Biography

Nick Friedman is the Biegun Warburg Junior Research Fellow in Law at St. Anne’s College, Oxford, and a Visiting Researcher at the Bonavero Institute for Human Rights. He holds a BComm in economics, an LLB, and an LLM from the University of Cape Town, and a BCL, MPhil, and DPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Before joining St. Anne’s, Dr. Friedman was a senior associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York, a Procter Fellow at Princeton University, and a law clerk at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Dr. Friedman has previously tutored Human Rights, Jurisprudence, and Roman Law at Oxford, and a range of economics courses at the University of Cape Town.

His research is concerned with the legal control of private economic power, cutting across legal and political philosophy, constitutional law, human rights, and corporate law.

Publications

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4. Sorted by year, then title.
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  • N Friedman, 'Corporations as Moral Agents: Trade‐Offs in Criminal Liability and Human Rights for Corporations' (2020) Modern Law Review (forthcoming)
    This article argues that a common way of defending corporate criminal liability creates a dilemma: it provides a strong justification for giving human rights to corporations. This result follows from approaches to punishment and human rights which predicate each on the status of moral agency. In short, if corporations are moral agents in a sufficient sense to attract criminal liability, they are eligible holders of human rights. The article also discusses the doctrinal application of this philosophical claim. Drawing on US jurisprudence, it illustrates how the European Court of Human Rights might deploy corporate moral agency as a theoretical foundation for its otherwise weakly‐reasoned attribution of human rights to corporations. If proponents of corporate criminal liability are dissatisfied with these conclusions, they face difficult policy trade‐offs: they must abandon the doctrine, or adopt alternative approaches to punishment or human rights.
  • D Cornell and N Friedman, The Mandate of Dignity: Ronald Dworkin, Revolutionary Constitutionalism, and the Claims of Justice (Fordham University Press 2016)
  • N Friedman, 'The South African Common Law and the Constitution: Revisiting Horizontality' (2014) 30 South African Journal on Human Rights 63
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/19962126.2014.11865098
    Despite an initial flurry of interest in the direct horizontality of human rights, the doctrine’s place in South African constitutional law is now accorded a diminishing importance in judgments and journals. I argue that this is a result of a misunderstanding, by both courts and academics, of what horizontality is for and how it works. Since direct horizontality, properly understood, is central to the coherent development of South Africa’s rights jurisprudence, I aim to reinvigorate debate about horizontality by offering a new and comprehensive account of its mechanics and purpose. The account turns on a distinction between ‘horizontality’ and ‘direct horizontal application’, the implications of which run counter to some of the most widely accepted views about the Constitution’s influence on the private law.
  • C O'Regan and N Friedman, 'Equality' in Tom Ginsburg and Rosalind Dixon (eds), Research Handbook on Comparative Constitutional Law (Edward Elgar 2011)
    DOI: https://doi.org/10.4337/9780857931214

Research projects