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FRC member presents her PhD research at Durham Law School

  • June 27, 2022

On 27 June 2020, FRC member, Carlotta Rigotti will present her PhD research "Criminal law at the intersection between technology and sexuality: A case study on the possible criminalisation of sex robotics" during the monthly seminar Gender and Law at Durham, at Durham Law School.


In her presentation, Carlotta will discuss whether it is legally feasible to criminalise the sexual abuse of woman-like sex robots, as being requested by the Campaign against Sex Robots since 2015. The use of sex robots having a female shape, it is argued, commodifies women, normalises the rape culture, and risks increasing discrimination and violence against women. Against this backdrop, Carlotta will first examine the legal qualification of sex robots in criminal law and what counts as their sexual abuse. For this purpose, she will respectively look at the contemporary debate about legal personality and sexual consent. Second, because criminalisation would interfere with the personal autonomy of the user and would also shape the values of the legal community, Carlotta will investigate its legitimacy based on a deontological approach (namely, the harm principle and legal moralism). Third, she will briefly touch upon the sub-case studies of prostitution and pornography, to show how different rationales for criminalisation have already played out in practice under circumstances of gender inequality and harm similar to the abuse of woman-like sex robots. Finally, since the ultima ratio principle commonly requires the legislator to criminalise the individual’s conduct as a last resort and so consider alternative measures as much effective, Carlotta will consider alternative regulatory schemes.


Time: Jun 27, 2022 04:00 PM London

Venue (Durham Law School, UK): PCL 054

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Meeting ID: 980 3089 4627

Passcode: 045814