental law. After graduation, she stayed in Portland to clerk for two years for U.S. District Judge Robert Jones 

Craig has previously taught at the Lewis & Clark School of Law, Western New England College School of Law in Springfield, Massachusetts, Indiana University—Indianapolis School of Law, and the Florida State University School of Law. Her areas of professional expertise include Property, Environmental Law, Administrative Law, Water Law, Toxic Torts, and Civil Procedure. 

At the College of Law, Craig will teach Property to first-year students and Toxic Torts to upper-division students. She will also participate in many of the Stegner Center’s activities and events. “I’m excited about returning to teaching Property after teaching Civil Procedure for several years; I’ve alternated between the two for my entire teaching career,” Craig said. “As for Toxic Torts, this will be my first opportunity to teach the course with the recently released textbook Toxic and Environmental Torts that I co-authored with Mike Green, Andy Klein, and Joe Sanders.”

In her teaching, Craig uses what she describes as a “user-friendly” Socratic method. To keep her classes from being too intimidating, she employs pictures, videos, and a sense of humor that she hopes will encourage students to play with the materials, especially as her hypotheticals get increasingly outrageous. “In Property, for example, we’ll be talking about elephants and tigers roaming the streets of Salt Lake City and the Toddler’s Rules of Property. In Toxic Torts, we’ll be talking about everything from groundwater contamination to nuclear testing to claims that vaccinations cause autism in children,” she explained.

Although she has lived in Florida for five years and spent the four years before that in Indiana, the California native said she still considers the West her home and said she eagerly anticipates being surrounded by mountains, and is particularly looking forward to learning how to snowboard.

Beginning in the Fall Semester, Benedict Kingsbury has been appointed as a multi-year visiting professor. He will be working regularly with students in the Global Justice Think Tank and in the future will launch a new colloquium on international law and global governance, in which students will debate cutting-edge ideas with prominent visiting speakers, as well as developing their own original research papers. “The U has a very strong faculty group working on international legal topics, and attracts excellent students in these areas,” Kingsbury explained. “There is real scope for students to make a difference in developing better approaches to global problems — a big aim of my teaching, as with the other professors in international fields at the College of Law, is to equip students with the knowledge and techniques to do this well.”

After completing his commercial law degree [LL.B. Hons] at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand in 1981, Kingsbury was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1984, he graduated at the top of his class in the M.Phil in International Relations at Oxford. He subsequently completed a D.Phil in Law at Oxford. He taught at Oxford University and Duke University prior to serving as the director of the prestigious Institute for International Law and Justice at NYU.  He is the author of numerous books, chapters and articles. 

Kingsbury is a leader scholar in the field of indigenous peoples in international law. His interests also include global administrative law, international relations theory, global governance, and history. As his education, experience, and areas of scholarly interest suggest, he is a strong believer in connecting local and global issues. “Many Utah businesses are have significant interests in global rules — the standards which enable credit cards and computer software to work all over the world, the rules on trade and investment, the developing law of energy and carbon markets, effective standards of environmental protection. Organizations and individuals in Utah are very active on issues of global justice. These specific interests can become topics for research teams, building up expertise in Utah and equipping students to contribute in innovative ways in their future careers.”

Having grown up in New Zealand, he describes himself as a keen hiker, and is “absolutely enraptured” by the mountains and canyons and the outdoors life in Utah. “But despite that, I will be showing up regularly at work!” he quipped.