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The Internet and the Delegalization of Law

Date & Time:
15:00:00 - 16:30:00,
Thursday 15 November, 2007


Technological changes, such as the Internet, have made access to nonlegal information, such as newspaper reports and general interest books far less costly. As expected, this has increased the citation to such materials, not only in absolute terms, but as a proportion of citations. Analysis of the citations to information in the Supreme Court of the United States, in the Supreme Court of New Jersey and in other selected courts, documents this trend. Professor Schauer discusses the issues raised by this trend, such as whether it foreshadows the decreased dominance of traditional canon of legal information within the courts.

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  • Name: Professor Fred Schauer
  • Affiliation: Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at the John F. Kennedy
    School of Government, Harvard University
  • Role:
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  • Bio: Fred Schauer is Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, where he has served as Academic Dean and Acting Dean. Formerly Professor of Law at the University of Michigan, Schauer also teaches courses in Evidence and supervises graduate students in Jurisprudence and Constitutional Law at the Harvard Law School. He is the author of The Law of Obscenity (BNA, 1976), Free Speech: A Philosophical Enquiry (Cambridge, 1982), Playing By the Rules: A Philosophical Examination of Rule-Based Decision-Making in Law and in Life (Clarendon, 1991), and Profiles, Probabilities, and Stereotypes (Harvard, 2003); co-editor of The Philosophy of Law: Classic and Contemporary Readings (Oxford, 1996) and The First Amendment: A Reader (West, 1992, 1995); and has written more than 200 published articles on constitutional law and theory, freedom of speech and press, and the philosophy of law. Schauer’s work in jurisprudence focuses on the analysis of rules and the nature of legal sources, his work on constitutional law and human rights on freedom of expression and constitutional interpretation, and he is completing a book on the modalities of legal reasoning and argument. More recently he has been writing about evidence from both legal and philosophical perspectives, and attempting to connect philosophical issues of epistemology with legal issues of evidence and proof. In 2007-2008 Schauer is the George Eastman Visiting Professor at Oxford University and a Fellow of Balliol College, and upon his return to Harvard in 2008 he will become Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics.