Professor Scott Shapiro ’90 to Discuss The Law of the World in Southmayd Inaugural Lecture

Scott Shapiro ’90 will present his inaugural lecture as the Charles F. Southmayd Professor of Law on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. in Room 127. His lecture is titled “The Law of the World.” It is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Alumni Reading Room.

Of his lecture, Professor Shapiro says, “Critics of international law frequently cite the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 as clear evidence of its folly. That the Great Powers attempted to rid the world of war by means of a piece of paper is taken as a sign of the naive idealism that has discredited international law for so many. I take issue with this skeptical view by arguing that the Kellogg-Briand pact inaugurated a revolution in our thinking about war. The treaty has, in fact, been so successful that we no longer remember the world before it, when war was a well-established legal institution and, thus, a legitimate method for enforcing rights and resolving disputes. I attempt to recover this once dominant but now-forgotten conception of war by returning to its first formulation by Hugo Grotius and the strange confluence of events that led to its creation.”

Scott Shapiro joined the Yale Law faculty in July 2008 as a professor of law and philosophy. He previously taught law and philosophy at the University of Michigan and before that, was a professor of law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

His areas of interest include jurisprudence, international law, constitutional law and theory, criminal law, family law, philosophy of action, and the theory of authority. He is the author of Legality (2011) and editor (with Jules Coleman) of The Oxford Handbook of Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law (2002).

He holds B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy from Columbia University and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was senior editor of The Yale Law Journal.