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Dean Tacha Teaches Defining the Rule of Law at Oxford

Deanell Reece Tacha, Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of the School of Law and professor of law, recently taught “Defining the Rule of Law” at Oxford University from JulyPhoto of Deanell Reece Tacha


Designed to challenge students to examine the founding fathers ideal of a “government of laws, and not of men,” the weeklong course explored what the rule of law is and how this affects government today. Students evaluated the different aspects of the rule of law in the United States and in countries throughout the world.

“Generally speaking, the ideal of a society living under the ‘rule of law’ contemplates a government that may be held accountable under laws that are transparent, stable, and fair,” said Tacha. “With the exception of this basic definition, however, scholars and legal professionals debate the contours of the rule of law and how best to achieve it.”

Before joining Pepperdine in June, Tacha was a circuit judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, where she served as chief judge from January 2001 through 2007. Tacha has served as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States and was named in 2006 by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to the Conference's Executive Committee. Previously, Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed her to serve two terms as chair of the Conference’s Committee on the Judicial Branch which oversees the federal judiciary's relationship with Congress and the executive branch. Tacha also was a member of the United States Sentencing Commission which is responsible for studying and making recommendations to Congress about federal sentencing policy.

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