Aug. 14, 2020

How should judges decide cases when there is no clear answer?

Nigel Freno examines judicial adjudication in his MA thesis

Congratulations to Nigel Freno on the August 11, 2020 defence of his MA thesis “Towards the Ideal: Coherence Theories of Judicial Adjudication and the Ideal Law in Hard Cases” with committee members

Dr. Allen Habib (supervisor), Dr. Ann Levey (internal examiner), Dr. Gregory Hagen (Faculty of Law), and Dr. David Dick (neutral chair).

Nigel Freno MA thesis defence

(clockwise from top left): Gregory Hagen, Allen Habib, Ann Levey, Nigel Freno

Nigel’s thesis addresses how judges should decide cases when there is no clear answer available to them. He proposes “a view in which judges should aim to have their decisions maximize principles of political morality”, as opposed to coherence with the law as the determining factor. He chose this topic, in part, because it is an area of study that has the potential to positively impact society at large.

 As for the greatest experience of his graduate studies in the Department of Philosophy? It was (and still is!) being a part of a supportive community of faculty, staff, and fellow graduate students, in settings both curricular and extracurricular.

Nigel looks forward to starting his doctoral studies at McMaster University in the Fall.