Is Justice Blind?

Is Justice Blind?

Professor Pat Chew
Spring 2018 reading group
T 5:00pm - 7:00pm
1 classroom credit

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

How do judges and parties perceive and interpret facts and the law? Does the individual’s gender, race, or other characteristics make a difference? How does the context affect a judge's decisions?

This course considers relevant empirical studies and how this research is applicable to many areas of law. Recall, for instance, the pivotal role of the “reasonable person” in negligence law, in sexual and racial harassment law, and in self-defense claims in criminal law. In resolving these disputes, does it make any difference that the judge is female or male, black or white, or from a red or blue state in determining what a reasonable person would do in these varied circumstances? If it does make a difference, what are the reasons and practical consequences, and what are the implications for our justice system? If there is judicial bias, what can judges, the judicial system, and society do to limit its effect on outcomes?

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/20, 2/27

Subject Areas: Disciplinary Perspectives & Law, Criminal Law & Procedure, Legal & Political Theory, Employment & Labor Law