Justice and Society Program
Justice and Society Program
Justice and Society Seminars
The 2016 Justice and Society Seminar will be held July 5-11 in Aspen, CO. Participation is by invitation only. If you wish to be considered, please send an expression of interest to Meryl Chertoff, Executive Director of the Justice and Society Program.
The moderators for the 2015 Justice and Society Seminar were Dr. Sanford Levinson, Professor of Law and Government at the University of Texas and Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and Hon. Deanell Reece Tacha, Dean and Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law and former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Every summer the Justice and Society Seminar, co-founded by the late Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun and held in Aspen, brings together individuals from diverse backgrounds to discuss what we mean by justice and how a just society ought to structure its legal, judicial, and political institutions.
The seminar enables participants to explore and test their values and beliefs in light of their professional and personal experiences. A structured dialogue is based on a volume of specially prepared readings of classic and contemporary writings, law cases, and works of literature, including Plato, John Stuart Mill, Martin Luther King, Jr., John Rawls, Isaiah Berlin, Herman Melville, and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Discussions topics include: Law, Morality, and Justice; Autonomy and Justice; The Economy and Justice; Gender and Justice; Race and Justice; Criminal Justice and the Morality of Punishment; and International Justice.
Roundtable discussions are led by two distinguished and experienced moderators: a judge and a professor of law or political theory. The 2014 Justice and Society Seminar was moderated by Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. of Harvard Law School, and Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Among our past moderators are the late U.S. Supreme Court Justices Harry A. Blackmun and William J. Brennan, Jr., and current Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu; Judges Rosemary Barkett, William Fletcher, Abner Mikva, Jon Newman, Myron Thompson, and John Walker; and Professors Peter Edelman, Michael Fitts, Louis Henkin, Harold Hongju Koh, Burt Neuborne, Michael Sandel, and William Treanor.
Seminar participants are distinguished individuals chosen from a variety of fields who bring a wealth of personal and professional experience to the discussion. They are often leaders in their respective communities who have reached a point where they are ready to take pause from their often hectic daily routine, and revisit the values and ideals that guide their work. Past participants include individuals from law, business, academia, journalism, medicine, nongovernmental organizations, and government.
The Seminar fee includes 7 days and 6 nights’ meals and accommodations at the Aspen Meadows Resort. Participants can relax and enjoy hiking in the Rocky Mountains, working out in the well-equipped health center, or join in afternoon activities such as white-water rafting, hiking, tennis and horseback riding. Evening activities include The Aspen Music Festival, BalletAspen, public lectures, and films. Spouses and guests who choose not to participate in the seminar itself are encouraged to audit the sessions and are members of the Seminar for all other group activities.
Seminars are limited to 25 participants, so early enrollment is strongly encouraged.