Dr Silvana Tapia Tapia

Dr Silvana Tapia Tapia

Birmingham Law School
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Dr Silvana Tapia Tapia is research fellow at Birmingham Law School, where she develops a project funded by the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship scheme, looking at non-penal human rights alternatives to respond to violence against women from a feminist and decolonial perspective. Silvana is the author of the monograph “Feminism, Violence Against Women, and Law Reform. Decolonial Lessons from Ecuador” (Routledge, 2022).

Silvana has served as Assistant Professor of Law and Coordinator of Research at Universidad del Azuay’s Law School (Ecuador). Her research on domestic violence has been consulted by Ecuadorian municipalities. Silvana collaborated as editor in the production of the 2020 Shadow Report for the CEDAW Committee, prepared by the National Coalition of Women (Ecuador). Silvana has also been part of civil society groups consulted about carceral violence by the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. She has also been expert witness in the Popular Tribunals of civil society organisations in Ecuador to assess the role of the state in the prison massacres of 2021 and 2022.

Silvana is alumna of the Harvard Institute for Global Law and Policy and the Stanford Junior Faculty Forum. She has published her research in journals such as Feminist Theory, Social and Legal Studies, Feminist Legal Studies, Latin American Law Review and Derecho del Estado.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Socio-Legal Studies (University of Kent, UK)
  • Master in Criminal Law (LLM) (Universidad del Azuay, Ecuador)
  • Lawyer of the Republic’s Tribunals (LLB) (Universidad del Azuay, Ecuador)


Silvana Tapia Tapia qualified as a lawyer in 2006 in Cuenca, Ecuador. She started as assistant lecturer at Universidad del Azuay in 2007, where she completed a Master’s degree in Criminal Law in 2012. In 2013 Silvana started her doctoral studies at Kent Law School (UK), earning her PhD in 2017 with a dissertation entitled “Criminalising violence against women: feminism, penality and rights in post-neoliberal Ecuador”.

Between 2017 and 2022 Silvana served as Assistant Professor of Law and Coordinator of Research at the Law School of Universidad del Azuay.

In 2021, Silvana was awarded an Early Career Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust to conduct a research project entitled “Toward a non-penal human rights framework to counteract violence against women”, hosted by Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, with the mentorship of Professor Natasa Mavronicola. She conducts her research at BLS since May 2022.


Silvana’s academic work incorporates empirical qualitative methods to understand and interrogate the role of criminal justice and carceral punishment in society, particularly in the lives of survivors of violence against women. She is currently interested in anti-carceral and feminist activists and legal practitioners' response to the trend, in contemporary human rights discourses, of bolstering criminal justice and carceral punishment. Her current research also includes a comparative study of the European and Inter-American human rights case law on violence against women, from a decolonial and abolitionist perspective.


Recent publications


Tapia, ST 2022, Feminism, Violence Against Women, and Law Reform: Decolonial Lessons from Ecuador. Social Justice, 1st edn, Routledge, London. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003098799

Tapia Tapia, S, Fajardo Monroy, G, Padrón Palacios, T, Valverde-Chérrez, D & Álvarez-Ledesma, D 2022, Impacto de la pandemia de COVID-19 en las vidas y derechos de las académicas y científicas ecuatorianas. Universidad del Azuay, Cuenca. https://doi.org/10.33324/ceuazuay.225.193


Tapia Tapia, S 2023, 'Human Rights Penality and Violence Against Women: The Coloniality of Disembodied Justice', Law and Critique. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10978-023-09355-4

Tapia-Tapia, S, Fajardo-Monroy, G & Padrón-Palacios, T 2023, 'Reproducción social, género y academia durante la pandemia de Covid-19: Experiencias desde Ecuador', Sociedad y Economía, no. 48, e10411972. https://doi.org/10.25100/sye.v0i48.11972

Hidalgo, SL & Tapia, ST 2022, 'Colonialidades legales: la constitucionalizacion de la justicia indigena y la continuidad del discurso judicial hegemonico en Ecuador', Revista Derecho del Estado, no. 52, pp. 299-331. https://doi.org/10.18601/01229893.n52.10

Tapia, ST 2021, 'Beyond carceral expansion: survivors’ experiences of using specialised courts for violence against women in Ecuador', Social & Legal Studies, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 848–868. https://doi.org/10.1177/0964663920973747

Tapia Tapia, S & Bedford, K 2021, 'Specialised (in)security: violence against women, criminal courts, and the gendered presence of the state in Ecuador', Latin American Law Review, vol. 2021, no. 7, pp. 21-42. https://doi.org/10.29263/lar07.2021.02

Tapia-Tapia, SC 2019, 'Continuidades coloniales: del discurso de la protección a la familia a la regulación de la violencia contra las mujeres en el derecho ecuatoriano del siglo XX', UNIVERSIDAD VERDAD. https://doi.org/10.33324/uv.v1i75.210

Tapia, ST 2018, 'Feminism and Penal Expansion: The Role of Rights-Based Criminal Law in Post-Neoliberal Ecuador', Feminist Legal Studies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10691-018-9380-5

Tapia Tapia, S 2016, 'Sumak Kawsay, coloniality and the criminalisation of violence against women in Ecuador', Feminist Theory. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464700116645324

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Tapia Tapia, S 2023, Human Rights Penality, the Inter-American Approach to Violence Against Women, and the Local Effects of Centering Criminal Justice. in L Goodmark, H Douglas, K Fitz-Gibbon & S Walklate (eds), The Criminalization of Violence Against Women: Comparative Perspectives. 1 edn, Oxford University Press, pp. 231-248. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780197651841.003.0013

View all publications in research portal


Violence against women, human rights, criminal law, Ecuador, prisons, Latin America