Dr Federico Picinali

Dr Federico Picinali

Associate Professor of Law

LSE Law School

Room No
New Academic Building 4.02
English, French, Italian
Key Expertise
Theoretical questions in evidence law and in criminal law

About me

I earned a Degree in Legal Sciences and a Specialized Degree in Law at the Università degli Studi di Milano. I then studied at the Yale Law School and at the Università degli Studi di Trento, where I earned an LL.M. and a Ph.D. in law, respectively. During these formative years I was an exchange student at the UC Berkeley School of Law and a visiting researcher at the UC Hastings College of the Law, at the Cardozo School of Law, and at Penn Law. Just prior to becoming an Assistant Professor, I was a visiting fellow at LSE Law School and a LSE Fellow. I have been admitted to the Italian Bar.

I teach and research in criminal law and evidence law, with a particular interest in theoretical approaches to these subjects. I have written on the criminal standard of proof, on inferential reasoning in legal fact-finding, on statistical evidence, on improperly obtained evidence, on criminal intention and on self-defence, among other topics. I have published in several journals, including the Modern Law Review, Law & Philosophy, the Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence, the Journal of Applied Philosophy, Criminal Law & Philosophy, the International Journal of Evidence & Proof, Jurisprudence, and Law, Probability & Risk. I am currently working on a book on intermediate criminal verdicts for the Oxford Monographs in Criminal Law and Justice Series (OUP).

I am the coordinator of the LSE Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Theory Forum.

I live in Sheffield with my wife – philosopher Jules Holroyd – our two daughters and our dog. I am a keen rock climber and I often visit the crags of the nearby Peak District.

Administrative support: Law.Reception@lse.ac.uk

Research interests

I am a scholar of evidence law and criminal law. My main interest is in the philosophy underlying these two areas of law. I enjoy reading in epistemology, inductive logic, moral philosophy and philosophy of mind, and studying legal problems with the support of these disciplines.



Book Chapters

  • 'Implicit Bias, Self-Defence, and the Reasonable Person' (with Jules Holroyd), in C. Lernestedt and M. Matravers (eds.), The Criminal Law’s Person (Hart, 2022)
  • 'Excluding Evidence for Integrity’s Sake? (with Jules Holroyd), in C. Dahlman, A. Stein, G. Tuzet (eds.) The Philosophical Foundations of Evidence Law (OUP 2021)
  • ‘Lo Stato d’Ebbrezza tra Accertamento Sintomatico e Soglie di Rilevanza Penale’, in La Prova dei Fatti Psichici (Carmela Piemontese and Emma Venafro eds., Giappichelli, 2009)

Book reviews

  • review of Dale A. Nance, The Burdens of Proof: Discriminatory Power, Weight of Evidence, and Tenacity of Belief (Cambridge University Press, 2016), 330 pp., ISBN 978-1-107-12418-9’, in Jurisprudence, Vol. 9, Issue 1, p. 192 (2018)
  • review of Michele Caianiello, Ammissione della Prova e Contraddittorio nelle Giurisdizioni Penali Internazionali (Giappichelli 2008), 232 pp., in Jus-17, Vol. 2, p. 154 (2009)


  • Winner of the LSE Student-Led Teaching Excellence Award 2017 in the category ‘Feedback and Communication’
  • My paper ‘Base Rates of Negative Traits: Instructions for Use in Criminal Trials’, in Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 33(1), pp. 69-88 (2016) won the prize for best essay published in the Journal of Applied Philosophy in 2016 (the prize included a monetary award, and free registration and accommodation for the next Society for Applied Philosophy annual conference)
  • Nominee for the LSE Student-Led Teaching Excellence Awards, 2015 and 2016
  • Class Teacher Prize, awarded by the LSE Law Department, 2013