Jeremy Waldron

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Jeremy Waldron
Jeremy Waldron Baldy Center.jpg
Born (1953-10-13) 13 October 1953 (age 61)
New Zealand
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Western philosophy
Main interests
Legal philosophy

Jeremy Waldron (born 13 October 1953) is a New Zealand professor of law and philosophy. He holds a professorship at the New York University School of Law and is Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at All Souls College, Oxford University. Waldron also holds an adjunct professorship at Victoria University.

Early life and education[edit]

Waldron studied at the University of Otago, New Zealand, where he graduated with a B.A. in 1974 and an LL.B. in 1978. He later studied for a D.Phil. at the University of Oxford under legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin and political theorist Alan Ryan; Waldron graduated in 1986.


He also taught legal and political philosophy at Otago (1975–78), Lincoln College, Oxford (1980–82), the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (1983–87), the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at Boalt Hall School of Law at Berkeley (1986–96), Princeton University (1996–97), and Columbia Law School (1997–2006). He has also been a visiting professor at Cornell (1989–90), Otago (1991–92) and Columbia (1995) Universities.

Waldron gave the second series of Seeley Lectures at Cambridge University in 1996, the 1999 Carlyle Lectures at Oxford, the spring 2000 University Lecture at Columbia Law School, the Wesson Lectures at Stanford University in 2004, and the Storrs Lectures at Yale Law School in 2007. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1998.

In 2005, Waldron received an honorary doctorate from the University of Otago, his alma mater.

Legal and philosophical views[edit]

Waldron has taken an opposing view to Kelsen and Dworkin, critical of their support of the strong compatibility of judicial review and democracy.

Waldron is a liberal and a normative legal positivist. He has written extensively on the analysis and justification of private property and on the political and legal philosophy of John Locke. He is an outspoken opponent of judicial review and of torture, both of which he believes to be in tension with democratic principles. He believes that hate speech should not be protected by the First Amendment.[1]

Waldron has also criticized analytic legal philosophy for its failure to engage with the questions addressed by political theory.

Criticism of judicial review[edit]

In her recent book on Hans Kelsen, Sandrine Baume identified Jeremy Waldron and Bruce Ackerman as leading critics of the "compatibility of judicial review with the very principles of democracy".[2] Baume identified John Hart Ely alongside Dworkin as the foremost defenders of this principle in recent years, while the opposition to this principle of "compatibility" were identified as Bruce Ackerman[3] and Jeremy Waldron.[4] In contrast to Waldron and Ackerman, Dworkin was a long-time advocate of the principle of the moral reading of the constitution whose lines of support he sees as strongly associated with enhanced versions of judicial review in the federal government.




  • 2001, "Normative (or Ethical) Positivism" in Jules Coleman (ed.), Hart's Postscript: Essays on the Postscript to The Concept of Law. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-829908-7
  • 2003, "Who is my Neighbor?: Humanity and Proximity," The Monist 86.
  • 2004, "Settlement, Return, and the Supersession Thesis," Theoretical Inquiries in Law 5.
  • 2004, “Terrorism and the Uses of Terror”. The Journal of Ethics, Vol. 8, No. 1, Terrorism (2004) pp. 5–35.
  • 2005, "Torture and Positive Law: Jurisprudence for the White House," Columbia Law Review 105.
  • 2006, "The Core of the Case Against Judicial Review," Yale Law Journal 115.
  • 2009, "Dignity and Defamation: The Visibility of Hate". 2009 Oliver Wendell Holmes Lectures.
  • 2012, "Bicameralism and the Separation of Powers," Current Legal Problems 31.


  1. ^ Voices on Antisemitism Interview with Jeremy Waldron from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  2. ^ Baume, Sandrine (2011). Hans Kelsen and the Case for Democracy, ECPR Press, pp53-54.
  3. ^ Ackerman, Bruce (1991). We the People.
  4. ^ Waldron, Jeremy (2006). "The Core of the case against judicial review," The Yale Law Review, 2006, Vol. 115, pp 1346-1406.

External links[edit]