SOURCE: University of La Verne College of Law

April 18, 2007 16:32 ET

ULV College of Law Professor John Linarelli to Speak at Oxford Conference About the Social Contract and Global Justice

ONTARIO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 18, 2007 -- Next week, University of La Verne law professor John Linarelli will speak at the University of Oxford conference, "The Social Contract in the Modern Welfare State: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives," scheduled for Apr. 18-20.

Linarelli's talk will focus on whether the social contract should be enlarged beyond nation-state borders and on how to evaluate international trade and economic agreements and institutions from the standpoints of fairness and what we owe to each other in a global sense.

"My interest in this work stems from trying to understand why so many people are dissatisfied with the forces of globalization," says Linarelli. "I am also interested in understanding the effects of international law on poor countries."

He continues, "I want to develop ways of evaluating international economic arrangements so that we have a better understanding of whether what we do as a country is right from a moral perspective."

The Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at Oxford's Wolfson College is sponsoring the conference. The conference, funded by the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, is comprised of five panel discussions featuring international experts in a variety of disciplines. Conference speakers hail from universities and institutions spanning the globe, including Australia, Canada, the United States and Europe. Linarelli's panel includes Dr. B. Schulte, Max Planck Institute, Munich; Prof. Michael Dougan, University of Liverpool; Prof. Derek Hum, University of Manitoba; Dr. Anne Pieter van der Mei, University of Maastricht; and Dr. Eleanor Spaventa, University of Durham.

Linarelli's paper, "Contractualism and the Moral Evaluation of International Economic Institutions: The Case of Odious Debt," focuses on whether there should be an international legal principle that makes sovereign debt used by a despotic ruler for his own personal benefit legally unenforceable against the populace of the country.

"This became an important topic after the fall of Saddam Hussein, since Iraq incurred substantial debt during his rule," Linarelli said.

Those seeking more information about Professor Linarelli's paper should send e-mail to For more information about the upcoming conference, visit

About the Foundation for Law, Justice and Society

The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society (FLJS) is an independent institution affiliated with the University of Oxford's Centre for Socio-Legal Studies and with Wolfson College, one of the constituent colleges of the University. Founded in Oxford in 2005, the mission of the Foundation is to study, reflect on and promote an understanding of the role of law in local, regional, national and international affairs and to make the work of researchers and scholars more accessible to practitioners.

About the University of La Verne College of Law

Located in Ontario, Calif., University of La Verne College of Law serves over 3.8 million people as the only ABA-accredited law school in Inland Southern California and an additional 2.2 million people in San Gabriel Valley and Eastern Los Angeles County. For more information about the College of Law, please call (909) 460-2001 or visit the Web at

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