Systemic Justice Project Offering 3 Courses this Spring

SYSTEMIC JUSTICE

  • Jon Hanson with Jacob Lipton
  • Spring 2015 Course
  • Meets: W, Th, F 1:20pm – 2:40pm
  • 4 classroom credits

This course will employ insights from numerous disciplines, including history, the mind sciences, economics, and law to explore some of the deep, common, and overlapping causes of injustice. We will examine and draw lessons from a handful of well-known injustices—from antebellum slavery to twentieth-century marketing of tobacco. Focusing on varied sources of power, we will attempt to understand interconnections between policy problems and the cycles that contribute to inequality and injustice. Based on those understandings, the course will name and inventory causes of injustice, impediments to justice, and ways better to pursue justice through law and social activism. Finally, the course will pull those lessons into the present as students examine, workshop, and write about current problems.

Students will write a graded group or individual paper on a problem of their choosing.

There are no prerequisites, and 1L students (not in Section 6) and cross-registrants are welcome in the class. Students who have previously taken a torts or corporations class with Professor Hanson are not eligible for this class.

This class serves as a prerequisite or corequisite for The Justice Lab.

THE JUSTICE LAB

  • Jacob Lipton and Jon Hanson
  • Spring 2015 Course
  • Meets: T 1:00pm – 3:00pm
  • 2 classroom credits

The Justice Lab, in its first semester, seeks to develop a new way of approaching societal injustices, while providing students with experience operating in a think tank environment. Students will work in teams drafting policy papers and taking part in the running of The Justice Lab. Students will participate in the selection of “problems” for the lab to address, will identify a variety of relevant experts, stakeholders, and victims of injustice as part of researching the problem, and will coordinate and participate in drafting collaborative policy papers. Some papers will analyze a problem, identify possible solutions, and propose a set of potential policy reforms. Other papers will concern “problem causers,” the often unseen or unmanageably large forces that contribute to many specific problems. Class time will be devoted to presentations and discussions of the policy problems, and workshops relevant to participation in a think tank, including topics such as persuasive policy writing, presentation of data, writing a press release, and grant writing. Much of the work will be done outside of class in smaller groups and subgroups. There will be an opportunity for interested students to assist The Justice Lab in preparing brief memos on potential problem topics in the fall semester and, for those who wish to take a particularly active role, to receive written work credit for work that satisfies the written work requirements. Jacob Lipton will assist with this course.

Prerequisites: Students must have previously taken Torts or Corporations with Professor Hanson, or be simultaneously registered in Professor Hanson’s class, Systemic Justice. 1L students who took torts with Professor Hanson in the fall are welcome to register in the lab as are cross-registrants who take the co-requisite course, Systemic Justice. Of course, 1L students who take the course cannot also take the lab this spring but will be eligible to take it in their 2L and 3L years.

If you are interested in participating, please send a brief statement of interest to hanson@law.harvard.edu and jlipton@law.harvard.edu (and include the words “Justice Lab” in the subject line) so we can give you further details and make you eligible for enrollment. We hope to hear from you as early as possible in the fall so you can have some involvement in selecting projects for the spring.

WRITING ABOUT JUSTICE

  • Jon Hanson with Jacob Lipton
  • Spring 2015 Seminar
  • Meets: M 5:00pm – 7:00pm
  • 2 classroom credits

This seminar focuses on the important psychological, historical, economic, political, and legal sources of systemic injustice. Students will take an active role in planning and implementing the seminar. They will be expected to prepare readings, write substantial papers, and comment upon and edit other students’ papers. One goal of the seminar will be to create a collection of chapters or articles for eventual publication.

Prerequisites: Participation is by permission only, and students must have previously taken Torts or Corporations with Professor Hanson. To apply, please send a brief statement of interest to hanson@law.harvard.edu and jlipton@law.harvard.edu. Please include the words “Justice Seminar” in the subject line.

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