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When Should Law Forgive?

When Should Law Forgive?

by Martha Minow


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on September 24, 2019


What can forgiveness achieve in this age of resentment?

A towering and beloved figure in legal scholarship, Martha Minow explores the complicated intersection between law, justice, and forgiveness, asking whether law should encourage individuals to forgive and when should the courts, public officials, and specific laws forgive? Minow examines these questions through sometimes- troubling cases— comparing the legal treatment of juvenile offenses in the US with international responses to child soldiers, for example, and the legal forgiveness of corporate debt with the lack of forgiveness for consumer debt and student loans.

With compassion and acumen, Minow acknowledges that there are certainly grounds for both individuals and societies to withhold forgiveness, but argues that there are also many places where letting go of justified grievances can make law more just, not less. This type of lawful forgiveness might also nudge individuals and societies toward the respect and generosity that comes with apology and restitution. Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393081763
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.00(d)

About the Author

Martha Minowis the 300th Anniversary University Professor and former dean of the Harvard Law School. Barack Obama wrote of her, “When I was at Harvard Law School I had a teacher who changed my life, Martha Minow.” In 2009 Obama also nominated, and the Senate confirmed, Minow to the board of the Legal Services Corporation, a bipartisan government sponsored organization providing legal services to low-income families, where she chairs the Pro Bono Task Force. She launched the Imagine Co-Existence program in Kosovo with the U. N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Her five-year partnership with the federal Department of Education and the Center for Applied Special Technology worked to increase access to the curriculum for students with disabilities and resulted in both legislative initiatives and a voluntary national standard opening access to curricular materials for individuals with disabilities. She has also worked on the Divided Cities initiative building an alliance of global cities dealing with ethnic, religious, or political divisions.
Minow clerked for the renowned Thurgood Marshall. She now serves on many boards including CBS, WGBH (Boston public broadcasting station), The MacArthur Foundation, Facing History and Ourselves, and the Iranian Human Rights Documentation Center.