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Alan Dershowitz

  • War of principles

    September 15, 2014

    An op-ed by Alan Dershowitz. Part 1. When democracies seek to protect their citizens against new threats posed by terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, and Boko Haram, the old rules — designed for conventional warfare among nations — sometimes become anachronistic. New balances must be struck between preserving people’s civil liberties and protecting them against terrorist violence. As Aharon Barak, the former president of the Supreme Court of Israel — a nation that has confronted this issue over many decades — once put it: “Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand.”

  • Law experts give Obama 10 reasons to free Pollard

    June 30, 2014

    A group of leading American constitutional and criminal law scholars and practitioners wrote to US President Obama to urge that he commute American-Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard’s sentence to time served. The letter, dated June 20, was signed by seven professors from Harvard Law School, Obama’s alma mater: Alan M. Dershowitz, Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Philip B. Heymann, Mary Ann Glendon, Gabriella Blum, Frank I. Michelman and Irwin Cotler (a Canadian law professor emeritus, former justice minister and attorney general of Canada, and a sometimes visiting professor at Harvard).

  • Newsmax TV Signs Dershowitz for Legal Program

    June 16, 2014

    Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy announced the signing of an agreement with best-selling author and legal expert Alan Dershowitz to host “You and the Law,” a weekly TV series offering practical legal advice to ordinary Americans.

  • Professor Charles Ogletree speaking in commencement robes and hat

    Three Harvard Law faculty deliver commencement addresses

    May 29, 2014

    Professors Charles Ogletree, Noah Feldman, and Randall Kennedy each delivered commencement addresses this year, with Ogletree also receiving an honorary doctorate. Professors Alan Dershowitz and Mark Tushnet were also rewarded honorary degrees.

  • Dershowitz: Christie’s Speech at Jewish Event ‘Inappropriate’

    May 20, 2014

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's speech before a Jewish charity over the weekend, in which he never mentioned Israel, was essentially a campaign speech that had no place at the event, renowned lawyer Alan Dershowitz says. "I thought it was a stump speech. It was somewhat inappropriate for a charitable event which had Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, everybody talking about people who do a great deal of good to the world," Dershowitz told J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

  • Alan Dershowitz decries Dzhokhar Tasarnaev’s consitutional challenge to death penalty

    May 8, 2014

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers want to stage a constitutional challenge to the death penalty in the wake of last week’s botched Oklahoma execution — but a leading death penalty opponent says the accused jihadi is the wrong poster boy for the cause. “This is not a good case,” Harvard Law School professor and constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz said about Tsarnaev, accused of acting on a Islamic extremist agenda in the Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath that left four people dead, hundreds injured, and more than a dozen badly maimed.

  • Dershowitz: Sterling’s ‘Very Bad’ Comments Raise Privacy Issues

    May 1, 2014

    Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz condemned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's "very bad" racist comments, but told Newsmax that his greater concern was that "I don't think we want the thought police to be intruding on people's private conversations." "We need to preserve privacy," Dershowitz said in an exclusive interview on Wednesday. "We need to be able to preserve a person's ability to share his thoughts, even if we don't agree with his thoughts, with private people."

  • Mass. senator seeks to regulate TV, Internet, radio for ‘hate crimes’

    May 1, 2014

    Democrat Sen. Edward Markey from Massachusetts says the government should crack down on broadcast messages that promote what he calls hate crimes, by regulating content on television, radio and the Internet...That claim has other First Amendment legal minds howling. “He’s not going to be able to come up with legislation that sufficiently protects the First Amendment,” said Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, Breitbart reported.

  • Randall Kennedy and Theodore Shaw during the debate

    Professors square off in debates over targeted killings, affirmative action

    March 18, 2014

    Three Harvard Law professors and a Harvard Law alum recently participated in debates on Intelligence Squared, a public policy debate series airing on PBS.

  • Alan Dershowitz

    Retiring but Not Shy

    January 1, 2014

    For decades, Alan M. Dershowitz has led a frenetic life as author of dozens of books, legal counsel to a multitude of celebrities and ubiquitous TV commentator on myriad issues of the day. Known to many around the world for his brash style and high-profile cases, after 50 years, Dershowitz is now leaving the role he loves best: Harvard Law School teacher.

  • Illustration

    Recent Faculty Books – Winter 2014

    January 1, 2014

    “The New Black: What Has Changed—and What Has Not—with Race in America,” edited by Professor Kenneth W. Mack ’91 and Guy-Uriel Charles (New Press). The volume presents essays that consider questions that look beyond the main focus of the civil rights era: to lessen inequality between black people and white people. The contributors, including HLS Professor Lani Guinier, write on topics ranging from group identity to anti-discrimination law to implicit racial biases, revealing often overlooked issues of race and justice in a supposed post-racial society.

  • Jointly Held Copy

    December 6, 2013

    Gerald Storch J.D./M.B.A. ’82 was barely into his first semester of law school when he realized that, for him, something was missing. Storch had majored…

  • Professor Alan Dershowitz

    Panelists reflect on Dershowitz’s 50-year career

    October 30, 2013

    Harvard Law School Professor Alan M. Dershowitz is retiring at the conclusion of the fall semester, and on Oct. 7 the school hosted a…

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    Dershowitz reflects on 50 years at HLS

    October 8, 2013

    After five decades as one of the most visible and vocal presences at Harvard Law School, Alan M. Dershowitz is in his final semester of teaching and will relinquish his chair at the end of the academic year.

  • HLS Faculty assess the week’s legal news

    July 15, 2013

    In a week of many developments in the world of law, Harvard Law School faculty were online, in print, and on-the-air offering analyses and opinions.

  • HLS faculty assess Zimmerman case, Bulger trial and the week’s legal news

    July 11, 2013

    In a week of many developments in the world of law, Harvard Law School faculty were online, in print, and on-the-air offering analyses and opinions.

  • “Stones of Hope: How African Activists Reclaim Human Rights to Challenge Global Poverty” (Stanford University Press, November 2010) edited by Professor Lucie White ’81 and Jeremy Perelman S.J.D. ’11.

    Recent Faculty Books – Winter 2011

    December 6, 2011

    “Prospects for the Professions in China” (Routledge, 2010) edited by William P. Alford ’77, William Kirby and Kenneth Winston. Through its meditations on Chinese professional…

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    Dershowitz in Boston Magazine: Is the government trying hard enough to get Whitey Bulger’s facilitators?

    July 26, 2011

    In an opinion piece posted on July 22 in the 'Boston Daily' section of Boston Magazine online, HLS Professor Alan M. Dershowitz looks at the Whitey Bulger case, voicing his opinion that the government needs to focus its attention on Bulger’s relatives and closest acquaintances in trying to determine who may have facilitated his fugitive status.

  • Professor Alan Dershowitz

    Dershowitz pens op-eds on the Casey Anthony Trial and the Bulger Brothers

    July 11, 2011

    The Wall Street Journal and Boston Magazine recently featured op-eds by HLS Professor of Law Alan Dershowitz: “Casey Anthony: The System Worked,” (July 7 in the Wall Street Journal) and “With the Bulger Brothers, the Cover-up Continues" (published July 8 on

  • Professor Alan Dershowitz

    Dershowitz: The photographs should be released

    May 9, 2011

    In an op-ed published in The Huffington Post on May 5, Harvard Law School professor Alan M. Dershowitz assessed the decision made by the Obama administration not to release photographs of Osama bin Laden’s dead body for public scrutiny. 

  • Professor Alan Dershowitz

    Dershowitz in WSJ: Norway to Jews: You’re Not Welcome Here

    March 30, 2011

    The following op-ed by HLS Professor Alan Dershowitz “Norway to Jews: You’re Not Welcome Here,” appeared in the March 29, 2011 edition of the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of numerous books, including “The Trials of Zion,” “The Case for Moral Clarity: Israel, Hamas and Gaza,” and “Finding, Framing, and Hanging Jefferson: A Lost Letter, a Remarkable Discovery, and Freedom of Speech in an Age of Terrorism.”