Professor Tom Ginsburg to lecture on social contract theories of constitutions

10 May 2011

We are pleased to welcome back to Oxford Professor Tom Ginsburg, who will deliver a lecture entitled: 'Constitutions as Contracts, Constitutions as Charters' at the Manor Road Building on 25th May.

Professor Ginsburg, Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, will reassess the recent line of work that has called into question social contract theories of constitutions on both normative and positive grounds. He will argue that modern developments in contract theory provide numerous useful ideas that help us to understand the social and political foundations of constitutions as a positive matter.

While contract theory may not explain all aspects of constitutions, it does a better job than the competing theories that have been offered to date by the critics.

Professor Ginsburg focuses on comparative and international law from an interdisciplinary perspective, and has been instrumental in the formation of the Comparative Constitutions Project.

Before entering law teaching, he served as a legal adviser at the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal, The Hague, Netherlands, and consulted with numerous international development agencies and foreign governments on legal and constitutional reform.

The lecture will be held in Seminar Rm C at the Manor Road Building at 4.30 pm on Wednesday 25th May.