Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Garvey on "Institutional Pluralism"

In his address at the January 2008 Annual Meeting of the AALS, the new AALS President, Dean John Garvey (Boston College) discussed "institutional pluralism."  Here is a bit from a Boston College Law School-affiliated site:

In a speech in January at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) in New York Dean of Boston College Law School and AALS President John Garvey talked about shifting the axis of the legal academy’s discussion over diversity. Instead of focusing on diversity within law schools, Garvey talked about cultivating the differences among them. . . .

. . .  “Its not clear that Mill’s argument entails protection for dissent at every level,” Garvey said, adding that “a distinctive institutional culture is not inconsistent with individual freedom of inquiry.

“Collaboration is not control,” he stressed.

In conclusion, Garvey acknowledged the “uncertainty” in his voice about his suggestions. Still, he said that he believed that thinking more about institutional pluralism would be healthy, both for students and for the intellectual life of the academy.

Garvey concluded, “
Schools don’t need to compete on the same track to succeed.”

I have not been able to find a link to the full address, but it is reprinted in the March 2008 issue of "aals news."  In the full address, Garvey spends a good bit of time discussing the distinctive mission of Catholic and other religiously affiliated law schools.


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