Mr Mattia Pinto

Mr Mattia Pinto

PhD Student

Department of Law

Connect with me

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

About me

Thesis title

'The Role of Human Rights as Sources of Penality: A Transnational-Law Perspective' 


Professor Peter Ramsay and Professor Conor Gearty

Research interests

criminal law, international criminal law, human rights, transitional justice, international law, transnational law, socio-legal theory, discourse analysis

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Mattia Pinto is a PhD Candidate in Law at the LSE. He is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) for LL108 Criminal Law and LL4F9 Legal Research and Writing Skills and serves as Masters Adviser/PhD Representative. He holds a ‘Laurea Magistrale a Ciclo Unico’ (LLB + LLM, summa cum laude) in Law from the University of Bologna and a LLM in Transnational Law (distinction) from King’s College London.  Prior to joining LSE Law, 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. He also served as an associate editor for the University of Bologna Law Review.

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’. This project is to be advanced from a transnational-law perspective and via a socio-legal approach which gives particular priority to discourse analysis inspired by Bourdieu and Foucault. Taking two main case studies (human trafficking and sexual violence), Mattia aims to trace the discursive construction of penality as a crucial expression or underpinning 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.


‘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>

Blog posts and other outlets

 ‘“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

‘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>


  • LSE PhD Studentship – 2018-2022
  • Scholarship for the King's College London LLM's tuition fee awarded by the University of Bologna – 2016
  • Scholarships for excellences in studies at the University of Bologna – 2014, 2015, 2016
  • “Andrea Sogni” Award for excellences in studies, Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza S.p.A. (Cariparma) - 2013
  • Scholarship 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