April 17 – April 18, 2009
Conceptualizing Substantive Justice Conference
Post-modern critiques have thoroughly discredited many of the Anglo-American legal norms in which modernism finds expression – formal equality, procedural justice, negative liberty, etc. But much room (and need) remains for discussion of new prescriptive paradigms of law and policy – for moving beyond critique to alternatives. For example, is it possible to articulate an alternative vision of justice that relies on positive notions of liberty, substantive notions of equality, and distributive notions of justice – and yet avoids the pitfall of claiming universal applicability or objective legitimacy? Can grounds for that vision be found within the U.S. Constitution, or would amendments or resort to statutory enactment be more appropriate? Does critical race theory’s endorsement of “looking to the bottom” suggest a methodology for identifying a set of concrete commitments that could ground a substantive notion of justice? How would that methodology be operationalized? How would conflicts among different outsider groups be resolved in the formulation of that vision?
Those interested in these or related questions are invited to attend a workshop-styled conference on “Conceptualizing Substantive Justice,” to be held at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law on Friday and Saturday, April 17& 18, 2009.