Western Law hosts renowned Private Law theorist

March 18, 2013

WeinribWestern Law was pleased to host internationally renowned legal theorist Professor Ernest Weinrib the week of March 4 as he taught an intensive course on Kant’s Philosophy of Law.

Weinrib is the Cecil A. Wright Professor of Law at the University of Toronto and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (which is Canada's highest academic honour). His scholarship and teaching have concentrated on Tort Law and Legal Theory with his most important books being The Idea of Private Law (1995) and Corrective Justice (2012). His own work has been the subject of several symposia. 

Weinrib’s week-long course examined the legal philosophy of Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher writing in the late 1700s, who is generally considered one of the greatest expositors of what it is to have a system of rights.

Through a textual analysis of The Doctrine of Right, the course examined Kant’s general views as to notions of right and legality, as well as Kant’s specific views on property, contract, the family, the organization of the state and relations among states.

“Although writing long ago, Kant’s ideas still provide remarkable insights on contemporary legal issues,” notes Western Law professor Jason Neyers.  “Having someone as accomplished as Professor Weinrib with us at Western allowed the students to be exposed to, and to critically examine, the principles of freedom which Kant claimed were universal for all peoples, at all times.”

While at Western Law, Weinrib also delivered delivered the second Tort Law Research Group public lecture for the 2012-13 academic year, entitled “Causal Uncertainty”.