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Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall

Columbia University

515 West 116th Sreet

New York, NY 10027

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WHAT IS SUFFERING WORTH? PERSPECTIVES ACROSS DISCIPLINES ON THE TREATMENT OF VICTIMS

Franco-American Conference in Law, Criminology, Economics, History and Philosophy.

This interdisciplinary symposium explores a crucial but little-studied issue with growing importance today: what is the value of harm suffered by victims, whether of terrorism, crime or natural disasters. In law, politics, economics and public opinion, answers differ widely, and unequal treatment is the norm. Across the globe, victims evoke a range of feelings, from compassion verging on celebrations of heroism, to denial, anger, indifference and even repulsion. Those reactions translate into wide variations in legal and economic responses to their harm.

The symposium will bring together experts to compare perspectives from the United States and France. They will be joined by professors of law, economics, history and philosophy. It will be held in English at the Maison Française at Columbia University in New York and is part of the Matrice Memory Program, an international transdiscilplinary research program supported by the Government of France (« Plan d'Investissements d’avenir »), and specifically a section of this program dedicated to memory of 11/13 terrorist attacks in Paris (memoire13novembre.fr). The symposium is co-sponsored by the University Paris-1 Panthéon Sorbonne, CNRS, Maison Française, and Columbia Center for Contemporrary Critical Thought.

The speakers include prominent experts from the United States and France, including two prominent public officials, François MOLINS, Attorney General at the French Court of Cassation (Supreme Court) and Cyrus VANCE Jr., District Attorney for New York County. They will be joined by professors of law, economics, history and philosophy.

PROGRAM

MORNING (Chair: Pierre-André CHIAPPORI, E. Rowan and Barbara Steinschneider Professor of Economics, Director of The French House, Columbia University) - The Perception of the "Value" of the Victim by the Judicial Authorities in the Initiation and Conduct of Criminal Proceedings and of the Greater or Lesser Compassion of the Magistrate
• Cyrus VANCE Jr, New York County District Attorney: in the United States
• François MOLINS, General Attorney of the French Court of Cassation: in France- The Value of the Victim : an Economic Approach
• Mark COHEN, Justin Potter Professor of American Competitive Enterprise & Professor of Law Vanderbilt University: Economics of crime- Who is and who is not an “Ideal Victim”? A Criminological Approach
Patrick MORVAN, Professor of Law, Pantheon-Assas University, Paris2 p.m. – 5 :30 p.m.

AFTERNOON (Chair: Elisabeth PELSEZ, Inter-ministerial Delegate for Victims' Assistance, France) - The Value of the Victim in Tort and Compensation Law
• Philippe PIERRE, Professor of Law, Rennes 1 University (France): European and French Law
• Robert FIELD, Professor of Law and Professor of Health Management and Policy, Drexel University, Philadelphia: American Law- Compassion Towards Victims Throughout History and Political Science
• Denis PESCHANSKI, CNRS, Director of Matrice Memory Research Program, Co-leader of 13-November Program
• Bernard HARCOURT, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, Columbia University- Conclusion : Hate, Fear and Violence in Philosophy
Marc CREPON, CNRS, Director of the Philosophy Department of the École normale supérieure, Paris

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Maison Française East Gallery, Buell Hall

Columbia University

515 West 116th Sreet

New York, NY 10027

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