Ronald Dworkin 1931-2013

We are sad to report that Ronald Dworkin died on Valentine’s day 2013. His passing brings to an end one of the creative and productive careers in contemporary jurisprudence. Professor Dworkin’s work spanned philosophy and political theory and generations of students and lecturers have argued over the ‘right answers thesis’ and the striking notion that law is a chain novel. Ronald Dworkin was a compelling speaker- most celebrated for never referring to his notes. I remember watching a YouTube clip of him speaking with students in Hong Kong. His death robs the world of jurisprudence of a major voice.

Dr Adam Gearey, Lecturer in Law, Birkbeck College, University of London

One our our students, Shér-Muhammad Khan, produced the following piece – Ronald Dworkin’s Legacy.

Guardian obituary | New York Times Obituary

 

26 comments

    1. Hi Ms Harris-Brown,

      I appreciate your kind words. Professor Dworkin has inspired me during my final year studies. After reading his life story, I noticed he had experience at a top international law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell. It shows that he was not only a prominent legal philosopher, but also an astute practitioner. That is why I’m so inspired by Professor Dworkin.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my piece.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

    1. Hi Paul,

      Once again, thank you for your acknowledgement.

      Your future contribution to a part of the ‘chain novel’ would be most welcome.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

  1. Very well articulated Shér-Muhammad Khan. The quality of your writing demonstrates a good knowledge of the subject matter. As a student of Jurisprudence myself,it is my sincere belief that you did justice to Mr.Dworkin’s legacy. He was perhaps the greatest philosopher of our time,a role model particularly for any individual interested in the study of law. Thank you for contribution and may your studies prove to be fruitful.

    Like

    1. Hi Nicolette Baboolal,

      Your words humble me. Thank you.

      Professor Dworkin was, indeed, a role model. All the best in your final year endeavours.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

  2. Truly a remarkable piece dedicated to the great philosopher and political theorist himself, Ronald Dworkin. Mr. Khan has captured us by his stylistic writing,his accuracy to hold on to the essence of Mr. Dworkin’s theories, once again truly a remarkable piece.

    Like

    1. Hi Hannah Kaljam Ali,

      I am really pleased that my invocation of the ‘chain novel’ to continue Professor Dworkin’s legacy has been received warmly by those who appreciate his contributions. Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

    1. Hi Ms Asare,

      I appreciate your kind words. To have the opportunity to read Professor Dworkin’s various contributions during my Jurisprudence and Legal Theory studies is a very enlightening experience.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

    1. Hi Waqas,

      It is my absolute pleasure. Jurisprudence and Legal Theory would not have been the same without Professor Dworkin. Substantive areas of the law have benefited from his insight. Thank you for your comment.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

  3. hi khan

    u r so lucky man, u got chance to say something about Mr.Dworkin.

    “no more integrity, no more right thesis”

    Good bye great philosopher Mr Dworkin see u in
    the haven

    Like

    1. Hi Mr Parvez,

      Thank you for your short tribute. Professor Dworkin’s passing has had an impact on us all.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

  4. Prof.Dworkin has really played his part as far as the development of jurisprudence as a subject is concerned. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

    Like

    1. Hi Isaac Oware-Aboagye,

      A few days before the news of Professor Dworkin’s death,I had indicated to a colleague that it is really pleasing to know that Professor Dworkin may expand on some of his views in 2013. Unfortunately, that was not to be. This, however, does not detract from his extensive contributions over the years.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

    1. Hi Lettisha,

      I am so glad you raised that point. Professor Dworkin did, indeed, enhance our understanding of judicial discretion as it relates to judicial law-making.I have no doubt that his insight must have been invalauble for you in compiling your CLRI research essay.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

  5. Sher-Muhammad certainly captured the feeling at the loss of such a rare person. I first heard and read the work of Prof Dworkin – The Philosophy of Law, in 1997. Unlike Khan, I didn’t read him Valentine’s Day. His insight and contributions to the development of legal positivism and jurisprudence will surely live on. At this close of the first chapter, I can only pray the subsequent chapters are worthy of being chips off the old block!
    Thanks my friend for articulating our sentiments brilliantly.
    J. Aka Maduakolam (Ezike Nwadiuto).

    Like

    1. Hi Ezike Nwadiuto,

      I am humbled by your words. For most of us now, 14 February has taken on a new meaning.

      I am really pleased that you share my sentiments.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

    1. Hi Peter,

      I appreciate your kind words. Thank you. It has been a pleasure being in contact with you especially because of our shared interest in Intellectual Property.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

  6. I am at a loss for words. I began studying Ronald Dworkin in High School and more in depth as it relates to Jurisprudence last September. I’m expecting a question on his work in May 2013. His contribution has made a difference and will continue to in the development of students and readers. I send condolences to the family and friends. Sher-Muhammad Khan, you tribute was well done.
    Regards,
    Shanique Spencer
    Jamaica, WI

    Like

    1. Hi Shanique,

      Thank you for your thoughts. The 2012/13 Jurisprudence and Legal Theory academic year will be always be remembered for Professor Dworkin’s passing on.

      A question on Professor Dworkin’s contribution to our understanding of law would be apposite this year. All the best for revision.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

  7. i am considering myself very unlucky not being able to have him alive in future when i do jurisprudence. but Sher i really liked the analogy of chain novel and adding something new to the ‘book’.

    Like

    1. Hi Topu,

      Thank you for your comment and taking the time to read my tribute to Professor Dworkin.

      I believe that you will contribute to the ‘Chain Novel’ when you study Jurisprudence and Legal Theory.
      All the best.

      Kind regards,
      Shér-Muhammad Khan

      Like

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