Marta Rodriguez de Assis Machado is Master (2004) and PhD (2007) in Philosophy and Theory of Law at University of Sao Paulo and since 2007 full time professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation Law School in Sao Paulo and co-director of the Center of Studies on Crime and Punishment in the same institution.
Her research is located in the inter-disciplinary field of law, political science and legal-sociology and focuses on the relations between social movements and law; and on the ambiguous role criminal law plays between recognition and repression.
She has developed empirical research on the Brazilian black movements campaigns to pass anti-racism legislation and the performance of the Brazilian Courts in its enforcement; the Brazilian feminist movement and the campaign for passing legislation on gender violence; the (non) functioning of the Brazilian justice system in processing violations of human rights through the case study on the Carandiru Massacre (the killing of 111 inmates by the military police of the state of Sao Paulo in 1992); and on the use of criminal law in the repression to the 2013 wave of protests in Brazil. She is currently researching the pro and anti abortion movements in Brazil, its battles in different state arenas and the use of legal frames by both sides. This last project has been a comparative effort on Abortion Rights Lawfare in Latin America (coordinated by Rachel Sieder in the Christian Michelsen Institute/ funded by the Norwegian Research Council).
In legal theory, her work focuses on criminal law and criminal law theory and how disputes of interpretation shape the adaptation of this legal field to new phenomena. Her books Risk Society and Criminal Law, an evaluation of new legal-political trends (2005, published in Portuguese); Legal theory and conflict: a critical perspective of legal rationality (2012, co-authored, published in Portuguese) and the edited volume Responsibility and Penalty in Democratic Rule of Law: theoretical challenges, public policies and the development of democracy (2016, co-edited, published in Portuguese) are fruits of this research.
She has worked in research projects financed by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and the United Nations Development Program: Equal rights between men and women (2008-2009, as researcher); Corporate Criminal Liability in Brazil (2008-2009, as coordinator); Alternatives to punishment (2007-2008, as coordinator); Reform of the Brazilian economic crime legislation (2006-2008, as researcher).
She has been visiting professor at the University of Toronto (2017); and visiting scholar at the Center for Latin-American Studies of UC Berkeley (2011/2012); the Latin-American Institute in Freie Universität, Berlin (2009/2010; 2012); the Max-Planck-Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Freiburg (2006/2007); and at the Department of Philosophy of Law of the Universitat de Barcelona (2006).
She’s currently a senior researcher at the Brazilian Center of Analysis and Planning (CEBRAP); a global fellow at the Centre on Law & Social Transformation (CMI/ Univ of Bergen) and one of the principal investigators at the Maria Sibylla Merian International Center for Latin America Conviviality in Unequal Societies.