Professor of Law and Robert E. Knowlton Scholar
Vera Bergelson
Newark Campus
496
S.I. Newhouse Center for Law and Justice
123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
973-353-3145

Vera Bergelson specializes in criminal law theory. She has written about consent, provocation, self-defense, necessity, victimless crime, and human trafficking. Her book about the relationship between a perpetrator and victim raises questions about comparative liability in criminal law.   She was a Fulbright Specialist at Hebrew University, a visiting scholar at Melbourne University Law School and has attended numerous international conferences.

  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Expertise
Biography

Professor Bergelson earned her diploma in Slavic languages and literatures with distinction from Moscow State University and her Ph.D. in philology from the Institute of Slavic and Balkan Studies in Moscow, Russia. She earned her J.D. cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was on the Law Review and was named to the Order of the Coif.

Professor Bergelson has been a lecturer at Moscow State University, the Polish Cultural Center, and the Literary Institute in Moscow. Before joining the Rutgers faculty in 2001, she was an associate with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York. She is fluent in Russian and Polish and has a reading proficiency in Bulgarian, Belorussian, and Ukranian.

Publications

Professor Bergelson’s book Victims’ Rights and Victims’ Wrongs: A Theory of Comparative Criminal Liability was published in 2009 by Stanford University Press.

Her most recent work includes “Vulnerability, Exploitation, and Choice” in: Trafficking in Human Beings (forthcoming); “What is Duress?” Ohio St. J. Crim. L. (forthcoming in 2018); “Whose Pain Is It Anyway:  Consent to Pain” in: The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Consent (Routledge Publishing, forthcoming in 2018); “United States of America,” in: Homicide:  Domestic and Comparative Perspectives (Substantive Issues in Criminal Law) (Routledge Publishing, forthcoming in 2018); “Does Fault Matter?” Crim. L. and Phil’y (published online 2017, forthcoming in print); “United States of America,” in: Consent:  Domestic and Comparative Perspectives (Substantive Issues in Criminal Law) (Routledge Publishing, 2017); “Sex, Lies, and Law:  Rethinking Rape-by-Fraud” in: Legal Perspectives on State Power:  Consent and Control (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016); and “Self-Defense and Risks,” in The Ethics of Self-Defense (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Among other recent articles are:  “The Meaning of Consent,” 12 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 171 (2014); “The Defense of Consent” in The Oxford Handbook of Criminal Law (Oxford University Press, 2014); “The Boundaries of the Criminal Law,” 7CRIM. L. AND PHIL’Y 383 (2013); “The Duty to Protect the Victim – or the Duty to Suffer Punishment?” 32 LAW AND PHIL’Y 199 (2013); “Victimless Crimes,” in International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Hugh LaFollette et al., eds.) (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013); “Vice Is Nice but Incest Is Best: Problem of a Moral Taboo,” 7 Criminal Law and Philosophy< 43 (2013); “The Defense of Consent” in Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013); “Choice of Evils: In Search of a Viable Rationale,” 6 Crim. L. and Phil’y 289 (2012); “A Fair Punishment for Humbert Humbert: Strict Liability and Affirmative Defenses,” 14 New Crim. L. Rev. 55 (2011); “Justification or Excuse? Exploring the Meaning of Provocation,” 42 Texas Tech. L. Rev. 307 (2009); “The Case of Weak Will and Wayward Desire” in Criminal Law and Philosophy (2009); “Provocation: Not Just a Partial Excuse” in Criminal Law Conversations (Oxford University Press, 2009); “Consent to Harm” in the Pace Law Review and also in The Ethics of Consent Theory and Practice (Alan Wertheimer & Franklin G. Miller, eds., Oxford University Press, 2009); “Justification or Excuse? Exploring the Meaning of Provocation” in the Texas Tech Law Review (2009); “Autonomy, Dignity, and Consent to Harm” in the Rutgers Law Review (2008); “The Right to Be Hurt: Testing the Boundaries of Consent” in the George Washington Law Review (2007); and “Rights, Wrongs, and Comparative Justifications” in the Cardozo Law Review (2007) and also in Law of Privileges — Journalists and Executives (R. Satyanarayana, ed., ICFAI University Press, 2009).

 

Professor Bergelson was 2010-2011 chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Jurisprudence. As a Fulbright Specialist, she visited Hebrew University Law School in 2013, and as a Visiting Scholar, Melbourne University Law School in 2014. Professor Bergelson is on the editorial boards of BdeF and Edisofer (Buenos Aires and Madrid) and Law and Philosophy.

Expertise
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Sentencing
  • Jurisprudence
  • Philosophy (Law &)
  • Property