Michelle Madden Dempsey came to Villanova University School of Law in 2009. She has
previously taught at Oxford University, as a University Lecturer in Law and Tutorial
Fellow. Professor Dempsey teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law, feminist legal
theory, and jurisprudence. Her writings have been published in University of Pennsylvania
Law Review, Modern Law Review, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Theoretical Criminology,
and Criminal Law Review. Her book, Prosecuting Domestic Violence: A Philosophical
Analysis, published by Oxford University Press in 2009, was awarded second prize in the
UK’s Society of Legal Scholars Peter Birks Award for Outstanding Legal Scholarship.
Professor Dempsey received her B.A. from the University of Illinois, her J.D. from the
University of Michigan Law School, her LL.M. from the London School of Economics, and her
D. Phil. (Ph.D.) from Oxford University. She is an editor of the multidisciplinary,
international journal, Criminal Law & Philosophy. Following law school, she worked as
a prosecutor in the Champaign (Illinois) County State's Attorney's Office and
later as a civil trial lawyer in Chicago. She was a tutor in law at University College
London before joining the Oxford faculty in 2005. At Villanova, she teaches Criminal Law,
Evidence, and Feminist Legal Theory. 



Response to Commentators, Criminal Law & Philosophy (2014)

This short essay responds to commentators who generously contributed to Criminal Law & Philosophy’s symposium...



Victimless Conduct and the Volenti Maxim: How Consent Works, Criminal Law and Philosophy (2013)

This article examines the normative force of consent, explaining how consent works its moral magic...



Defining Sex Trafficking in International and Domestic Law: Mind the Gaps (with Carolyn Hoyle and Mary Bosworth), Emory International Law Review (2012)

This Article undertakes a comparative analysis of the UN definition of trafficking (Art 3, Protocol...



How to Argue About Prostitution, Criminal Law & Philosophy (2012)

This article provides a comparative analysis of various methodologies employed in building arguments regarding prostitution...



Sex Trafficking and Worker Justice, Journal of Catholic Social Thought (2012)

This essay argues that the dualistic conception of work in Catholic social teaching – most...




Prosecuting Domestic Violence: A Philosophical Analysis (2009)

The main question which motivates the inquiry undertaken in this book is: what should public...


Contributions to Books


Public Wrongs and the ‘Criminal Law’s Business’: When Victims Won’t Share, Villanova University School of Law Working Paper Series (2011)

Amongst the many valuable contributions that Professor Antony Duff has made to criminal law theory...


Unpublished Papers


Decriminalizing Victims of Sex Trafficking (2014)

Despite the United States’ commitment to decriminalizing victims of sex trafficking and the obvious injustice...




Teaching Rape: Some Reflections on Pedagogy (2008)

This short essay, which discusses the difficulties of teaching sexual offences, was written for the...