Professor

Catharine Alice MacKinnon

University of Michigan Law School
Area
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Specialty
Law
Member Since
2005

Catharine A. MacKinnon is the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School and the long-term James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She specializes in sex equality issues under international and domestic (including comparative, criminal, and constitution) 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 abolishing prostitution. The Supreme Court of Canada has largely accepted her approaches to equality, pornography, and hate speech, which have been influential internationally as well. 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 under the Alien Tort Act, the first recognition of rape as an act of genocide. Her scholarly books include the casebook Sex Equality (2001; 2007), Are Women Human? (2006), Women’s Lives, Men’s Laws (2005), Only Words (1993), Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989), Feminism Unmodified (1987), and Sexual Harassment of Working Women (1979). Professor MacKinnon practices and consults nationally and internationally and works regularly with Equality Now, an NGO promoting international sex equality rights for women, and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. Serving as the first special gender adviser to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court from 2008 to 2012, she implemented her concept of “gender crime.” In 2014, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of American Law Schools Women’s Division and was elected to the American Law Institute.

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