Chicago's Best Ideas

Chicago's Best Ideas: Professor Richard McAdams, "How Law Works Expressively"

Date: 
01.06.2015
Location: 
Classroom II

Although people sometimes violate the law, there is more legal compliance than we can explain by ordinary economic theory – that legal sanctions deter noncompliance. In some domains of international law and constitutional law, there is no credible threat of legal sanctions, yet there is compliance.

Faculty: 
Richard H. McAdams

Chicago's Best Ideas: Alison LaCroix, "The Shadow Powers of Article I"

Date: 
01.28.2015

The Supreme Court's federalism battleground has recently shifted from the Commerce Clause to two textually marginal but substantively important domains: the Necessary and Proper Clause and, to a lesser extent, the General Welfare Clause.  For nearly a decade, these quieter, more structurally ambiguous federal powers – the “shadow powers” – have steadily increased in prominence.

Faculty: 
Alison LaCroix

Adam Chilton, "Why We Know Very Little About the Effectiveness of International Law, and How Experiments Might Help to Change That"

While scholars in most fields argue about how laws can be changed to maximize their effectiveness, scholars of international law still regularly debate whether many of the most prominent international agreements have any effect on state behavior.

Participating faculty: 
Adam Chilton

Adam Chilton, "Why We Know Very Little About the Effectiveness of International Law, and How Experiments Might Help to Change That"

While scholars in most fields argue about how laws can be changed to maximize their effectiveness, scholars of international law still regularly debate whether many of the most prominent international agreements have any effect on state behavior.

Saul Levmore, "How Does Law Work? Concentration and Distribution Strategies"

Two of the best ideas of the last half-century describe strategies for using legal remedies to solve social problems. One is the concentration of liability on a well-situated problem solver, or “least cost-avoider,” who can always contract out the work to be done (thus reflecting Chicago’s Very Best and Biggest Idea, the Coase Theorem).

Participating faculty: 
Saul Levmore

Chicago's Best Ideas: Saul Levmore, "How Does Law Work? Concentration and Distribution Strategies"

Date: 
10.21.2014
Location: 
Law School, Room II

Two of the best ideas of the last half-century describe strategies for using legal remedies to solve social problems. One is the concentration of liability on a well-situated problem solver, or “least cost-avoider,” who can always contract out the work to be done (thus reflecting Chicago’s Very Best and Biggest Idea, the Coase Theorem).

Faculty: 
Saul Levmore

M. Todd Henderson, "Do Judges Follow the Law?"

In a naïve model of judging, Congress writes statutes, which courts know about and then slavishly apply. But a Chicago lawyer might doubt this model, believing judges are maximizing something other than compliance with the law.

Participating faculty: 
M. Todd Henderson
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