The 2011 edition of the James McCormick Mitchell Lecture, the UB Law School’s highest-profile lecture series, revisits a significant historical moment for UB and the world—one that has been largely overlooked.
The lecture, to begin at 2 p.m. Oct. 4 in 106 O’Brian Hall, North Campus, will examine a major address by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson given at the University of Buffalo’s centennial celebration exactly 65 years ago. Jackson, who had taken a leave of absence from the high court to serve as the chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trial in occupied Germany that followed the Nazis’ surrender in World War II, spoke at UB immediately after he returned from that historic trial in 1946.
His speech touched on timeless themes: how a “warlike spirit” can overcome a nation; the quest for nations to work cooperatively in the cause of peace; the interrelationship of war and dictatorship; and the supremacy of law over the lawless forces of war and persecution.
The 2011 Mitchell lecture will feature three legal scholars who will discuss aspects of Jackson’s 1946 address, placing the speech in historical context and discussing its enduring implications. Mitchell lecturers will be:
The event will mark another anniversary as well: the 60th year of the Mitchell lecture series, whose first installment in 1951 also featured Jackson speaking on “Wartime Security and Liberty Under Law.”
- John Q. Barrett, professor of law at St. John’s University in New York City and a board member at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, N.Y., who will discuss “Bringing Nuremberg Home: Justice Jackson’s Path Back to Buffalo, Oct. 4, 1946.” Barrett is writing a biography of Jackson.
- Eric L. Muller, professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law and a legal historian with special interest in the Japanese internment cases during the World War II era, who will discuss “Nazis, Americans and the Law as a ‘Peace Profession.’”
- Mary L. Dudziak, Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Professor of Law, History and Political Science at the University of Southern California, who will speak on “Rumors of War.”
Saturday, October 1, 2011
"Rumors of War" -- Justice Jackson after Nuremberg
This event at the University at Buffalo, Tuesday, October 4, commemorates the first public address Justice Robert Jackson gave after returning from his work as Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg trial. I will take up the way Jackson understood law and security in the context of a changing world in the years after Nuremberg, as the categories of war and peace lost their distinction, leaving ongoing tensions and, as Jackson put it, "rumors of war." Jackson biographer John Q. Barrett, and legal historian Eric Muller will also speak.