Tuesday, December 14, 2010

FLJS Annual Lecture in Law & Society 2010 - Online Podcast

Oxford University

Please bear with me, I'm about to endorse a supplementary academic source in the midst of exam season. But I promise, it's interesting!

I don`t typically post links to podcasts, videos, or other external resources, but for this, I'll make an exception. You've all heard me gush (too much?) about my professors from the University of Toronto. My undergraduate experience was fundamentally shaped by the influence of these individuals. So much that to this day, I still either a) keep in contact with them or b) stalk them online to my heart's content via their online blogs, UofT news sites, etcetera.

A few months ago, I discovered that one of my favourite professors from UofT delivered a prestigious lecture at Oxford University: the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society's Annual Lecture. Ran Hirschl, renowned constitutional scholar, presented a realist approach to the the current trend of constitutional supremacy.

How excited was I that Hirschl was delivering this lecture? I can't even describe the depths of my excitement. Hirschl (along with Peter Solomon) are the reasons I decided to pursue law school. To this day, I still consider Hirschl and Solomon as the best professors I ever encountered as an undergraduate student. They are absolutely phenomenal instructors and academics, and I was lucky to be their student.

So as I was getting ready for the Politics Department`s End-of-Semester party last week, I discovered that an online podcast is now available for Hirschl's lecture. And so as I went through the motions of getting dressed up for the semi-formal last week, I listened to the podcast in its entirety (Because who needs to listen to Katy Perry when you can listen to Ran Hirschl? I know, right?).

CLICK HERE for a link to the lecture's ONLINE PODCAST.
CLICK HERE for Ran Hirschl's biography.

Excerpt from the lecture:
"Why is it that some constitutions live much longer than others? While constitutions are written to last, they vary considerably in terms of their endurance... Sweden`s 1809 Constitution was replaced in 1974, the 1874 const of Switzerland was replaced in 1999. Only half of all constitutions last more than 9 years, with an overall average of 19 years. Thus, the average citizen should expect to see her country go through 3-4 constitutions in her lifetime..."

If you have the time, I really encourage you all to listen to his lecture. It isn't too long! It's enlightening, and can encourage all of us see constitutional development (worldwide) in a new light. It's a fantastic lecture. Looking forward to reading his book over the holidays!

"You can teach a student a lesson for a day. But if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives."
- Clay P. Bedford

"It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it."
- Jacob Bronowski

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