One of the joys of being a faculty member at Pepperdine is the opportunity to spend time with wonderful visitors who come to the law school because of its unique mission. Today is a great illustration, as we welcomed Gary Haugen (President & CEO, International Justice Mission) and David Skeel (S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School):
Gary Haugen is here again this week teaching a short course and graciously hosted a breakfast this morning with faculty and students. He talked about how he came to found International Justice Mission and the incredible work the organization is doing to protect the poor in the developing world from violence. He also discussed his new book, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence (2014):
Beneath the surface of the world’s poorest communities, common violence — including rape, forced labor, illegal detention, land theft, police abuse and other brutality — has become routine and relentless. And like a horde of locusts devouring everything in their path, the unchecked plague of violence ruins lives, blocks the road out of poverty, and undercuts development.
How has this plague of violence grown so ferocious? The answer is terrifying and startlingly simple: There’s nothing shielding the poor from violent people. In one of the most remarkable — and unremarked upon — social disasters of the last half century, basic public justice systems in the developing world have descended into a state of utter collapse.
Gary Haugen and Victor Boutros offer a searing account of how we got here and what it will take to end the plague. Filled with vivid, real-life stories and startling new data, The Locust Effect is a gripping journey into the streets and slums where fear is a daily reality for billions of the world’s poorest, where safety is secured only for those with money, and where much of our well-intended aid is lost in the daily chaos of violence.
While their call to action is urgent, Haugen and Boutros provide hope, a real solution, and an ambitious way forward. The Locust Effect is a wake-up call: Its massive implications will forever change the way we understand global poverty and will help secure a safe path to prosperity for the global poor in the 21st century.
Throughout my life I’ve seen firsthand that while talent, ambition, and hard work are distributed equally among all people around the world, many face challenges each day simply surviving. The Locust Effect is a compelling reminder that if we are to create a 21st Century of shared prosperity, we cannot turn a blind eye to the violence that threatens our common humanity. Bill Clinton Former U.S. President
This crucial study carefully documents the fundamental truth that the end of poverty demands the end of violence. Both fascinating and important, Gary Haugen's book is a moving demonstration that is at once fact-filled and highly readable — a truly unusual combination. Laurence H. Tribe Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School
Gary Haugen and IJM are waking up the social consciences of the worldwide Church, even as they have shown the international human rights community why the end of poverty requires the end of violence caused by the widespread failure of justice systems in the developing world. In this important book, Haugen continues to do both. Tim Keller Redeemer Presbyterian Church of New York Cit
David Skeel delivered the annual Brandeis Lecture this afternoon for faculty and students on The Justice Paradox, in True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of a Complex World (2014):
Every system of thought gives rise to ideas about justice and the kind of legal code that can foster a just social order. As different as they are, these legal codes have one very odd thing in common: their advocates insist they will ensure a just social order, yet the legal codes always fail. Whether it is the Mosaic law, the Napoleonic Code or the Soviet Union, legal codes are rolled out with great optimism about their capacity to ensure justice, but they never succeed. This is the justice paradox.
Unlike any other religion or system of thought, Christianity rests on a story whose hero is murdered by legal process. In the narrative of his arrest, trial and execution, Jesus encounters two of the finest legal systems the world has ever known, the Old Testament legal system and Roman law. Both fail. A clearer picture of the limits of law’s capacity would be hard to imagine.
Christians do not believe that we should take no interest in justice. Quite to the contrary, the Christian teaching that each of us is made in the image of God inspired William Wilberforce’s campaign to end England’s slave trade and served as the foundation for the modern movement for international human rights. But Christianity explains why the belief that we can be saved by the right legal system is both persistent and deeply mistaken
I am delighted to join a group of faculty this evening for dinner with David.
Of course, it is not quite paradise at Pepperdine today: we have two faculty meetings, and it is an unusually warm day (by Malibu standards).