IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - Exceptionalism in Law and Politics
'Exceptionalism is a pervasive trope in comparative studies of law and politics. Of all nations, the US is perhaps most commonly regarded as being the odd one out. But in the area of my research - comparative public law - Australia has also been bracketed as exceptional. Calling a nation or a legal system 'exceptional' assumes some benchmark of normality. Professor Peter Cane’s approach is quite different. He starts with the assumption that every legal system is a unique product of its own history and culture. In this lecture, Professor Cane will illustrate this approach by focusing on a striking difference between US law on the one hand, and English and Australian law on the other. His conclusion will be that neither US law nor Anglo/Australian law is exceptional. On the contrary, closer analysis shows how the law of all three jurisdictions can be explained by reference to a unique combination of constitutional and institutional structures and interactions, a set of normative commitments, and a dynamic process of historical development.
This lecture is free and open to all.
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