Jurisprudence is the study of law and legal institutions in their social, philosophical, and historical contexts. The lecture “Sapientia et Virtus – The Contributions of Jurisprudence” by Scott Veitch, Paul KC Chung Professor in Jurisprudence is an anniversary celebration of five decades of jurisprudential reflection, engaging with old and new questions that confront lawyers, judges, and citizens.
The lecture on 4 October 2018 explored themes that are central to jurisprudential enquiry and which are also of enduring importance to all citizens. Professor Veitch discussed thinkers familiar to generations of law students such as Hart, Fuller, and Dworkin as well as survey more recent developments in order to address topics of wider contemporary relevance: Can law authorise any kind of behaviour, no matter how unjust or discriminatory? Or are there limits to what can be done in the name of the law? Are equality and liberty compatible? Can law really hold power to account? Is the purpose of law and legal education to promote efficiency, entrepreneurialism, and competitiveness or should they aspire to dignity, virtue, and the common good? And who should decide?