Mr Mattia Pinto

Mr Mattia Pinto

PhD Student

LSE Law School

Connect with me

English, Italian
Key Expertise
Criminal Law; Human Rights; Transnational Law

About me

Thesis title

'Human Rights as Sources of Penality'


Professor Peter Ramsay and Professor Conor Gearty

Research interests

criminal law, international criminal law, human rights, international law, transnational law, socio-legal studies, discourse analysis, international political sociology

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Mattia Pinto is a final-year PhD candidate in Law at the LSE. He holds Single Cycle Degree in Law (MJur, summa cum laude) from the University of Bologna and an LLM in Transnational Law (distinction) from King’s College London. Mattia has also a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education form LSE and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. At the LSE, Mattia has taught criminal law and legal research and writing skills and was an LLM Adviser/PhD Representative. Previously, Mattia worked as legal intern at the European Court of Human Rights (Registry) and at the International Criminal Court (Office of Public Counsel for the Defence), and as research assistant in international criminal law at King's College London.

Mattia’s research analyses the role that human rights play in fostering and legitimising penal expansion. His hypothesis is that human rights and penality have in recent decades become closely intertwined, though refining Karen Engle’s characterisation of ‘a turn to criminal law’ in human rights in terms of ‘an acceleration of human rights towards penality’. The research adopts a socio-legal approach which gives particular priority to discourse analysis inspired by Michel Foucault. Taking two main case studies (human trafficking and torture), Mattia aims to trace the discursive construction of penality as a crucial tenet of human rights. He aims to recover genealogically aspects of the development which had remained obscured in the ‘dominant’ scholarship (which has advocated the deployment of penal means to underwrite human rights) yet also, to some extent, in the ‘critical’ scholarship which has opposed it.


‘Of Sex and War: Carceral Feminism and Its Anti-Carceral Critique’ (2021) 8(2) London Review of International Law 351 <link>

'Historical Trends of Human Rights Gone Criminal' (2020) 42(4) Human Rights Quarterly 729 <link> (open access version published in the LSE Law Working Papers available here)

'Sowing a “Culture of Conviction”: What Shall Domestic Criminal Justice Systems Reap from Coercive Human Rights?' in Lavrysen & Mavronicola (eds), Coercive Human Rights: Positive Duties to Mobilise the Criminal Law under the ECHR (Hart Publishing 2020) <link> (open access version published in the LSE Law Working Papers available here)

‘Awakening the Leviathan through Human Rights Law: How Human Rights Bodies Trigger the Application of Criminal Law’ (2018) 34(2) Utrecht Journal of International and European Law 161 <link>

‘The Denationalisation of Foreign Fighters: How European States Expel Unwanted Citizens’ (2018) 9(1) King’s Student Law Review 67 <link>

Online publications

‘Beyond Criminalisation: Torture as a Political Category’ (CLT, 1 March 2021) <link>

‘“Lock Them Up and Throw Away the Key!’: Another Step in the ICC’s Pathway toward Retributivism” (Opinio Juris, 25 November 2019) – with Diletta Marchesi <link>

‘Romeo Castaño: “meticulously elaborated interpretations” for the sake of prosecution’ (Strasbourg Observers, 10 September 2019) <link>

‘The ICC Appeals Chamber invites amici curiae on Jordan appeal in the Al-Bashir immunities case’ (2018) 121 ADC-ICT Newsletter 3 <link>

‘The Bemba Appeal Hearing: Three Issues on Command Responsibility’ (2018) 119 ADC-ICT Newsletter 3 <link>


  • Modern Law Review Scholarship – 2021-2022

  • LSE PhD Studentship – 2018-2022

  • Scholarship for the King's College London LLM's fees awarded by the University of Bologna – 2016

  • Scholarships for excellence in studies at the University of Bologna – 2014, 2015, 2016

  • “Andrea Sogni” Award for excellences in studies, Cariparma Crédit Agricole – 2013Scholarship for excellences in studies awarded by the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR) within the national programme for the promotion of excellence – 2012