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LAPA Seminar

Martin Loughlin, Crane/LAPA Fellow; London School of Economics

"The Nature of Public Law"

October 1, 2012, 4:30 - 6:00 PM, Kerstetter Room, Marx Hall

Please join us for a LAPA Seminar with Martin Loughlin, 2012-2013 Crane/LAPA Fellow and Professor of Public Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, who will present "The Nature of Public Law."  His commentator will be 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.  The paper will be available in advance of the lecture. 

From Professor Laughlin: "The nature of public law is grasped only when it is recognized that public law is a modern discipline formed as the jural coding of an autonomously-conceived political domain. It is a science of practice (of civil prudence) not of principle. The workings of public law are most clearly revealed by examining the work of scholars who today are invariably classified as political philosophers (Bodin, Hobbes, Pufendorf, Rousseau, Montesquieu etc) but who are in reality seeking to elaborate a distinct mode of legal thought. This is jus politicum, droit politique … public law."

Martin Loughlin is the Martin and Kathleen Crane Fellow in the Law and Public Affairs Program in 2012-13. He is Professor of Public Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), having recently stepped down as Head of the Law Department. His publications include Public Law and Political Theory (1992), Legality and Locality: The Role of Law in Central-Local Government Relations (1996), Sword and Scales (2000), The Idea of Public Law (2003) and Foundations of Public Law (2010).He has taught in several law schools in Canada and the United Kingdom and held distinguished positions as Leverhulme Major Research Fellow (2000-02),Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2007-08) and is a Fellow of the British Academy. At Princeton he will undertake to formulate a restatement of constitutional theory, addressing the challenges that the extension of governing power beyond the nation-state form imposes; he is also teaching a seminar course on The Political Pact.

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.