Aya Gruber

Professor of Law
Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure: Investigation, Seminar: Criminal Law in Context

Twitter: @ayagruber

401 UCB
Boulder, CO  80309-0401
Office: 467
Phone: (303) 492-8441
E-mail: aya.gruber@colorado.edu

Curriculum Vitae:  View (PDF format)

Personal Link:


Educational Background:
J.D.   Harvard Law School   1997   (magna cum laude)
B.A.   University of California at Berkeley   1992   (summa cum laude with honors)

Professor Gruber joined the University of Colorado faculty in 2010. In 2012, the students honored her with the Outstanding New Faculty Member Award. In 2013, she delivered the Austin W. Scott, Jr. Lecture, a public lecture by a faculty member engaged in a significant scholarly project. Gruber received Gilbert Goldstein Fellowship for scholarship in 2015 and the Jules Milstein Award in 2017, given to the best recent faculty work of scholarship, for her article, A Provocative Defense. Professor Gruber has been a fellow in the University's Center for Values and Social Policy since 2015. Prior to Colorado, Gruber was a professor of law at the University of Iowa and a founding faculty member at Florida International University Law School. In 2017, Gruber was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, where she taught criminal law and a seminar on feminism and crime control.

Professor Gruber received her B.A. in philosophy from U.C. Berkeley, summa cum laude. She received her law degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was an editor on the Harvard Women's Law Journal and Harvard International Law Journal and founder of the Interracial Law Students' Association. After law school, Professor Gruber clerked for U.S. District Court judge James L. King in Miami, Florida and then served as a felony trial attorney with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C. and the Federal Public Defender in Miami.

Professor Gruber currently teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law and procedure, critical theory, feminism, and comparative/international law. Her scholarship focuses primarily on feminist efforts to strengthen criminal law responses to crimes against women. Her widely taught and frequently cited articles combine insights from practicing as a public defender with extensive research to articulate a feminist critique of punitive and authoritarian laws on violence against women. In addition to her writing on gender and crime, Professor Gruber has written a book on comparative criminal procedure, articles on treaty law and human rights, and articles on criminal procedure and privacy. Her articles appear in leading journals, including California Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, and Iowa Law Review. Her forthcoming book The Feminist War On Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women's Liberation in Mass Incarceration (U.C. Press 2020), tells the story how feminists, in their quest to secure women's protection from domestic violence and rape, became soldiers in the war on crime and contributors to mass incarceration It sketches a path forward for young women, activists, and lawmakers to oppose violence against women without reinforcing the American prison state.

Professor Gruber was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 2016, and has been an adviser to ALI Model Penal Code sexual assault project since 2012.  As a member of the University of Colorado's Boulder Faculty Assembly and a chair on the University's grievance committee, she has investigated high-profile campus sexual assault and harassment controversies. A frequent public speaker on criminal justice, Professor Gruber has appeared on PBS, Fox News, ABC, and is quoted in various news outlets, including the New Yorker, Slate, and the New York Times.

Published Books

The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women's Liberation in Mass Incarceration, (University of California Press 2020).
Practical Global Criminal Procedure: United States, Argentina, and Netherlands, (with Vicente de-Palacios and Piet Hein Van Kempen) (Carolina Academic Press 2012) (author and primary editor).


Equal Protection under the Carceral State, 112 NW. U. L. REV. 1 (2018).
Consent Confusion, 38 CARDOZO L. REV. 415 (2016).
An Experiment in Penal Welfare: The New Human Trafficking Intervention Court, (with Amy J. Cohen & Kate Mogelscu) 68 FLA. L. REV. 1333 (2016).
Anti-Rape Culture, 64 U. KANSAS L. REV. 1027 (2016).
A Provocative Defense, 103 CALIFORNIA L. REV. 273 (2015).
When Theory Met Practice: Distributional Analysis of Race and Gender in Criminal Law, 83 FORDHAM. L. REV. 3211 (2015).
Race to Incarcerate: Punitive Instinct and the Bid to Repeal Stand-Your-Ground, 68 U. MIAMI L. REV. 961 (2014).
Murder, Minority Victims, and Mercy, 85 COLORADO L. REV. 129 (2014).
Neofeminism, 50 HOUSTON L. REV. 1325 (2013).
A "Neo-feminist" Assessment of Rape and Domestic Violence Law Reform, 15 J. RACE, GENDER & JUST. 583 (2012).
A Distributive Theory of Criminal Law, 52 WM. & MARY L. REV. 1 (2010).
An Unintended Casualty of the War on Terror, 27 GA. ST. U. L. REV. 299 (2010).
Rape, Feminism, and the War on Crime, 84 WASH. L. REV. 581 (2009).
Garbage Pails and Puppy Dog Tails: Is that what Katz is Made of?, 41 UC DAVIS L. REV. 781 (2008).
The Feminist War on Crime, 92 IOWA L. REV. 741 (2007).
Who's Afraid of Geneva Law?, 39 ARIZ. ST. L.J. 1017 (2007).
Raising the Red Flag: The Continued Relevance of the Japanese Internment in the Post-Hamdi World, 54 U. KANSAS L. REV. 307 (2006).
Righting Victim Wrongs: Responding to Philosophical Criticisms of the Nonspecific Victim Liability Defense, 52 BUFFALO L. REV 433 (2004).
Victim Wrongs: The Case for a Criminal Defense Based on Wrongful Victim Behavior in an Era of Victim's Rights, 76 TEMP. L. REV. 645 (2003).
Pink Elephants in the Rape Trial: The Problem of Tort-type Defenses in the Criminal Law of Rape, 4 WM. & MARY J. WOMEN & L. 203 (1998).
Public Housing in Singapore: The Use of Ends-based Reasoning in the Quest for a Workable System, 38 HARV. INT'L L. J. 236 (1997).

Symposia, Invited Essays, and Short Articles

Sex Wars as Proxy Wars, 6 CRIT. ANALYSIS L. 1, 102 (2019).
The Duty to Retreat and Violence against Women, Oxford Handbook on Criminal Law Online.
Rape Law Revisited, OHIO ST. J. CRIM. L. (2016).
Zero Tolerance Comes to International Law, 109 AM. J. INT'L L. UNBOUND 337 (2015).
Not Affirmative Consent, 47 U. PACIFIC L. REV. 683 (2016).
Miscarriages of Race and Gender Justice, 76 ALBANY L. REV. 1571 (2012-13).
Duncan Kennedy's Third Globalization, Criminal Law and the Spectacle, 3 COMP. L. REV. 3.4 (2012).
Sending the Self-Execution Doctrine to the Executioner, 3 FIU L. Rev. 54 (2007) (invited).
Navigating Diverse Identities: Building Coalitions through Redistribution of Academic Capital, an Exercise in Praxis,, 35 SETON HALL L. REV 1201 (2005) (invited).

Book Chapters

The Complexity of College Consent, in Adjudicating Campus Sexual Misconduct: Controversies and Challenges (Cognella Press 2020).
Gruber (with A. Cohen), Governance Feminism in New York's Prostitution Diversion Courts, Governance Feminism: Notes from the Field (U. Minnesota Press, 2019).
Gruber (with A. Cohen), An Accidental Governance Feminist: An Interview with Kate Mogulescu, Director of Legal Aid's Trafficking Victim's Advocacy Project, Governance Feminism: Notes from the Field (U. Minnesota Press, 2019).
Neofeminism, The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender (2015).
One More Casualty of the "War on Terror", in Courts and Terrorism: Nine Nations Balance Rights and Security 33 (Cambridge University Press 2011).
From Neoliberalism to Libertarianism: Why Neither Criminalization nor Privacy is the Answer for Battered Women, in Criminal Law Conversations (Oxford U. Press 2009).
Hope with a Sprinkling of Concern, in Obama Reflections (Ohio State Kirwan Institute 2009).

Online Essays

The Left's Law-and-Order Agenda, (reviewing Kate Levine, Discipline and Policing (2019), Jotwell (Mar. 2019).
Corroboration is not Required, The Hill (Oct. 2018).
The LGBT Piece of the Underenforcement-Overenforcement Puzzle, (reviewing Jordan Blair Woods, LGBT Identity and Crime (2017)), Jotwell (Sept. 2016).
Anti-Rape Culture, (reviewing Janet Halley, Trading the Gavel for the Megaphone (2014)), Jotwell (Sept. 2015).
Colorado Fetal Homicide Law Goes Too Far, Denver Post (April 2015) (with J. Hendricks).
Zero Tolerance for Zero Tolerance of Domestic Violence, NY Times Room for Debate (Feb. 2014).
Marked!, (reviewing Issa Kohler-Hausmann, Managerial Justice and Mass Misdemeanors (2014)), Jotwell (Nov. 2014).
Rethinking Domestic Violence, Rethinking Violence, (reviewing Leigh Goodmark, A Troubled Marriage (2012)), Jotwell (August 2013).
Why We Need a Progressive Account of Violence, (reviewing James Forman, Jr., Racial Critiques of Mass Incarceration: Beyond the New Jim Crow (2012)), Jotwell (August 2012).
The False Promise of Retributive Propotionality, (reviewing Alice Ristroph, How (not) to Think Like a Punisher (2009)), Jotwell (July 2010).

Selected Press, Media & Publicity

Aziz Ansari, Chris Hardwick's Reemergence Complicate the #MeToo Conversation | Variety | Thursday, July 18, 2019
The End of the Gay-Panic Legal Defense | The New Yorker | Monday, July 8, 2019
Why Is Defining Consent So Difficult? | The Ali Advisor | Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Behind the Scenes of Family Murderer Chris Watts' Surprising Guilty Plea: 'He Made the Right Choice' | PressFrom | Monday, November 19, 2018
CU Law Talks Turns to 'Laws of Attraction' | Law Week Colorado | Wednesday, November 14, 2018
The Opposite of a Judicial Temperament Was on Display Today | Background Briefing | Friday, September 28, 2018
Brett Kavanaugh's Trip to the Twilight Zone | Pacific Standard Magazine | Friday, September 28, 2018
Why Kavanaugh Should Welcome an FBI Investigation | Pacific Standard Magazine | Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Education Summit, #MeToo on College Campuses | The Atlantic | Thursday, May 3, 2018
Bill Cosby's fate could turn on a pivotal court decision expected next week | ABC News | Friday, March 2, 2018
Defending Rape Cases as a Feminist | Medium | Thursday, November 9, 2017
Knicks' Preseason to Begin With Derrick Rose Under Cloud of Rape Case | New York Times | Thursday, September 15, 2016
Campus Sexual Assault: Who Should Be the Judge and Jury? | Courthouse News | Friday, May 20, 2016
A Real Dialogue for a Change | The Weekly Standard | Friday, January 15, 2016
SCOTUS Hears Arguments On Execution Drugs | Law Week Online | Wednesday, May 20, 2015
A Colorado Jury Will Need to Decide if the 'Dark Knight' Shooter is Insane or Simply Evil | Vice.com | Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Gruber on Provocation | CrimProf Blog | Friday, April 24, 2015
Guest Commentary: Colorado fetal homicide law goes too far | The Denver Post | Sunday, April 19, 2015
Teaching Rape Law In The Age Of The Trigger Warning | BuzzFeed News | Friday, April 3, 2015
Colorado Says No to Personhood for the Third Time | Slate's XXfactor blog | Tuesday, November 4, 2014
A Tale of Two 'Personhood' Amendments | U.S. News.com | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Colorado to Vote on Personhood, Again | Politico.com | Friday, October 10, 2014
Few and tricky options for defense attorneys in Observatory Park case | Denver Post | Friday, September 5, 2014
Shooting Suspect Insanity Plea Seen as Delaying Trial | Bloomberg | Sunday, May 12, 2013


Fall 2021 Seminar: Criminal Law in Context:Legal and Social Images of Victims and Perpetrators LAWS 8533-801
Spring 2021 Criminal Law LAWS 5503-802
Spring 2021 Criminal Procedure: Investigative Phase LAWS 6045-801
Fall 2020 Seminar: Criminal Law in Context:Legal and Social Images of Victims and Perpetrators LAWS 8533-801
Spring 2020 Criminal Law LAWS 5503-802
Fall 2019 Criminal Procedure: Investigative Phase LAWS 6045-801
Fall 2019 Seminar: Criminal Law in Context:Legal and Social Images of Victims and Perpetrators LAWS 8533-801
Spring 2019 Criminal Law LAWS 5503-804
Spring 2019 Criminal Procedure: Investigative Phase LAWS 6045-801
Fall 2018 Seminar: Criminal Law in Context:Legal and Social Images of Victims and Perpetrators LAWS 8533-801
Spring 2017 Criminal Law LAWS 5503-801
Spring 2017 Criminal Procedure: Investigative Phase LAWS 6045-001
Fall 2016 Seminar: Criminal Law in Context:Legal and Social Images of Victims and Perpetrators LAWS 8533-001
Spring 2016 Criminal Law LAWS 5503-802
Spring 2016 Criminal Procedure: Investigative Phase LAWS 6045-001
Spring 2015 Criminal Law LAWS 5503-803
Spring 2015 Criminal Procedure: Investigative Phase LAWS 6045-001
Fall 2014 Seminar: Criminal Law in Context:Legal and Social Images of Victims and Perpetrators LAWS 8533-001
Spring 2014 Criminal Law LAWS 5503-802
Fall 2013 Criminal Procedure: Investigative Phase LAWS 6045-001
Fall 2013 Seminar: Criminal Law in Context:Legal and Social Images of Victims and Perpetrators LAWS 8533-001
Spring 2013 Criminal Law LAWS 5503-801
Spring 2013 Seminar: Critical Theory Cllqm LAWS 8728-001