Adriaan Lanni

Touroff-Glueck Professor of Law

Biography

Adriaan Lanni teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Adjudication, and the Criminal Justice Workshop, as well as a variety of legal history courses on ancient Greek and Roman law. Her publications include Law and Justice in the Courts of Classical Athens (CUP 2006), Law and Order in Ancient Athens (CUP 2016) and several articles on ancient law and the modern criminal jury. Before joining Harvard Law School in 2005, she was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows and clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Dana Fabe of the Alaska Supreme Court. She received a B.A., summa cum laude, in Classical Civilization from Yale University, an M.Phil. in Classics from Cambridge University, where she was a Marshall Scholar, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan.

Areas of Interest

Adriaan M. Lanni, Law and Order in Ancient Athens (Cambridge Univ. Press 2016).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Law & Political Theory
,
Legal History
Type: Book
Abstract
This book draws on contemporary legal scholarship to explain why Athens was a remarkably well-ordered society.
Symposion 2013: Papers on Greek and Hellenistic Legal History (Michael Gagarin & Adriaan M. Lanni eds., Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 2014).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Legal History
Type: Book
Adriaan M. Lanni, Social Norms in the Ancient Athenian Courts, 1 J. Legal Analysis 691 (2009).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Courts
,
Legal History
Type: Article
Abstract
Ancient Athens was a remarkably peaceful and well-ordered society by both ancient and contemporary standards. Scholars typically attribute Athens' success to internalized norms and purely informal enforcement mechanisms. This article argues that the formal Athenian court system played a vital role in maintaining order by enforcing informal norms. This peculiar approach to norm enforcement compensated for apparent weaknesses in the state system of coercion. It mitigated the effects of under-enforcement in a private prosecution system by encouraging litigants to uncover and punish their opponents' past violations. Court enforcement of extra-statutory norms also permitted the Athenians to enforce a variety of social norms while maintaining the fictions of voluntary devotion to military and public service and of limited state interference in private conduct.
Adriaan M. Lanni, The Laws of War in Ancient Greece, 26 Law & Hist. Rev. 469 (2008).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Laws of Armed Conflict
,
Legal History
Type: Article
Abstract
Lanni surveys what is known about the law of war in ancient Greece, addressing the law's sources, content, and enforcement mechanisms. She argues that although there was a relatively effective law of war in ancient Greece, it did not encompass humanitarian ideals. Instead, the laws of war focused on protecting sacred objects and observances. Despite the central role played by religion and honor in the Greek laws of war, these laws were indifferent to considerations of mercy and the protection of noncombatants. Lanni next asks what insight the evidence from ancient Greece might give us in the ongoing debate over whether international law can ever truly restrain states. The traditional scholarly account of the Greek law of war would support the realist position. But Lanni argues that the Greek example, which includes instances where Greek states observed international norms that were clearly contrary to their interests, suggests one time and place where international law served as a meaningful check on state behavior.
Adriaan M. Lanni, Law and Justice in the Courts of Classical Athens (Cambridge Univ. Press 2006).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Legal History
Type: Book
Abstract
In this 2006 book, Adriaan Lanni draws on contemporary legal thinking to present a model of the legal system of classical Athens.
Adriaan M. Lanni, The Stanford School of Ancient History, New Rambler Rev. (Aug. 2015) (reviewing Josiah Ober, The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece (2015)).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
Type: Other
Adriaan M. Lanni, Public and Private in Classical Athenian Legal Enforcement, in Public and Private in Ancient Mediterranean Law and Religion 37 (Clifford Ando & Jörg Rüpke, eds., Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG 2015).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Legal History
Type: Book
Abstract
The volume examines the public/private distinction in the cultures and religions of the ancient Mediterranean, in the formative periods of Greece and Rome and the religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Adriaan M. Lanni & Victor Bers, Disqualified Olympians: The Skeptical Greek View of Divine Judges, in The Divine Courtroom in Comparative Perspective128 (Ari Mermelstein & Shalom Holtz eds., Brill 2015).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Religion & Law
,
Legal History
Type: Book
Abstract
Contributors to 'The divine courtroom in comparative perspective' treat one of the most pervasive religious metaphors, that of the divine courtroom, in both its historical and thematic senses. In order to shed light on the various manifestations of the divine courtroom, this volume consists of essays by scholars of the ancient Near East, Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, early Christianity, Talmud, Islam, medieval Judaism, and classical Greek literature. Contributions to the volume primarily center upon three related facets of the divine courtroom: the role of the divine courtroom in the earthly legal system; the divine courtroom as the site of historical justice; and the divine courtroom as the venue in which God is called to answer for his own unjust acts.
Adriaan M. Lanni, The Need for Comparative Law in the Search for Greek Legal Unity: A Response to Phillips, in Symposion 2013: Papers on Ancient Greek and Hellenistic Legal History 99 (Michael Gagarin & Adriaan Lanni eds., Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 2014).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Comparative Law
,
Legal History
Type: Book
Adriaan M. Lanni, Social Sanctions in Classical Athens, in Symposion 2011: Vortrage zur griechischen und hellenistischen Rechtgeschichte 99 (Bernard Legras & Gerhard Thur eds., Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 2013).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Legal History
Type: Book
Adriaan M. Lanni, Mark Sundahl, David Mirhady & Ilias Arnaoutoglou's A New Working Bibliography of Ancient Greek Law (7th–4th Centuries BC), 62 Classical Rev. 2014 (2012)(book review).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Legal History
Type: Article
Adriaan M. Lanni, Victoria Wohl's Law's Cosmos: Juridical Discourse in Athenian Forensic Oratory, 61 Classical Rev. 48 (2011)(book review).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Law & Humanities
,
Legal History
Type: Article
Adriaan M. Lanni, Transitional Justice in Ancient Athens: A Case Study, 32 U. Pa. J. Int'l L. 551 (2010).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
,
Legal History
Type: Article
Abstract
This article presents our first well-documented example of a self-conscious transitional justice policy - the classical Athenians’ response to atrocities committed during the reign of the Thirty Tyrants - as a case study that can offer insight into the design of modern transitional justice institutions. The Athenians carefully balanced retribution and forgiveness: an amnesty protected collaborators from direct prosecution, but in practice private citizens could indirectly sanction even low-level oligarchic sympathizers by raising their collaboration as character evidence in unrelated lawsuits. They also balanced remembering and forgetting: discussion of the civil war in the courts memorialized the atrocities committed during the tyranny, but also whitewashed the widespread collaboration by ordinary citizens, depicting the majority of the populace as members of the democratic resistance. This case study of Athens’ successful reconciliation offers new insight into contemporary transitional justice debates. The Athenian experience suggests that the current focus on uncovering the truth may be misguided. The Athenian case also counsels that providing an avenue for individual victims to pursue local grievances can help minimize the impunity gap created by the inevitably selective nature of transitional justice.
Adriaan M. Lanni, The Expressive Effect of the Athenian Prostitution Laws, 29 Classical Antiquity 45 (2010).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Gender & Sexuality
,
Ancient Law
,
Legal History
Type: Article
Abstract
This article argues that attention to the expressive function of law suggests that the Athenian laws prohibiting former prostitutes from active political participation may have had a much broader practical impact than previously thought. By changing the social meaning of homosexual pederasty, these laws influenced norms regarding purely private conduct and reached beyond the limited number of politically active citizens likely to be prosecuted under the law. Some appear to have become more careful about courting in public while others adopted a conception of chaste pederasty that would not run afoul of the law. The prostitution laws may also have provoked resistance among a particular subset of elites, the apragmones, contributing to this group's deliberate disengagement from public affairs.
Adriaan M. Lanni, Gabriel Herman’s Morality and Behavior in Democratic Athens: A Social History, 113 Am. Hist. Rev. 1209 (2008)(book review).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Ancient Law
Type: Article

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