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Westen, Peter

Frank G. Millard Professor Emeritus of Law

Peter Westen’s principal scholarly interests are in the fields of criminal law and legal theory, and he is the author of The Logic of Consent: The Diversity and Deceptiveness of Consent as a Defense to Criminal Conduct, and Speaking of Equality: The Rhetoric of “Equality” in Moral and Legal Discourse. Prior to joining the Law School faculty, Professor Westen served as law clerk to Justice William O. Douglas of the Supreme Court of the United States; was a fellow of the International Legal Center in Bogota, Colombia, where he advised the Colombian Ministry of Economic Development on commercial code reform; and, when he returned to the United States, he became an associate in the Washington, D.C., office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and appeared as counsel in several cases in the U.S. Supreme Court. Professor Westen earned his BA from Harvard College in 1964. He spent the following year in Vienna on an Austrian State scholarship studying contemporary Austrian political history, and then earned his JD from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was editor-in-chief of the California Law Review. He joined the Michigan Law faculty in 1973 and was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1981. He is the Frank C. Millard Professor of Law Emeritus.

Recent Publications

More Publications...

"Does Duress Justify or Excuse? The Significance of Larry Alexander's Ambivalence." In Moral Puzzles and Legal Perplexities: Essays on the Influence of Larry Alexander, edited by Heidi M. Hurd, 76-97. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.

"Blackmail: A Crime of Paradox and Irony." In The Palgrave Handbook of Applied Ethics and the Criminal Law, edited by Larry Alexander and Kimberly Kessler Ferzan, 119-44. Palgrave Handbooks Palgrave MacMillan, 2019.
MLaw Catalog
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"Unwitting Justification." San Diego L. Rev. 55, no. 2 (2018): 419-48.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | SSRN | WWW

"Reflections on Joshua Dressler's Understanding Criminal Law." Ohio St. J. Crim. L. 15, no. 2 (2018): 311-36.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Westlaw | WWW

"Poor Wesley Hohfeld." San Diego L. Rev. 55, no. 2 (2018): 449-68.
Full Text: HEIN (UMich users) | HEIN | Lexis | Westlaw | SSRN | WWW

"How to Think (Like a Lawyer) About Rape." K. K. Ferzan, co-author. Crim. L. & Phil. (2016): 1-42.
Full Text: Westlaw | SpringerLink (UMich users) | SpringerLink | SSRN