Cecile Degiovanni

DPhil Legal Philosophy
Oxford Law Faculty


I am a third-year DPhil student in Legal Philosophy and a Stipendiary Lecturer at Hertford College. My thesis question is: when should we be able to waive our fundamental legal rights? I have, for example, a legal right to life, correlated to your duty not to kill me. Should I have a power over that right? That is, should I be able to free you from your legal duty, so that you may end my life without risk of legal prosecution? The same questioning applies to my right to privacy (for example when I accept cookies on the Internet), my right to physical integrity (when I sign up for a boxing class), my right to minimal wages, and many others. I try to identify recurrent arguments for all of these cases and to offer a common grid of analysis. 

Before my DPhil, I was mainly trained in continental philosophy (Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris; Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne; agrégation de philosophie), analytical philosophy (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales; New York University and Oxford as a visiting student) and law (Paris X Nanterre). I have also worked as a law clerk in different jurisdictions, in particular at the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court for private and criminal law), at the Conseil d'Etat (French Supreme Court for administrative law) and at the European Court of Human Rights (as the assistant of the Judge elected in respect of Luxembourg).

Finally, I will be until 2028 the Representative of young researchers for the SFPJ, the French Branch of the IVR (the International Association for the Philosophy of Law). Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you had any question or remark regarding the activity of the association! 

Research Interests

In addition to my DPhil topic, I am particularly interested in the following subjects: 

1 – Philosophical differences/similarities between common law and civil law.

2 - Freedom of speech (I am part of the Egalibex research group).

3 - Bringing together "continental philosophy" and "analytical philosophy".

Please do get in touch if any of these topics is of interest to you!