Top US scholar Akhil Amar opens new season of events

16 September 2013

Do the recent populist uprisings across the globe reflect a genuine increase in the power of the people and a threat to republicanism as we know it today? How can we best realise the post-2015 UN Development goals on justice, corruption, and judicial accountability? And how should Europe respond to EU legislation to better resolve disputes between business and consumers?
These are some of the questions that we will be addressing in our programme of lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, and book colloquia being held later this year. The series will begin in New York this week with a keynote speech by esteemed legal scholar Professor Akhil Amar from Yale Law School, which will explore the ideas in his acclaimed book America's Unwritten Constitution. The speech will open a workshop, held at the Jay Heritage Center, at which constitutional experts will examine populist movements that are breaking out across the globe - in central and Eastern Europe, Greece, Italy, Latin America, and the United States.
The discussion will ask whether these popular movements constitute the first stirrings of a new constitutional paradigm in which representative ideas and institutions are discredited and the people are more directly involved. Populist movements have come and gone, but is there now a new force at large with grave consequences for the standard model of republicanism?
Lecture by Professor Akhil Amar: On the Nature of Constitutions
Workshop: Populism and Constitutions
Other highlights this year include a panel discussion on the Post-2015 International Development Agenda featuring Professor Michael Woolcock of Harvard University and the World Bank, which will be the inaugural event of our new programme on Development and the Implications for Law, Justice and Society.
Panel Discussion: Law, Justice and Society on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Later in October, we will be following up our first film night in the state-of-the art Leonard Wolfson lecture theatre with a screening and discussion of Hotel Rwanda, a thought-provoking depiction of genocide, political corruption, and the repercussions of violence. 
Other events of note include a conference featuring Jacqueline Minor, the European Commission's Head of Representation in the United Kingdom, which will point the way forward for the EU to implement legislation to improve the way that disputes between business and consumers are resolved.
Later in the year will see the launch of another new programme which will study the connections between law, film, and literature; and question to what degree literature can enrich our understanding of the role of law in society. Full details of this new line of enquiry and associated events will be announced in the next few weeks. 
To find out more and reserve your place at these and other events coming up this year, please click on the event pages on the right, or visit our News and Events pages for a complete listing.