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Catharine A. MacKinnon

photo of Catharine MacKinnon
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Jean Fox O'Barr Distinguished Speaker Series

Catharine A. MacKinnon is the Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law, University of Michigan and The James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard Law School.

Professor MacKinnon pioneered the legal claim for sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination. With Andrea Dworkin, she created the equality approach to pornography and racist hate speech, which were largely accepted by the Supreme Court of Canada. With Bosnian and Croatian survivors of the Serbian-led genocide, she conceived rape as an act of genocide and with co-counsel established it in law and secured a damage award at trial for survivors. She drafted language for the Palermo Protocol on international trafficking and anti-trafficking legislation that was passed by Congress in the United States. She and Andrea Dworkin conceived, and she proposed, the Nordic/Equality Model for prostitution, decriminalizing prostituted people and penalizing their buyers and sellers. Passed in Sweden in 1999, this approach has since become law in Norway, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, France, and Israel. From 2008-2012, Professor MacKinnon was the Special Gender Advisor to the first Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), where she implemented her concept "gender crime" under the Rome Statute. In 2022, she was selected for the Henry Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence, only awarded 29 times since 1895. She has written many articles and over a dozen books, translated into many languages.