Civil Jury as a Political Institution – Williamsburg, VA

William and MaryWilliam & Mary Law Review at William & Mary Law School will host the Civil Jury as a Political Institution February 22-23, 2013. im

The debate over the civil jury in the United States – in both the academic literature and public domain — tends to focus on how good or bad it is as an adjudicative institution.  But its justification has always been as a political institution.  Though the civil jury’s role as a political institution has strong historical roots, its place in our contemporary political system has received relatively little, sustained scholarly attention. This Symposium aims to build on recent work taking a renewed look at the various justifications for the civil jury as a political institution: as an instrument of popular sovereignty, a vehicle for applying community norms in law, a source of democratic legitimacy, and a check on government and corporate power. We expect to bring together a group of people from different disciplines, including law, political science and psychology, to bring both theoretical and empirical perspectives to bear on this important set of issues.