Law & Philosophy Program


Who We Are – Law and Philosophy Program

Faculty Director

Core Faculty

Affiliated Faculty (Law)

Affiliated Faculty (Philosophy)

Current Postdocs

April 2016
Post Doctoral Scholars Announced

Ariel Zylberman is currently the postdoctoral research fellow in the department of philosophy at Simon Fraser University and was previously a SSHRC postdoctoral research fellow in the department of philosophy at McGill University (2013-2015).

Ariel earned his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Winnipeg (2003), his B.A. in Philosophy and Politics from Oxford University (2005), and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of Toronto (2013).

Ariel works in ethics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of law, both from a contemporary and a historical perspective. His research has focused on the nature and justification of rights and human rights, human dignity, moral obligation, freedom, public law, and global justice. His work has appeared in Journal of Political Philosophy, Utilitas, Kantian Review, Philosophical Topics, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, and elsewhere.

Fall 2016 Course:

Law 217. Legal Philosophy, taught by Ariel Zylberman

This course will provide an introduction to some central issues in the philosophy of law. The course will have two parts. First, we will consider some central questions in analytical jurisprudence, the study of the nature of law. What type of authority, if any, is essential to the law? Is the authority of law connected in some robust way to morality? What is the function of interpretation in the law? We will explore these questions by examining some of the main theoretical perspectives, including legal positivism, natural law theory, legal realism, and feminism. The second part of the course will focus on normative jurisprudence and seek to connect the theoretical issues of analytical jurisprudence with more concrete normative questions. The guiding thread will be the topic of human rights and how to think about them in relation to law. Specific topics may include free speech, capital punishment, torture, and material equality.

Winter Quarter 2017 Course:

Law 687. Authority and Human Rights, taught by Ariel Zylberman

This seminar in moral and legal philosophy will investigate the concept of legal authority and its relationship to human rights. The seminar will have three parts. The first will lay the groundwork for an account of authority in the theory of moral reason. We will investigate the concept of an exclusionary or binding reason, in preparation to understand a legal authority’s claim to offer such reasons through their directives. The second part of the seminar will focus on legal authority in particular and will examine various attempts to dissolve the paradox about legal authority. The third part seeks to bring together the first two and to resolve the puzzle by reflecting on the relationship of human rights to legal authority.

Moran Yahav is a JSD candidate at New York University School of Law. Moran works mainly in legal and political philosophy and ethics, but her research and teaching interests also include theories of regulation, governance studies, history and theory of public international law and international humanitarian law.

Moran’s dissertation explores what considerations a government ought to take into account in choosing between the different governance means that may be available for the achievement of a particular end. Moran seeks to provide standards by which processes of social regulation can be assessed and to critically examine the relationship between this question and related important political questions such as the ends of governments and the legitimacy of governments.

Moran received her LLB from Tel Aviv University, Israel (2007), is a member of the Israeli bar, and earned her LLM at New York University School of Law as a Hans Kelsen Scholar (2010), with a thesis in legal philosophy. Before commencing her JSD, Moran served as legal advisor to the Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of May 31, 2010, chaired by Justice (ret.) Jacub Turkel of the Supreme Court of Israel; clerked for the Honorable Justice Esther Hayut of the Supreme Court of Israel; and interned with the commercial litigation group of S. Horowitz & Co.

Winter Quarter 2017 Course:

Philosophy 166. Philosophy of Law, taught by Moran Yahav

Past Postdocs

Robert Hughes – Assistant Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Lecturer, UCLA Department of Philosophy 2014-2015); National Institutes of Health, Department of Bioethics, Fellow (2010-2012)

Matt King – Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Arudra Burra – Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

David Plunkett – Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Dartmouth

Louis-Philippe Hodgson – Associate Professor, Glendon College

Sari Kisilevsky – Visiting Assistant Professor, Princeton University; Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Queens College CUNY

Daniela Dover - Assistant Professor of Philosophy, UCLA

Stephen Nayak-Young - Visiting Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University

Predoctoral Fellows

Brian Hutler
B.A. New York University, 2006
M.A. UCLA, 2009
J.D. UCLA School of Law, 2014
Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy, 2015

Brian Hutler is a Predoctoral Fellow in Law and Philosophy at the UCLA School of Law. Brian has a Bachelor's of Arts with highest honors in philosophy from NYU, a Master's degree in Philosophy from UCLA, and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law as part of the Joint Degree Program in Law and Philosophy.

Brian is currently working on a dissertation titled "Religion and the Secular State". Drawing on Rawlsian political philosophy and current legal scholarship, Brian's dissertation addresses controversial topics such as religious accommodation, conscientious objection, the wrong of religious establishment, and the potential for religious institutions to contribute to the secular political community.

Additionally, Brian is researching a variety of topics in political philosophy, including freedom of speech and civil disobedience. Works in progress include: "Compromise-based Religious Accommodation", "Entanglement and Religious Arbitration", "Rawls on Accepting the Punishment for Civil Disobedience", and "Hate Speech, Conversation, and Citizenship".

Brian Hutler's CV

Sabine Tsuruda
B.A. Stanford University, 2006
M.A. Stanford University, 2007
Ph.D. Candidate UCLA, 2012
J.D. UCLA, 2016

Sabine Tsuruda is a Predoctoral Fellow in Law and Philosophy at the UCLA School of Law. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University and J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, where she graduated Order of the Coif and served as a Senior Editor of the UCLA Law Review. Advanced to candidacy, Sabine is completing the Ph.D. in Philosophy at UCLA as part of the joint J.D./Ph.D. degree in Law and Philosophy. She was recently awarded a Charlotte W. Newcombe Fellowship for her doctoral research on the moral foundations of work law. Sabine has taught courses in moral and political philosophy in the UCLA Philosophy Department. She has also worked for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and conducted research on political participation for the BBC World Service Trust.

Sabine's current research examines inclusivity in the workplace, regulation of migrant labor, and employee speech rights. Her dissertation, Moral Agency and the Workplace, develops a moral theory for legal regulation of work. More broadly, her research addresses issues of equality and autonomy in moral philosophy, political philosophy, and legal doctrine.

Sabine's articles include "Contract, Power, and the Value of Donative Promises," forthcoming in the South Carolina Law Review, and "Volunteer Work," in The Philosophical Foundations of Labour Law, ed. Hugh Collins, Gillian Lester, and Virginia Mantouvalou (Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Sabine Tsuruda's CV