Christoph Moellers, Humboldt University Law Faculty

Why There is No Governing With Judges

Date: 
Mon, 10/06/2014
Location: 
301 Marx Hall

We hope you will join us for a LAPA Seminar with Christoph MoellersProfessor of Public Law and JurisprudenceHumboldt-University Berlin, who will present "Why There is No Governing With Judges."  The commentator is William Ewald, Professor of Law and Philosophy at the  University of Pennsylvania Law School.

As always, the LAPA format asks that seminar participants familiarize themselves with the paper in advance. The commentator will open the session by summarizing the main themes in the paper and presenting some topics for discussion. The author then has the right of first response before we open to the floor for questions. The seminar will end with a brief reception in the Kerstetter Room, giving everyone a chance to mingle and meet.  

Abstract:  "The paper casts doubt on the common idea that it makes sense to describe courts as "governing" entities. It will articulate these doubts regarding the notion’s more specific use, namely in the recent debate on the growing power of high and constitutional courts, a debate whose tone has been largely set by lawyers, political scientists and philosophers. Notions like "judicial revolution", "negative legislation", or "third legislative cahamber" will have to be critically scrutinized."

Christoph Moellers is a Professor of Public Law and Jurisprudence, Faculty of Law, Humboldt-University Berlin. He was a Fellow at NYU School of Law and at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. Since January 2011 he has acted as a judge at the Superior Administrative Court in Berlin. Since April 2012 he is a Permanent Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study Berlin. His main interests include German, European and comparative constitu­tional law, regulated industries, democratic theory in public law, and the theory of normativity.

William Ewald is an internationally recognized scholar in legal philosophy and comparative law. He is the author of an often-cited article in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review on the philosophical foundations of comparative law, “What Was it Like to Try a Rat?” and is currently at work on a book, The Style of American Law, that examines, from a comparative perspective, the distinctive character of American law. This work has led him to write on the legal philosophy of James Wilson, the first professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. He also works in the philosophy of mathematics and is the editor of a standard source-book in philosophy of mathematics, From Kant to Hilbert (Oxford, 1996). He received an award from the John Templeton Foundation to pursue research in the foundations of mathematics.

Co-sponsored with the EU Program at Princeton.