Dr Marie Newhouse

Senior Lecturer in Law, Philosophy, and Public Policy
Please book appointments here: https://drnewhouse.youcanbook.me/

Academic and research departments

School of Law.



In the media

BBC News (discussing the 9th Circuit opinion in the U.S. litigation: Washington v Trump)
BBC Television
BBC World News (discussing the 9th Circuit opinion in the U.S. litigation: Washington v Trump)
BBC Television

My teaching

My publications


M. E. Newhouse, 'Two Types of Legal Wrongdoing' (2016) 22(1) Legal Theory 59 (linkSSRN)


M. E. Newhouse (2018). 'Juridical Law as a Categorical Imperative' in Ruhi Demiray & Alice Pinheiro Walla (eds), Reason, Rights and Law: New Essays on Kantian Philosophy (University of Wales Press)
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In Kant's legal and political writings, juridical laws are supposed to be categorical imperatives: unconditional rational requirements. But how can a statute passed by a legislative body generate an unconditional rational requirement for us to obey? I argue that Kant was right: juridical laws enacted by legislatures are categorical imperatives, and the external incentives that the state links to its legal commands (i.e. threatened punishments) play a critical role in making them so. Indeed, statutory commands must be categorical imperatives if they are to establish juridical laws, and statutes that fail to establish juridical laws do not obligate us to obey their terms.
M. E. Newhouse (2017). 'In Defense of Liberal Equality' 9(1-2) Public Reason 99
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In A Theory of Justice, Rawls concludes that individuals in the original position would choose to adopt a system of democratic equality governed by his two principles of justice. However, Rawls mistakenly defines the possibility space within which individuals in his original position must make their choice. An alternative account of the possibility space created by Rawls’s original position reveals that a system of liberal equality, according to which distributive shares would be determined by market processes, would be preferred by risk-averse individuals. However, such individuals would guard against the erosion of the social bases of self-respect by including a social safety net among the basic equal liberties secured by Rawls’s first principle of justice.
M. E. Newhouse (2016). 'Two Types of Legal Wrongdoing' 22(1) Legal Theory 59
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This article proposes a two-standard interpretation of Immanuel Kant’s Universal Principle of Right that tracks the two ways—civil and criminal—in which actions can be legally wrong. This article demonstrates in three ways that the principle is a plausible and resilient account of the essential distinction between civil and criminal wrongdoing. First, the Universal Principle of Right correctly identifies attempted crimes as crimes themselves even when they do not violate the rights of any individual. Second, it justifies our treatment of reckless endangerment as a crime by distinguishing it from ordinary negligence, which traditionally is not. Third, it justifies differences between the way in which we determine criminal punishments and the way in which we measure civil remedies. Moreover, as interpreted, the Universal Principle of Right offers a Kantian standard for criminal wrongdoing that is compelling enough to inform future philosophical inquiries into the nature and limits of the state’s criminal lawmaking authority.
M. E. Newhouse (2014). 'Institutional Corruption: A Fiduciary Theory' 23(3) Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy' 553
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Dennis F. Thompson developed a theory of “institutional corruption” in order to explain a phenomenon that he believed the Congressional ethics rules failed to address: Congress’ systematic deviation from its proper purpose as a consequence—not merely of individual wrongdoing—but of the influence of several general systemic features of the legislative process. Researchers at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics have recently deployed the language of institutional corruption broadly in analyses of various other public and private institutions, such as regulatory agencies, banks, pharmaceutical companies, and think tanks. The states of affairs that researchers have identified as “institutional corruption” fall into four categories: 1) breaches of fiduciary duty, 2) fraud or otherwise unfair commercial practices, 3) destructive firm behavior, and 4) mistake, inefficiency, or incompetence. This Article reveals that only the first of these represents a true application of Dennis F. Thompson’s theory of institutional corruption, which was originally developed in the context of Congressional ethics. Research projects that deploy the terminology of institutional corruption in non-fiduciary contexts are certainly valuable, but they do not address the subject matter of institutional corruption, properly understood.
M. E. Newhouse (2013). Kant's Typo, and the Limits of the Law (dissertation)
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This dissertation develops a Kantian philosophical framework for understanding our individual obligations under public law. Because we have a right to do anything that is not wrong, the best interpretation of Immanuel Kant's Universal Principle of Right tracks the two ways--material and formal--in which actions can be wrong. This interpretation yields surprising insights, most notably a novel formulation of Kant's standard for formal wrongdoing. Because the wrong-making property of a formally wrong action does not depend on whether or not the action in question has been prohibited by statute, Kant's legal philosophy is consistent with a natural law theory of public crime. Moreover, because the law can obligate us only by establishing a universal external incentive to obey its commands, statutes that impose only fines on nominal violators do not constrain our lawful options. Instead, if they are otherwise just, such statutes must be regarded as rightful permissive laws, according to which we may incur liabilities through our voluntary choices.
Marie Gryphon (Newhouse) (2011). Assessing the Effects of a "Loser Pays" Rule on the American Legal System: An Economic Analysis and Proposal for Reform
Marie Gryphon (Newhouse) (2011). The Better Part of Lenity