Private international law scholar Joseph Lookofsky delivers annual Bernstein lecture Nov. 13

October 22, 2007Duke Law News

October 22, 2007 ― Professor Joseph Lookofsky of the University of Copenhagen will deliver the sixth annual Herbert L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture in International and Comparative Law on Nov. 13. His lecture, entitled “Desperately Seeking Subsidiarity: Danish Private Law in Scandinavian, European & Global Context,” will begin at 12:15 p.m. in room 3037 of Duke Law School.

Lookofsky will explain why he and other Danish jurists are seeking ― but not finding ― subsidiarity in the private law field. Subsidiarity is a principle of European Community law first established and defined in Article 5 of the Maastricht Treat of 1992. It is intended to ensure that decisions are taken “as closely as possible to the citizen,” and that the Community can only take action “if and insofar as the objectives of the proposed action cannot be sufficiently achieved by the member states.” It is somewhat similar, Lookofsky explains, to the principle set out in the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The Professor of Obligations and Private International Law at the University of Copenhagen, Lookofsky is a native of New York. He is a graduate of Lehigh University and New York University School of Law. After working as in-house counsel at United Artists Corporation he studied law at the University of Cophenhagen, where he has been a faculty member since 1981.

Lookofsky’s teaching and publications relate to contractual and delictual obligations, sales, private international law, commercial arbitration, and comparative law. He has been a visiting professor at Universität Freiburg, Institut für Internationales Privatrecht and at Duke Law School. In addition to serving as secretary general of the Danish Committee for Comparative Law, Lookofsky coordinates student exchange programs with Duke Law School and New York University Law School.

On Sept. 21, 2007, Lookofsky was awarded the Order of the Dannebrog by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.

The Herbert L. Bernstein Memorial Lecture in International and Comparative Law honors the many contributions to Duke Law School and the legal community made by the late Professor Bernstein, a faculty member for 17 years, and a renowned scholar of contract, comparative, and private international law.