Professor Mathilde Cohen is using ethnographic, historical and doctrinal methods to understand courts in the United States and Europe.

Image of Professor Mathilde Cohen
Professor Mathilde Cohen is using ethnographic, historical and doctrinal methods to understand courts in the United States and Europe.
March 7, 2014
Hartford, CT

Professor Mathilde Cohen is a comparative law scholar, using ethnographic, historical and doctrinal methods to understand courts in the United States and Europe. Recently, with the support of a grant from the French Ministry of Justice’s research unit, Cohen has completed a study of the way in which supreme and constitutional courts make and justify their decisions. She argues that French, American, and European justices do not deliberate, at least not in the full sense of “deliberation” which some theorists have suggested. Despite different judicial cultures, one common theme is that there is little face-to-face deliberation involving the entire court. Judges tend to decide cases through a succession of multiple small-group interactions. Cohen presented her findings at Pace Law School in the fall, at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools in January and in March at the Annual Comparative Law Work-in-Progress Workshop at UCLA.

Her current and future projects include an inquiry into the French judiciary’s gender and racial diversity as well as a research on the regulation of the sale and donation of breast milk.

Before joining the Law School faculty in 2012, Cohen was an associate-in-law at Columbia Law and a research fellow at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. At the Law School she teaches Constitutional Law, On Courts and Judging and U.S. Law and Legal Institutions.