I am very pleased to report that the Honourable Rosalie Silberman Abella, Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, will deliver Chautauqua Institution’s 14th annual Robert H. Jackson Lecture on the Supreme Court of the United States, on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, at 4:00 p.m. in Chautauqua’s Hall of Philosophy.
Justice Abella is a giant of Canada’s judiciary, and in law and judging worldwide. She was born in 1946 in a Displaced Persons camp in Allied-occupied Germany (about 200 kilometers from where Justice Jackson then was serving, in Nuremberg, as U.S. chief prosecutor of Nazi war criminals). She was a young child when her family came to Canada as refugees. In 1964, she graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music in classical piano. She then attended the University of Toronto, earning a B.A. in 1967 and an LL.B. in 1970. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 1972 and practiced civil and criminal litigation. In 1976, she was appointed to the Ontario Family Court, becoming the youngest person (age 29), the first pregnant person, and the first refugee appointed to the bench in Canada’s history. In 1984, as the sole Commissioner of the federal Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, Judge Abella created the term and concept of “employment equity” and developed theories of “equality” and “discrimination” that subsequently were adopted by the Supreme Court of Canada. In 1992, she was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal, and in 2004 she was appointed to Canada’s Supreme Court, becoming its first Jewish woman justice.
Among many honors, Justice Abella is a Senior Fellow of Massey College, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has given, among others, the Harlan Lecture at Princeton, the Ryan Lecture at Georgetown, the Winchester Lecture at Oxford, the Anderson Lecture at Yale, and, in 2016, Yale Law School’s graduation address, and she has been the Bullock Chair at Hebrew University and the Mackenzie King Distinguished Visiting Professor at Harvard. (For her Court biography page, click here.)
The Jackson Lecture will bring Justice Abella to Chautauqua Institution, a special venue of arts, education, and recreation in western New York State. Chautauqua was a very significant part of Robert H. Jackson’s life, his broad and self-directed education, his public speaking training and experiences, and his thinking. (For an earlier Jackson List post on Chautauqua Institution, click here. To view a 2011 documentary, “An American Narrative,” on Chautauqua, click here. And click here for its website.)
The Jackson Lecture at Chautauqua Institution is a leading annual consideration of the Supreme Court of the United States, on which Justice Robert H. Jackson served from 1941-1954, in the weeks following the completion of the Supreme Court’s annual Term (and, this year, the announcement of a Justice’s retirement and, expected soon, a presidential nomination to fill that seat).
In past years, Chautauqua’s Jackson Lecturers have been:
- 2005: Geoffrey R. Stone, University of Chicago professor;
- 2006: Linda Greenhouse, New York Times writer and Yale Law School professor;
- 2007: Seth P. Waxman, WilmerHale partner and former Solicitor General of the United States;
- 2008: Jeffrey Toobin, staff writer at The New Yorker and CNN senior legal analyst;
- 2009: Paul D. Clement, Kirkland & Ellis LLP partner and former Solicitor General of the United States;
- 2010: Jeff Shesol, historian, communications strategist, and former White House speechwriter;
- 2011: Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate and Amicus podcast host;
- 2012: Pamela Karlan, Stanford University professor;
- 2013: Charles Fried, Harvard University professor and former Solicitor General of the United States;
- 2014: Akhil Reed Amar, Yale University professor;
- 2015: Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard University professor;
- 2016: Tracey L. Meares, Yale University professor; and
- 2017: Judge Jon O. Newman, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
For a video library of these Jackson Lectures, and also video of interviews with the lecturers during their visits to Chautauqua Institution, click here.
For further information on Justice Abella’s upcoming lecture, which will bring an interesting comparative perspective to the U.S. Supreme Court at this important time, click here.
This post was emailed to the Jackson List, a private but entirely non-selective email list that reaches many thousands of subscribers around the world. I write to it periodically about Justice Robert H. Jackson, the Supreme Court, Nuremberg and related topics. The Jackson List archive site is http://thejacksonlist.com/. To subscribe, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your interest, and for spreading the word.