Associate Professor 副教授





(852) 3943 1050

(852) 2994 2505

Room 622
Faculty of Law
6/F, Lee Shau Kee Building
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sha Tin, NT, Hong Kong SAR

Michelle Miao teaches in the areas of criminal law and Chinese legal system. Among Michelle Miao’s research interests are the intersections between the domains of criminology, human rights, socio-legal studies and international law. Michelle’s recent scholarship focused on the administration of criminal law and policies in China and the United States. She studied post-reform capital sentencing process in mainland China. Her research also examined the role of long-term incarceration and the suspended death penalty regime in contemporary China. She carried out interviews and data collection in multiple U.S. jurisdictions, with the aim to enrich our understanding of the regime of Life without the possibility of parole (LWOP). Her research extended to explore recent populist backlashes against the European Court of Human Rights in England in the field of criminal justice.

Professor Miao has authored book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles published in British Journal of Criminology, theoretical criminology and International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice. Her scholarship has been featured in various international media outlets, including Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail. Professor Miao’s 2015 article on life without parole in the United States was selected by the International Junior Faculty Forum. Before entering CUHK law, Professor Miao was a British Academy Postdoc fellow at University of Nottingham’s school of law and a Global research fellow at New York University School of Law. Before then, she was a Howard League research fellow at University of Oxford.


Journal Articles

  • M Miao, Replacing Death with Life? The rise of LWOP in the context of Abolitionist Campaign in the United States, Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy (2018 forthcoming).
  • M Miao, Defining Death-eligible Murder in China, American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming)
  • ML Xiong and M Miao, Miscarriage of Justice in Capital Cases in China , 41 (3) Hastings International & Comparative Law Review (2018 forthcoming).
  • M Miao, The Penal Construction of Drug-related Offenses in the Context of ‘Asian Values’ – The Rise of Punitive Anti-Drug Campaigns in Asia, (2018) 1 (1) International Comparative, Policy & Ethics Law Review (previously the Cardozo Journal of International & Comparative Law and Cardozo Public Law, Policy & Ethics Journal), 46-76.
  • J Pratt and M Miao, Penal Populism: The End of Reason 9 (13) Nova Criminis 71-105 (2017) (Spanish translation at 33-70).
  • D Pascoe and M Miao, Victim-Perpetrator Reconciliation Agreements in Murder Cases: What Can Muslim-Majority Jurisdictions and the PRC Learn from Each Other?, International & Comparative Law Quarterly (2017 forthcoming).
    Full Text: SSRN | ACADEMIA
  • M Miao, ‘Two Years between Life and Death: A Critical Analysis of the Suspended Death Penalty in China’, International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice 45 (2015) 26–43.
  • M Miao, ‘International Anti-Death Penalty Advocacy and China’s Recent Capital Punishment Reform’, (2015) International Affairs.
  • A Review of the Progressive Development of International Human Rights Framework on Capital Punishment, (2015) GlobaLex,
  • C Hoyle and M Miao, ‘Thinking Beyond Death Penalty Abolitionist Reform – Lessons from Abroad and the Options for China’, (2014) 2 (2) China Legal Science (zhongguo faxue) 121.
  • M Miao, ‘The Politics of China’s Death Penalty Reform in the Context of Global Abolitionism’ (2013) 53 (3) The British Journal of Criminology, 500-519.
  • M Miao, ‘Capital Punishment in China: A Populist Instrument of Social Governance’ (2013) 17 (2) Theoretical Criminology, 233-250.
  • M Miao, ‘Explaining the 2011 England Riots: Conflicts and Causes’, in 2012 (3) The Jurist, 147-180.
  • M Miao and X Zhao, ‘Voluntarily Surrendering Oneself to the Police: An Examination of the Case of A Yun in Song Dynasty’ (2005) 20 (3) Journal of Henan Administrative Institute of Politics and Law, 69-75.
  • X Wang and M Miao, ‘The International Criminal Court in China: Challenges and Opportunities’ (2005) 9 Criminal Forum (China Law Press).


  • M Miao, Pulling States towards Abolitionism: The power of acculturation as a socialization mechanism, in C Steiker and J Steiker (eds.), Comparative Capital Punishment Law, Edward Elgar (forthcoming 2017/8).
  • John Pratt and Michelle Miao, From protecting individual rights to protecting the public: the changing parameters of populist driven criminal law and penal policy, in Jürgen Mackert et al (eds), Populism and Democracy (Rutledge, 2018 Forthcoming).
  • M Miao, Audacity and Dilemma – China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative and Xi Jinping’s anti-Corruption Campaign, in Lutz-Christian Wolff and Chao Xi (eds), Legal Dimensions of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Wolters Kluwer (2016), Chapter 22.
  • D Johnson and M Miao (2015), ‘Chinese Capital Punishment in Comparative Perspective’, in Bin Liang and Hong Lu eds, The Death Penalty in China: Policy, Practice and Reform (Columbia University Press).
  • M Miao, ‘Examining China’s Responses to the Global Campaign Against the Death Penalty’, in Hood R. and Deva S. (eds), Confronting Capital Punishment in Asia: Human Rights, Politics, Public Opinion and Practices (Oxford University Press 2013) 46-67.
  • Zhao, B., Xiong, Z. and Miao, M.(eds), The 9/11 Event: The Report of the National Commission on Terrorist, (2005) Beijing: China People’s Public Security University Press.

Conference Papers

  • Pulling States towards Abolitionism: The power of acculturation as a socialization mechanism (UT Austin Law,  United States, April 2017) Conference on Comparative Capital Punishment Law
  • Asian values and drug offence (University of Philippines, The Philippines, May 2017) 14th Asian Law Institute Conference
  • Drawing the line between life and death (Academia Sinica, Taiwan, June 2017), Conference on Empirical Legal Studies in Asia (CELSA)
  • Punishing Poverty and Addiction (Mexico City, June 2017) Law & Society annual meeting
  • M Miao, ‘Changing Penal Ethos in Contemporary China’, at the 3rd Oslo International Symposium on Capital Punishment (Oslo, Norway, December 6-8, 2015)
  • M Miao, ‘Between Life and Death – Moral Dilemma, political expediency, and the Politics of Capital Punishment Abolition in the United States’, at the 2015 International Junior Faculty Forum (Stanford Law School, California, October 8-10, 2015)
  • M Miao, ‘Is it inevitable to Move towards Lengthy Incarceration? Examining the Collateral Consequences of Abolitionist Movement, at the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting (San Francisco, California, November 19 – 22, 2014)
  • M Miao, Global Fellows Forum, ‘Moving towards Lengthy Life Imprisonment? A Comparative Study on the Alternative Sanctions to the Death Penalty in the United States and China’, New York University School of Law (New York, NY, October 14, 2014)
  • M Miao, ‘International Pressure, Public Backlash and Tactical Governance – the Political Life of China’s Capital Punishment Reform’, Socio-Legal Studies Association Seminar: The Cultural Lives of Death in Punishment (London, UK, 2 September 2-14)
  • M Miao and B Zhao, ‘Examining the Impact of International Human Rights Norms and Practices on the Transformation of Chinese Attitudes and Practice regarding Capital Punishment‘, at Capital Punishment in Asia: Progress and Prospects for Law Reform (Hong Kong, 4 November 2011)
  • M Miao, ‘The Significance and Limitations of International Human Rights Standard-Setting in Shaping Domestic Capital Punishment Practices: The Case of China’, at British Society Criminology Conference (Newcastle, Northumbria University, July 2011)

Other: Grants, Scholarships and Awards

  • Research Grants Council ECS grant 2017/8
  • CUHK Micromodules course development awards (2017)
  • CUHK Law Faculty Direct Grant (2017)
  • British Academy Postdoc Fellowship (Nottingham: 2015-16)
  • NYU Global fellowship (New York: 2014-15)
  • Howard League Postdoc fellowship (Oxford: 2013-14)
  • UCCL (Universities’ China Committee in London) Annual Award Winner (2011)
  • Gilchrist Educational Trust Grant Winner (2010)
  • Domus Graduate Research Scholarship from St. Anne’s College, Oxford University (2009)
  • O’Melveny & Myers Legal Scholarship (2006)
  • Australian Vice Chancellor Commission Fellowship (2003)