Stephen Cody

Associate Professor of Law

Send a Message

Stephen Cody is a former human rights investigator and criminal prosecutor. His scholarship uses sociological theory and methods to understand international criminal prosecutions and threats to democracy. His recent research focuses on the danger of legalistic autocrats in weak democracies, victims’ participation in international criminal trials, and criminal impunity on the high seas.

With support from the National Science Foundation and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Professor Cody has conducted empirical studies in Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Kenya, the Netherlands, Uganda, and the United States. His work has appeared in the Chicago Journal of International Law, Virginia Journal of International Law, Cornell Journal of International Law, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Public Affairs, and books published by Cambridge University Press, Routledge, Oxford University Press, and University of California Press.

Before coming to Suffolk Law, Professor Cody was a research director at Berkeley Law’s Human Rights Center and served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California. He also clerked for the senior judges in the criminal division of the District of Columbia Superior Court.

Professor Cody earned his J.D. and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. As a Fulbright scholar, he also received an M.Phil. in anthropology from Cambridge University. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Temple University, where he was awarded the Truman Scholarship.

Professor Cody teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and courses on criminal justice reform and ocean protection. He has also taught courses on human rights, international criminal law, research methods, and civil procedure.


  • University of California, Berkeley, M.A., Ph.D. in Sociology
  • Berkeley Law, J.D.
  • Cambridge University, M.Phil in Social Anthropology
  • Temple University, B.A. in Political Science

Selected Publications


  • Oceanic Impunity, 97 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW (Forthcoming 2024)
  • Exploiting Seabed Law, 45 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (Forthcoming 2024) (with Jeffrey Feldmann)
  • Dark Law on the South China Sea, 23 CHICAGO JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 62 (2022)
  • Dark Law: Legalistic Autocrats, Judicial Deference, and the Global Transformation of National Security, 6 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA JOURNAL OF LAW AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS 643 (2021)
  • Victims and Prosecutors: Clientelism, Legalism, and Culture at the International Criminal Court, 51 CORNELL INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL 339 (2020)
  • Stephen Cody and Alexa Koenig, Procedural Justice in Transnational Contexts, 51 VIRGINIA JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 1 (2019)

Book Chapters

  • Stephen Cody and Eric Stover, Bearing Witness: Testimony and Transitional Justice in the Aftermath of Mass Violence, Palgrave Handbook of Testimony and Culture, Sara Jones and Roger Woods (eds.), (Palgrave Press 2022)
  • Stephen Cody and Eric Stover, ‘We will not go away’: The Participation of Victims and Witnesses in International Criminal Tribunals, The President on Trial: Prosecuting Hissène Habré, Sharon Weill, Kim Thuy Seelinger, Kerstin Bree Carlson (eds.), (Oxford University Press 2020)
  • Stephen Cody and Eric Stover, The Role of Victims: Emerging Rights to Participation and Reparation in International Criminal Courts, International Law in Context, Philipp Kastner (ed.), (Routledge Press 2018)
  • Stephen Cody, Legitimacy, Procedural Justice, and Victim Participation in Uganda, The Legitimacy of International Criminal Tribunals, Nobuo Hayashi and Cecilia Bailliet (eds.), (Cambridge University Press 2017)
  • Stephen Cody, Alexa Koenig, and Eric Stover, Witness Testimony, Support, and Protection at the International Criminal Court, Africa and the International Criminal Court, Kamari Clarke and Eefje de Volder (eds.), (Cambridge University Press 2016)

Honors and Awards

  • Certificate of Appreciation, Suffolk Law’s Black Law Students Association
  • Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies Fellow
  • Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom
  • Harry S. Truman Scholar (Pennsylvania)
  • Public Allies Fellow

Bar Admittance

  • California
Portrait of Stephen Cody.

Courses Taught

  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Mass Incarceration
  • Ocean Law
  • Race and American Law

Curriculum Vitae

Professional Links

Google Scholar | SSRN  | LinkedIn  | Twitter