Stephanie Classmann

Stephanie Classmann

PhD student

Department of Law

Connect with me

English, French, German
Key Expertise
Criminal Law; Criminal Procedure; Comparative Law; Legal & Political Theory

About me

Thesis title

'Criminal Law as Modus Vivendi: A Realist Rebuttal to 'Liberal' Theories of Criminalization'


Professor Nicola Lacey and Professor Peter Ramsay

Research interests

Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Evidence, Comparative Law, Legal and Political Theory


Stephanie is a doctoral student in the LSE Law Department. Prior to joining the School, she was a Sessional Lecturer (Criminal Law (LLB), Legal Research (LLB, JD)) and Research Assistant at the University of Sydney Law School, and volunteered for 'Not Guilty'—the Sydney Exoneration Project. At the LSE, Stephanie has taught Criminal Law (LLB), Legal Foundations (Summer School), and Legal Research and Writing (LLM). In 2020, she was appointed Assistant Editor of the LSE Law Working Papers Series. She further acts as Steering Committee Member of the newly founded Philosophy, Law, and Politics Graduate Forum, an interinstitutional and interdisciplinary workshop series.

Stephanie holds an LLM (High Distinction) from the University of Sydney, where she was supported by a Ross Waite Parsons Postgraduate Coursework Law Scholarship and won the Nancy Gordon Smith Postgraduate Prize for coming in top of her class. Her primary law degree (a 5-year Magister Juris) is from the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) in Germany, where she was the recipient of a national scholarship and received the Wessing Prize for the best dissertation in Criminal Procedure and Evidence, her chosen field of specialisation. She completed the HHU's flagship additional study programme in Anglo-American Law with summa cum laude, and passed the State Examinations in Law before the Higher Court Düsseldorf among the top 3% nationwide.

During her time in Düsseldorf, Stephanie worked as a Research and Teaching Assistant at Prof. Dr. Karsten Altenhain's Chair of Criminal Law, White-Collar Crime and Media Law. She contributed to a variety of projects and publications, and taught several semester-length and intensive tutorials in Criminal Law, both at the HHU and at the University of Paris Cergy-Pontoise (partner university for Magister Juris/Licence en Droit double degree students). Her academic pursuits were complemented by her engagement at the Law Clinic Düsseldorf, her work as Editorial Assistant for the quarterly magazine of the German White-Collar Crime Association (WisteV), and—upon graduation—her employment at Clifford Chance Germany LLP (White-Collar Crime/Labour Law).

Stephanie's research at the LSE is fully funded by an LSE PhD Studentship. Her project contributes, and critically responds, to what has been dubbed the 'political turn' in criminal law theory: a turn away (or so its protagonists claim) from the paternalistic notions of legal moralism, which have dominated the debate since the early 1980's, towards a more rigorous understanding of criminal justice as a set of institutions operating under public law. Her project shines light on the obscure continuities that run between the moralist approaches to criminalisation and those of liberal descent, and expresses the urgency for a new, realist way of thinking about (coercive) government: as a means to manage plurality, disagreement, change—and the continual struggle for representation.

Selected Publications

'L'État, C'est Moi: Political Representation and Legal Normativity' (in progress)

'Who's Afraid of Authority?' (2021) University of Toronto Law Journal (forthcoming)

'Participation Rights of the Works Council in Companies without an Economic Committee in the Event of a Company Takeover with the Acquisition of a Controlling Interest' (trans.) (2015) Betriebs-Berater (peer-reviewed law journal for commercial law and tax) 3061 (with Thomas Hey)