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Professor Antje du Bois-Pedain

Professor Antje du Bois-Pedain is Director of Studies in Law (Part IB, LLM and MCL) at Magdalene. She is Professor of Criminal Law and Philosophy in the Faculty of Law and Deputy Director of the Centre for Penal Theory and Penal Ethics in the Institute of Criminology. She supervises undergraduates in Criminal Law.

Professor du Bois-Pedain became a fellow of Magdalene College in 2004. Trained in Germany (First and Second State Examinations in Law, “Gut” (Hamburg); Dr. iur. “summa cum laude” (Humboldt University Berlin)) and in the U.K. (Magister Juris, University of Oxford, 1st class), she has been based at the University of Cambridge since 2001. One strand of her work addresses the philosophical foundations of state punishment and their significance for the application of law, and law reform. Here, recent collaborative work includes edited volumes on Criminal Law and the Authority of the State (2017), on Penal Censure: Engagements Within and Beyond Desert Theory (2019) and on Re-reading Beccaria: On the Contemporary Significance of a Penal Classic (2022). Another major strand of her work is in criminal law theory and doctrine, often with a comparative or transnational dimension. Here, she has recently written on participation in crime and on criminal-law causation, and is currently exploring outcome responsibility, as well as conceptions and functions of recklessness and negligence. She also publishes on transitional justice where her 2007 research monograph on Transitional Amnesty in South Africa is considered a classic in the field.

Professor du Bois-Pedain supervises law students in Criminal Law and lectures Criminal Law and related subjects in the Faculty of Law, where she also teaches an undergraduate seminar on Select Issues in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice.

Research Interests

  • Criminal law (doctrine and theory)
  • The philosophical foundations of state punishment
  • Sentencing
  • Transitional justice
  • Human rights and criminal justice

Selected Publications

2021 “Mass Incarceration, Penal Moderation, and Black Prisoners Serving Very Long Sentences: The Case for a Targeted Clemency Program”, 24(4) New Criminal Law Review 655-688

2021 Novus Actus and beyond: Attributing Causal Responsibility in the Criminal Courts”, 80 Cambridge Law Journal, Supplement S1: 1921–2021 Centenary Issue, pp. S61-S90. DOI: (open access publication)

2020 “Participation in Crime”, in Kai Ambos et al (eds), Core Concepts in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice: Anglo-German Dialogues, Vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020), pp. 94-134

2020 “Complicity”, in Larry Alexander and Kimberley Kessler Ferzan (eds), The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Ethics and the Criminal Law (Springer International Publishing, 2020), 191-210.

2019 Penal Censure: Engagements Within and Beyond Desert Theory (edited with Anthony E. Bottoms) (Oxford: Hart/Bloomsbury, 2019), xix + 307 pp. [ISBN 978-1-50991-978-9]

2017 Criminal Law and the Authority of the State (edited with Magnus Ulväng and Petter Asp) (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2017), vii + 245 pp. [ISBN 978-1-50990-513-3] (hardback), [ISBN 978-1-50993-213-9] (paperback)

2014 Liberal Criminal Theory: Essays for Andreas von Hirsch (edited with A.P. Simester and Ulfrid Neumann) (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2014), xxix + 375 pp. [ISBN 978-1-84946-514-4 (hardback); ISBN 978-1-50991-387-9 (paperback)]

2008 Justice and Reconciliation in Post-Apartheid South Africa (edited with François du Bois) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), xii + 322 pp. [ISBN 978-0-52188-205-7]

2007 Transitional Amnesty in South Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), xxvi + 391 pp. [ISBN 978-0-52187-829-9 (hardback); 978-1-10740-401-4 (paperback)].