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Konstantin Tretyakov

Konstantin Tretyakov

S.J.D. 2017

ktretyakov at


“Bioethics and Law: Toward the Cultural Interpretation of Justice”

My thesis explores the idea of justice in law using the examples of the right to die and organ transplantation in the United States and China. I argue that justice in law is coherence between moral and systemic types of legal arguments and examine how that coherence is reached in courts and legislatures dealing with two pressing bioethical issues. This idea of legal justice recognizes that different legal solutions to the same problem can be just, as there are different ways to reach coherence between legal arguments. It also acknowledges that while systemic legal arguments (institutional competence and formal administrability) are largely the same in all jurisdictions, ethical arguments can and do differ among them. In this respect, this theory treats as equally just different solutions resulting from legal systems with different ethical backgrounds. Finally, the theory shows that both systemic and ethical legal arguments can be influenced by extra-legal factors. I argue that all these features of justice in law call for its culture-specific interpretation.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Bioethics with Professor I. Glenn Cohen, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor
  • Comparative and Chinese Law and Ethics with Professor William P. Alford, Harvard Law School
  • Ethics and Metaethics with Professor Scott Brewer, Harvard Law School

Additional Research Interests

  • Jurisprudence
  • Torts
  • Theories of Social Justice


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D., 2017
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. Program 2012-2013
  • Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Russia, Ph.D. in Law, 2010
  • Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Russia, LL.B., 2006 (summa cum laude)

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Tel Aviv University, Israel, 2016–2017, Post-Doctorate Fellow
  • Harvard Law School, 2016–2017, Byse Fellow
  • Harvard College, 2015, Teaching Fellow (course of Professor Michael Sandel)
  • Harvard College, 2014, Teaching Fellow (course of Professor David Jones)
  • Harvard Law School, June 2014, Summer Academic Fellow
  • Harvard Law School, June 2015, Summer Academic Fellow
  • Harvard Law School, 2013 – Present, Graduate Program Fellow, LL.M. Advisor

Representative Publications

Additional Information

Languages: English (fluent), Chinese (proficient), Russian (native)

Last Updated: September 1, 2016