Jacqueline E. Ross

Prentice H. Marshall Professor of Law


A respected scholar in the fields of criminal procedure, criminal law, evidence, and comparative law, Jacqueline Ross has devoted sustained attention to how law enforcement, especially undercover and intelligence-led policing, differ in the United States and Western Europe. She is the author of Urban Vice Regulation Compared: How the Progressive Era’s Undercover Tactics Underwrote American Challenges to French Regulation (Springer Press, 2024); and Making Sense of Youth Crime: A Comparison of Police Intelligence in the United States and France (Cambridge University Press, 2023) (with Thierry Delpeuch). She has edited Comparative Criminal Procedure (Elgar Press, 2016) (with Stephen Thaman); and Comparing the Democratic Governance of Police Intelligence: New Models of Participation and Expertise in the United States and Europe (Elgar Press, 2016) (with Thierry Delpeuch). She has co-written, with Delpeuch, two textbooks used for training French commanders of the police and gendarmerie in intelligence-led policing.

She is currently under contract with Cambridge University Press to write Undercover Under Scrutiny: A Comparative Look at Covert Policing in the United States, Germany, Italy, and France. This book will offer the first sustained look at how the United States, Germany, Italy, and France conceptualize and regulate covert operations. Contrasting legal actors’ assumptions, ambitions, fears, and habitual ways of doing business highlights what is distinctive about the systems they inhabit and illuminates the promises and challenges of transnational cooperation. This work rests on over 300 interviews conducted in the United States and Europe with covert agents, liaison officials, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges. Ross has also received a Fulbright Research Fellowship and a grant from France’s Agence Nationale de Recherche to fund her research.

Professor Ross has published widely on comparative criminal law and comparative criminal procedure in both American and European journals, including the University of Chicago Law Review, the American Journal of Comparative Law, the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, the Annual Review of Law and the Social Sciences, Law and History Review, and the Italian journals Diritto e Giustizia (Law and Justice), Criminalia, and Giurisprudenza di Merito (Jurisprudence of Note), as well as the French journal Droit et Societe (Law and Society).  Her book Making Sense of Youth Crime: A Comparison of the United States and France, won the Wayne LaFave Award for Scholarly Excellence and her articles “Impediments to Transnational Cooperation in Undercover Operations: A Comparative Study of the United States and Italy,” 52 American Journal of Comparative Law 569 (2004), and “The Place of Covert Policing in Democratic Societies: A Comparative Study of the United States and Germany,” 55 American Journal of Comparative Law 493 (2007) each won the Edward Wise Senior Scholar Prize from the American Society of Comparative Law for best article in comparative criminal procedure.

Ross is the co-director (with Jacques DeLisle and Kim Lane Scheppele) of the Pennsylvania-Illinois-Princeton Comparative Law Work in Progress Workshop. She is also the Director of the Illinois Program in Comparative Criminal Procedure and Policing and the co-organizer with Thierry Delpeuch (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique) of a transatlantic seminar series on intelligence-led policing and local security partnerships. 

Professor Ross received her bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Chicago. She was an articles editor for the University of Chicago Law Review and graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School.

Ross served as law clerk to the Honorable Douglas H. Ginsburg, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She then spent nine years as an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago and Boston, where she acquired extensive federal trial experience and argued appeals before the 1st and 7th Circuits. She is fluent in German, French, Italian, and Spanish.


BA, JD University of Chicago

Areas of Expertise

Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure
International and Comparative Law


Comparative Criminal Procedure
Criminal Law
Thesis Research

Selected Publications

“Undercover Populism,” in Contemporary organized crime: developments, challenges and responses (Dina Siegel and Hans Nelen, eds., forthcoming 2017)

Comparing the Democratic Governance of Police Intelligence New Models of Participation and Expertise in the United States and Europe (Thierry Delpeuch and Jacqueline Ross, eds. Elgar Press, 2016)

Comparative Criminal Procedure (Elgar Press, co-edited with Stephen Thaman, St. Louis University School of Law, 2016)

Manuel d’Intelligence de Securite Publique Pour la Police Nationale (Thierry Delpeuch and Jacqueline Ross, Lyon: 2015)

“Anti-Terror Stings and Human Subjects Research: The Implications of the Analogy for Notions of Entrapment and for the Pursuit of Strategic Deterrence,” 47 N.Y.U. J. Int’l L. & Pol. 379-407 (May, 2015)


See All Publications