june, 2019

27jun4:00 pm6:00 pmBrian Bix: 'Objectivity, Legal Positivism and the Possibility of Universal Error'


Event Details

The Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy is pleased to invite you to a Hart Seminar by Brian Bix: ‘Objectivity, Legal Positivism and the Possibility of Universal Error’. This is an optional pre-read seminar, and the paper will be circulated to registered attendees several days in advance. A reception will follow the seminar.


Abstract: In a number of his works, Matthew Kramer discusses the connection between legal positivism and objectivity. In the context of those discussions, Prof. Kramer considered whether legal positivism’s focus on the conventional nature of law and legal norms forecloses the possibility that all legal officials could be mistaken regarding some legal matter. My paper will revisit this question of “universal legal error,” considering not only Prof. Kramer’s views, but also those of other prominent commentators, a well as reconsidering my own prior writings on the topic.


Brian Bix is the Frederick W. Thomas Professor of Law and Philosophy at the University of Minnesota School of Law. Professor Bix received his B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Washington University in St. Louis in 1983; his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1986; and his D.Phil. in Law from Balliol College, Oxford University, in 1991. Professor Bix taught at Quinnipiac University School of Law, as Associate Professor (1995-1997) and Professor (1998-2001). He was a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center during the spring semester of 2000 and at George Washington University Law School in the fall of 1999. Professor Bix was the Lecturer in Jurisprudence and Legal Reasoning at King’s College, University of London, from 1991 to 1993; he taught at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford University, from 1989 to 1990. He was a law clerk for Justice Benjamin Kaplan at the Massachusetts Appeals Court (1993-95, while on leave from the King’s College), and he also clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1987-1988), and Justice Alan Handler, New Jersey Supreme Court (1986-1987). He is a member of the American Law Institute.


This seminar is part of our Hart Seminar Series, which features a diverse group of leading scholars working at the intersection of law and philosophy. Hart Publishing contributes generous support to make the seminar series possible.


(Thursday) 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm


University of Surrey School of Law

Frank Whittle Building (AB) Fifth Floor, Guildford, GU2 7XH

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