The Faculty Podcast

Listen to lectures by—and discussions with—the University of Chicago Law School's eminent faculty, as well as some very special guests.

April 22, 2010

The University of Chicago Law School is proud to welcome Gary Haugen '91 for the 2010 Ulysses and Marguerite Schwartz Memorial Lecture. The Schwartz Lectureship is held by a distinguished lawyer or teacher whose experience is in the academic field or practice of public service. Haugen is President and CEO of International Justice Mission, a human rights organization with operations in 12 countries. Haugen's lecture, entitled "A New Mandate for Human Rights: Why a Half Century of Human Rights Activism and International Development is Failing the Poor, and What Can Be Done about It," probes why significant contributions by the international development and modern human rights movements have failed to establish a platform of basic rule of law in the developing world. This lecture was recorded February 18, 2010.

April 8, 2010

International agencies used to measure the quality of life in a nation simply by looking at GDP per capita. Recently that approach has been challenged by an approach that focuses on people's "capabilities": what they are actually able to do and be, their substantial freedoms, in some central areas of life. As one of the architects of that approach, Nussbaum will discuss its origins and structure, and the arguments for and against it. Martha Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded March 2, 2010 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas series.

March 25, 2010

Art. V of the Constitution makes the formal process of constitutional amendment extremely difficult - in fact far too difficult according to most constitutional scholars. But does it matter? And if so, what can we do about it? Amending Art V seems near impossible...and the idea, advanced by some Yale law professors, that we should be free to amend the Constitution via a national referendum seems equally implausible (not to mention undesirable). Professor Dixon therefore proposes a new solution to the problem: that the Supreme Court should treat failed amendments supported by a Congressional majority as "partial" constitutional amendments.

Rosalind Dixon is Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded Feb. 16, 2010 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas Series.

March 11, 2010

The 2010 Coase Lecture in Law and Economics was presented by Assistant Professor of Law Jacob Gersen. Entitled "Political Economy of Public Law," the lecture focused on economic analysis of political institutions, mainly separation of powers problems and different strategies for allocating government power in constitutional theory. It was recorded on February 10, 2010.

February 25, 2010

The subject of this year's Dewey Lecture is the political morality and wisdom of putting political leaders on trial after we have endured their leadership (and other nations, perhaps, have endured their crimes). Political trials have a long history-and the judgments we make of their judgments are highly contested. Professor Walzer will try to suggest a comparative politics of political trials; they have a very different character, and very different purposes, in different national and international settings. And, like all trials, their justice and wisdom hang on their character and purpose.

Michael Walzer is Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey.

This Dewey Lecture in Law and Philosophy was recorded January 20, 2010.

February 11, 2010

The law has always treated children differently, and these differences in treatment are largely attributed to differences in capacity. Children lack the decision making ability and the self-control of adults, the cases and commentary explains, and therefore should be given less control over their own lives, and blamed less severely for their offenses. For much of the 20th century, these developmental arguments were grounded in life experience and conventional wisdom. More recently, however, developmental psychologists and legal scholars have joined forces to argue for legal rights and responsibilities that more accurately and consistently reflect psychological (and, most recently, neuroscientific) research about how children change as they grow up. This heavy reliance on developmental science was embraced by the Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons, the 2005 case ruling that the Constitution prohibited the imposition of the death penalty for offenses committed by juveniles. While the Roper analysis can be applauded for its careful attention to social scientists' increasingly sophisticated understanding of children's capacities, it also demonstrates certain risks that come with this inter-disciplinary approach. In her talk, Buss will consider these risks, and suggest an approach to the formulation of children's rights that rests less on our current understanding of children's capacities and more on the role we want the law to play in shaping how children grow up.

Emily Buss is Mark and Barbara Fried Professor of Law and Kanter Director of Policy Initiatives at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded January 25, 2010 as part of the Chicago's Best Ideas series.

January 28, 2010

This panel discussion was the second in a series of three events, initiated by the University of Chicago Law Review, celebrating Judge Frank Easterbrook's 25 years on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The panel, which featured professors Douglas Baird, Saul Levmore, Martha Nussbaum, David Strauss, and Judge Easterbrook, was held on January 13, 2010.

January 28, 2010

This panel discussion was the second in a series of three events, initiated by the University of Chicago Law Review, celebrating Judge Frank Easterbrook's 25 years on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The panel, which featured professors Aziz Huq, Jonathan Masur, Geoffrey Stone, and Judge Easterbrook, was held on January 12, 2010.

January 27, 2010

This panel discussion was the first in a series of three events, initiated by the University of Chicago Law Review, celebrating Judge Frank Easterbrook's 25 years on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The panel, which featured professors Omri Ben-Shahar, Randy Picker, Eric Posner and Judge Easterbrook, was held on January 11, 2010.

January 15, 2010

This address by Ronald Coase (Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School) to the conference "Markets, Firms and Property Rights: A Celebration of the Research of Ronald Coase" was recorded November 23, 2009.