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Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law, Yale University

Berlin Prize Fellow - Class of Spring 2000

James Whitman is the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale University. His areas of teaching specialty are Roman law, comparative law, conflict of laws, contracts, and European legal history.


Whitman earned his PhD in intellectual history in 1987 from the University of Chicago, with a dissertation titled “Rule of Roman Law in Romantic Germany, 1790-1860.” The following year, he received his JD from Yale University. Whitman has been a guest professor at the Université de Cergy-Pontoise and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in France, and at Harvard University.


His fellowships include those from the European University Institute in Florence and at the University of California at Berkeley, and he is author of The Legacy of Roman Law in the German Romantic Era; Historical Vision and Legal Change; The Origins of Reasonable Doubt: Theological Roots of the Criminal Trial; Harsh Justice: Criminal Punishment and the Widening Divide Between America and Europe; and The Two Western Cultures of Privacy: Dignity versus Liberty, as well as numerous articles.

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