Dr. Leora Dahan Katz

Areas of specialization:

Philosophy of Punishment, Criminal Law and Theory, Legal Philosophy, Normative Ethics

Areas of competence:

Political Philosophy, Cognitive Sciences and the Law


Dr. Dahan Katz received her J.S.D. in 2016 from the Yale Law School.  Her doctoral dissertation, Restructuring Retributivism, developed a response-retributive theory of criminal law and punishment, while exploring the significance of harm for the justification and distribution of punishment.  During her time at Yale, Dr. Dahan Katz was a fellow at the Yale Centre for Law and Philosophy and ran the Law and Philosophy Speaker Series. Prior to arriving at Yale, she tutored Jurisprudence at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she studied law, philosophy and English literature.  Her masters thesis, The Implications of Heuristics and Biases Research on Moral and Legal Responsibility, explored the impact of recent cognitive science research on notions of responsibility and the reasonable person standard.

After completing her dissertation in 2016, Dr. Dahan Katz was a fellow at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, where she explored the role of the victim in the justification of criminal law and punishment.

As a Polonsky Academy Fellow, she is investigating the practice of punishment as it exists in three spheres – the private, the institutional and the political spheres – exploring the commonalities and differences relevant to the ethics and practice of punishment.  The project aims to develop a unified basis for the normative justification of punishment across relationships, while developing particular accounts of justified punishment in each of the three spheres. Dr. Dahan Katz is also interested in topics related to relationality, personhood and sovereignty more generally.


  • Forthcoming ​“The Intrinsic Value of Teamwork: Reinterpreting Gardner”
  • “Criminal Law: Political or Moral? Defending A Complementary Conception of Criminal Law in the Age of the Administrative State״ Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies, 17 (2018): 111
  • “Taking Pluralism Seriously: Rethinking Punishment Theory’s Monism,” C4e Journal: Perspectives on Ethics, 11 (2018).
  • “Questioning the Normative Relevance of Philosophy of Action in Gideon Yaffe’s Attempts” Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 6(1) (2013): 36.
  •  “The Implications of Heuristics and Biases Research on Moral and Legal Responsibility: A Case Against the Reasonable Person Standard” in Neuroscience and Legal Responsibility, ed. Nicole A. Vincent, (Oxford University Press, 2013).
  •  “Justification, Rationality and Morality in John Gardner’s Offences and Defences” Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 4 (2012): 93.
  •  “Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Therapeutic Cloning: Scientific, Ethical and Legal Perspectives” Israel Law Review 37 (2005): 543.