Deborah Hellman Wins APA’s Fred Berger Memorial Prize

‘A Theory of Bribery’ Adds to Her Body of Distinguished Legal Scholarship
Deborah Hellman

Deborah Hellman is the David Lurton Massee, Jr., Professor of Law, and the Roy L. and Rosamond Woodruff Morgan Professor of Law.

September 17, 2018

Professor Deborah Hellman of the University of Virginia School of Law has been named the 2019 Fred Berger Memorial Prize winner by the American Philosophical Association for her article, “A Theory of Bribery.”

The prize, which was announced Friday, is awarded to an outstanding published article in philosophy of law by a member of the association. The award entails a cash prize and a symposium that will be held in her honor.

Hellman joined the UVA Law faculty in 2012. She serves as both the David Lurton Massee, Jr., Professor of Law, and the Roy L. and Rosamond Woodruff Morgan Professor of Law.

The winning article adds to her growing body of distinguished legal scholarship, which focuses on discrimination and equality, and money and rights. She is the author of the Harvard University Press book “When is Discrimination Wrong?” and co-editor of the Oxford University Press book “The Philosophical Foundations of Discrimination Law.”

The paper on bribery grows out of her work on the constitutionality of campaign finance laws and the relationship between money, and legal and political rights. 

Hellman teaches constitutional law, legal theory, contracts and seminars related to these and other topics.   

“This article offers a compelling discussion of a topic that has been under-explored in legal philosophy and that is of current interest,” said Robert Hughes, a University of Pennsylvania assistant professor who chairs the APA committee on philosophy and law. “It shows that the concept of bribery is difficult to analyze, it persuasively defends an analysis of that concept, and it nicely explains what makes controversial cases controversial.”

Professor Kimberly Kessler Ferzan won the Berger Memorial Prize in 2013 for her paper “Beyond Crime and Commitment: Justifying Liberty Deprivations of the Dangerous and Responsible.”

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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