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John Kip Cornwell   

John Kip Cornwell

Professor of Law

  • Degrees:

  • J.D., Yale Law School | M.Phil., University of Cambridge | A.B., Harvard University
  • Contact:

  • Tel:  973-642-8498
  • Courses:

  • Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Medical Malpractice

Professor Cornwell joined the Seton Hall law faculty in 1994 and served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2006 to 2009. He has written in the areas of criminal law and procedure, mental health law and federal civil rights law. His scholarship often focuses on mentally disordered offenders, including schoolyard assassins and individuals acquitted by reason of insanity or found incompetent to stand trial. He has also written extensively on laws pertaining to sexual predators, exploring the constitutional limits on states’ authority to confine this population for purposes of public safety and psychiatric rehabilitation. In 2010, he authored THE GLANNON GUIDE TO CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, whose fourth edition is scheduled for release by Wolters Kluwer in fall 2018.

Professor Cornwell teaches criminal law, criminal procedure and medical malpractice and has been voted Professor of the Year by the student body eight times. In addition, as a national lecturer in criminal law and procedure for the country’s leading bar review course, thousands of students watch his lectures each year in preparing for the bar exam. He has provided commentary in criminal cases in print and broadcast media, including the N.Y. Times, Time magazine, the Associated Press, the N.J. Star Ledger and CBS and NBC news.

Professor Cornwell received his A.B., with honors, from Harvard University, his M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University, and his J.D. from Yale Law School where he was an Editor of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for the Honorable Mariana R. Pfaelzer of the United States District Court for the Central District of California and the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He served as a senior trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and as an adjunct professor at the National Law Center of George Washington University. In 1993, he received a Special Achievement Award from U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno for "sustained, superior performance" at the Justice Department.



The Glannon Guide to Criminal Procedure, Fourth Edition, Wolters Kluwer (forthcoming 2018)

The Glannon Guide to Criminal Procedure, Third Edition, Aspen Publishers (2015)

The Glannon Guide to Criminal Procedure, Second Edition, Aspen Publishers (2012)

The Glannon Guide to Criminal Procedure, Aspen Publishers (2010)


RICO Run Amok, 71 SMU L. Rev. -- (2018)

The Quasi-Criminality Revolution, 85 UMKC L. Rev. 311 (2017)

Sex Offender Residency Restrictions: Government Regulation of Public Health, Safety and Morality, 24 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 1 (2015)

Sexting: 21st Century Statutory Rape, 66 SMU L. Rev. 111 (2013)

A Constitutional Right to Community Treatment for Sexually Violent Predators following Civil Commitment, 34 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1213 (2004)

Teaching Criminal Law, 48 St. Louis L. J. 1167 (2004)

Preventing Kids from Killing, 37 Hous. L.Rev. 21 (2000)

The New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act: Analysis and Recommendations for the Treatment of Sexual Offenders in New Jersey, 24 Seton Hall Legisl. J. 1 (1999) (with John V. Jacobi & Philip. H. Witt)

Confining Mentally Disordered “Super Criminals:” A Realignment of Rights in the Nineties, 33 Hous. L . Rev. 651 (1996)

Protection not Punishment: The Permissible Civil Detention of Sexual Predators, 53 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1293 (1996)

CRIPA: The Failure of Federal Intervention for Mentally Retarded People, 97 Yale L.J. 845 (1988)


Exposing the Myths Surrounding Preventive Outpatient Commitment for Individuals with Chronic Mental Illness, 9 Psychol. Pub. Pol'y & L. 209 (2003) (with Raymond Deeney)

Understanding the Role of the Police and Parens Patriae Powers in Involuntary Civil Commitment Before and After Hendricks, 4 Psychol., Pub. Pol’y & Law 1 (1998)


The Right to Community Treatment for Mentally Disordered Sex Offenders, in The Sexual Predator, Civil Research Institute (2006) (Schlank, Anita, ed.)

Legislative Responses: Panel Critique, in Sexually Coercive Behavior: Understanding and Management, 989 Annals of the N.Y. Acad. of Sci. 355 (2003) (with Thomas Grisso)

Sex Offenders and the Supreme Court: The Significance of Kansas v. Hendricks, in Protecting Society from Sexually Dangerous Offenders: Law Justice and Therapy, American Psychological Ass’n, 2003 (2003) (Winick, Bruce J. & La Fond, John Q., eds.)