Martha Minow, "Forgiveness, Law and Justice"

Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, Harvard Law School,with comments by Martha Nussbaum, Aziz Huq, and Michael Schill.

What role if any should forgiveness play in law and legal systems? By forgiveness, I mean: a conscious, deliberate decision to forgo rightful grounds for whoever has committed a wrong or harm. Law may penalize those who apologize and in so doing make forgiveness by the victim less likely. Law may construct adversarial processes that render forgiveness less likely than it would otherwise be. Or law can give people chances to meet together, in spaces where they may apologize and forgive.

This lecture was presented on January 8, 2015, at the University of Chicago Law School as part of the Brennan Center Jorde Symposium.