Justin Marceau


Brooks Institute Faculty Research Scholar of Animal Law and Policy


Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Environmental and Natural Resources Law, Environmental Law

Professional Biography

Professor Justin Marceau is a Professor of Law, the Brooks Institute Faculty Research Scholar of Animal Law and Policy, the Faculty director of the Animal Law Program, the Faculty director of the Animal Activist Legal Defense Project, and an affiliated faculty member with the Institute for Human Animal Connections at the Graduate School of Social Work.

Marceau serves as the reporter for the pattern criminal jury instruction committee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  He was an inaugural member of the Governor’s Council for Animal Protection, and he serves as a member of an oversight committee for the Colorado Bureau of Animal Protection.  He is on the advisory board for the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights, and is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

His research is broadly focused on criminal law, civil rights, and animal law.  He has done extensive research on habeas corpus and capital punishment, and a variety of issues relating to the protection of animals.  Marceau is the author of more than 40 academic articles and essays, and two textbooks.  His first book, Beyond Cages, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2019.  His second book was an edited volume with Lori Gruen titled Carceral Logics, and his most recent book was co-authored with Alan Chen and is titled Truth and TransparencyHe is also the author of a coursebook on habeas corpus and is working on a coursebook for animal law. 

Marceau is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Justice for Animals Award and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar’s Gideon Award.  He is a member of the American Law Institute, and he was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in 2020 and UC Irvine in 2021.  In 2023, Vox selected him as one of the “Future Perfect 50,” which honors fifty people across the world who are recognized for their distinct efforts to make the future better.

Prior to coming to DU, Marceau was an assistant federal public defender specializing in capital habeas and a law clerk for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Before law school, he spent a year living and working in Cairo, Egypt.  

Marceau has lectured on his research in the U.S., Canada, and in Europe, has been retained as an expert witness in criminal and civil cases, and received grants and awards for his research from a variety of organizations. He is a member of the Colorado and California bars, and has maintained a law practice while teaching at DU.  Marceau has recently represented indigent persons, persons sentenced to death, and a wide range of public interest non-profits. He also frequently authors or contributes to amicus briefs, most often on issues relating to animal law or habeas corpus.

Marceau received a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from Boston College.  

View CV


  • JD, cum laude, Harvard Law
  • BA, summa cum laude, 2000, Boston College (Philosophy)

Licensure / Accreditations

  • California Bar
  • Colorado Bar

Featured Publications


  • UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATIONS, DEMOCRACY, AND FREE SPEECH  (forthcoming Cambridge 2022), with Alan Chen.
  • CARCERAL LOGICS (forthcoming Cambridge 2022), with Lori Gruen.


  • CASES AND MATERIALS ON THE DEATH PENALTY, FOURTH EDITION (Thomson/West) (2016) (with three co-authors).
  • DEATH PENALTY IN A NUTSHELL, FIFTH EDITION (Thomson/West) (2016) (with two co-authors).
  • FEDERAL HABEAS CORPUS: CASES AND MATERIALS, SECOND EDITION (Carolina Academic Press 2011) (with two co-authors).

Academic Articles