Mathilde Cohen

Associate Professor of Law and Robert D. Glass Scholar
Mathilde Cohen Headshot
Office: Hosmer 207
  • Comparative and European Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Courts and Judges
  • Food Law
  • Jurisprudence

Mathilde Cohen is a legal scholar working in the field of jurisprudence, comparative law, food law, and constitutional law. Professor Cohen’s work examines the omnipresence of reason-giving as a recurring theme in everyday encounters with the law and in academic discourse. Specifically, she challenges the case for reason-giving according to which justifying legal decisions invariably represents a desirable progress in the realm of public action. Her methodology combines democratic theory with comparative and qualitative empirical approaches.

Currently, Professor Cohen is studying the way in which courts of last resort, be they domestic or international, make and justify their decisions, research that has been supported with a grant from “Droit et Justice,” the French Ministry of Justice’s research unit. 

A graduate of the École Normale Supérieure and the Sorbonne in Paris, where she received undergraduate and graduate degrees in law and philosophy, Professor Cohen earned her LL.M. and J.S.D. as a Fulbright Scholar at Columbia University School of Law. While at Columbia, she was named a James Kent Scholar and served as the head articles editor for the Columbia Journal of European Law. Before joining the UConn faculty in 2012, Professor Cohen was an associate-in-law at Columbia Law and a research fellow at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

Mathilde Cohen, When Judges Have Reasons Not to Give Reasons—A Comparative Law Approach, 72 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 483 (2015)

Mathilde CohenEx Ante Versus Ex Post Deliberations:  Two Models of Judicial Deliberations in Courts of Last Resort, 62 Am. J. Comp. L. 401 (2014).

Mathilde Cohen & Pasquale Pasquino, La motivation des décisions de justice, entre épistémologie sociale et théorie du droit. Le cas des Cours souveraines et des Cours constitutionnelles [A Social Epistemology and Jurisprudence Approach to Judicial Reason-Giving. The Case of Supreme and Constitutional Courts], Monograph internally published by the Mission de Recherche Droit et Justice (2013).

Mathilde Cohen, The Social Epistemology of Public Institutions in New Waves in Philosophy of Law 185 (Maksymilian del Mar, ed., Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)

Mathilde Cohen, Reasons for Reasons in Approaches to Legal Rationality 119 (Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science Springer Series Vol. 20) (Dov M. Gabbay et al, eds., 2010)

Mathilde Cohen, Sincerity and Reason Giving: When May Legal Decision-Makers Lie?, 59 DePaul L. Rev. 1091 (2010)

Mathilde Cohen, The Rule of Law as the Rule of Reasons, 96 Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie 1 (2010)

Mathilde Cohen, Reason Giving in Court Practice: Decision-Makers at the Crossroads, 14 Colum. J. Eur. L. 257 (2008)