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Democracy and the Rule of Law in America

March 11, 2023 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

a DIALOGUES seminar

Democratic political systems can only survive and flourish when courts, judges, and criminal prosecutors remain independent from other branches of government, but how is the legal system maintaining democratic norms in the contemporary United States? Can we secure democracy, justice, and human rights without submitting to the uncomfortable constraints of law’s rule? What does it mean to say “law must rule”? This dialogue will address these questions by drawing on the insights of a philosophical expert on the historical and theoretical foundations of the rule of law and a law professor who is an expert on prosecutors and the criminal justice system; and we’ll discuss how American views of the law continue to evolve.


What is the Rule of Law and How Does It Protect Justice, Human Rights, and Democracy?

Gerald Postema, Cary C. Boshamer Professor of Philosophy and Law Emeritus

The Role of the Criminal Justice System in A Democratic Society

Carissa Byrne Hessick, Anne Shea Ransdell and William Garland “Buck” Ransdell, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Law

Why is the Rule of Law Essential for Democratic Societies?

A panel discussion with our speakers


9:00 am-12:30 pm, Saturday, March 11. The tuition is $65 to attend in person or $50 for virtual viewing.  A meal will not be offered with this seminar.

UNC Students can attend for free, but pre-registration is required. Discounts are available for UNC faculty, & staff. To register as a UNC Student, Staff, or Faculty, see our Registration Policy here.

Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.  For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

In-person tuition for teachers is $32.50. Current K-12 teachers interested in receiving a complimentary virtual viewing registration for this seminar can apply here.

*Registration for this event closes on March 10 at 3pm*

Register online or call us at 919.962.1544. 

Participants will receive an email with venue information and background information about 1 week before the program.

**Please note that due to UNC regulations, masks are recommended, but not required for all in-person events regardless of vaccination status. In-person and hybrid events may switch to virtual-only based upon recommendations from local, state, and national public health officials. If an in-person or hybrid event is designated “virtual-only,” the CPH staff will contact registrants and provide them with information on how to attend virtually or with options for receiving credits or refunds. If you have any questions, please email or call 919.962.1544. We appreciate your flexibility during these trying times.**


March 11, 2023
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category: