The Law School Magazine The New York University School of Law

Notes and Renderings

The Hart Specialist

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Samuel IssacharoffSamuel Issacharoff, Bonnie and Richard Reiss Professor of Constitutional Law, will deliver the H.L.A. Hart Memorial Lecture in Jurisprudence and Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford in 2008. Established in 1985 to honor H.L.A. Hart, one of the most celebrated legal philosophers of the 20th century, the lecture is among the most prestigious in the legal academy.

The purpose of the series, says Oxford Professor of Civil Procedure Adrian Zuckerman, the secretary to the Hart Lecture Committee, is to continue to contribute to the academic disciplines in which Hart played a crucial role, and to encourage the interest of Oxford’s jurisprudence and philosophy students in those areas. “Almost all the prominent legal and moral philosophers of this generation have delivered this seminal lecture,” says Zuckerman.

University Professor Jeremy Waldron, a foremost philosopher in his own right, described the Hart as “the leading public lecture on jurisprudence and legal theory at Oxford. It celebrates the founder of modern analytic jurisprudence; it is given at Oxford, the home of legal philosophy, and it has been delivered by some of the most distinguished theorists in the field.” Ronald Dworkin, Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law; Thomas Nagel, University Professor; and Richard Epstein, James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago and an annual visiting law professor at NYU, have also given the lecture. Justices William Brennan Jr. and Stephen Breyer are other past Hart Lecturers.

“Sam Issacharoff is one of the leading scholars of democracy in the modern legal academy,” says Waldron, “and his work on what law can do to strengthen fragile democracy in developing societies is immensely important. I think his Hart lecture will help to open up Oxford-style legal philosophy to richer and more robust engagement with political issues about governance, democracy and rule of law.”