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14.12.2020 | Online Panel

Recent events, one of them being the quick replacement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, have given new momentum to the debate about the role of the U.S. Supreme Court. What is particularly remarkable about the current discussion, is that it shifted the discourse about the Supreme Court from the discussion of doctrinal alternatives to actual institutional alternatives. Accompanied by a critical review, Prof. Samuel Moyn (Yale) will guide the audience of his virtual lecture through the thicket of new proposals – and argue in favor of strategies of institutional disempowerment.

The online lecture is co-hosted by the Institute for Public Law (Dep. 2) at the University of Freiburg and DAJV. The lecture is part of the Lecture Series “Current Questions of Constitutional Law and International Law”, organized by Prof. Dr. Silja Vöneky.

This webinar was held in English.


Prof. Samuel Moyn is Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School and a Professor of History at Yale University. He has written several books in his fields of European intellectual history and human rights history, including The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History (2010), and edited or coedited a number of others. His most recent books are Christian Human Rights (2015), based on Mellon Distinguished Lectures at the University of Pennsylvania in fall 2014, and Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World (2018). Currently he is working on a new book on the origins of humane war for Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Over the years he has written in venues such as Boston Review, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Dissent, The Nation, The New Republic, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

Full Bio here.

Welcoming address:

Prof. Dr. Jan von Hein Jan von Hein is a professor at the University of Freiburg, Germany, where he holds a chair in German, Comparative and Private International Law and serves as a Director of the Institute for Comparative and Private International Law, Department III. Before that, he was a professor at the University of Trier from October 2007 to March 2013, a senior research fellow at the MaxPlanck-Institute for Comparative and Private International Law (Hamburg; 1998–2007), and a Joseph Story Research Fellow at Harvard Law School (1997–98). Von Hein holds both German state examinations and a Ph.D. as well as a Habilitation in Law from the University of Hamburg. Since 2009, he is a member of the German Council for Private International Law, a select group of law professors acting as advisors to the Federal Ministry of Justice; since 2014, he chairs the Council’s 2nd Commission, dealing with matters of international commercial law. Von Hein received the 1998 Otto-Hahn-Medal for outstanding scientific achievements from the MaxPlanck-Society for his doctoral dissertation and he was awarded the 2008 research prize of the Deutsches Aktieninstitut for a monograph on the reception of U.S. corporate law in Germany. The latter book was also honoured as one of the legal books of the year by two leading German periodicals, the Neue Juristische Wochenschrift (NJW) and the Juristenzeitung (JZ). Von Hein is the volume editor of one of the leading commentaries on German private international law, the Münchener Kommentar zum Bürgerlichen Gesetzbuch (vols. 10 and 11, 6th ed. 2015), as well as the author of a standard commentary on the Brussels I-Regulation (Kropholler/von Hein, Europäisches Zivilprozessrecht, 9th ed. 2011). Apart from that, he has published numerous law review articles, mainly on private international law, international civil litigation and comparative corporate law.

Full Bio here.


Prof. Dr. Silja Vöneky Prof. Dr. Silja Vöneky (Voeneky) is a (Co-)Director of the Institute for Public Law, Professor of Public International Law, Comparative Law and Ethics of Law and an associated member of the Institute for Philosophy of Law. Since October 2019, she is the Vice Dean of the Freiburg Law Faculty.

Full Bio here.