On December 18, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted Professor Mireille Delmas-Marty to deliver the ninth annual Raymond Aron Lecture. A leading French legal scholar, Dr. Delmas-Marty is professor emeritus at the Collège de France and a member of France’s Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques. After a prestigious career in academia, including visiting professorships in major universities from the Americas to Asia, and advising the French government on constitutional and legal reform, Dr. Delmas-Marty has focused her work at the Collège de France on the internationalization of law.
Dr. Delmas-Marty delivered remarks on how national bodies of law are increasingly being reshaped by transnational forces, including universal human rights norms, economic integration, and global risks, and the challenges this presents in terms of accountability, legitimacy and predictability. She discussed how direct dialogue among the world’s top jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice, has also changed conceptions of self-contained national legal systems; and suggest how cross-country comparisons and understanding the evolving nature of international law can help make sense of the rapidly changing legal landscape.
Following Dr. Delmas-Marty’s remarks, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer offered a response. Justice Breyer was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Clinton and took his seat in 1994. A former law clerk to Justice Arthur Goldberg, he held many prominent offices in both the executive and the judicial branches of the federal government, and was also a professor of Law at Harvard University, a visiting professor in various universities, and the author of numerous books and articles.
Brookings President Strobe Talbott provided introductory remarks and Brookings Senior Fellow Benjamin Wittes moderated the discussion. After the program, panelists took audience questions. The Raymond Aron lecture series, named after the renowned scholar of post-war France, annually features leading French and American scholars and statesmen speaking on critical issues affecting the transatlantic relationship.