Seventh Annual Friedrich A. von Hayek Lecture

The Hayekian Judge

This year's Friedrich A. von Hayek Lecture (the seventh in the series) will be given on November 3, 2011 by Judge Robert S. Smith. Judge Smith’s lecture will focus on two major themes in the work of Friedrich A. von Hayek: liberty and the rule of law. It will discuss how these Hayekian ideals can or should affect the decision-making of a judge who believes in them; whether adherence to the rule of law can sometimes undermine the cause of liberty; and what a judge should do in a case that seems to present a choice between the two.

The lecture will take place on November 3rd, 2011, 6:00pm at Vanderbilt Hall, 40 Washington Square South. A reception will immediately follow the lecture.

Please RSVP here.

Honorable Robert S. Smith


Robert S. Smith, associate judge of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, was born in New York, New York, in August 1944 and grew up in Massachusetts and Connecticut. He graduated from Stanford University (B.A. 1965, with great distinction) and Columbia Law School (LL.B. 1968, magna cum laude), where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review. From 1968 to 2003 he practiced law in New York City with the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, taking a one-year leave of absence in 1980-81 to serve as visiting professor from practice at Columbia Law School. He was a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School from 1981 until 1990. On June 1, 2003, he became an individual practitioner and special counsel to the firm of Kornstein Veisz Wexler & Pollard. On November 4, 2003, he was appointed by Governor George E. Pataki to the Court of Appeals. The appointment was confirmed by the State Senate on January 12, 2004. From 2006 to 2009 Judge Smith taught the State Constitutional Law course at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He and his wife, Dian G. Smith, live in New York City. They have three children and three grandchildren. Among his publications is the article “Why I Admire Justice Thomas,” which appeared in the New York University Journal of Law & Liberty in 2009.

The Friedrich A. von Hayek Lecture

Friedrich A. von Hayek (1899-1992) was a Nobel Prize–winning Austrian economist who made major contributions in the fields of economics and political philosophy, enhancing our understanding of monetary theory, the nature of social orders, and human freedom itself. A champion of equality before the law, respect for the limits of human planning, and the ideal of individual freedom, Hayek’s works include The Road to Serfdom, the three-volume set Law, Legislation and Liberty, and The Constitution of Liberty. In taking his name, the lecture series both pays homage to an important intellectual figure and signals its desire to emulate Hayek’s dedication to critical examination of the nature of law, the proper role of government in society, and the best avenues by which to explore and expand individual liberty. While Mr. Hayek preferred to term himself a “classical liberal,” the lecture is not designed to be political in nature. It is designed to bring ideas to the forefront, whether they are radical new ideas whose time for exploration has come or more established ideas whose time for repetition is long overdue. As is the custom with the Hayek lectures, Judge Smith’s talk will be published in the New York University Journal of Law & Liberty. The Hayek lecture series has addressed many different topics since its inception, but it remains true to its mission: to challenge audiences to help shape a better world.