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12:00pm - Speaker Series: Kristen Barnes - Syracuse University College of Law

  • When: November 6, 2019, 12–1:30 pm
  • Where: ABF Woods Conference Room, 750 N. Lake Shore Drive, 4th floor, Lakeside, Chicago, IL 60611

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Reframing Housing: The New Public-Private Law Paradigm

A new public-private law paradigm is developing to govern housing markets. The paradigm melds private law concepts like unconscionability, good faith, and fair dealing with the public human rights principles of dignity and vulnerability. I trace this paradigm shift in the context of the housing law of Spain, where several rich cultural and legal resources have inspired a new sensibility with regard to residential mortgage loan contracts, rental agreements, and the overall duties and obligations of governments to address the citizenry’s housing needs. Although this reorientation reflects decisions from the European Court of Justice and from the United Nations International Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, it is equally driven by an organic transformation in our understanding of housing markets and redistributive justice. Rather than receive the new paradigm with myopic trepidation, observers should herald it as the beginning of a much-needed dialogue between the public, human rights discourse, private business interests, and economic markets.

Kristen Barnes is a Professor of Law. Professor Barnes teaches courses on Property, Housing Law, and Voting Rights Law. Barnes received her B.A. in Political Science from Vassar College, J.D. from Harvard Law School, and Ph.D. in Literature from Duke University. Dr. Barnes’s scholarship focuses on anti-discrimination and equality law, property, housing, education, constitutional law, and pensions. She has published articles in top law review journals including Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy, Harvard Journal of Racial and Ethnic Justice, and Chicago-Kent Law Review.

The American Bar Foundation awarded Dr. Barnes a residency as a visiting scholar for the 2019-2020 and 2018-2019 academic years. She has presented her work at numerous prestigious conferences such as the American Society of International Law Midyear Meeting, Harvard Law School’s Institute of Global Law and Policy Conference, the Association of Law, Property, and Society Annual Conference, Loyola Law School’s Constitutional Colloquium, and Fordham Law School’s International and Comparative Urban Law Conference.

Professor Barnes has served in several AALS leadership roles including Chair of the Section on Property Law, Chair of the Real Estate Transactions Section, and Chair-Elect of the European Law Section. In the international arena, Barnes has served as Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law Midyear Meeting (2019). She is also a member of the University of California - Berkeley’s Comparative Law Equality Working Group. Prior to entering academia, Professor Barnes practiced commercial real estate law in Chicago and clerked for a federal district court judge in the Northern District of Illinois.

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