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Legal scholars to debate evolution of law at Cornell March 1 and 2

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Legal scholars from across the country and abroad will participate in the 1997 Cornell Law Review symposium, "The Nature and Sources, Formal and Informal, of Law," on March 1 and 2 at the Cornell Law School.

The symposium will explore the sources of legal rules and consider whether law has a formal character all its own. Some of the participants will debate how far lawmakers can derive legal rules from a body of natural, free-standing legal principles that exist independent of other disciplines, such as philosophy, economics or sociology. Others will discuss the pervasiveness of form in the law and consider the importance of appropriate legal form.

All presentations will take place in the MacDonald Moot Court Room of Myron Taylor Hall. Saturday presentations, which begin at 9 a.m., are as follows:

  • Robert D. Cooter, the Herman F. Selvin Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, will present "Law from Order." Professor Jeffery Harrison of the University of Florida College of Law will comment on Cooter's paper.
  • Kent Greenawalt, a University Professor at the Columbia University School of Law, will present "Faithful Performance and Meaning of Informal Instructions." Professor Stephen Garvey of the Cornell Law School will comment on Greenawalt's paper.
  • D. Neil MacCormick, the Regius Professor of Public Law at the University of Edinburgh, will present "Institutional Normative Order: A Conception of Law." Professor William Ewald of the University of Pennsylvania Law School will comment on MacCormick's paper.
  • Frederick Schauer, the Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, will present "Legal Rules and the Law--Non-Law Distinction." Professor Stewart Schwab of the Cornell Law School will comment on Schauer's paper.

Sunday presentations, which begin at 9 a.m., are as follows:

  • Jonathan R. Macey, the J. DuPratt White Professor of Law at the Cornell Law School and director of Cornell's John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics, will present "The Transition from Norms to Law: Lessons from Public Choice and Positive Political Theory." Professor Andrew Rutten of Cornell's Government Department will comment on Macey's paper.
  • Robert S. Summers, the William G. McRoberts Research Professor in the Administration of the Law at the Cornell Law School, will present "How Law Is Formal and Why it Matters." Professor Deborah DeMott of the Duke University Law School will comment on Summers' paper.

Papers presented at the symposium will be published in the Cornell Law Review, vol. 82, issue 5.