Caroline Davidson

Associate Professor of Law

Caroline Davidson graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was an executive editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal. Prior to law school, she studied history and romance languages at Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.  After law school, Davidson served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Alfred T. Goodwin of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Davidson joined the Willamette law faculty in the fall of 2008.  Before joining Willamette, she worked on prosecutions of people accused of atrocity crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She also has worked in criminal defense as an assistant federal public defender in Portland, Oregon, and civil litigation as an associate at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin in San Francisco.

Davidson teaches classes in criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, and international criminal law. Her research focuses on criminal law and procedure, transitional justice, international criminal law, and human rights. She is admitted to the state bar of Oregon (active) and California (inactive status).


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


  • Rape in Context: Lessons for the United States from the International Criminal Court, Cardozo Law Review (2018).
  • How to Read International Criminal Law — Strict Construction and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, St. John's L. Rev., (2017).
  • Explaining Inhumanity: The Use of Crime-Definition Experts at International Criminal Courts, 48 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 359 (2015).
  • State Constitutional Protections for Pretrial Detainees, 19 Berkeley J. Crim. Law 1 (2014).
  • May It Please the Crowd? Public Confidence, Public Order and Public Opinion in Bail for International Criminal Defendants, 43 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 349 (2012).
  • Book Review, Human Rights Quarterly 34 (2012) (reviewing M. Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes Against Humanity: Historical Evolution and Contemporary Application (Cambridge University Press 2011)).
  • No Shortcuts on Human Rights: Bail and the International Criminal Trial, 60 Am. U. L. Rev. 1 (2010).
  • Tort au canadien: A Proposal for Canadian Tort Legislation on Gross Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, 38 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 1403 (2005).