Steve Ratner Lecture: The Thin Justice of International Law

Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:30PM - 2:00PM • Notre Dame Law School • Calendars: Main

Steve Ratner, law professor at the University of Michigan,  will give a talk at the Notre Dame Law School at 12:30 on Monday, Jan. 28, on The Thin Justice of International Law.

Details are at The talk is based on his current book project for Cambridge University Press, and Steve hopes to engage and test his ideas with Notre Dame faculty.

Synopsis: The Thin Justice of International Law In a world suffused with conflict and human misery, global justice remains one of the most compelling missions of our time. Although philosophers of global justice have often stayed clear of legal institutions, international law plays a critical role in understanding the prospects for global justice. For the core rules of international law -- even if they came about as a result of power politics and historical contingencies -- have their own morality and represent a real-world incarnation of a vision of global justice. That ethical vision is one that I term “thin” justice. While not as “thick” as the justice we might minimally expert for domestic policies, nor the limit of justice for which we should strive in the international realm, it is justice deserving of the name and consistent with a cosmopolitan vision of the world. After explaining my notion of thin justice, I will use self-determination as an example of a core international law that meets the standard of thin justice.