LLC CLE Ethics Roundtable: Free Will as a Matter of Criminal Law

Brooklyn Law School's Center for the Study of Law, Language & Cognition will hold a CLE Ethics Roundtable: Free Will as a Matter of Criminal Law. Tuesday, September 12, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Reception to follow

Brooklyn Law School
Subotnick Center
250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY


ABOUT THE PROGRAM: Can we hold people morally responsible if their choices were determined by forces in the universe predating their birth? Do such age-old questions about free will matter to the law? The people who crafted the law probably didn't think of us as being constrained by the laws of physics. They probably believed that we have souls that can spontaneously choose to act maliciously. Since the crafters of the law aimed to punish evil-doing souls, they may never have intended to punish people like ourselves. Based on traditionally recognized sources of legal authority (such as lawmaker intent), the view that criminal law was never intended to apply to mechanistic humans may be more plausible than the view that the law was intended to punish people like us. This talk will discuss the relationship between free will and criminal law and argue that current law may change as we come to see human action as more machine-like and less reliant on a soul.

PRESENTER: Adam Kolber, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School (

DISCUSSANT: Lawrence Solan, Don Forchelli Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Law, Language and Cognition, Brooklyn Law School (

CLE CREDIT OFFERED: The program provides 1.5 CLE credits in the State of New York. Partial credit is not available. The credits are transitional and non-transitional and the category is Ethics. Brooklyn Law School may offer financial assistance to participants who meet certain qualifications and our financial aid policy is available at

REGISTRATION: The cost of the program is $30, regardless of whether you attend for CLE credit.

The program is free of charge for all faculty and students, as well as for members of the 1901 Society.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Law, Language & Cognition (

Posted: 1 Sep 2017