James Q. Whitman

James Q. Whitman

Fellow: Awarded 2010
Field of Study: Law

Competition: US & Canada

Yale Law School

Educated at Yale University (B.A., 1980; J.D., 1988), Columbia University (M.A., 1982), and the University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1987), James Q. Whitman returned to his alma mater’s law school in 1994 as a Professor of Law and is currently Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law there. Previously he served as Judicial Clerk (1988-89) for the Honorable Ralph K. Winter of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and as an Assistant, and then Associate, Professor of Law (1989-94) at Stanford University’s School of Law.

An internationally known scholar of comparative law and legal history, Mr. Whitman is the author of dozens of articles published in such high-impact journals as Law and History Review, Punishment and Society, Yale Law Journal, American Journal of Comparative Law, and Columbia Journal of European Law as well as in numerous anthologies, including La Science Juridique Française et la Science Juridique Allemande de 1870 à 1918, ed. O. Beaud and P. Wachsmann (1997), The Darker Legacy of European Law: Perceptions of Europe and Perspectives on a European Order in Legal Scholarhip during the Era of Fascism and National Socialism, ed. C. Joerges and N. Ghaleigh (2003), and Crime, Procedure and Evidence in a Comparative and International Context: Essays in Honour of Professor Mirjan Damaska (2008).

In addition he has published three monographs: The Legacy of Roman Law in the German Romantic Era: Historical Vision and Legal Change (Princeton UP, 1990), which was an outgrowth of his dissertation; Harsh Justice: Criminal Punishment and the Widening Divide between America and Europe (Oxford UP, 2003), which won the Distinguished Book Award of the Division of International Criminology, American Society of Criminology; and The Origins of Reasonable Doubt: Theological Roots of the Criminal Trial (Yale UP, 2008), which earned the Silver Gavel Award honorable mention form the American Bar Association. During his Guggenheim Fellowship term, he continued work on his next book entitled The Verdict of Battle, which explores the history of pitched battles, such as Waterloo and the Battle of Hastings, and their impact, and the impact of their diminishment after the mid nineteenth century, on the evolution of the law of war.

Mr. Whitman has held visiting positions at Harvard University (1995), Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (1996), the University of Cergy-Pontoise (1997), the University of Paris II (2001, 2002, 2009), and the University of Rome (2002). He has been a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (1998); a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin (2000); and a Fellow at the Max-Planck Institut für Europaeische Rechtsgeschichte in Frankfurt (2005).

He is a member of the American Society for Legal History, the American Society of Comparative Law, the Selden Society, and the Société d’Histoire du Droit.


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