On October 14-15, Cornell Law School's Gregory Alexander, A. Robert Noll Professor of Law, will participate in the Eighth Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference, which is sponsored by William & Mary Law School and will take place in Beijing, China. The conference brings together esteemed scholars, jurists, and practitioners from around the world to explore recent developments in takings law and other areas of the law affecting property rights.
One of the foremost U.S. scholars on takings law, Alexander will participate in a panel entitled "Property as an Instrument of Social Policy." He will draw upon his research over the past ten years on constitutional property in Africa, particularly related to the South African constitution, which is charged with transforming society in the wake of the apartheid regime, and more specifically, transforming the land regime.
Noting China's recent adoption of a property code, Alexander says he is most interested in participating in exchanges with U.S. and Chinese scholars. "Most of the major American scholars in constitutional property law will be here, representing a full spectrum of views," says Alexander. "This is a wonderful opportunity for a robust engagement of ideas with folks who have a very different experience regarding property, and are engaged in a project of developing a regime of property rights for the first time." He adds, "The conference is very policy-oriented and could help shape property law globally."
During the conference, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will receive the 2011 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize and will be a featured speaker. Her widely cited dissenting opinion in Kelo v. City of New London (2005) has been hailed as a pivotal opinion in property law jurisprudence. A formal reception will be held on October 13 at the United States Embassy in Beijing to honor Justice O'Connor and the conference's Chinese host, Tsinghua University School of Law.
Professor Alexander has taught at the Law School since 1985. A prolific and recognized writer, he is the winner of the American Publishers Association's 1997 Best Book of the Year in Law award for his work Commodity and Propriety. His most recent book is The Global Debate Over Constitutional Property: Lessons for American Takings Jurisprudence, and he has co-authored two forthcoming books to be published in 2012 by Cambridge University Press and Aspen Publishers.