Martha Minow

Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law

Griswold 200

617-495-4601

Assistant: Liberty Kenneally / 617-495-4602

Biography

Martha Minow, the Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, has taught at Harvard Law School since 1981, where her courses include civil procedure, constitutional law, family law, international criminal justice, jurisprudence, law and education, nonprofit organizations, and the public law workshop. An expert in human rights and advocacy for members of racial and religious minorities and for women, children, and persons with disabilities, she also writes and teaches about privatization, military justice, and ethnic and religious conflict.

Besides her many scholarly articles published in journals of law, history, and philosophy, her books include The First Global Prosecutor: Promise and Constraints (co-edited, 2015); In Brown’s Wake: Legacies of America’s Constitutional Landmark (2010); Government by Contract (co-edited, 2009); Just Schools: Pursuing Equality in Societies of Difference (co-edited, 2008); Breaking the Cycles of Hatred: Memory, Law and Repair (edited by Nancy Rosenblum with commentary by other authors, 2003); Partners, Not Rivals: Privatization and the Public Good (2002); Engaging Cultural Differences: The Multicultural Challenge in Liberal Democracies (co-edited 2002); Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History After Genocide and Mass Violence (1998); Not Only for Myself: Identity, Politics and Law (1997); Law Stories (co-edited 1996); Narrative, Violence and the Law: The Essays of Robert M. Cover (co-edited 1992); and Making All the Difference: Inclusion, Exclusion, and American Law (1990). She is the co-editor of two law school casebooks, Civil Procedure: Doctrine, Practice and Context (3rd. edition 2008) and Women and the Law (4th edition 2007), and a reader, Family Matters: Readings in Family Lives and the Law (1993).

Minow serves on the Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission on Countering Violent Extremism.  She served on the Independent International Commission Kosovo and helped to launch Imagine Co-existence, a program of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, to promote peaceful development in post-conflict societies. Her five-year partnership with the federal Department of Education and the Center for Applied Special Technology worked to increase access to the curriculum for students with disabilities and resulted in both legislative initiatives and a voluntary national standard opening access to curricular materials for individuals with disabilities.   Her honors include: the Sargent Shriver Equal Justice Award (2016), Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize, Brandeis University (2016); nine honorary degrees (in law, education, and humane letters) from schools on three continents; the Gold Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse, awarded by the College Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin, in recognition of efforts to promote discourse and intellectualism on a world stage; the Holocaust Center Award; and the Sacks-Freund Teaching Award, awarded by the Harvard Law School graduating class.

In August 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Minow to the board of the Legal Services Corporation, a bi-partisan, government-sponsored organization that provides civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The U.S. Senate confirmed her appointment on March 19, 2010 and she now serves as Vice-Chair. She co-chaired its Pro Bono Task Force. She also served as the inaugural chair of the Deans Steering Committee of the Association of American Law Schools and as a member of the American Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion 360 Commission.  She previously chaired the board of directors for the Revson Foundation (New York) and now serves on the boards of the MacArthur Foundation and other nonprofit organizations. She is a former member of the board of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the Iranian Human Rights Documentation Center, and former chair of the Scholar’s Board of Facing History and Ourselves. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences since 1992, Minow has also been a senior fellow of Harvard’s Society of Fellows, a member of Harvard University Press Board of Syndics, a senior fellow and twice acting director of what is now Harvard’s Safra Foundation Center on Ethics, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society. She has delivered more than 70 named or endowed lectures and keynote addresses, including most recently the 2016 George W. Gay Lecture at Harvard Medical School’s Center for Bioethics.

Minow co-chaired the Law School’s curricular reform committee from 2003 to 2006, an effort that led to significant innovation in the first-year curriculum as well as new programs of study for second- and third-year J.D. students.

After completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Minow received a master’s degree in education from Harvard and her law degree from Yale. She clerked for Judge David Bazelon of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States. She joined the Harvard Law faculty as an assistant professor in 1981, was promoted to professor in 1986, was named the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of Law in 2003, became the Jeremiah Smith Jr., Professor of Law in 2005, and became the inaugural Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor in 2013. She is also a lecturer in the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her husband, Joseph W. Singer, is the Bussey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and their daughter, Mira Singer, is a writer and artist.  Minow enjoys watching and discussing movies and keeping in touch with current and former students.

Areas of Interest

The First Global Prosecutor: Promise and Constraints (Alex Whiting, Martha Minow & C. Cora True-Frost eds., Univ. Mich. Press 2015).
Categories:
Criminal Law & Procedure
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Type: Book
Abstract
The establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC) gave rise to the first permanent Office of the Prosecutor (OTP), with independent powers of investigation and prosecution. Elected in 2003 for a nine-year term as the ICC’s first Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo established policies and practices for when and how to investigate, when to pursue prosecution, and how to obtain the cooperation of sovereign nations. He laid a foundation for the OTP’s involvement with the United Nations Security Council, state parties, nongovernmental organizations, victims, the accused, witnesses, and the media. This volume of essays presents the first sustained examination of this unique office and offers a rare look into international justice. The contributors, ranging from legal scholars to practitioners of international law, explore the spectrum of options available to the OTP, the particular choices Moreno Ocampo made, and issues ripe for consideration as his successor, Fatou B. Bensouda, assumes her duties. The beginning of Bensouda’s term thus offers the perfect opportunity to examine the first Prosecutor’s singular efforts to strengthen international justice, in all its facets.
Martha L. Minow, In Brown's Wake: Legacies of America's Educational Landmark (Oxford Univ. Press 2010).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Family Law
Sub-Categories:
Civil Rights
,
Discrimination
,
Education Law
Type: Book
Abstract
What is the legacy of Brown vs. Board of Education? While it is well known for establishing racial equality as a central commitment of American schools, the case also inspired social movements for equality in education across all lines of difference, including language, gender, disability, immigration status, socio-economic status, religion, and sexual orientation. Yet more than a half century after Brown, American schools are more racially separated than before, and educators, parents and policy makers still debate whether the ruling requires all-inclusive classrooms in terms of race, gender, disability, and other differences. In Brown's Wake examines the reverberations of Brown in American schools, including efforts to promote equal opportunities for all kinds of students. School choice, once a strategy for avoiding Brown, has emerged as a tool to promote integration and opportunities, even as charter schools and private school voucher programs enable new forms of self-separation by language, gender, disability, and ethnicity. Martha Minow, Dean of Harvard Law School, argues that the criteria placed on such initiatives carry serious consequences for both the character of American education and civil society itself. Although the original promise of Brown remains more symbolic than effective, Minow demonstrates the power of its vision in the struggles for equal education regardless of students' social identity, not only in the United States but also in many countries around the world. Further, she urges renewed commitment to the project of social integration even while acknowledging the complex obstacles that must be overcome. An elegant and concise overview of Brown and its aftermath, In Brown's Wake explores the broad-ranging and often surprising impact of one of the century's most important Supreme Court decisions.
Government by Contract: Outsourcing and American Democracy (Jody Freeman & Martha L. Minow eds., Harvard Univ. Press 2009).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Government Accountability
,
Government Transparency
Type: Book
Abstract
The dramatic growth of government over the course of the twentieth century since the New Deal prompts concern among libertarians and conservatives and also among those who worry about government’s costs, efficiency, and quality of service. These concerns, combined with rising confidence in private markets, motivate the widespread shift of federal and state government work to private organizations. This shift typically alters only who performs the work, not who pays or is ultimately responsible for it. “Government by contract” now includes military intelligence, environmental monitoring, prison management, and interrogation of terrorism suspects. Outsourcing government work raises questions of accountability. What role should costs, quality, and democratic oversight play in contracting out government work? What tools do citizens and consumers need to evaluate the effectiveness of government contracts? How can the work be structured for optimal performance as well as compliance with public values? Government by Contract explains the phenomenon and scope of government outsourcing and sets an agenda for future research attentive to workforce capacities as well as legal, economic, and political concerns.
Just Schools: Pursuing Equality in Societies of Difference (Martha L. Minow, Richard A. Shweder & Hazel R. Markus eds., Russell Sage Found. 2008).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Family Law
Sub-Categories:
Civil Rights
,
Religious Rights
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Education Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Educators and policymakers who share the goal of equal opportunity in schools often hold differing notions of what entails a just school in multicultural America. Some emphasize the importance of integration and uniform treatment for all, while others point to the benefits of honoring cultural diversity in ways that make minority students feel at home. In Just Schools, noted legal scholars, educators, and social scientists examine schools with widely divergent methods of fostering equality in order to explore the possibilities and limits of equal education today. The contributors to Just Schools combine empirical research with rich ethnographic accounts to paint a vivid picture of the quest for justice in classrooms around the nation. Legal scholar Martha Minow considers the impact of school choice reforms on equal educational opportunities. Psychologist Hazel Rose Markus examines culturally sensitive programs where students exhibit superior performance on standardized tests and feel safer and more interested in school than those in color-blind programs. Anthropologist Heather Lindkvist reports on how Somali Muslims in Lewiston, Maine, invoked the American ideal of inclusiveness in winning dress-code exemptions and accommodations for Islamic rituals in the local public school. Political scientist Austin Sarat looks at a school system in which everyone endorses multiculturalism but holds conflicting views on the extent to which culturally sensitive practices should enter into the academic curriculum. Anthropologist Barnaby Riedel investigates how a private Muslim school in Chicago aspires to universalist ideals, and education scholar James Banks argues that schools have a responsibility to prepare students for citizenship in a multicultural society. Anthropologist John Bowen offers a nuanced interpretation of educational commitments in France and the headscarf controversy in French schools. Anthropologist Richard Shweder concludes the volume by connecting debates about diversity in schools with a broader conflict between national assimilation and cultural autonomy. As America’s schools strive to accommodate new students from around the world, Just Schools provides a provocative and insightful look at the different ways we define and promote justice in schools and in society at large.
Martha L. Minow, Connecting To What Matters: Remembering Bo Burt, 125 Yale L.J. 817 (2016).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Stephen N. Subrin, Martha L. Minow, Mark S. Brodin, Thomas O. Main & Alexandra D. Lahav, Civil Procedure: Doctrine, Practice, and Context (Wolters Kluwer 5th ed. 2016).
Categories:
Civil Practice & Procedure
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Practice & Procedure
,
Legal Education
Type: Book
Martha L. Minow, Continually Re-Thinking: What Would Mary Joe Frug Do? (A Preface to Symposium Discussions), 50 New Eng. L. Rev. 269 (2016).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, Upstanders, Whistle-Blowers, and Rescuers (Eleven Int'l Pub. 2016).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Human Rights Law
Type: Book
Abstract
I will explore several ways people can be upstanders; reasons why people are not upstanders; and potential collective efforts that could make it easier or more likely that people become upstanders. I begin though with a story of stories — five stories actually — to make upstanding vivid, to honor courageous individuals and identify challenges for the rest of us, and to raise a question: does honoring upstanders and telling their stories increase the chances that others will follow in their paths, or suggest that only exceptional individuals with unusual qualities are upstanders? What would it take for the rest of us to stand up?
Martha L. Minow & Newton Minow, Newton Minow (Vinson, October Term 1951) and Martha Minow (Marshall, October Term 1980), part of Todd C. Peppers & Contributors, A Family Tradition: Clerking at the U.S. Supreme Court, in Of Courtiers and Kings: More Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices 347 (Todd C. Peppers & Clare Cushman eds., Univ. Va. Press 2015).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Supreme Court of the United States
,
Courts
Type: Book
Abstract
Supreme Court justices have long relied on law clerks to help process the work of the Court. Yet few outside the Court are privy to the behind-the-scenes bonds that form between justices and their clerks. In Of Courtiers and Kings, Todd C. Peppers and Clare Cushman offer an intimate new look at the personal and professional relationships of law clerks with their justices. Going beyond the book’s widely acclaimed predecessor, I n Chambers, the vignettes collected here range from reflections on how serving as clerks at the Supreme Court impacted the careers of such justices as Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, William Rehnquist, John G. Roberts Jr., and John Paul Stevens to personal recollections written by parents and children who have both served as Supreme Court clerks. While individual essays often focus on a single justice and his or her corps of clerks—including how that justice selected and utilized the clerks—taken as a whole the volume provides a macro-level view of the evolution of the role of the Supreme Court law clerk. Drawing on a rich repository of such anecdotes, insights, and experience, the volume relates in a clear and accessible style how the clerking function has changed over time and what it is like for law clerks to be witnesses to history. Offering a rare glimpse into a normally unseen world, Of Courtiers and Kings reveals the Court’s increasing reliance on law clerks and raises important questions about the selection, utilization, and influence of law clerks.
Martha L. Minow, Forgiveness, Law, and Justice, 103 Calif. L. Rev. 1615 (2015).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Legal Profession
,
Criminal Law & Procedure
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Law & Public Policy
,
Legal Theory & Philosophy
,
Human Rights Law
,
Legal Ethics
Type: Article
Abstract
Should law encourage people to forgive one another—and should law be used to forgive people for wrongdoing? Or is it a mistake to promote greater connections between law, with its need for predictability, and forgiveness, with its dependence on emotions and moral judgments? Before exploring these questions, I will discuss what I mean by forgiveness in Part I. Then, in Part II, I will turn to the possible roles law can play in relation to forgiveness in the contexts of criminal law—international and domestic—and debt, both of sovereign nations and consumers. When I first turned to some of these issues, South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was just getting started. In the twenty years since, and in no small measure because of the TRC effort, forgiveness has attracted global attention and debate in law, psychology, and politics well beyond its traditional home in religious and philosophical discussions. So I will also consider in Part II what we have learned from the TRC about the promises and limitations of joining forgiveness and law—both for law and for forgiveness. In Part III, I will raise some questions about the inquiry myself. Finally, in Part IV, I will provide closing thoughts and suggestions for incorporating forgiveness into existing domestic and international legal frameworks. Finding room for forgiveness through law or alongside law can draw upon a non-depletable resource, thereby enhancing human relationships without forgoing the accountability so important to social order.
Martha L. Minow, Religious Exemptions, Stating Culture: Foreward to Religious Accommodation in the Age of Civil Rights, 88 S. Cal. L. Rev. 453 (2015).
Categories:
Constitutional Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Religion
,
Civil Rights
,
Religious Rights
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, Questions Lawyers Must Answer, 1 Legal Educ. for the Future 5 (July 2015).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, The Controversial Status of International and Comparative Law in the United States, in Courts and Comparative Law 513 (Mads Andenas & Duncan Fairgrieve eds., Oxford Univ. Press 2015).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Comparative Law
,
International Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Written by practising judges and lawyers as well as leading academics, this book serves as a central reference point concerning the role of comparative law before the courts.
Martha L. Minow, In Memoriam: John H. Mansfield, 128 Harv. L. Rev. 529 (2014).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, Essays in Honor of Justice Stephen G. Breyer, 128 Harv. L. Rev. 416 (2014).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, The Big Picture: Justice Breyer's Dissent in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, 128 Harv. L. Rev. 469 (2014).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Arts & Entertainment Law
,
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, Universal Design in Education: Remaking All the Difference, in Righting Educational Wrongs: Disability Studies in Law and Education 38 (Arlene S. Kanter & Beth A. Ferri eds., Syracuse Univ. Press 2013).
Categories:
Family Law
,
Constitutional Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Disability Rights
,
Discrimination
,
Education Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Righting Educational Wrongs brings together the work of scholars from the fields of disability studies in education and law to examine contemporary struggles around inclusion and access to education.
Charles Fried, Frances Kamm, Frank I. Michelman, John C.P. Goldberg, Laurence H. Tribe, Martha Minow & Richard H. Fallon, In Memoriam: Ronald Dworkin, 127 Harv. L. Rev. 489 (2013).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Legal Profession
,
Constitutional Law
Sub-Categories:
Judges & Jurisprudence
,
Legal & Political Theory
,
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, Essays in Honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Introduction and M.L.B. v. S.L.J., 519 U.S. 102 (1996), 127 Harv. L. Rev. 423, 461 (2014).
Categories:
Family Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Poverty Law
,
Law & Public Policy
,
Domestic Relations
,
Children's Law & Welfare
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, Interview with Marie Mercat-Bruns, in Marie Mercat-Bruns, Discriminations en Droit du Travail: Dialogue avec la Doctrine Américaine (Dalloz 2013) translated in Marie Mercat-Bruns, Discrimination at Work: Comparing European, French and American Law (Elaine Holt trans., Univ. Cal. Press 2016).
Categories:
Labor & Employment
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
International Law
,
Comparative Law
,
Employment Discrimination
Type: Book
Abstract
Do the United States and France, both post-industrial democracies, differ in their views and laws concerning discrimination? Marie Mercat-Bruns, a Franco-American scholar, examines the differences in how the two countries approach discrimination. Bringing together prominent legal scholars--including Robert Post, Linda Krieger, Martha Minow, Reva Siegel, Susan Sturm, Richard Ford, and others--Mercat-Bruns demonstrates how the two nations have adopted divergent strategies. The United States continues, with mixed success at "colorblind" policies, to deal with issues of diversity in university enrollment, class action sex-discrimination lawsuits, and rampant police violence against African American men and women. In France, the country has banned the full-face veil while making efforts to present itself as a secular republic. Young men and women whose parents and grandparents came from sub-Sahara and North Africa are stuck coping with a society that fails to take into account the barriers to employment and education they face. Discrimination at Work provides an incisive comparative analysis of how the nature of discrimination in both countries has changed, now often hidden, or steeped in deep unconscious bias. While it is rare for employers in both countries to openly discriminate, deep systemic discrimination exists, rooted in structural and environmental causes and the ways each state has dealt with difference in general. Invigorating and incisive, the book examines hot-button issues of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and equality for LGBT individuals, delivering comparisons meant to further social equality and fundamental human rights across borders
Robert C. Bordone, Danny Ertel, Martha Minow, Robert H. Mnookin, Bruce Patton, James K. Sebenius & William Ury, In Memoriam: Roger Fisher, 126 Harv. L. Rev. 875 (2013).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, Principles or Compromises: Accommodating Gender Equality and Religious Freedom in Multicultural Societies, in Gender, Religion, and Family Law: Theorizing Conflicts between Women’s Rights and Cultural Traditions 3 (Lisa Fishbayn Joffe & Sylvia Neil eds., Brandeis Univ. Press 2013).
Categories:
Constitutional Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Religion
,
Civil Rights
,
Gender & Sexuality
,
Religious Rights
Type: Book
Abstract
Groundbreaking theoretical and legal approaches to resolving conflicts between gender equality and cultural practices
William D. Andrews, In Memoriam: Bernard Wolfman, 125 Harv. L. Rev. 1889 (2012).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, Seeing, Bearing, and Sharing Risk: Social Policy Challenges for Our Time, in Shared Responsibility, Shared Risk: Government, Markets and Social Policy in the Twenty-First Century 253 (Jacob S. Hacker & Ann O’Leary eds., Oxford Univ. Press 2012).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Banking & Finance
Sub-Categories:
Risk Regulation
,
Financial Markets & Institutions
,
Law & Public Policy
,
Social Welfare Law
,
Law & Economics
Type: Book
Abstract
This chapter focuses on the social shift of economic risk to individuals and the need to overcome the barriers—psychological, cognitive, analytic, and ideological—to understanding the risk allocation. It begins with a historical overview of risks to human health, welfare, and well-being before explaining why it is difficult to see risk and its shift from government and businesses to individuals and families. It then looks at policy proposals to address these shifts, from income support to consumer credit reforms. The chapter concludes by arguing that democratic action toward addressing social policy challenges posed by these shifts is not possible in the absence of a greater sense of shared risks and shared responsibility.
Michael J. Klarman, In Memoriam: William J. Stuntz, 124 Harv. L. Rev. 1844 (2011).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, Single-Sex Public Schools: The Story of Vorchheimer v. School District of Philadelphia, in Women and the Law Stories 93 (Elizabeth M. Schneider & Stephanie M. Waldman eds., Found. Press 2011).
Categories:
Family Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Law & Public Policy
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Gender & Sexuality
,
Civil Rights
,
Education Law
Type: Book
Martha L. Minow & Joseph W. Singer, In Favor of Foxes: Pluralism as Fact and Aid to the Pursuit of Justice, 90 B.U. L. Rev. 903 (2010).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, Reading the World: Law and Social Science, in 2 Transformations in American Legal History: Law, Ideology, and Methods - Essays in Honor of Morton J. Horwitz 13 (Daniel W. Hamilton & Alfred L. Brophy eds., Harv. Univ. Press 2010).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Biography & Tribute
,
Legal Ethics
Type: Book
Abstract
Over the course of his career at Harvard, Morton Horwitz changed the questions legal historians ask. The Transformation of American Law, 1780–1860 (1977) disclosed the many ways that judge-made law favored commercial and property interests and remade law to promote economic growth. The Transformation of American Law, 1870–1960 (1992) continued that project, with a focus on ideas that reshaped law as we struggled for objective and neutral legal responses to our country’s crises. In more recent years he has written extensively on the legal realists and the Warren Court. Following an earlier festschrift volume by his former students, this volume includes essays by Horwitz’s colleagues at Harvard and those from across the academy, as well as his students. These essays assess specific themes in Horwitz’s work, from the antebellum era to the Warren Court, from jurisprudence to the influence of economics on judicial doctrine. The essays are, like Horwitz, provocative and original as they continue his transformation of American legal history.
Martha L. Minow, Outsourcing Power: How Privatizing Military Efforts Challenges Accountability, Professionalism, and Democracy, in Government by Contract: Outsourcing and American Democracy 110 (Martha L. Minow & Jody Freeman eds., Harv. Univ. Press 2009).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Corruption
,
Government Accountability
,
Government Transparency
,
Military, War, & Peace
Type: Book
Abstract
"The Dramatic Growth of Government since the New Deal prompts concern among libertarians and conservatives and also among those who worry about government's costs, efficiency, and quality of service. This concern, combined with rising confidence in private markets, motivates the widespread shift of federal and state government work to private organizations. This shift typically alters only who performs the work, not who pays or is ultimately responsible for it. "Government by contract" now includes military intelligence, environmental monitoring, prison management, and interrogation of terrorism suspects." "Outsourcing government work raises questions of accountability. What role should costs, quality, and democratic oversight play in contracting out government work? What tools do citizens and consumers need to evaluate the effectiveness of government contracts? How can the work be structured for optimal performance as well as compliance with public values?" "Government by Contract explains the phenomenon and scope of government outsourcing and sets an agenda for future research attentive to workforce capacities as well as legal, economic, and political concerns."--Jacket.
Todd D. Rakoff & Martha Minow, A Case for Another Case Method, 60 Vand. L. Rev. 597 (2007).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, Living Up to Rules: Holding Soldiers Responsible for Abusive Conduct and the Dilemma of the Superior Orders Defence, 52 McGill L. Rev. 1 (2007).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Military, War, & Peace
,
Laws of Armed Conflict
Type: Article
Abstract
Recent world events underscore the importance of the dilemma of the superior orders defence and the question of how to prevent soldiers from undertaking abusive conduct or committing atrocities. This article examines the degree to which holding individual soldiers legally responsible for their actions can be seen to be an effective strategy for the prevention of atrocities and explores complementary strategies aimed at the prevention of abusive conduct by soldiers. The article surveys historical and legal materials to illustrate the ongoing debate over the scope of the superior orders defence in U.S. and international law. The author then surveys a range of social science literature that suggests why some people participate in atrocities, and illuminates how difficult it would be for individuals to understand and comply with a rule expecting compliance with all superior orders except those that are illegal. The author concludes that the evidence undermines the likelihood that a norm establishing individual responsibility would succeed in changing conduct. The author argues that it is important to restrict the application of the superior orders defence in order to uphold a symbolic ideal of individual responsibility, but that real prospects for preventing atrocities by soldiers depend on changing the organizational design and resources surrounding the soldier and specifying new obligations for those in command. The author recommends changes to military incentives, culture, and practices. Proposed strategies include the provision of meaningful and effective training programs for both soldiers and officers, the establishment of a military culture in which soldiers understand their superiors to care about violations of law and morality, and the integration of legal analysis into the daily operations of all levels of the military hierarchy so that the burden of understanding lawfulness does not rest solely on the shoulders of the ordinary soldier.
Martha L. Minow, Should Religious Groups Ever Be Exempt From Civil Rights Laws?, 48 B.C. L. Rev. 781 (2007).
Categories:
Constitutional Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Religion
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Law & Public Policy
,
Civil Rights
,
Gender & Sexuality
,
Religious Rights
Type: Article
Abstract
Should a private religious university lose its tax exempt status if it bans interracial dating? Should a religious school be able fire a pregnant married teacher because her continued work would violate the church's view that mothers of young children should not work outside the home? Should a religious social service agency, such as Catholic Charities, be exempt from a state regulation banning discrimination in the delivery of social services on the basis of sexual orientation? Should religious organizations be exempt from civil rights laws? This article argues that these questions raised difficult normative issues that have been answered practically by reference to the varying effects of historical social movements, producing the differential treatment of race, gender, and sexual orientation laws. The article explores avenues for negotiating solutions other than full exemptions or no exemptions. Besides the instrumental goal of solving - or avoiding - complex political and legal problems, this question of stance injects the dimensions of virtue ethics and value-added negotiation. In so doing the article proposes ways to pursue productive stances toward clashes over religious exemption claims is highly relevant to sustaining and replenishing both American pluralism and constitutional protections for minority groups.
Martha L. Minow, Tolerance in an Age of Terror, 16 U. S. Cal. Interdisc. L.J. 453 (2007).
Categories:
Criminal Law & Procedure
,
Government & Politics
,
Constitutional Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Terrorism
,
Civil Rights
,
National Security Law
Type: Article
Abstract
Law review articles and public interest group advocacy charge the United States since 9/11 with overreaction that jeopardizes legal and cultural commitments to tolerance; recent books and articles addressing several European nations allege underreaction, preserving often in the name of multicultural tolerance too much space for intolerant and even murderous individuals and groups to plan and enact violent acts. Thus, reports charging excessive restrictions of civil liberties and governmental checks and balances in the United States contrast sharply with warnings of inaction and negligence by European countries that allegedly extend freedoms and decency to potential terrorists and hate mongers who constrict or attack the very systems that support them. The apparent pattern of overreaction in the United States and underreaction in Europe may reveal simply the two risks facing democratic societies that confront terrorism. But in fact the stories of underreaction resonate within the United States and the narrative of overreaction may have its echo in Europe. It is possible to view the U.S. as underregulating hate speech and political activity aiming to overthrow democracy when compared with the French and Germany hate speech bans, and the German prohibition prevent political parties that would challenge liberal democracy. That such steps would violate the U.S. constitution from some perspectives is simply further evidence of U.S. failures to address terrorist risks seriously. Similarly, the U.S. may appear to underrespond when compared with Britain's extensive use of face recognition cameras and national I.D. cards with biometrics. Failures to devise increased security measures in the United States for chemical plants, water works, cargo shipments, and nuclear material that could end up in terrorist hands also look like underreaction, given security analyses and expert recommendations. Reading the narratives or over- and under-reaction together, observers could conclude that any liberal democracy could be criticized both for over- and under-reacting to terror. A more productive lesson is to examine whether misdirected policies constrain liberties and target minorities without increasing safety for resident populations. The reversibility and simultaneity of narratives of over- and under-reaction could be a clue to a defect in the analysis that links security and tolerance. Policies invading civil rights and civil liberties can in fact distract from costly and difficult security measures that would not impair rights. Looking at the narratives of under- and over-reaction together, we could come 1) to focus on measures to increase security without increasing intolerance, and 2) address dissatisfactory reception of minorities and treatment of immigrants without confusing these with security issues. The result might focus on steps not yet taken in the U.S. that would make us more secure without jeopardizing freedoms or tolerance.
Martha L. Minow, Outsourcing Power: How Privatizing Military Efforts Challenges Accountability, Professionalism, and Democracy, 46 B.C. L. Rev. 989 (2005).
Categories:
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Government Accountability
,
Government Transparency
,
Military, War, & Peace
Type: Article
Abstract
Private contractors have played key roles in recent high-profile scandals. These scandals hint at the degree to which the U.S. military has increased the scope and scale of its reliance on private security companies in recent decades. This trend offers many advantages, including nimbleness in the deployment of expertise and geographic flexibility. But it also departs from conventional methods of accountability through both public oversight and private market discipline. The lack of transparency in the use of private contractors compounds the problem of assessing the impact of their increasing role. Failures of basic governmental oversight to ensure contract enforcement by the Department of Defense are welldocumented. Departures from conventional government contracting procedures exacerbate these failures and obscure whether inherently governmental functions are in effect privatized. The large sums of money involved contribute to risks of corruption and a scale of private lobbying that can distort the legislative process. These developments jeopardize the effectiveness of military activities, the professionalism of the military, the integrity of the legislative process and foreign policy decision making, public confidence in the government, national self-interest, and the stability of the world order.
Imagine Coexistence: Restoring Humanity after Violent Ethnic Conflict (Antonia Chayes & Martha Minow eds., Jossey-Bass 2003).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Civil Practice & Procedure
Sub-Categories:
Negotiation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
,
Human Rights Law
Type: Book
Abstract
"Imagine Coexistence is a groundbreaking program that grew from the joint initiative and conference sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Harvard University, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Imagine Coexistence seeks to enhance prospects for coexistence and break the destructive cycles of intergroup violence. This book, which was named for the program, offers a unique perspective grounded in research and outlines the invaluable lessons learned from numerous war-torn societies. The authors address the common problems that the people of these devastated nations face when the conflict subsides and examines how initiatives in education, the arts, sports, and economic development can offer refugees, returnees, and other survivors of group conflict reasons to work together and can create a base for relating constructively over time." "Imagining Coexistence shows how creating situations for people from previously warring groups to work side by side or in parallel efforts toward common goals can be effective starting points for fostering coexistence. The book is filled with illustrative examples from violent ethnic conflicts such as those that occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda that show the scope of actual efforts undertaken by the Imagine Coexistence projects. The essays included in this volume synthesize and assess the relevant approaches to coexistence and outline the obstacles that often thwart these efforts. The authors also provide concrete examples of how coexistence efforts can be mainstreamed in rebuilding a war-torn society."--Jacket.
Martha L. Minow, Partners, Not Rivals: Privatization and the Public Good (Beacon Press 2002).
Categories:
Government & Politics
,
Health Care
,
Family Law
,
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Education Law
,
Politics & Political Theory
,
Health Law & Policy
,
Legal Services
Type: Book
Abstract
What happens when private companies, nonprofit agencies, and religious groups manage what government used to-in education, criminal justice, legal services, and welfare programs? In this important book, renowned legal scholar Martha Minow takes on this astonishingly unexamined change in our public life and shows how to guard against the dangers of privatization to preserve our basic freedoms.
Engaging Cultural Differences: The Multicultural Challenge in Liberal Democracies (Richard A. Shweder, Martha Minow & Hazel R. Markus eds., Russell Sage Found. 2002).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Gender & Sexuality
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Religious Rights
,
Civil Rights
,
Feminist Legal Theory
,
Religion & Law
,
Law & Behavioral Sciences
,
Comparative Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Liberal democracies are based on principles of inclusion and tolerance. But how does the principle of tolerance work in practice in countries such as Germany, France, India, South Africa, and the United States, where an increasingly wide range of cultural groups holds often contradictory beliefs about appropriate social and family life practices? As these democracies expand to include peoples of vastly different cultural backgrounds, the limits of tolerance are being tested as never before. Engaging Cultural Differences explores how liberal democracies respond socially and legally to differences in the cultural and religious practices of their minority groups. Building on such examples, the contributors examine the role of tolerance in practical encounters between state officials and immigrants, and between members of longstanding majority groups and increasing numbers of minority groups. The volume also considers the theoretical implications of expanding the realm of tolerance. Some contributors are reluctant to broaden the scope of tolerance, while others insist that the notion of "tolerance" is itself potentially confining and demeaning and that modern nations should aspire to celebrate cultural differences. Coming to terms with ethnic diversity and cultural differences has become a major public policy concern in contemporary liberal democracies, as they struggle to adjust to burgeoning immigrant populations. Engaging Cultural Differences provides a compelling examination of the challenges of multiculturalism and reveals a deep understanding of the challenges democracies face as they seek to accommodate their citizens' diverse beliefs and practices.
Martha L. Minow, Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence (Beacon Press 1998).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Human Rights Law
Type: Book
Abstract
"With Between Vengeance and Forgiveness, Martha Minow, Harvard law professor and one of our most brilliant and humane legal minds, offers a landmark book on justice and healing after horrific violence. Remembering and forgetting, judging and forgiving, reconciling and avenging, grieving and educatingMinow shows us why each may be necessary, yet painfully inadequate, to individuals and societies living in the wake of past horrors." "She explores the rich and often troubling range of responses to massive, societal-level oppression. She writes of the legacy of war-crime prosecutions, beginning with the Nuremberg trials. She explores whether reparation - such as the monetary awards given to Japanese-Americans for internment during World War II, or art, such as Holocaust memorials - can be a basis for reconciliation after immeasurable personal and cultural loss. Minow also writes with informed, searching prose of the extraordinary drama of truth commissions in Argentina, East Germany, and most notably South Africa, and in the process delves into the risks and requirements involved in hearing from victims, the dynamics of gender, and the value of even imperfect gestures in the midst of these riveting experiments in justice and healing."--Jacket.
Abram Chayes, William W. Fisher, Morton J. Horwitz, Frank I. Michelman, Martha L. Minow, Charles R. Nesson & Todd D. Rakoff, The Bridge (Berkman Ctr. for Internet & Soc'y at Harv. Univ. 1999).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
,
Legal & Political Theory
Type: Other
Law Stories (Gary Bellow & Martha L. Minow eds., Univ. Mich. Press 1996).
Categories:
Legal Profession
Sub-Categories:
Legal Education
Type: Book
Abstract
"War Stories" is the phrase used by academic lawyers to disparage the ways practicing lawyers talk about their experiences. Still, much of what matters about law eludes most academic writings. Perhaps, as a consequence, legal scholarship is awash in new methodologies designed to illuminate how law shapes and is shaped by its enforcers, interpreters, and those it regulates. Celebrating "storytelling," books and articles for more than a decade have featured an array of stories, both fiction and nonfiction, reflecting various experiences with law and discussing the role of storytelling in conventional law practice. Still we have relatively few stories of the actual experiences of clients and lawyers in concrete legal contexts. Gary Bellow and Martha Minow in Law Stories have gathered a group of stories that answers this need. Law Stories is a body of narrative work which reflects multiple points of view, textured depictions of conventional practices and institutional cultures, and insights into how the legal workers and those affected by law make their choices, understand their actions, and experience the frustrations and satisfactions they entail. The essays in Law Stories are all first-person accounts of law problems and the way they were handled, written by lawyers involved in the problems.
Martha Minow, Which Question? Which Lie? Reflections on the Physician-Assisted Suicide Cases, 1997 Sup. Ct. Rev. 1 (1997).
Categories:
Health Care
,
Constitutional Law
Sub-Categories:
Fourteenth Amendment
,
Health Law & Policy
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow & Todd D. Rakoff, Is the "Reasonable Person" a Reasonable Standard in a Multicultural World?, in 2 Everyday Practices and Trouble Cases 40 (Austin Sarat, Marianne Constable, David Engel, Valerie Hans & Susan Lawrence eds., Nw. Univ. Press 1998).
Categories:
Banking & Finance
,
Consumer Finance
,
Legal Profession
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Contracts
,
Consumer Contracts
,
Law & Public Policy
,
Legal & Political Theory
Type: Book
Martha L. Minow, Not Only for Myself: Identity, Politics, and the Law (New Press 1997).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Discrimination
,
Gender & Sexuality
,
LGBTQ Rights Law
,
Race & Ethnicity
Type: Book
Abstract
Not Only for Myself uses well-known incidents, such as the furor over the casting of Miss Saigon and the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to explain the legal issues bearing on such incendiary questions as affirmative action, segregation, racial redistricting, and “identity politics.”
Elizabeth Spelman & Martha L. Minow, Outlaw Women: Thelma and Louise, in Legal Reelism: Movies as Legal Texts 261 (John Denvir ed., Univ. Ill. Press 1996).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Law & Humanities
Type: Book
Abstract
Law and justice are important themes in film, not only in courtroom dramas, but also in the western, the film noir, even the documentary. In the Godfather trilogy Francis Ford Coppola shows that the Mafia possesses its own strict codes, even though they are in conflict with those of the criminal justice system. In Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors the protagonist also "gets away with murder," but with a different dramatic intent by the director and a different effect on the audience. Shedding light on myriad facets of the law/film relationship, fourteen contributors to Legal Reelism analyze films ranging from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, It's a Wonderful Life, and Drums along the Mohawk to Do the Right Thing, Basic Instinct, The Thin Blue Line, and Thelma and Louise. The first volume to contain work by both humanists and legal specialists, Legal Reelism is a landmark text for those concerned with depictions of justice in the media and the impact of those depictions on society at large.
Martha L. Minow, Stories in Law, in Law's Stories: Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law 24 (Peter Brooks & Paul Gerwitz eds., Yale Univ. Press 1996).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Law & Humanities
Type: Book
Abstract
The law is full of stories, ranging from the competing narratives presented at trials to the Olympian historical narratives set forth in Supreme Court opinions. How those stories are told and listened to makes a crucial difference to those whose lives are reworked in legal storytelling. The public at large has increasingly been drawn to law as an area where vivid human stories are played out with distinctively high stakes. And scholars in several fields have recently come to recognize that law's stories need to be studied critically. This notable volume—inspired by a symposium held at Yale Law School—brings together an exceptional group of well-known figures in law and literary studies to take a probing look at how and why stories are told in the law and how they are constructed and made effective. Why is it that some stories—confessions, victim impact statements—can be excluded from decisionmakers' hearing? How do judges claim the authority by which they impose certain stories on reality? Law's Stories opens new perspectives on the law, as narrative exchange, performance, explanation. It provides a compelling encounter of law and literature, seen as two wary but necessary interlocutors.
Martha L. Minow, Telling Stories, Telling Law, in Field work: sites in literary and cultural studies 237 (Marjorie Garber, Paul B. Franklin & Rebecca L. Walkowitz eds., Routledge 1996).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Law & Humanities
Type: Book
Family Matters: Readings on Family Lives and the Law (Martha L. Minow ed., New Press 1993).
Categories:
Family Law
Sub-Categories:
Domestic Relations
Type: Book
Abstract
Developed by Martha Minow for use in her own course on family law at Harvard Law School, this book brings together writings from sociology, history, psychology, economics, and fiction, as well as law, to address the gap between existing legislation on familial issues (including marriage, parenthood, and divorce) and family lives as they are really lived today.
Narrative, Violence, and the Law: The Essays of Robert Cover (Martha L. Minow, Michael Ryan & Austin Sarat eds., Univ. Mich. Press 1992).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Jewish Law
,
Legal Theory & Philosophy
,
Law & Humanities
Type: Book
Abstract
Essential writings of the leading scholar of law and violence.
Martha L. Minow, Making All the Difference: Inclusion, Exclusion, and American Law (Cornell Univ. Press 1990).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Civil Rights
,
Disability Rights
,
Gender & Sexuality
,
Race & Ethnicity
,
Discrimination
,
Law & Public Policy
,
Religious Rights
,
Age Discrimination
Type: Book
Abstract
Martha Minow takes a hard look at the way our legal system functions in dealing with people on the basis of race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion, and disability. Martha Minow here takes a hard look at the way our legal system functions.
Scott Brewer, Symposium on the Renaissance of Pragmatism in American Legal Thought — Afterword, 63 S. Cal. L. Rev. 1911 (1990).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
Type: Article
Martha L. Minow, The Case of Legal Language, in The State of the Language 246 (Christopher Ricks & Leonard Michaels eds., Univ. Cal. Press 1990).
Categories:
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Law & Humanities
Type: Book

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