Christoph Winter

Division of Social Sciences and Law
Department of Law

Christoph Winter

Full time professor

Christoph Winter is Assistant Professor (Profesor Asociado) of Legal Philosophy at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and a Visiting Scholar in Psychology at Harvard University (2020-23). He is also the founder and director of the Legal Priorities Project.

Professor Winter’s current research is on the longterm future of humanity, and how the law might mitigate risks which threaten to destroy the entire potential of a human-originating society. For this purpose, he recently founded the Legal Priorities Project - an independent global research center which conducts legal research that tackles the world's most pressing problems. While the project aims to identify and work on the most important problems primarily from a legal perspective, it draws on research from a wide range of disciplines, including political science, psychology, philosophy, history and economics which makes the research a very collaborative undertaking by nature. The center currently focuses on the protection of future generations, with a particular concentration on existential risks resulting from advanced artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and run-away climate change. The Legal Priorities Project has attracted leading researchers and students from all over the world.

Much of Professor Winter‘s research has focused on the implications of the behavioral sciences, especially moral psychology and behavioral economics, for judicial decision-making and the philosophy of criminal law. His first book project, Metamoralisches Strafrecht, based on his doctoral dissertation, examines the implications of recent findings in moral psychology and neuroscience for theories of criminalization. More precisely, he defends a utilitarian theory of criminalization concerning criminal laws governing the application of modern technologies such as artificial intelligence, gene-editing tools and factory farming. Some of his other research suggests fundamental changes to the decision procedures of the European Court of Justice, and identifies risks and opportunities of implementing artificially intelligent systems into the judiciary.

Professor Winter conducted his undergraduate studies in law at Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Sydney and King’s College London and his graduate studies in law again at Humboldt University of Berlin (2014-2020) and King’s College London (2014-15), in philosophy at Princeton University (2016-17) and in psychology at Harvard University (2017-18) where he remained as a research fellow in the Greene Lab before joining ITAM in 2020. While in law school, he also taught courses on “Law & Intuition”, “Criminalization behind the Veil of Ignorance, “Law & Happiness”, and “Law, Cognition & the Rise of Artificial Intelligence” at Humboldt University of Berlin and various leading universities in Eastern Europe. He worked for University College London (UCL), and the United Nations Codification Division in New York. Professor Winter’s work received numerous awards.

Academic Studies

First State Examination (Law), Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany
LLM, King's College London, UK
PhD Law, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany

Topics of Interest

  • Legal Priorities Research
  • Law & Governance of Artificial Intelligence
  • Intergenerational Law & Philosophy
  • Experimental Jurisprudence
  • Utilitarianism
  • Philosophy of Criminal Law
  • Effective Altruism

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