Saturday, March 25, 2017

Weekend Roundup

  • Brexit on the mind? You may be interested in a conference on EU legal history at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt, June 22-23, 2017. Full info on "Treaties as travaux préparatoires: Conference on the 60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome" here
  • There's a new journal around, and it's peer-reviewed. Read more about Buddhism, Law & Society here and here.
  • My Georgetown law colleague Lawrence B. Solum’s statement on originalism during the hearings on the Nomination of the Honorable Neil M. Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States is here in writing and here on video.  Hat tip: Legal Theory Blog.  DRE
  • If you're still looking to join a panel at the ASLH, don't forget to check out the "in search of" posting over at H-Law.
  • Update: The traveling exhibit Asian Pacific Legal Experience in America will be open for free, self-guided tours at the Minnesota State Law Library April 3-14.  Topics covered include “the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Japanese-American Incarceration during World War II, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.”
Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Friday, March 24, 2017

CFP: "Traffic in Women" and International Law

[We have the following call for articles on the“'Traffic in Women' and International Law."]

Six international conventions to combat the so-called “Mädchenhandel”, “white slavery”, “traffic in women” and “human trafficking” were adopted over the course of the 20th century. During the first half of the 20th century the issue received political and public attention to a degree as to make it possible to regulate it through international law. Five of the six international conventions were adopted between 1904 and 1949, while the last one was signed only in 2000. The phenomenon of the “trafficking in women” thus was one of the first fields for the regulation through international law along with more traditional issues, such as war and peace. A joint consideration of “trafficking” and international law thus offers a promising research topic.

Nevertheless, the international law dimension has only played a minor role in historical research on “trafficking”. So far, “trafficking” has been analysed with a view towards the multiple national as well as transnational civil society efforts and initiatives to combat „Mädchenhandel“, „white slavery“ or „traffic in women“. Some analyses have situated these efforts in the context of a “moral panic” and have, in some cases, questioned the existence of the underlying phenomenon. Studies focusing on the politics and implementation of anti-trafficking initiatives in national and local contexts, concentrated on certain regions. Research focusing on practices and implementation have pointed to an intricate connection between the politics of prostitution, migration and, more generally, sexual politics. A number of studies have analysed the raced, gendered and classed dimensions of discourses, representations and politics in this field.

All these studies have pointed to core issues connected to histories of “trafficking”, such as prostitution, sexuality, migration, police, law and order as well as social and political efforts of civil society and media representations. A more general view of the research on the histories on trafficking reveals, however, a rather fragmented field, in particular with regard to the dimensions of international law, which often do not go far beyond teleological success stories of an international struggle against this “evil”.

This edited volume seeks to integrate all these aspects by approaching the field through actors and institutions: A number of actors in the fields of social and security politics, including networks of legal experts, contributed to the development and expansion of institutions to regulate “trafficking”.

Kornhauser on Taxing Bachelors

Marjorie E. Kornhauser, Tulane University School of Law, has posted Taxing Bachelors in America: 1895-1939:
The Bachelor's Ideal (NYPL)
Bachelor taxes have existed across the globe and throughout millennia. In modern income taxes, they occur only indirectly, as by-products of favorable exemptions and tax rates for married couples. However, in prior centuries—even the 20th century—bachelor taxes existed as direct, explicit taxes levied on bachelors as bachelors. From 1895 through 1939, American municipalities and states proposed these taxes with surprising frequency and newspapers consistently reported on them as well as on foreign bachelor taxes.

Although often greeted with hilarity and rarely passed, explicit bachelor taxes during this period were motivated by serious concerns. The need for revenue was one reason these taxes were proposed. It was not, however, the only—or even the major—reason.

This paper suggests that social unease was the primary motivation for American bachelor taxes in this period. Decades of industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and increased consumerism had created social tensions and dislocations by radically altering everyday living patterns and basic social institutions. The bachelor tax proposals and discussions during this period expressed many people’s discomfort with the changes. Since they believed marriage was the foundation of society and American democracy, they perceived any threat to marriage as threatening the fabric of America. Consequently, they viewed bachelor taxes as a remedy for the moral decay of the nation. In actuality, the taxes were mainly expressive in nature. Not only did most of them fail to pass, but even if they did pass, they were largely ineffective methods to increase marriages, as some contemporaries noted.

The demise of explicit bachelor taxes did not end concerns about marriage and the moral state of society. These same concerns were part of the debates about mandatory joint returns in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Similarly, they remain an important element of recent debates about marriage penalties and the tax treatment of families.

Free Press: An ICH Seminar

[We have the following announcement.]

The Institute for Constitutional History is pleased to announce another seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty, “Free Press.”
Historically, the American press has been among the freest in the world-but that freedom has been repeatedly challenged. In 2017, with a President who has repeatedly questioned the very legitimacy of the news media, "the freedom of the press" is likely to be once again in the midst of crisis. This seminar will offer a grounding in the classical ideas and law of press freedom, with an eye toward applying these ideas to the challenges of 21st Century media technology and political change.
InstructorGarrett Epps is Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore and the editor of Freedom of the Press (The First Amendment): Its Constitutional History and the Contemporary Debate (Prometheus, 2008). A former reporter for The Washington Monthly, he is also Supreme Court correspondent for The Atlantic Online.

Logistics.  Tuesday nights, 6:00-8:00 p.m., September 12, 19, October 17, 24, November 14, and 21, 2017. The seminar will meet at The George Washington University Law School, 2000 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20052. There is no tuition or other charge for this seminar, though participants will be expected to acquire the assigned books on their own.

Application Process
.  The seminar is designed for graduate students and junior faculty in history, political science, law, and related disciplines.  All participants will be expected to complete the assigned readings and participate in seminar discussions.  Although the Institute cannot offer academic credit directly for the seminar, students may be able to earn graduate credit through their home departments by completing an independent research project in conjunction with the seminar.  Please consult with your advisor and/or director of graduate studies about these possibilities.  Space is limited, so applicants should send a copy of their c.v. and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development.  Materials will be accepted only by email at until May 15, 2017.  Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter.  For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an email to

About ICH.  The Institute for Constitutional History (ICH) is the nation's premier institute dedicated to ensuring that future generations of Americans understand the substance and historical development of the U.S. Constitution. Located at the New York Historical Society and the George Washington University Law School, the Institute is co-sponsored by the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Political Science Association. The Association of American Law Schools is a cooperating entity. ICH prepares junior scholars and college instructors to convey to their readers and students the important role the Constitution has played in shaping American society. ICH also provides a national forum for the preparation and dissemination of humanistic, interdisciplinary scholarship on American constitutional history.

Farbman, "Reconstructing Local Government"

Just out in the Vanderbilt Law Review: "Reconstructing Local Government," by Daniel Farbman (Climenko Fellow, Harvard Law School). Here's the abstract:
After the Civil War, the South faced a problem that was almost entirely new in the United States: a racially diverse and geographically integrated citizenry. In one fell swoop with emancipation, millions of former slaves were now citizens. The old system of plantation localism, built largely on the feudal control of the black population by wealthy white planters, was no longer viable. The urgent question facing both those who sought to reform and those who sought to preserve the “Old South” was: What should local government look like after emancipation? This Article tells the story of the struggle over the answer to that question. At the center of that struggle is an untold legal history of local government reform during Reconstruction. In the years immediately after the Civil War, idealistic Yankee reformers went south with the explicit aim of remaking the “fabric of southern culture” by rebuilding the South in the image of their northern homes. Specifically, in North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina, these reformers rewrote state constitutions to replace the plantation and county court with townships modeled on the New England town. Southern conservatives resisted the new townships, understanding them as foreign impositions targeted to destroy their old way of life. Within a decade they had dismantled the new townships and built the foundations of a new Jim Crow local order rooted in the county and approximating a return to the plantation. By telling this new history, this Article contributes to present scholarship in at least two ways. First, the story highlights a binary struggle between “communitarian” localism embodied in the civic participation of the New England town and “proprietary” localism embodied in the private power of the plantation owner. This struggle was framed with crystal clarity during Reconstruction, but it remains a powerful analytic tool for understanding today’s debates and struggles over local government. Second and relatedly, this history reveals the extent to which racial anxiety shaped and continues to shape local institutions. The communitarian township experiment was fueled by a vision of racial equality—and the white supremacist response to it was fueled by resentment and resistance to that vision. When we think about localism and racial inequality, we tend to think about the responses to school desegregation in the mid-twentieth century when racial resentment and fear during the “Second Reconstruction” drove white flight and contributed to resegregation through suburbanization. This Article shows that we may be looking at the wrong Reconstruction. In fact, the pathologies of local government, racial segregation, democracy, and protection of property were framed after the Civil War, in the crucible of a direct conflict between utopian racial egalitarianism and white supremacy.
Full text is available here.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mothers and the Constitution: An ICH Seminar

[We have the following announcement.]

The Institute for Constitutional History is pleased to announce another seminar for advanced graduate students and junior faculty, “Mothers and the Constitution”:
The seminar will explore the relationship between the changing practice of motherhood and the law.  Using Supreme Court cases, important state cases, and supplementary historical and statutory materials we will study the many ways that constitutional interpretation and government policy have regulated the lives of different kinds of mothers and occasionally of fathers too. We will organize our discussions around four key issues: Custody and Care, Reproduction, Work, and State Support, focusing on the twentieth century; and taking into account the influence of such factors as race, religion, migration, and sexuality on developing constitutional interpretation. 
Instructors. Alice Kessler-Harris is R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History, Emerita, at Columbia University where she was also Professor in the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and held a faculty affiliate appointment in the Columbia University School of Law. Carol Sanger is the Barbara Aronstein Black Professor of Law at Columbia Law School where she teaches Contracts, Family Law, and research seminars on “Meanings of Motherhood: Legal and Historical Perspectives” (with Alice Kessler-Harris) and “Abortion: Law in Context.”

Logistics.  The dates the seminar will meet are:  October 6, October 13, November 3, and November 10; Fridays from 2-5 p.m.  The seminar will be held at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York City.  There is no tuition or other charge for this seminar, though participants will be expected to acquire the assigned books on their own.

Application Process
.  The seminar is designed for graduate students and junior faculty in history, political science, law, and related disciplines.  All participants will be expected to complete the assigned readings and participate in seminar discussions.  Although the Institute cannot offer academic credit directly for the seminar, students may be able to earn graduate credit through their home departments by completing an independent research project in conjunction with the seminar.  Please consult with your advisor and/or director of graduate studies about these possibilities.  Space is limited, so applicants should send a copy of their c.v. and a short statement on how this seminar will be useful to them in their research, teaching, or professional development.  Materials will be accepted only by email at until May 15, 2017 Successful applicants will be notified soon thereafter.  For further information, please contact Maeva Marcus at (202) 994-6562 or send an email to

About ICH
.  The Institute for Constitutional History (ICH) is the nation’s premier institute dedicated to ensuring that future generations of Americans understand the substance and historical development of the U.S. Constitution. Located at the New York Historical Society and the George Washington University Law School, the Institute is co-sponsored by the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the American Political Science Association.  The Association of American Law Schools is a cooperating entity.  ICH prepares junior scholars and college instructors to convey to their readers and students the important role the Constitution has played in shaping American society.  ICH also provides a national forum for the preparation and dissemination of humanistic, interdisciplinary scholarship on American constitutional history.

Subjectivity, Intent and Impact: The Gordian Knot of Empathy and Interpretation

One ideal of early anthropology was that long-term ethnographic research could fully map the social structure and meanings of a specific cultural space. The ethnographer could then give total context for any individual action or social practice, and thus interpret such with a capacity beyond either naïve outsider or self-interested insider. While the realism of this ideal would be progressively deconstructed over time, it spawned a durable holism that recognized the deep interconnection of all material and symbolic contexts.

This holistic aspiration has been recurrently challenged as anthropologists came to recognize the often global interconnections and engagements which permeated the presumed isolation of even “remote” cultural spaces. Anthropology turned to increasingly complex social theories to try and reconcile the way in which its empirical subject became unmoored from static spaces and times, and eventually encompassed the most intensely internationalized settings. As a result great concern emerged for the practice of interpretation far removed from the methodological confidence of anthropology’s pioneering works. And the treacherous pitfalls of writing across stark asymmetries in power, often about people unable to equally represent themselves, even inspired claims that modern anthropology had paralyzed itself through a fetishization of the personal act of writing itself.

It is much more difficult to delineate the general trend of history as discipline, even at this high level of generality. Certainly, interpretation is at the core of archival research, and debates over sources and their meanings have roiled history as an academic practice. No self-critical historian treats their textual sources as a direct portal into the soul of their subject, and the focus of much graduate historical training is the general education required to provide context for documentary interpretation.

But I would advance that the anthropological engagement with history reflects a much greater uncertainty about interpretation, as well as a general theoretical concern with how time itself is structured as a social practice. In my own turn from ethnography to history, I felt this disciplinary anxiety acutely as I tried to reconstruct the creation of a cultural ideology, what I call American legal internationalism, that was formed in spaces both fully transnational and only lightly touched by global forces. Moreover, this ideology was premised on cross-cultural interpretations of the character of foreign peoples and their legal institutions. A further complication was that the driving force of this ideology was literal lawyer-missionaries who carried with them a presumption that their own good intentions would positively impact another society.

One highly influential book in my process of wrestling with these issues was Fredrik Barth’s Ethnic Groups and Boundaries, which theorized about how social identities were formed and reformed through increasingly intense interactions with social “outsiders.” Moreover, in the context of law such cross-cultural judgments had been central to patterns of degradation and subjection in pre-modern empires and modern imperialism alike. This trepidation led me to the writings of the recently passed Tzvetan Todorov, who in his The Morals of History grappled with the ethics of practicing history, especially when intimately tied to cross-cultural engagements.

No episode in the development of historical anthropology outlines these tensions better than the controversy over the arrival and death of James Cook in Hawai’i. In barest form, Cook arrived in Hawai’i for the third time in 1779 during the indigenous Hawaiians celebration of the god Lono. A month later, Cook was killed while attempting to take the local king ransom, and then ritually preserved. The details in-between and their meaning became the grist for one of the public controversies in modern anthropology between Marshall Sahlins and Gananath Obeyesekere.

Returning to LHB

I want to extend my thanks to the team at LHB, as they have been gracious in allowing me to return to my previous blogging stint which I began in late November, but was unable to complete at the time.

Today, I restart my series of posts relating to issues in transnational, international and comparative legal history provoked by the writing of my first book. For reference, my introductory post, entitled What Are You?: Producing A First Book Amid Disciplinary and Geographic Migrations, is here. My second, entitled The Affinities and Disjunctures of History and Anthropology, is here.

Now onward and upward! My remaining posts will be:

3)     Functionalism and Synthetic History
4)     The Challenges of Comparative Law and Transnational History
5)     Empire and Imperialism: (Mis)Framing Cross-Cultural Engagements
6)     The Young Interdisciplinary Scholar in a Global Academic Market

Summer Institute on the Cultural Study of Law

[We have the following announcement. The deadline is April 30, 2017.]

7th International Osnabrueck Summer Institute (OSI) on the Cultural Study of the Law

The seventh International Osnabrueck Summer Institute on the Cultural Study of the Law will be held from August 6 to 13, 2017 at the University of Osnabrueck, Germany. It aims to encourage and further promote the interdisciplinary study and research of the interrelations between law and culture, based on the idea that the extended cultural study of the law will foster profitable scholarly exchange and dialogue between legal studies and the humanities.

The Institute will offer a combination of thematic workshop sessions, small group seminars and a final symposium for 15-20 international participants (doctoral, post-doctoral and advanced M.A. – see below for eligibility). The introductory workshop will address the range and potential of interdisciplinary studies and approaches in the field of law and the humanities. The remaining thematic sessions and small group seminars will focus on key issues and debates in current cultural legal studies, for example:

* The historical emergence of dominant (legal) concepts of property as well as current struggles about culture as heritage, property and resource for creativity (including concepts such as copyright, intellectual property and authorship);

* The cultural presence and representation of the law and the role of culture in the representation and dissemination of the concept of property (e.g. law and literature, life writing and human rights, visual culture and rights rhetoric);

The main objective of the OSI is to encourage scholarly exchange across disciplines and the critical debate of current research projects as well as work in progress. Participants will have the opportunity to present and discuss their own work both within the larger group and in individual sessions with members of the OSI faculty.

Confirmed faculty for the 2017 OSI include:

Marianne Constable (Rhetoric , UC Berkeley)
Danilo Mandic (Law, U of Westminster)
Cristina S. Martinez (Art History, U of Ottawa)
Sabine N. Meyer (American Studies, Osnabrück U)
Richard Perry (Law, UC Berkeley)
Beth Piatote (Native American Studies, UC Berkeley)
Leti Volpp (Law, UC Berkeley)

In addition, the OSI will feature a professional workshop presenting and discussing EU and GAES (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship and grant opportunities for young international researchers.

Participant Eligibility

The Summer Institute invites doctoral and postdoctoral students from various academic fields whose research interests and projects are situated at the interface between law and the humanities and who are concerned with a better understanding of the interdependence of law and culture.

Doctoral candidates in the humanities, law, the arts, literature, and related social sciences are encouraged to apply, as are advanced students pursuing a J.D. or its equivalent (such as an L.L.B).

Young scholars or junior faculty members who have received a Ph.D. or corresponding degree in the last five years are also eligible. While applications by doctoral/post-doctoral students are prioritized, the Summer Institute will also consider strong applications from advanced Master students about to conclude their studies and with a strong interest in interdisciplinary research. There are openings for up to 24 students to participate in the Summer Institute.

Due to its international audience, the Summer Institute will be entirely conducted in English. Please note: The OSI neither offers German nor English language instruction classes.

Application Process

Students interested in taking part in the Summer Institute should submit their applications on our website no later than April 30, 2017. Detailed and updated information about the Institute, the sessions, international faculty, admission and fees can be found at:

Applicants should complete:

* The application form on our website (see below);
* An up-to-date curriculum vitae;
* A statement of purpose no more than two pages long, describing current scholarly interests, previous research, and how the Summer Institute would specifically further their interests and plans. Applicants are also encouraged to comment on their specific interest in interdisciplinary approaches and how these affect their own work.

Please direct all inquiries and questions to the OSI coordinator at

Peter Schneck

Chair of American Studies

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Kagan on Chae Chan Ping Now

Michael Kagan, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law, has posted Is the Chinese Exclusion Case Still Good Law? (The President Is Trying to Find Out), which is forthcoming in the Nevada Law Journal:
Though barely mentioned in the early court filings, the lurking issue in the constitutional challenges to Pres. Trump’s immigration bans – what opponents call the “Muslim ban” – is whether the 1889 Chinese Exclusion Case can still guide immigration law in the 21st Century.
H/t: Legal Theory Blog

2017 Hurst Institute Fellows Announced

Via the Institute for Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin, we have word of the fellows selected to participate in the 2017 J. Willard Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History:
Wesley Chaney (Assistant Professor, Bates College) (Ph.D., Stanford University)

Scott De Orio (Ph.D. candidate, University of Michigan)

Brooke Depenbusch (Ph.D. candidate, University of Minnesota)

Smita Ghosh (Ph.D. candidate, University of Pennsylvania) (J.D., University of Pennsylvania)

Brendan Gillis (Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow, American Antiquarian Society) (Ph.D., Indiana University)

Elizabeth Lhost (Ph.D. candidate, University of Chicago)

Sara Ludin (Ph.D. candidate, University of California, Berkeley)

Jane Manners (Samuel I. Golieb Fellow, New York University School of Law) (Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University) (J.D., Harvard University)

Mary Mitchell (Atkinson Postdoctoral Fellow in Sustainability, Cornell University) (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) (J.D., Drexel University)

Kalyani Ramnath (Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University) (LL.B., National Law School of India University)

Nicholas Venable (Ph.D. candidate, University of Chicago)

Natasha Wheatley (ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Sydney) (Ph.D., Columbia University)
As other fellowships are announced, we welcome the opportunity to spread the word. Please do email us your good news!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hamburger on Posner on Gorsuch on Hamburger

Our last Weekend Roundup included a pointer to Professor Eric Posner’s post noting Judge Gorsuch’s citations to Philip Hamburger’s  Is Administrative Law Unlawful?  In the post, Professor Posner characterized Professor Hamburger “anti-elite,” “anti-foreigner” (other than the English), and “anti-executive.”  Professor Hamburger replies here.

Medical Cultures, Traditions, and Law

[We have the following conference announcement.]

Medical Cultures, Traditions, and Law (May 5-7, 2017)

Keynote dialogue:

"Intellectual Property, Debt, and Traditional Knowledge"
MADHAVI SUNDER  law, university of california davis
CHIDI OGUAMANAM  law, university of ottawa

Conference details: 
The faculty conveners of the Global Medical Cultures and Law Research Group have joined forces to examine three phenomena over the long 20th century: the globalization of biomedicine, the codification of traditional medicine, and the constitutive role of the law in these processes.

All societies have healing systems. Yet over the last 150 years, one system has become dominant around the world: biomedicine. While it might be tempting to attribute biomedicine’s successes to its effectiveness in curing diseases and extending lives, the historical reality has been less clear-cut. The resurgence of interest in traditional medicine in the second half of the twentieth century arguably grew out of critiques of biomedicine’s limits and a burgeoning awareness that different healing practices, long stifled or marginalized, deserved closer scrutiny. Until now, few scholars have attempted to examine these dynamics together or assess their legal underpinnings.

Our efforts are supported by the Science in Human Culture program and work in synergy with other interdisciplinary programs across Northwestern including international studies, medical humanities, global health, and legal studies. Group members come from history, law, anthropology, political science, sociology, and public policy, and bring a wide variety of regional expertise to the table.

Research questions that we plan to address between 2016 and 2019 include:
  • To what extent and through what legal, institutional, economic, and political instruments has biomedicine been globalized?
  • In what ways did different disciplinary, geopolitical, economic, and legal phenomena play a role in codifying “traditional medicine”?
  • What kinds of ideas about culture, heritage, and ancestry operate in controversies over patenting traditional knowledge and medicine? How are these conflicts different from those surrounding access to drugs and patent-protected versus generic options?
HELEN TILLEY  history, 2016-17 coordinator
CAROL HEIMER  sociology
IAN HURD  political science
REBECCA SELIGMAN  anthropology

Further information is available here.

Gienapp on Historians and Originialism

Over on Process, the blog of the Organization of American Historians, Jonathan Gienapp, an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Stanford University, has posted Constitutional Originalism and History.  A taste:
[H]istorians continue to show little interest in originalism. But in scoffing it off as quaint curiosity, outlandish absurdity, or both, they ignore how a largely one-sided and consequential debate has evolved. Fortunately, Gorsuch’s nomination offers a fresh opportunity to probe originalism’s relationship to history. It has evolved significantly since its emergence, around the time that Antonin Scalia—the theory’s most visible champion for the past three decades and the justice Gorsuch has been nominated to replace—first took his seat on the Supreme Court. But originalism’s development is not simply intriguing in its own right. By understanding how it has changed, we can appreciate the unique, little understood, and urgent threat it now poses to the practice of history.

Nyquist on Re-Reading Legal Realism

Curtis Nyquist, New England Law, has posted Re-Reading Legal Realism and Tracing a Genealogy of Balancing:
The enclosed article offers a new understanding of the history of American legal thought. I developed this interpretation over twenty years as I read into the early twentieth century literature in jurisprudence. The conventional view holds that the Progressive Movement (1905-1923) and the Realist Movement (1923-1941) combined forces to attack and ultimately undermine Classical Legal Thought (1870-1920’s). Any differences between the progressives and the realists are seen as minor as compared with their joint effort to undermine Classical Thought. After reading the original literature I came to realize this standard approach is seriously flawed and a source of endless confusion in contemporary legal thought.

Legal Realism was primarily a critique of progressive thought. Although the realists continued to assail the formalism of Classical Thought, their work is interesting and important because of their attack on the progressives. This attack was linked to a cognitive relativism in legal realism that parallels the profound changes in science and the arts in the 1920’s and 30’s. For example, an article from 1927 in an American Bar Association journal makes the following point: “[T]he old cosmic absolutes – absolute space, absolute time, absolute matter, absolute natural law, absolute truth – are gone. The reign of relativity . . . is destined to work a corresponding revolution, deep, noiseless it may be, but inevitable, in all the views and institutions of man.”

This article also traces the genealogy of balancing. With the collapse of Classical Legal Thought, balancing became the predominant method of legal reasoning. The progressives and the realists held radically different views of balancing but, unfortunately, both used the same terms and it requires careful reading to untangle this history. The article distinguishes a teleological view of balancing, dominant in the progressive era and still the prevailing approach, and an attack on teleological balancing which the article calls “conflicting considerations.” One of the confusions in contemporary thought is the failure to recognize these two types of balancing. Many lawyers, judges, and scholars see only teleological balancing and fail to recognize the importance of the realists’ contribution to policy analysis.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jones on New Zealand & Māori Law

Carwyn Jones, Victoria University of Wellington has published New Treaty, New Tradition: Reconciling New Zealand and Māori Law with UBC Press. From the publisher:
While Indigenous peoples face the challenges of self-determination in a postcolonial world, New Treaty, New Tradition provides a timely look at how the resolution of land claims in New Zealand continues to shape Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures alike. As Canada moves towards reconciliation with its own First Peoples, we can learn much from the Waitangi Treaty example.
 Legal cultures change in response to social and economic environments. Inevitably, the settlement of historical land claims has affected issues of identity, rights, and resource management. Interweaving thoughtful analysis with Māori storytelling on legal themes, Carwyn Jones shows how the New Zealand treaty settlement process limits Indigenous authority. At the same time, the author reveals the enduring vitality of Māori legal traditions, making the case that genuine reconciliation can occur only when we recognize the importance of Indigenous traditions in the settlement process. 
Drawing on examples from Canada and New Zealand, Jones illustrates how Western legal thought has shaped the claims process, deepening our understanding of treaty work in the former British colonies and providing context for similar work in Canada. As Indigenous self-determination plays out on the world stage, this nuanced reflection brings into focus prospects for the long-term success of reconciliation projects around the globe.
Praise for the book:

"This book breaks important new ground in Māori studies. Even more impressive is Jones's masterful use of a variety of critical methodologies and scholarship that can be applied to the contemporary human rights situation of Indigenous peoples around the world. In an analysis thoroughly grounded in Māori language and storytelling traditions, Jones reveals a powerful new way of using Indigenous knowledge to critique, reform, and undermine the grounding assumptions of the West's racist, colonial legal regimes and systems of non-Indigenous governmentality and law imposed on Indigenous peoples."  -Robert A. Williams Jr.

"New Treaty, New Tradition is a tour de force. Intricately argued and beautifully sculpted, this book is useful to both scholars and Indigenous peoples around the world engaged in treaty and resource recovery negotiations." -Margaret Mutu

"Carwyn Jones has written a book that will enrich the popular discourse of Indigenous politics, governance, decolonization, and resurgence." -Val Napoleon

Full information is available here.

Sawyer on the New History of Originalism

[We're moving this up, because Professor Sawyer's paper is now downloadable.]

Logan Everett Sawyer III, University of Georgia Law School, has posted the abstract for Principle and Politics in the New History of Originalism, which is forthcoming in the American Journal of Legal History (2017):
The emergence of a new form of originalism has sparked an interest in the theory’s past that is particularly welcome as developments on the Supreme Court and in the Republican Party unsettle the theory’s place in American law and politics. Our understanding of the theory’s development, however, has been limited by an unfortunate and unnecessary division between what are now two separate histories of originalism. One history examines the theory’s development in academia and emphasizes the influence of principled argument. A second investigates its role in politics and highlights the role of conservative interests. This review essay identifies this division and offers two ways to create a productive dialogue. It first suggests we consider how political interests have shaped the academic debates over originalism by influencing the institutions that produce those debates. Second, it urges a reconsideration of how and why academic debates have shaped the theory’s political uses. There is good reason to consider whether principled constitutional argument, and thus the debates of academics, have shaped the political uses of originalism even if the theory’s most important advocates were motivated mostly – or even entirely – by the pursuit of political advantage. Using these approaches to identify the reciprocal influence of politics and principle on originalism’s past can help produce the new history of originalism we need to understand, evaluate, and influence the theory’s role in American law and politics.

Legal History at the Business History Conference

Much on the program of the upcoming Business History Conference, Denver, Colorado, March 30, 2017 to April 1, 2017, will be of interest to legal historians.  With a h/t to JLG, we note particularly:

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Anouncing the Socio-Legal Review Forum

[We have the following announcement.]

The Editorial Board of the Socio-Legal Review is proud to announce the launch of its online companion/blog, the Socio-Legal Review Forum. Since its inception in 2005, SLR has strived to further the discourse on the intersection of law and society. Over the past decade, it has provided both students and scholars a platform to engage with socio-legal matters relevant in the South Asian context. Since it became a biannual publication in 2012, it has produced a themed issue every year, providing different perspectives on current issues such as legal education, human rights, and the environment.

However, the constraints of a journal format have frequently rendered us unable to respond to current events with the immediacy they require. Additionally, the legal blogosphere in India has a noticeable vacuum when it comes to discussion on socio-legal issues, while more popular outlets for think-pieces often lack a much-need legal perspective. To counter this, we seek to provide a platform for informed debate on contemporary developments across the globe. As a more informal venue, we also hope to reach out to a wider audience than a journal is able to.

We welcome submissions in the form of comments on recent legal developments or book reviews engaging with recent literature, as well as responses to pieces previously published in the Review or the Forum. To contribute a piece for the Forum, please write to us at To submit a piece for our print journal, please email us at
For more information and for subscribing to the mailing list, please refer to the Submission Guidelines.

Hitting the Legal-History Books

On the eve of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch's confirmation hearings, here's Akhil Reed Amar's New York Times op-ed on originalisms, liberal and conservative.  "Judge Gorsuch should stress that he knows how much he does not (yet) know and that he is willing to learn by hitting the legal-history books and amicus briefs in the years ahead."

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Weekend Roundup

  • Jeffrey Abramson discusses the William Penn trial in his op-ed in the Dallas Morning News on the Supreme Court’s recent Pena-Rodriguez decision. (Hat tip: Josiah M. Daniel, III).
  • ICYMI: Eric Muller, North Carolina Law, posts on his article on the "project attorneys" at the War Relocation Authority's Heart Mountain Relocation Center over at the Faculty Lounge.
  • Update: The Commission on Legal Pluralism has decided to postpone its upcoming biennial conference, which was supposed to take place in Syracuse, New York in July 2017. "Citizenship, Legal Pluralism and Governance in the Age of Globalization" will now happen in summer 2018 somewhere outside of the US, so as not to exclude (or discourage) participation from a number of Muslim-majority countries. You can read the Commission's statements here.
Weekend Roundup is a weekly feature compiled by all the Legal History bloggers.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Anglo-Saxonism at the New York Constitutional Convention, 1915

[In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we're reposting this.  To see why it's in honor of St. Patrick's Day, though, you'll have to read to the end.  Caveat: it's a long way to go for a punchline that probably was funnier a century ago than it is today.]

The first reading in a unit on ethnicity and the bar in my legal history course is an exchange between the great corporation lawyer Elihu Root and the great German Jewish civil libertarian lawyer Louis Marshall (q.v. Victoria Saker Woeste's article in the Journal of American History 91 (2004).) In a 1916 address, published in the proceedings of the New York State Bar Association, Root argued that the appearance of millions of recent immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe was endangering the Rule of Law. Coming from communities in which "the courts are part of the administrative system of the government, not independent tribunals" and "the law is contained in codes framed and imposed upon the people by superior power," they had never encountered "the principle of individual liberty which has grown out of the life of the Anglo-Saxon race." This great mass, Root warned, "will change us unless we change them."

Louis Marshall replied in a letter to the New York Times. He denied Root's implication that lawyers of foreign birth or parentage embraced traditions of State control over liberty. "An overwhelming proportion of our immigrants have come to America because of their aspirations for individual liberty and their revolt against state control over liberty," Marshall countered. Root would have immigrants sojourn "forty years in a political purgatory" before admitting them to "the 'promised land' of true Americanism." In fact, America's immigrants required "no external influence to expel from their blood the servile conditions prevailing in the lands of their fathers."

After the Root-Marshall exchange, the following document probably is surplusage, but I usually assign it anyway. It's an excerpt from a report by Charles B. Sears on the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1915 for the Thursday Club of Buffalo, a literary and social circle. (Sears would later become a highly regarded appellate judge; the University at Buffalo's law library is named after him.)

A few episodes, not very important in the final work of the Convention, stand out in the minds of the delegates. Mr. C. H. Young, Delegate-at-large from Westchester County, proposed and had reported by the Committee on Suffrage the following new section to the Constitution:
After January 1, 1918, no person shall become entitled to vote on attaining majority by naturalization or otherwise unless such person is also able, except for physical disability, to read and write English.
Upon the debate which ensued a marked racial clanishness was exhibited. Mr. Gordon Knox Bell from New York [pictured, below left] made a speech on behalf of the English, Judge Clearwater of Kingston on behalf of the Dutch, Louis Marshall on behalf of the Jews, and Convention seemed about to resolve itself into hostile camps on the subject of pedigree. Bell, in his excitement, walking down into the well, thundered forth his praise of England at a speed which baffled the stenographer, and little of his remarkable speech appears in the record. I quote, however, from the meagre record a few of his sentences and some words of an interruption:
“Gentlemen, we must stop to think what we are. This is not a question of Nations, it is a question of races, and when all is said and done, there is not a man in this room who can deny that we are an English race, born and bred and brought up with the traditions of the men of England, of Anglo-Saxon stock. It is idle to bring to my view that that race is in the minority in our country–a little leaven leavens the whole lump, and if there is only one Anglo-Saxon left we cannot forswear our heritage. History shows, or your own hearts will show, if you stop to reason, it is true, we are Anglo-Saxon.* * *

Take the country where most of our ancestors came from, those bleak islands now so sadly at war. In that country they spoke all sorts of languages, resembling the medley spoke all sorts of languages, resembling the medley as in our country today. The came the French conquest, and then Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the fourteenth century saw that by popularizing all of the English languages, taking what he could at the time as far as he was able in the Canterbury Tales, he made a vehicle of thought of which the people began to talk. And then came along the great reign of which my friend Mr. Beach spoke, of Prince Hal, when he came to the throne, and that was the first time that the Englishmen, as such, were solidified as a nation.

Mr. Unger – Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield to a question?

Mr. Chairman – Will the gentleman permit a question?

Mr. Bell – Certainly.

Mr. Unger – Will the gentleman advise whether or not it was Sir William Gilbert, of Gilbert and Sullivan, who wrote the immortal lines:

For he himself hath said it,
(And it’s greatly to his credit)
He might have been a Prooshan,
A Frenchman, Turk, or Rooshan,
Or an Eye-tal-i-an;
But in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations,
He remained an Englishman,
He remained an Englishman!

Mr. Bell – I thank you for the quotation. That is exactly what I would like to hear, but I am bold to say that there is a greater word that “Englishman.”
This speech was too much for Mr. Louis Marshall, and he bellowed forth his defense of the Jews in a voice which rang to every corner of the hall. Hear Mr. Marshall, who offered an amendment to change the word “English” in the proposed new section to “any language”:
There is not one drop of Anglo-Saxon blood that courses through my veins, and yet I think that I have as much appreciation of the spirit and genius of our institutions as has any member of this body.***

Let me tell you, for example, that there is in this State a body of people numbering over a million who read the Yiddish language. Many of them cannot read any other language. Most of them read newspapers published only in that language. I have before me a list of five newspapers published in the city of New York, whose average daily circulation, in Yiddish, is upwards of 500,000 in the aggregate–whose daily circulation combined is upwards 500,000 in the aggregate. There is one of those which has a daily circulation of 175,000 and that is on a very fair estimate of its circulation. It is the sworn statement of the editor of that newspaper. These newspapers are wide-awake. They reach an intelligent reading public, a reading public which obtains its opinions with regard to public affairs largely through their columns. They are publishing daily reports concerning what is going on in this Convention, with regard to the work which is here done. I have had occasion to read a number of those papers in the last few weeks and I find that they treat this Convention much more fairly than has a certain portion of the English press of the city of New York–much more fairly and much more intelligently and much more with a desire to instruct the people as to what is being done here and what the aspirations are to those who are seeking to draft a Constitution for the people of this State.***

They [the Jewish people] will tell you that at a time when the barons at Runnymede had to sign their marks to that document, the Magna Charta, their ancestors, who had no English or Anglo-Saxon blood flowing through their veins, were able to read and write. And although they did not participate in the Magna Charta and although they were made the objects of hateful discrimination in that document, those of their speech had previously educated the world in the Decalogue. They had developed a literature rich in every department of thought and one branch of them had given to the world the Sermon on the Mount. Yet we are told here that these people, because they may not be able to read the English language, because they come to our shores as refugees from oppression, ready to devote themselves and their thoughts and their hearts and their minds to the development of this country, who are able to read and write a language through which they can gain knowledge and information in regard to the affairs of this country, are unfit to exercise the right of franchise.
Mr. Marshall’s amendment was defeated[.] Mr. Young’s proposition was carried in the Committee of the Whole, but defeated in the Convention after numerous delegates had explained their votes; for example, Mr. Donovan said:

“Mr. Bell said here the other day that the Anglo-Saxon race settled the country. I concede that they did. They settled it, fixed the stage and arranged everything for the Irish to come and take possession. And they have had it ever since.”

Image Credit: Bell

Armstrong on Gerard of Siena

Last spring, Lawrin Armstrong, University of Toronto published The Idea of a Moral Economy: Gerard of Siena on Usury, Restitution, and Prescription with the University of Toronto Press. 

From the publisher:
The Idea of a Moral Economy: Gerard of Siena on Usury, Restitution, and PrescriptionThe Idea of a Moral Economy is the first modern edition and English translation of three questions disputed at the University of Paris in 1330 by the theologian Gerard of Siena. The questions represent the most influential late medieval formulation of the natural law argument against usury and the illicit acquisition of property. Together they offer a particularly clear example of scholastic ideas about the nature and purpose of economic activity and the medieval concept of a moral economy.
In his introduction, editor Lawrin Armstrong discusses Gerard’s arguments and considers their significance both within the context of scholastic philosophy and law and as a critique of contemporary mainstream economics. His analysis demonstrates how Gerard’s work is not only a valuable source for understanding economic thought in pre-modern Europe, but also a fertile resource for scholars of law, economics, and philosophy in medieval Europe and beyond.
Some reviews:

"In its direct, succinct, and very insightful way, The Idea of a Moral Economy makes a major contribution to the understanding of scholastic economic thought and the transmission of ideas in the Middle Ages more generally." -William Caferro

 "Lawrin Armstrong's lucid translation offers access to Gerard's thought and to the radical differences between his 'medieval' notions and those of modern capitalism." -Christopher Schabel

“Lawrin Armstrong is to be praised for providing us with a valuable scholarly edition of Gerard’s influential work.” -Stephen H. Rigby

Full information is available here.

Cardozo: Judge, Justice, Scholar

[We have the following announcement.]

Explore the life and career of the influential jurist, the second Jewish Justice (after Louis Brandeis) on the U.S. Supreme Court with scholars, lawyers and judges.

Thursday, March 23
9:00 -- Breakfast and Welcome
Harry Ballan, Dean and Professor of Law, Touro Law Center
Samuel J. Levine, Professor of Law and Director of the Jewish Law Institute, Touro Law Center; Conference Organizer

9:30 - 10:50 -- Cardozo and Contracts
Deseriee Kennedy, Associate Dean of Diversity & Inclusion and Professor of Law, Touro Law Center --Moderator
Curtis Bridgeman, Dean and Professor of Law, Willamette University College of Law
    --Was Countrywide's “Hustle” Scheme Promissory Fraud: What Would Cardozo Do?
George M. Cohen, Brokaw Professor of Corporate Law, University of Virginia College of Law
    --The Uncertainty of Sun Printing
Meredith R. Miller, Professor of Law and Director of Solo & Small Practice Initiatives, Touro Law Center
    --The Legacy of Mr. Justice Cardozo and the Law of Contracts at the New York Court Appeals

11:00 - 11:40 -- Cardozo’s Judicial Style
Myra Berman, Associate Dean for Experiential Learning and Associate Professor of Law, Touro Law Center--Moderator
Joel Newman, Professor of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law
    --Cardozo and Tax: The Welch Case
Richard H. Weisberg, Walter Floersheimer Professor of Constitutional Law, Cardozo School of Law
    --How Cardozo's 1925 “Law and Literature” Essay Illuminates His Own Judicial Style
12:00 - 12:40 -- Cardozo and the Legal Profession

Ajay K. Mehrotra, Executive Director & Research Professor, American Bar Foundation; Professor of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law --Moderator
Milan Markovic, Associate Professor of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law
    --Salmon v. Meinhard and the Current State of the Legal Market
 Rebecca Roiphe, Professor of Law, New York Law School
    --Cardozo, Tammany Hall, and the Legal Profession

1:00 - 2:00 -- Lunch

Keynote Address
Andrew L. Kaufman, Charles Stebbins Fairchild Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
--Cardozo: A Biographer's View

2:15 - 3:00 -- Cardozo, Law, and Society

Harry Ballan, Dean and Professor of Law, Touro Law Center --Moderator
Frederick M. Lawrence, Secretary and CEO, Phi Beta Kappa Society
    --Benjamin Cardozo and the University: Higher Education Law in Cardozo’s Jurisprudence
 Deborah W. Post, Professor Emeritus, Touro Law Center
    --Cardozo and the Canon: Respect and Resistance in the Classroom

3:15 - 4:30 -- Cardozo and Judicial Decisionmaking

Rodger Citron, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law--Moderator
Joel K. Goldstein, Vincent C. Immel Professor of Law, Saint Louis University School of Law
    ---The Nature of the Judicial Process
Randy Lee, Professor of Law at the Commonwealth Law School of Widener University
    --Justice Cardozo's Thoughts on Judges and the Law
Judge Kermit V. Lipez, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
    --- The Nature of the Judicial Process: A Case Study

5:00 - Reception -- Judaica Room

6:00  Dinner

Video Message
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, New York State Court of Appeals

Friday—March 24

9:00 - Breakfast

9:30 - 10:30 -- Cardozo's Jurisprudence

Joan Foley, Associate Professor of Legal Process, Touro Law Center--Moderator
John C.P. Goldberg, Eli Goldston Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
    --Benjamin Cardozo and The Death of the Common Law
Mark A. Graber, Jacob A. France Professor of Constitutionalism, University of Maryland Carey School of Law
    --Benjamin Cardozo and the Beginning of Modern Liberalism
Benjamin C. Zipursky, James H. Quinn ’49 Chair in Legal Ethics; Professor of Law, Fordham Law School
    --Cardozo and the Arc of Pragmatism

10:40 - 11:40 -- Cardozo and Torts

Lawrence Raful, Professor of Law, Touro Law Center--Moderator
John Dzienkowski, John F. Sutton Chair in Lawyering and the Legal Process, University of Texas School of Law
    --Cardozo on Privity
Michael D. Green, Bess and Walter Williams Distinguished Chair, Wake Forest University School of Law
    -- Cardozo's Relationship with Juries
William E. Nelson, Weinfeld Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

12:00 - 1:00 -- Lunch

1:15 - 2:30 -- Justice Cardozo

Honorable Louis H. Kornreich, United States Bankruptcy Judge (Ret); Of Counsel, Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer and Nelson, P.A.--Moderator
Richard D. Friedman, Alene and Allan F. Smith Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School
    --Cardozo on the Supreme Court
Robert Pushaw, James Wilson Endowed Professor, Pepperdine University School of Law
    --Justice Cardozo on the Burgeoning Administrative State
Steven L. Winter, Walter S. Gibbs Professor of Constitutional Law, Wayne State University School of Law
    --Cardozo's Freudian Slips
The cost to attend this conference is $50. To register or for questions, please contact Patti Desrochers at (631) 761-7062 or email

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Judith S. Kaye Fellowship in Humanities and the Law

[We have the following announcement.]

The Bard High School Early Colleges (BHSEC) seek to improve public education by offering a diverse group of public school students access to an enriched, challenging liberal arts and sciences college academic environment, thereby closing the gap between high school and college and giving underserved students the opportunity for an excellent college. Students graduate from BHSEC prepared to take upper level college courses, earn a baccalaureate degree, launch successful careers, and contribute to society.  BHSEC provides younger scholars with a tuition-free, credit bearing college course of study in the liberal arts and sciences following the 9th and 10th grades. Students are taught by college faculty in seminar classes; they receive up to 60 college credits and an associate in arts (A.A.) degree from Bard College, concurrently with a high school diploma. Bard Early Colleges begin preparing students for college work as early as the 9th grade and offer ongoing guidance and academic supports.  BHSEC operates as a partnership between Bard College and the New York City Department of Education and is accredited as a branch campus of Bard College.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Historical Society of the New York Courts (HSNYC), Bard High School Early College Manhattan seeks applications for the fall 2017 Judith S. Kaye Fellowship in Humanities and the Law. This fellowship was established to fund the hiring of a visiting scholar or a faculty member each year to develop and teach a semester long college elective on the subjects of Justice and the Courts, Legal History in NYS, New York State Constitutional Law or topics more broadly related to the role of the courts in establishing and maintaining democracy in the United States and in New York State, more particularly. Course proposals that focus on a more narrow aspect of the law, such as Search & Seizure, the Right to Privacy, or the concept of Equality, are also encouraged and considered. 

The Judith S. Kaye Fellowship is intended to create a wealth of curricula developed for young people that could be made widely available to teachers around the state and country through HSNYC's web-site and other resources, to open a new discipline of study and inquiry for BHSECs' diverse students, leading not only to more educated citizens but to possible careers in law or criminal justice, and to sponsor scholarship in the field and contribute to the knowledge of the role of the New York Courts in shaping U.S. history and current events.  Between 20 and 25 students would be able to register for the Kaye Fellow's course each semester it is offered.

The Kaye Fellowship will bring a distinguished scholar to the BHSEC Campus at 525 East Houston Street to teach one three-credit college course in a one-semester appointment.  The class will meet three times a week for 50 minutes over a semester running from early September to mid-January.  This position is open to scholars in legal history, American constitutional law or legal studies. The Fellowship offers a modest stipend of $6500, and gives scholars the opportunity to develop innovative early college curriculum around the themes of Justice and the Role of the Courts, as well as to advise students and to present to the BHSEC community and the Historic Society of the Courts of New York.

To apply, send a brief letter of interest describing the proposed course, and a curriculum vitae, to Associate Dean of Studies William H. Hinrichs,  Include your name and "HSNYC Fellow" in the subject line. All materials must be submitted electronically. 

Applications must be submitted no later than March 30, 2017.  Review of applications to begin immediately. Bard High School Early College is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from individuals who contribute to its diversity. AA/EOE

Stover, Peskin and Koenig on War Criminals

Back in spring 2016, the University of California Press published Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror by Eric Stover, Victor Peskin, and Alexa Koenig, all at the University of California, Berkeley. From the press:

Hiding in Plain Sight tells the story of the global effort to apprehend the world’s most wanted fugitives. Beginning with the flight of tens of thousands of Nazi war criminals and their collaborators after World War II, then moving on to the question of justice following the recent Balkan wars and the Rwandan genocide, and ending with the establishment of the International Criminal Court and America’s pursuit of suspected terrorists in the aftermath of 9/11, the book explores the range of diplomatic and military strategies—both successful and unsuccessful—that states and international courts have adopted to pursue and capture war crimes suspects. It is a story fraught with broken promises, backroom politics, ethical dilemmas, and daring escapades—all in the name of international justice and human rights.

Hiding in Plain Sight is a companion book to the public television documentary Dead Reckoning: Postwar Justice from World War II to The War on Terror. For more information about the documentary, visit For information about the Human Rights Center, visit

Praise for the book:

"In Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror, Eric Stover, Victor Peskin and Alexa Koenig combine meticulous historical and legal research to trace the global search for war criminals from Adolf Eichmann to Ratko Mladic, Saddam Hussein to Osama bin Laden. Beginning by detailing the legal and humanitarian precedents set by the Nuremberg Trials and the Geneva Convention, and ending with a critique of the United States’ moral negation during the so-called ‘War on Terror’, this book is essential for readers looking to understand why crimes against humanity so frequently go unpunished." -Esther Adaire

"Hiding in Plain Sight is a fast-paced, well-written account of the pursuit of war criminals. Many have not only committed crimes on a large scale, but have been protected by powerful forces, including governments. This book is essential reading for those who wish to see that those who are responsible for atrocities are brought to justice." -Aryeh Neier

"One of the world's most daunting challenges is securing the arrest of war crimes suspects, especially when they are high-level civilian or military leaders. Hiding in Plain Sight deals a much-needed blow to impunity by revealing how governments and international institutions have sometimes succeeded—but more often failed—to live up to their legal obligations to bring war criminals to justice. Built on scores of interviews with jurists, investigators, and activists from the front lines of international criminal law, this thoroughly researched book is both extremely timely and long overdue." -Navi Pillay

“A riveting modern history, on the trail of international justice in the face of politics and self-interest, Hiding in Plain Sight is a must-read for anyone who wants to know from whence we have come and the obstacles that will fill the road that lies ahead." -Philippe Sands

Full information is available here.