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Tulane law professors convene for year-end think tank

June 27, 2017 10:45 AM
Linda Campbell newwave@tulane.edu


Adam Feibelman, associate dean for faculty research and Sumter Davis Marks Professor of Law, engages in a discussion during the 2017 law symposium on issues addressed in research by faculty members. (Photo from Tulane Law School)


If animals have rights, do humans have the right to own them? Are reparations for slavery just? How can individuals maintain trust in government?” These are the questions Tulane Law School faculty came together recently to discuss — part of faculty research that presents compelling and boundary-pushing topics.

The discussions happened during an annual symposium that has been held since 2014 as an opportunity for faculty to immerse themselves in ongoing research and receive feedback designed to strengthen their work. The event builds on their weekly workshop, during which professors critique works in progress presented by their colleagues and visiting scholars.

“This symposium is a wonderful showcase of the breadth and originality of Tulane’s scholarly community,” Law School dean David Meyer said.

“This symposium is a wonderful showcase of the breadth and originality of Tulane’s scholarly community.”

David Meyer, dean of Tulane Law School

“I think every one of us walks away from the symposium with a renewed appreciation for the staggering diversity of expertise on our faculty and how extraordinarily fortunate we are to be able to learn from one another.”

Robert Westley, Louisiana Outside Counsel Health and Ethics Foundation Professor of Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility, led one of the discussions in which he used legal doctrine to address a political problem — exploring whether reparations are a proper response to the damage caused by slavery. As a basis, Westley referred to his research in Berlin where he studied Germany’s redress for Nazi atrocities.

Professor Oliver Houck discussed his paper on the rights of nature, which takes on an issue that is making its way through state legislatures, into the laws of other countries and even into United Nations doctrine. Other faculty members underscored difficult questions like those pertaining to animal rights.

Tulane Law School emphasized its commitment to faculty scholarship in 2013 with the appointment of Adam Feibelman as associate dean for faculty research. Feibelman has taken the lead in promoting faculty research and expanding the range of workshops and lectures that Tulane sponsors, particularly multidisciplinary collaborations.

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