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Caroline Davidson

Norma J. Paulus Professor of Law

Headshot of Caroline Davidson

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Collins Legal Center 457
245 Winter Street SE
Salem  Oregon  97301


Professor Davidson joined Willamette faculty in 2008. Her scholarship explores international and comparative criminal law and procedure, transitional justice, and human rights.  In particular, it has focused on the tensions between human rights law and international criminal law, domestic responses to atrocity crimes, and criminal law responses to sexual and gender-based violence. 

Davidson’s teaching and scholarship draws on her international legal experience.  Prior to joining Willamette, Davidson worked as a prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, where she served on the trial teams in two complex, multi-defendant cases against military and civilian leaders for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. In 2005, she worked as a lawyer in the Prosecutor’s Office of the then newly-created State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. During law school, Davidson interned at Human Rights Watch in Brazil.

As an academic, Davidson has conducted research on domestic efforts to adjudicate atrocities as a Fulbright scholar at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, as a visiting scholar at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile, and as a research fellow at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada.   

Davidson’s writing and teaching likewise is informed by her time as a public defender and civil litigator. She served as an assistant federal public defender in Portland, Oregon, where she represented clients in a variety of federal indictment matters and in federal habeas corpus litigation. She also worked as a litigation associate at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin (now Arnold & Porter) in San Francisco.  

Davidson clerked for Judge Alfred T. Goodwin of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was an executive editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal. She studied history and romance languages at Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Davidson speaks Spanish and French fluently. She is admitted to the state bar of Oregon (active) and California (inactive status).

Selected Publications

Opinions & Editorials

Now Should We Speak Femicide?, June 15, 2021.


  • JD, Harvard Law School, cum laude
  • BA, Princeton University, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
Willamette University

Faculty Support

Willamette University
College of Law
245 Winter Street SE
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
(503) 370-6405