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Faculty Focus

Three Lectures and the British Academy

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University Professor Jeremy Waldron delivered three lectures—one on each of three successive days last May—as part of the Hamlyn Lectures series, administered by the University of Exeter and held annually since 1949 to give distinguished legal minds an opportunity to further knowledge and understanding of the law.

Waldron’s overarching topic was “The Rule of Law and the Measure of Property.” Waldron argued that, despite his use of Locke’s phrase “the measure of property,” the non-Lockean aspects of the origin, legal status, and moral force of property deserve attention: “It is better in the end to evaluate laws on their own merits—and to make whatever case can be made about the exigencies of market economy untrammeled by too much regulation—better to take that case directly, rather than muddy the waters by pretending that some laws have transcendent status under the auspices of the Rule of Law and that other laws—like environmental regulations—barely qualify for legal respect at all.”

Two months after he delivered these prestigious lectures, Waldron was elected a fellow of the British Academy, which was established by a royal charter in 1902 to champion and support the humanities and social sciences in the United Kingdom and internationally. He joins two other NYU Law professors, University Professor Thomas Nagel and Frank Henry Sommer Professor of Law Ronald Dworkin, among the academy’s nearly 900 distinguished scholars.

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