Michigan State Law Review Symposium on Wenona Singel’s “Indian Tribes and Human Rights Accountability”

Michigan State Law Review has published several articles from its symposium on Wenona Singel’s paper “Indian Tribes and Human Rights Accountability.”

Tribal Rights, Human Rights

Kristen A. Carpenter & Angela R. Riley

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 293 | Download PDF

Nenabozho’s Smart Berries: Rethinking Tribal Sovereignty and Accountability

Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 339 | Download PDF

Jurisdiction and Human Rights Accountability in Indian Country

Kirsten Matoy Carlson

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 355 | Download PDF

First “Review” of Scholarly Promise and Achievement

Frank Pommersheim

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 291 | Download PDF

Tribal Sovereignty and Human Rights

Joseph William Singer

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 307 | Download PDF

A Most Grievous Display of Behavior: Self-Decimation in Indian Country

David E. Wilkins

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 325 | Download PDF

Healing to Wellness Courts: Therapeutic Justice

Joseph Thomas Flies-Away & Carrie E. Garrow

2013 Mich. St. L. Rev. 403 | Download PDF

 

Joe Singer on the Original Acquisition of Property

Joseph William Singer has posted his paper, “Original Acquisition of Property: From Conquest and Possession to Democracy and Equal Opportunity,” forthcoming from the Indiana Law Journal, on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

First possession is said to be the root of title but the first possession theory suffers from two major defects. First, land titles in the United States originate in acts of conquest, and because conquest denies the rights of first possessors, land titles in the U.S. do not have a just origin. We should recognize the unjust origins of our land titles and recognize that the democratic way to deal with the legacies of conquest is to refuse to engage in further acts of conquest. This requires recognizing the pre-existing sovereignty and persisting property rights of Indian nations. Second, first possession is justified only if others have equal opportunities to acquire property. The equal opportunity principle is not only one that is crucial to justifying and limiting the historical rights of first possessors but constitutes a core moral principle that must be satisfied in each generation. Property rights are therefore justified today only if they are defined and regulated in a manner consistent with the norms that define a free and democratic society which treats each person with equal concern and respect. Property has legitimate origins not in first possession or conquest but in the practice of democracy and the ideal of equal opportunity. This does not mean that possession is irrelevant; it means that its moral significance must be judged in light of the democratic ideal of equal opportunity.

Singer (Harvard) on “Normative Methods for Lawyers”

Joe Singer has posted “Normative Methods for Lawyers” on SSRN.

From the abstract:

How can we defend arguments about what the law should be based on considerations of morality, justice, fairness, liberty, rights, or human values? Are such arguments anything more than assertions of personal preferences? In this article, I argue that normative arguments are crucial for the rule of law and that both lawyers (and law students) need to know how to make and defend claims of morality and justice. In recent years, cost/benefit and efficiency analysis appear to have taken over most legal scholarship and many law school classroom discussions. Such analysis suggests that the sole goal of the legal system should be to maximize human welfare and that we can best accomplish this goal by deferring to individual preferences, whatever they happen to be, valuing the relative strength of those preferences by reference to market values, and then choosing results whose social benefits outweigh their social costs. In contrast, I argue that such analysis is wholly without any normative weight unless it occurs within a framework of institutions, laws, and practices that are consistent with minimum standards for social and economic relationships in a free and democratic society. Normative arguments are designed to define that legitimate framework. Moreover, such arguments are not merely expressions of personal preference but are evaluative assertions and moral demands we are entitled to make of each other. Moral and political theory provide resources to help lawyers make evaluative assertions about human values that the legal system should respect. At the same time, lawyers possess substantial expertise in analyzing, shaping, and defending normative claims and the methods used by lawyers should be of interest to moral and political theorists.

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