CATHARINE A. MACKINNON

  • Catharine A. MacKinnon, Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law, specializes in sex equality issues under international and constitutional law. She pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment and, with Andrea Dworkin, created ordinances recognizing pornography as a civil rights violation and the Swedish model for addressing prostitution. The Supreme Court of Canada has largely accepted her approaches to equality, pornography, and hate speech.

    Her scholarly books include Sex Equality (2001/2007), Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989), Only Words (1993), Women’s Lives, Men’s Laws (2005), and Are Women Human? (2006). She is published in journals, the popular press, and many languages. Representing Bosnian women survivors of Serbian genocidal sexual atrocities, she won with co-counsel a damage award of $745 million in August 2000 in Kadic v. Karadzic, which first recognized rape as an act of genocide. She works with Equality Now, an NGO promoting international sex equality rights for women, and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW).

    Professor MacKinnon holds a BA from Smith College, a JD from Yale Law School, and a PhD in political science from Yale. She has taught, among others, at Yale, Chicago, Harvard, Osgoode Hall, Stanford, Basel (Switzerland), and Columbia, spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study, Stanford, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. She is long-term James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and since 2008 has been the Special Gender Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (The Hague), implementing her concept “gender crime.” She practices and consults nationally and internationally. Studies document that Professor MacKinnon is among the most widely-cited legal scholars in the English language.