Mai is a Fellow at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). Before joining RegNet in February 2019, Mai worked for the School of Law, University of Reading; the Centre for Criminology, the University of Oxford; and the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, Birkbeck, University of London.
Mai research topics include the death penalty, miscarriages of justice, trafficking of goods, policing, and international human rights law.
Mai’s research on the death penalty focuses on public attitudes to the death penalty around the world. She uses survey work, social experiments, and deliberative consultation as her methodology to determine the effect of information and deliberation on support for the death penalty. Her monograph ‘The Death Penalty in Japan: Will the Public Tolerate Abolition?’ (Springer, 2014) received the Young Criminologist Award 2014 from the Japanese Association of Sociological Criminology.
Her most recent book - ‘Reasons to Doubt: wrongful convictions and the Criminal Cases Review Commission’ (OUP, 2019, with Carolyn Hoyle) - examines what happens to applications for post-conviction review when those who believe they are wrongfully convicted apply to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the only body that can refer a case back to the Court of Appeal. The first empirical study of all stages of decision-making within the CCRC, this book starts from the premise that the test applied by the CCRC (the ‘real possibility test’) is not inflexible. Though created by statute and refined through case law, it must be determined on a case-by-case basis, drawing too on cultural and structural variables, alongside fresh evidence gathered by the CCRC. Read the most recent review of the book on NewLawJournal.
Joining The Australian National University (ANU) in February 2019, Dr Mai Sato is an expert on the death penalty, miscarriages of justice, trafficking of goods, policing a
RegNet Fellow, Mai Sato has been quoted in the Diplomat on the use of the death penalty in Japan, particularly in the lead up to the 2020 Olympics.
What happens when someone believes they are wrongfully convicted?