Heli Korkka-Knuts

Heli Korkka-Knuts

University Lecturer, Criminal and Procedural Law, Faculty of Law

  • PL 4 (Yliopistonkatu 3)




Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Heli Korkka-Knuts works as a University Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki. Her background is in doctrinal research of criminal law, with a specific focus on corporate environments. She is the co-author of Yleinen rikosoikeus (2020, Edita Publishing), which is one of the most established handbooks covering the Finnish criminal liability theory.

Dr. Korkka-Knuts' current study “The Role of Behavioural Regulatory Design in Optimization of Environmental Corporate Crime Prevention” (“BiRD”) is an interdisciplinary project, which aims at demonstrating that corporate criminal law has an important role in motivating sustainable business operations. The objective is to bring together research in the areas of legal jurisprudence, criminology, organizational theory, business ethics and social psychology to create new knowledge on corporate crime prevention. More specifically, BiRD intends to establish that the prevention of environmental corporate crime can be optimized by means of behavioural regulatory design. BiRD seeks to explain that any liability model for corporate crime should be designed to account for the behavioural root causes of corporate offending, which are, according to criminological and other behavioural research, inter alia, weak corporate culture and low institutional aspirations as regards ethical behaviour. 

BiRD further seeks to demonstrate that behaviourally informed liability model is efficient, as it fields an appropriate incentive for organizing business operations in a diligent manner, which in turn, promotes meaningful self-regulation and ethical behaviour and thus, prevention of environmental offending within corporate organizations. The innovation of the study is, therefore, to interlink the prevention of corporate offending with a regulatory design motivated by the behavioural and organizational explanations of environmental crime. This novel approach unlocks new opportunities for crime prevention as the suggested model combines a punitive command-and-control mechanism with a softer self-regulatory approach. 

Dr. Korkka-Knuts has completed her doctoral thesis in the field of corporate crime in May 2015, after which she has worked both as postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki and as Senior Associate at Krogerus Attorneys Ltd, Helsinki where her principle task was heading the compliance and corporate offences team.  

Dr. Korkka-Knuts is a member of the Ethical Review Board in the Humanities and Social and Behavioural Sciences.



Fields of Science

  • 513 Law
  • Criminal law and other criminal sciences
  • Corporate Criminal Liability
  • Corporate Sustainability
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.