Chorley Lecture

The Chorley Lecture is an annual lecture inaugurated in 1972 and named in honour of Lord Chorley of Kendal, the founding editor of the Modern Law Review. The Lecture, which is normally delivered in late May or early June at the London School of Economics & Political Science, is the most important occasion in the calendar of the Review. A version of the lecture is subsequently published as the lead article in the January issue of the following year’s Review.

2022 Lecture Free

Hidden Delegations: On the Transfer of Contractual Rights

Professor Seana Shiffrin

Seana Valentine Shiffrin is Pete Kameron Professor of Law and Social Justice at the UCLA, where she is also cross-appointed as Professor of Philosophy.  She serves as co-director of UCLA’s Law and Philosophy Program.  A graduate of UC Berkeley, University of Oxford, and the Harvard Law School, Shiffrin is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Her research addresses the philosophical and legal dimensions of the social conditions of autonomy and moral agency.  Her work focuses on contracts, promising, democracy, freedom of speech, constitutional law, and egalitarianism.  Her recent books include Democratic Law (Oxford University Press, 2021) and Speech Matters: On Lying, Morality, and the Law (Princeton University Press, 2014).

Please reply to: Amanda Tinnams (a.tinnams@lse.ac.uk) by Monday 6th June 2022 if you would like to attend the lecture.

09.05.23 TBC Professor Chris Brummer

Chris Brummer is a Georgetown law professor and author. He also lectures widely on fintech, financial regulation and global governance. In this capacity, he routinely provides analysis for multilateral institutions and participates in global regulatory forums, and he has testified before US and EU legislative bodies. His work has been featured in CNN, Marketwatch, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Yahoo Money, Roll Call, Cointelegraph, and Coin Desk, among others.

Chris started his career at Cravath Swaine and Moore LLP, and now serves as the Faculty Director of the Institute of International Economic Law. Since assuming the post, he has lent his expertise to nonprofits and policymakers, and offered his insights as to how firms and governments can best understand and react to new developments and challenges in the financial system.

Chris Brummer

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15.06.22 Hidden Delegations: On the Transfer of Contractual Rights Professor Seana Shiffrin

Seana Valentine Shiffrin is Pete Kameron Professor of Law and Social Justice at the UCLA, where she is also cross-appointed as Professor of Philosophy.  She serves as co-director of UCLA’s Law and Philosophy Program.  A graduate of UC Berkeley, University of Oxford, and the Harvard Law School, Shiffrin is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Her research addresses the philosophical and legal dimensions of the social conditions of autonomy and moral agency.  Her work focuses on contracts, promising, democracy, freedom of speech, constitutional law, and egalitarianism.  Her recent books include Democratic Law (Oxford University Press, 2021) and Speech Matters: On Lying, Morality, and the Law (Princeton University Press, 2014).

Please reply to: Amanda Tinnams (a.tinnams@lse.ac.uk) by Monday 6th June 2022 if you would like to attend the lecture.

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20.10.21 Fat Cats, Production Networks, and the Right to Fair Pay Professor Hugh Collins

We are delighted that Professor Hugh Collins postponed Chorley Lecture will be held on: Wednesday 20th October 2021 starting at 6pm. The title of his lecture is: ‘Fat Cats, Production Networks, and the Right to Fair Pay’.  Due to restrictions on live public events at the LSE this year we will be holding the event at the:  Royal College of Surgeons (adjacent to LSE), The View, 6th Floor, 38-43 Lincoln’s Fields, London, WC2A 3PE.

It will be livestreamed at this link and available here on Youtube.

Hugh Collins FBA is the Cassel Professor of Commercial Law at the London School of Economics.   He studied law at the University of Oxford and Harvard Law School.  He was formerly Professor of English Law at LSE (1991-2013) and the Vinerian Professor of English Law at All Souls College Oxford (2013-19).  He has published books in the fields of employment law, contract law, human rights, and legal theory.  His current research is concerned with the application of principles of justice to relations at work.

Please reply to: Amanda Tinnams (a.tinnams@lse.ac.uk) if you would like to attend the lecture.

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12.06.19 Consent, Legitimation and Dysphoria Professor Robin L West

Robin L. West is the Frederick J. Haas Professor of Law and Philosophy, Georgetown Law Center. She has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and Stanford Law Schools. She also taught at the University of Maryland Law School between 1986 and 1991 and at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, from 1982-1985. Professor West has written extensively on gender issues and feminist legal theory, constitutional law and theory, jurisprudence, legal philosophy, and law and literature.

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05.06.18 The Publius Paradox: On the Dangers of a Weak Executive Professor Adrian Vermeule

Adrian Vermeule is the Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School. Before coming to Harvard, he was the Bernard D. Meltzer Professor of Law at the University of Chicago. He is the author or co-author of nine books, most recently Law’s Abnegation: From Law’s Empire to the Administrative State (2016), The Constitution of Risk (2014) and The System of the Constitution (2012). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. His research focuses on administrative law, the administrative state, the design of institutions, and constitutional theory. Vermeule graduated from Harvard College in 1990 and Harvard Law School in 1993. The Lecture will be held at 6pm on Tuesday 5 June 2018 at the Shaw Library, Old Building, London School of Economics and Political Science.

You can watch the lecture here.

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14.06.17 The Current Political Discourse Concerning International Law Professor James R Crawford

Reading current statements of world leaders on subjects relevant to international law is liable to cause confusion, even distress to those for whom the 1945 regulatory arrangements, as completed in the post-Cold War era, have become the norm. International law is invoked, but in what seems an increasingly antagonistic way, amounting often to a dialogue of the deaf. At other times it is apparently or even transparently ignored. This touches many of the arrangements governments spent the preceding period seeking to establish—whether concerning human rights (international and regional), international humanitarian law, refugee protection, free trade, climate change, the regulation of ocean spaces, international dispute settlement, foreign direct investment, international criminal law… Is there a pattern to all this, and how should we respond?

You can listen to and download the lecture here.

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James Crawford is a Judge of the International Court of Justice. Previously he was Whewell Professor of International Law, University of Cambridge (1992-2015), and has also held chairs in Australia and China. As a member of the United Nations International Law Commission he was responsible for the Draft Statute for an International Criminal Court (1994) and the ILC Articles on State Responsibility (2001). In addition to scholarly work, he has been involved as counsel, expert or arbitrator in some 100 international cases. In 2012 he was awarded the Hudson Medal by the American Society of International Law and in 2013 was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia.

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21.06.16 The Negligence Standard: Political Not Metaphysical Professor John Gardner

This contribution distinguishes two kinds of responsibility: the basic (or ‘metaphysical’) kind that we all inescapably have as functioning human beings; and the assignable (or ‘political’) kind that connects each of us with some particular tasks, and not with others. Having explored some differences between the two, and in particular the role of law’s authority in connection with each, the discussion turns to the negligence standard, especially but not only as it figures in tort law. Recently, several philosophers have attempted to find a role for the negligence standard in the metaphysics of basic responsibility. This contribution resists that development and stands up for the traditional lawyer’s view that the negligence standard belongs to the pliable politics of assignable responsibility. Basic responsibility, it is argued, is fundamentally strict.

John Gardner is Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford.

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18.06.15 Law as Information in the Era of Data-Driven Agency Professor Mireille Hildebrandt

Chair of Smart Environments, Data Protection and the Rule of Law, Institute of Computing and Information Sciences (iCIS) Radboud University Nijmegen

Professor of Technology Law and Law in Technology Research Group for Law Science Technology and Society (LSTS) Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Associate Professor of Jurisprudence, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam European Commission

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17.06.14 The Constitutional Imagination Professor Martin Loughlin

The constitutional imagination refers to the way we have been able to conceive the relationship between thought, text and action in the constitution of modern political authority. The lecture seeks to demonstrate how modern constitutional texts come to be invested with a ‘world-making’ capacity. The argument is advanced first by explaining how social contract thinkers have been able to set the parameters of the constitutional imagination (thought), then by showing that constitutions are agonistic documents and their interpretative method is determined by a dialectic of ideology and utopia (text), and finally by examining the degree to which constitutions have been able to colonise the political domain, thereby converting constitutional aspiration into political reality (action). It concludes by suggesting that although we seem to be entering a constitutional age, this is an ambiguous achievement and whether the power of the constitutional imagination can still be sustained remains an open question.

Martin Loughlin is Professor of Public Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science

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04.06.13 Challenging Executive Dominance in European Democracy Professor Deidre Curtin

Executive dominance in the contemporary EU is part of a wider migration of executive power towards types of decision making that eschew electoral accountability and popular democratic control. This democratic gap is fed by far-going secrecy arrangements and practices exercised in a concerted fashion by the various executive actors at different levels of governance and resulting in the blacking out of crucial information and documents – even for parliaments. Beyond a deconstruction exercise on the nature and location of EU executive power and secretive working practices, this article focuses on the challenges facing parliaments in particular. It seeks to reconstruct a more pro-active and networked role of parliaments – both national and European – as countervailing power. In this vision parliaments must assert themselves in a manner that is true to their role in the political system and that is not dictated by government at any level. Deirdre Curtin is Professor of European Law and Director of the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG), University of Amsterdam.

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12.06.12 The Tragedy of the Anticommons: A Concise Introduction and Lexicon Professor Michael Heller

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14.06.11 Text Matters: Some Reflections on the Forging of a New Constitutional Jurisprudence in South Africa Judge Kate O'Regan

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09.06.10 Ignorance of the Criminal Law, and Duties to Avoid It Professor Andrew Ashworth

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10.06.09 The Compatibility Dialectic: Mediating the Legitimate Coexistence of Islamic Law and State Law Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

Islamic Law is not now and cannot be the state law of any state, whether Muslims are the majority or minority of the population. This view does not dispute the religious authority of Islamic Law for Muslims, which exists only outside the framework of the state. Still, some principles of Islamic Law should be relevant to the public discourse, provided the argument is made in terms of what the author calls ‘civic reason’ and not simply by assertions of religious conviction. While the two are different types of normative systems, each based on its own sources of authority and legitimacy, there are possibilities of compatibility and mutual influence between Islamic Law and state law as complementary normative systems, without requiring either to conform to the nature and role of the other. This lecture examines the requirements, scope and dynamics of this dialectic relationship, whether Muslims are majority or minority.

Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory Law

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04.06.08 Self-Subversive Justice: Contingency or Trascendence Formula of Law? Professor Gunther Teubner

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06.06.07 Beyond Electocracy: Rethinking the Political Representative as Powerful Stranger Professor Lani Guinier

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07.06.06 The Fate of Public International Law: Between Technique and Politics Professor Martti Koskenniemi

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01.06.05 Biotechnology, Bioethics and Law: Europe's 21st Century Challenge Noëlle Lenoir

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09.06.04 After Government? On Representing Law Without State Professor Simon Roberts

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11.06.03 Race and Law in Fortress Europe Professor Bob Hepple

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29.05.02 Constitutional Legitimation for Political Acts Professor Frank I Michelman

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06.06.01 Public Law and Popular Justice Professor Carol Harlow

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31.05.00 The Concept of the Supremacy of the Constitution Professor Jutta Limbach

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04.11.99 Truth, Reconciliation, and Justice: The South African Experience in Perspective Professor Kader Asmal

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27.05.98 Risk and Responsibility Professor Anthony Giddens

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11.06.97 Reflections on International Criminal Justice Professor Antonio Cassese

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05.06.96 Economics and the Law: Too Much One-Way Traffic? Professor C A E Goodhart

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31.05.95 Legal Analysis as Institutional Imagination Professor Roberto Mangabeira Unger

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08.06.94 Authors in Law Professor W R Cornish

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03.11.93 An Outsider's View of the Criminal Justice System Lord Runciman

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03.06.92 Beyond the Sovereign State Professor Neil MacCormack

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05.06.91 Law Abounding: Legislation around the North Atlantic Professor Marc Galanter

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06.06.90 The Social Charter in Britain: Labour Law and Labour Courts? Professor Lord Wedderburn of Charlton

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07.06.89 Bicentenary of a Declaration: A Time for Challenge? Ms Nicole Questiaux

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01.06.88 The United Nations: Still a Force for Peace Professor Rosalyn Higgins

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03.06.87 'Big Bang' and City Regulation Professor L C B Gower

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04.06.86 Taking Civil Codes Less Seriously Professor Hein Kötz

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12.06.85 The Decline of Professionalism Professor Richard L Abel

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06.06.84 Common Law and Statute Law Professor P S Atiyah

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08.06.83 The Criminal Prosecution of England and Its Historians Associate Professor Douglas Hay

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09.06.82 Administrative Law, Judicial Policy and Collective Consumption Professor J P W B McAuslan

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10.06.81 A French Lawyer Looks at British Company Law Professor Andre Tunc

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11.06.80 The Codification of Family Law Mr S M Cretney

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13.06.79 Politics and the Judges: The European Perspective Professor Giuseppe Federico Mancini

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14.06.78 The Political Constitution Professor J A G Griffith

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22.06.77 Modern Trends in Commercial Law and Practice The Hon Sir Michael Kerr

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23.06.76 A Confusion of Powers: Politics and the Rule of Law Professor Ralf Dahrendorf

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25.06.75 Judges and Lawmakers Lord Devlin

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26.06.74 Workers' Participation in the Enterprise: Transcending Company Law? Professor S Simitis
My first reaction to the announcement that I would have the honour and the privilege to give this lecture was to try to establish some connection between my subject and the topics of the last two years. But
I quickly dismissed the idea. Obviously, workers’ participation is far too remote from Professor Kahn-Freund’s remarks on comparative law’ and from Professor Hart’s analysis of demystification. On second thoughts, however, I suspected, that participation might prove to be a striking example of the leading ideas of both lectures. In fact, no other slogan is at the moment so popular. Phenomena like the comité d’entreprise in France or the Mitbestimmung in Germany are no longer regarded as an interesting but extremely particular feature of a small number of laws. Countries which up to now never considered the lack of statutory rules on participation as a serious disadvantage have radically revised their attitude. One has only to think
of the recent changes and proposals in Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Trade unions which, like the British, were for a long time rather critical if not openly hostile to workers’ representation speak of a probably “desirable development.” Andeven legislation already accepting participation seems to be involved in a process of continuous reforms, as the example of the Dutch law of 1971 or of the recent German draft shows. No wonder therefore that the chances of a European company statute were thought to depend almost entirely on its attitude towards workers’ repreentation.~
 
of ‘‘co-decision.”
So
what for the one appears to be just a better
means of consultation marks for the other the transition to new
economic and social structures. Thanks to what seems to be
a
genuine
contribution of comparative law such differences are however
increasingly dissimulated. Instead of examining the particular aspects
as well as the background of the various foreign models, an
impressive enumeration of already existing regulations is presented.
Since the concept of each
of
these models remains unquestioned,
participation may in fact be regarded as a feature common to a
steadily increasing number
of
laws. Besides, once attention has been
focused on the positive attitude of
so
many laws, doubts seem
to
be senseless. Comparative law contributes thus not only a great deal
to the current mystification of participation; it also incites to an
uncritical imitation. Any further attempt to examine the implications
of participation has to be conscious of the fact that its magic can only
be destroyed by abandoning a comparison which is reduced to a
simple record of apparently identical expressions.

Professor Spiros Simitis is Professor of Labour Law at Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main.

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28.06.73 The Uses and Abuses of Comparative Law Professor Otto Kahn-Freund
My concern is not with comparative law as a tool of research or as a tool of education, but with comparative law as a tool of law reform. What are the uses and what are the misuses of foreign models in the process of law making? What conditions must be fulfilled in order to make it desirable or even to make it possible for those who prepare new legislation to avail themselves of rules or institutions developed in foreign countries? These are the questions I have asked myself—it goes without saying that I cannot answer them in this lecture. The best I can hope to do is to contribute some ideas towards the solution of this problem.

Professor Otto Kahn-Freund was Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Professor of Comparative Law at the University of Oxford.

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28.06.72 Bentham and the Demystification of the Law Professor H L A Hart
The words “mystification” and “demystification” have appeared fairly recently among us in the literature of the radical New Left. The central idea that these words are used to express is that unjust, anachronistic, inefficient
or otherwise harmful social institutions, including laws, are frequently protected from criticism by a veil of mystery thrown over them. This conceals their true nature and effects, perplexes and intimidates the would-be reformer and so prolongs the life of bad institutions. The forms of mystery thus used in defence of established abuses are, according to these radical critics, various. They include not only glorification by open eulogy and pomp and ceremony; not only the use of archaic dress and diction unintelligible to the layman, but also, and more importantly, mystification consists in the propagation of a belief: the belief that legal and other institutions of society are infinitely complex and difficult to understand, and that this is an invincible
fact of nature, so that long-standing institutions cannot be changed without risk of the collapse of society. The attitude appropriate to this belief is one of humble deference to tradition: “we ought to understand it according
to our measure and venerate where we are not able presently to comprehend”. “Demystification”, as used in the vocabulary of radical politics, is simply the tearing aside of the veil of mystery so as to exhibit these claims about the nature of social institutions as an illusion, if not a fraud; and such “demystification” is, according to radical thought, a necessary step for any serious critic of society and an indispensable preliminary to reform.
In this lecture I shall attempt to show how these ideas permeate the work of Jeremy Bentham, himself a child of the Enlightenment, and in fact unify what he has to say not only about the many different legal institutions which he set out to reform, but also his general legal theory or philosophy of law. But I should be disappointed and Bentham would certainly be furious if his ideas were thought by you to be of interest only to the historian

of ideas. He himself was prepared to wait a long time for the law to learn the lessons of utility and to submit to reform on Benthamite lines. Certainly some sober contemporary critics, by no means all representatives

of the New Left, have found some areas of our contemporary law and legal practice where mystery, complexity, artificiality and superstitious belief in the impossibility of change are still producing harmful social effects.  At the end of this lecture I shall consider some examples which Bentham might fasten on were he with us now. But my main concern is with the place in Bentham’s jurisprudence of the theme of mystification.

Professor H L A Hart was Chair of Jurisprudence at the University of Oxford.

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