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Michal Gat Gilad


Research Interests

  • The effect of Crime on Children;
  • Children’s Rights;
  • Gender Violence; 
  • Criminal Law;
  • Criminal Justice Policy;
  • Law & Social Sciences;
  • International Law;
  • International Human rights;
  • Crime Victims’ Rights;
  • Juvenile Justice;
  • Child Welfare;
  • Victimology;
  • Comparative Law

Michal Gat Gilad

Michal Gilad in an Associate Fellow with the Penn Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (Penn LDI). Michal joined the Penn Law S.J.D. program in 2013. Prior to that, Michal has graduated with distinction from Penn Law LL.M. program (which she joined as a Dean’s Scholar), while simultaneously completing an MS degree in Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Criminology (Graduating with honors). Michal also holds an LL.B. from the Tel Aviv University (Magna Cum Laude). Her research interests lie in the synthesis of law and the social sciences, aiming to enhance quality of justice and improve the efficacy of legal policies. She focuses on the adaptation of legal policies to the developmental needs of children and adolescents.

Before coming to Penn Michal has clerked for honorable Justice Edna Arbel of the Supreme Court of Israel. She also practiced law as a public prosecutor, and served as a policy attaché for the State Attorney of Israel, leading extensive policy-oriented interdisciplinary comparative research on issues of criminal law and social science.

Michal’s research on the effect of crime on children was supported by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She also served as a Visiting Researcher with Aequitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women.


Michal Gilad’s dissertation work aims to integrate law and social science in the development an evidence-based legal definition to the term ‘child victim of crime.’ The new definition will be informed by empirical research findings, and will account for the distinct needs and developmental attributes of children. It will aspire to reflect the full scope of the multidimensional effect of crime on children, which goes far beyond the conventional direct victimization. Thus, the project will examine the potential and feasibility of incorporating forms of indirect-victimization into the new definition. The new definition’s ultimate goal will be to leverage the full range of interactions of children with the legal system and authorities to enable effective identification of those severely affected by crime and in need for early intervention and services.

Dissertation Committee

Prof. David Rudovsky (supervisor)

Representative Publications

The Young and the Helpless: Re-Defining the Term ‘Child Victim of Crime’, U of Penn Law School Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series, Research Paper No. #14-23, available at:

In God’s Shadow: Unveiling the Hidden World of Victims of Domestic Violence in Observant Religious Communities, 11 Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy 431 (2014), available at: (listed among SSRN’s Top 50 Papers for 2014).

U.S. v. My Mommy: Evaluation of Prison Nurseries as a Solution for Children of Incarcerated Women, 37 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 371 (2013) (with Tal Gat), available at:

Who Will Protect The Children? The Untold Story of Unaccompanied Minors in Witness Protection Programs, 12 Whittier J. Child & Fam. Advocacy 43 (2012), available at:

Invisible Victims, Ariz. St. L.J. (2012), (with Tal Gat),

Virtual or Reality: Prosecutorial Practices in Cyber Child Pornography Ring Cases, XVIII Rich. J.L. Tech. 1 (2012),

Crawford and Its Progeny, The Prosecutor’s Resource (Oct. 2012) (with co-authors).

Forfeiture by Wrongdoing, The Prosecutor’s Resource (Oct. 2012) (with co-authors).

Provocation and Multiculturalism, 46 Crim. Law Bulletin 1097 (2010) (peer reviewed),


Awards & Fellowships

  • American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowship (2011-2012)
  • University of Pennsylvania Department of Criminology Departmental Academic Grant (2010-2012)
  • Philadelphia Bar Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Human Rights (2010)
  • Toll Public Interest Center’s Exemplary Pro Bono Service Award (2011)
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School Dean’s Scholarship Award (2010-2011)
  • State Attorney’s Award for Contribution to Public Policy (2009)
  • University of Tel Aviv Dean’s Distinguished Honors Award (2008)
  • Cegla Institute Scholarship for International Exchange (2006-2007)        
  • University of Tel Aviv Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence (2005)