Staff Profile: Dr Matilde Ventrella

Matilde VentrellaFaculty

Faculty of Social Sciences


University of Wolverhampton Law School


Senior Lecturer in Law

Contact details

Direct line: +44 (0) 1902 323342



University of Wolverhampton
Faculty of Social Sciences
Wolverhampton Law School
Mary Seacole Building
Nursery Street
City Campus North
Wolverhampton WV1 1AD
United Kingdom

Academic qualifications

  • PhD (University of Birmingham),
  • LLM (University of Dundee)
  • Laurea in Giurisprudenza (University of Bari (Italy)

Research interests

Matilde's research interests include the fight against human trafficking and the protection of victims of any forms of human trafficking; the fight against smuggling of migrants and the identification of connections between these two crimes. Matilde has expertise in conducting qualitative research on human trafficking and people smuggling and her most recent publication is based on interviews carried out with public prosecutors in Palermo (Italy) who are conducting investigations on smuggling of migrants and human trafficking from Africa to Europe.

Matilde welcomes inquiries from potential students interested in conducting postgraduate research (MPhil and PhD) in Trafficking in Human Beings and Smuggling of Migrants (especially from Africa and Middle-East to Europe), EU Asylum Law and Policy, EU Immigration Law and Policy, EU External Relations to fight against cross-border crimes, especially human trafficking and people smuggling, EU Police and Judicial Cooperation.

Teaching interests

 Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law, EU Law.

Selected publications


Smuggling of Migrants: EU legal framework and future perspective, forthcoming 2018.  Vendeplas Publishing 

‘The control of people smuggling and trafficking in the EU:  Experiences from the UK and Italy’ Ashgate, 2010.

Journal articles in peer reviewed journals

Identifying Victims of Human Trafficking at Hotspots, by Focusing on People Smuggled to Europe. Social Inclusion, Vol 5 Issue 2, 2017, pp. 69-80.

 The impact of Operation Sophia on the exercise of criminal jurisdiction against migrant smugglers and human traffickersOn Questions of International Law,  Vol.  30 2016, pp. 3-18.

Recognising Effective Legal Protection to People Smuggled at Sea, by Reviewing the EU Legal Framework on Human Trafficking and Solidarity between Member States.  Social Inclusion Vol 3, 1, 2015, pp. 76-87.

European integration or democracy disintegration in measures concerning police and judicial cooperation?  New Journal of European Criminal Law Vol 4. Issue 3, 2013 pp.  290-309.

Making the fight against criminal organisations in the EU more effective by setting aside national constitutions.  European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, Issue 2, 2008 p. 225-251.

'Protecting victims of trafficking in human beings in the UK.  The Italian ‘Rimini Method’ that could influence the British approach'.  (2007) 3/2.  The Journal of Migration and Refugee Issues pages 64-86.

‘Smuggling of migrants, trafficking in human beings and irregular migration on a comparative perspective’. (2006) 12/1.  European Law Journal, pages 106-129. 

Other publications in a no-peer reviewed journals

“Criminalising Search and Rescue Operations in the Mediterranean”  E-International Relations, 10 June 2017 on

'All smoke and no fire in the EU strategy towards eradication of trafficking in human beings'., 23/10/2014. Available on

‘Il Pubblico Ministero Europeo costituisce l’unico modo per combattere le frodi transnazionali contro la Comunità Europea'.  Translation:  Setting up a European Public Prosecution is the only way to combat trans-national fraud against the EC budget (10, 000 words).  On Filodiritto, (September 2003) no. 70. 

Book chapter

‘Crimes of assisting illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings in Italian law.  Illegal immigration between administrative infringement and criminal offence’.  In Guild, E., & Minderhoud, P., Immigration and Criminal Law in the European Union: The Legal Measures and Social Consequences of Criminal Law in Member States on Trafficking and Smuggling in Human Beings.  Leiden, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2006, p. 141-168.

Book reviews

Ana Isabel Perez Cepeda & Demelsa Benito Sanchez Trafficking in Human Beings.  A Comparative Study of the International Legal Documents.  2014 Europa Law Publishing 103 pages. ISBN: 9789089521606, (2016) 53 Common Market Law Review, pp. 287-288.

Police Cooperation in the European Union under the Treaty of Lisbon.  Opportunities and Limitations, edited by Harmut Aden, (Nomos 2015  ISBN 978-3-8487-0843-7), Journal of Common Market Studies, September 2016 Vol. 54, Issue 5, pp. 1252-1253.

Europe and Extraterritorial Asylum by Marteen den Hejier (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2012)  European Law Review 2013, 38/3, pp. 425-427.


Brexit and Internal Security, Aston University 30 June 2017, My paper is entitled 'Brexit and The Fight against Human Trafficking: Actual Situation and Future Uncertainty'.

Liverpool ARK: Brexit, migration and refugees ‘UK opts in and out on EU criminal law and on human trafficking and people smuggling’.  University of Liverpool, 21/6/2016.  Invited with grant offered by the University of Liverpool.

First Annual Conference on Refugee Law.  University of London 29 June to 1st July 2016.  My panel has been accepted to present conference papers on Hotspots.  My panel includes Professor Basilien-Gainche, University of Lion (France), and Professor Marcello di Filippo from the University of Pisa (Italy).

European Union and International Affairs Conference, University of Brussels, 11-13 May 2016.  My panel has been selected to present our papers.  The panel is entitled: 'The Internal and External Dimensions of EU asylum and immigration policy in the context of the current humanitarian migration crisis' or 'Challenges to a comprehensive EU immigration and asylum policy in the context of the current humanitarian migration crisis'.  Brussels 11-13 May, 2016.  My paper is entitled: “Tackling smuggling of migrants in origin and transit countries by strengthening EU JHA’s agencies”.  Other co-presenters are Prof Basilien-Gaunci, Dr Samantha Velluti and Dr Sonia Morano-Foadi.  Chair: Dr Jean-Pierre Gauci.  Discussant: Dr Julien Jeandesboz.

Frontex: Smuggling of Migrants and Human Trafficking.  In the context of the conference: Frontex: Legal Questions and Current Controversies, University of Luxembourg, 27/11/2015 Invited with grant offered by the University of Luxembourg.
Establishment of Common Rules on Human Rights between the European and African Unions, an Effective Prevention of Migrant Deaths at Sea, 27 October 2015, Migration Working Group Workshop, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence (Italy). Invited with grant offered by the European University Institute.

European integration or democracy disintegration in measures related to the criminal area?  British Society of Criminology, University of Wolverhampton 1-4July, 2013.

I have submitted a conference paper entitled: ‘The Rimini Method and the protection of victims of trafficking in human beings in the UK’ at Keele University.  The conference is entitled: ‘Aliens and Nations: Citizenship, Sovereignty and Global Policy in the 21st century’.  Invited to present this paper on 19-21st April 2007 at the University of Keele.

‘Enhancing mutual trust between EU Member States in the criminal area’.  Invited to present this paper at the University College of Cork (Ireland) on May, 3rd 2007 at the Postgraduate Conference on Criminal Justice and Human Rights.

‘Detention Centres for Irregular Migrants in relation to people smuggling and human trafficking: A British and Italian comparison’ I proposed to present this paper to the University of Salford for a conference entitled ‘Displacement and Belonging in the Contemporary World’.  7/8 September 2007. Invited to present the paper.

‘Defining and Combating Smuggling of Migrants, Trafficking in Human Beings and Illegal Immigration at EC/EU level’.  Presented at the Conference entitled ‘Asylum Today in Britain and Europe’.  29/10/2004. Conference organised by the ‘Centre for European Political Communications’.  University of Leeds.