The H.L.A. Hart Memorial Lecture

Jeremy Waldron - Overview | NYU School of Law

The H.L.A. Hart Memorial Lecture is an annual lecture delivered in Oxford by a distinguished speaker. The lecture is named for H.L.A. Hart (1907-1992), who became Professor of Jurisprudence in Oxford in 1952 and was the author of the highly influential book The Concept of Law. The lecture takes place under the auspices of University College, Oxford, where Hart held his chair, and is supported by the Tanner Lectures Trust. Most of the Hart Lectures are published in the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies. More about H.L.A. Hart.

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On May 25, 2023, Professor Jeremy Waldron of New York University Law School (pictured above) will give a lecture entitled 'The Crisis of Judicial Review'. The abstract is as follows: 

How much power should the judiciary have in a modern democratic society? Should judges have the authority to strike down legislation? This has long been a subject of controversy in constitutional politics. In the last year or two, the controversy has become acrimonious. In the United States, the overturning of the precedent set in 1973 by the abortion decision of Roe v. Wade has disillusioned many liberals and has led a number of commentators on the left to question the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, at least as currently constituted. In Israel in recent weeks, proposals by the Netanyahu coalition to set up new mechanisms of judicial appointment, and severely curb the power of the Israeli Supreme Court to second-guess policy choices and overturn legislation, has ignited fierce and widespread opposition. Many who in principle oppose judicial review of legislation have been asked whether they would like to rethink their position or limit its application in light of these developments. Professor Waldron is known as an opponent of judicial review, and he will take the opportunity afforded by this lecture to address questions about the legitimacy of Supreme Court decision-making and about what many see as the continued necessity for a judicial veto in a system of checks and balances and the democratic separation of powers.

The H.L.A. Hart Lecture in Jurisprudence and Moral Philosophy

1985: Richard Wollheim, 'Crime, Punishment, and Pale Criminality'
1986: John Rawls, 'The Idea of an Overlapping Consensus'
1987: Bernard Williams, 'Voluntary Acts and Responsible Agents'
1988: Quentin Skinner, 'The Idea of the State' (unpublished)
1989: William J. Brennan Jr, 'Why Have a Bill of Rights?'
1990: T.M. Scanlon, 'The Aims and Authority of Moral Theory'
1991: Joel Feinberg, 'In Defence of Moral Rights'
1992: Tony HonorĂ©, 'The Dependence of Morality On Law'

The H.L.A. Hart Memorial Lecture

1996: Thomas Nagel, 'Justice and Nature'
1998: Stephen Breyer, 'The Work of an American Constitutional Judge' (published as 'Judicial Review')
2002: Sir John Laws, 'Beyond Rights'
2006: Jules L. Coleman, 'The Internal Point of View' (published as 'Beyond the Separability Thesis')  
2010: Amartya Sen, 'Rights and Responsibility' (published as 'Rights, Laws, and Language')
2012: Christine Korsgaard, 'Kantian Ethics, Animals, and the Law'
2013: Will Kymlicka, 'Animals and the Frontiers of Citizenship' (published version with Sue Donaldson)
2016: Margaret Jane Radin, 'Contract Law in the Information Society'
2018: Philip Pettit, 'Primary Rules as Social Norms: A Genealogy’
2019: Rae Langton, 'Reimagining Free Speech'
2020: Due to the corona virus pandemic, the Hart Lecture was moved to 2021
2021: Due to the corona virus pandemic, the Hart Lecture has been postponed to 2022
2022: Sally Haslanger, 'Social Justice, Culture, and Law'
2023: Jeremy Waldron, 'The Crisis of Judicial Review' (see abstract above)
2024: Anita Allen, TBD
2025: Elizabeth Anderson, TBD

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