Campus News

Stanford University legal scholar will give Sibley Lecture this year

Stanford University legal scholar will give Sibley Lecture this year

A legal and human welfare scholar from Stanford University will deliver the UGA School of Law’s 104th Sibley Lecture March 25 at 3:30 p.m. in the Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom. Mark G. Kelman, vice dean of the Stanford Law School and Gaither Professor, will give a talk entitled “Saving Lives, Saving from Death, Saving from Dying.” 

The lecture will address the issue of how it is appropriate to understand the “valuation” of statistical deaths compared to the deaths of known individuals.

“The mainstream position is that we collectively undervalue/spend too little to prevent the deaths of as-yet unknown persons, compared to what we spend to save identifiable persons in jeopardy, and that this ‘mis-valuation’ [arises] from a set of familiar cognitive errors and biases,” said Kelman.

With areas of interest ranging from law and economics to cognitive psychology, Kelman has applied social science approaches to diverse legal fields including criminal law, taxation, administrative regulation and disability law. Kelman also is an expert on antidiscrimination law, criminal law and criminal justice, distributive justice, employment discrimination, property, and race and the law. His current research focuses on whether the concept of human welfare, which is used to evaluate the success of policy or the justice of distribution of goods and opportunities, can or should be refined.

In addition to being a longtime teacher of both criminal law and property law, Kelman has served as the academic coordinator, as the academic associate dean and, currently, as the vice dean of Stanford Law School. Before joining the faculty at Stanford in 1977, he was the director of criminal justice projects for the Fund for the City of New York. Kelman earned his bachelor of arts and his juris doctor from Harvard University.

Established in 1964 by the Charles Loridans Foundation of Atlanta, the Sibley Lecture Series honors the late John A. Sibley, a 1911 Georgia Law alumnus, and hosts renowned legal academicians known throughout the country for their exceptional