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< All Fellows and Scholars

Professor David Fraser

David Fraser
2003-2004 Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow

"The Fragility of Law: Anti-Jewish Decrees, Constitutional Patriotism and Collaboration in Belgium, 1940-45"

Professional Background

Professor David Fraser received an LL.M. from Yale Law School, an LL.B. from Dalhousie Law School in Nova Scotia, and an LL.B. from Université Laval in Quebec. During his fellowship at the Museum, he was Professor in the Department of Law at Brunel University in the United Kingdom. For his Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellowship for Archival Research, Professor Fraser conducted research for his project “The Fragility of Law: Anti-Jewish Decrees, Constitutional Patriotism and Collaboration in Belgium, 1940-45.”

Professor Fraser has extensively studied legal theory and the legal aspects of the Holocaust. His publications include The Jews of the Channel Islands and the Rule of Law, 1940-1945 (Sussex Academic Press, 2000) and Law after Auschwitz: Towards a Jurisprudence of the Holocaust (Carolina Academic Press, 2005) which was published after his tenure at the Museum. His work has been featured in numerous scholarly journals including Entertainment Law; Legal Studies; Current Issues in Criminal Justice; International Journal of Semiotics and the Law; Current Issues in Criminal Justice; Harvard Women’s Law Journal; and the Center for Advanced Holocaust Study’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Professor Fraser has served on the editorial boards of several law journals including the Australian Journal of Law and Society and Current Issues in Criminal Justice, and at the time of his fellowship was on the editorial board of Entertainment Law. The recipient of several prestigious grants and fellowships, Professor Fraser served as the sole investigator, following a grant from the Australian Research Council, for his project, “Objection or Collaboration?: Belgian Lawyers and the Jewish Question, 1940-45.” He has taught courses on legal theory and the Holocaust and the law, including The Holocaust, Moral Responsibility and the Rule of Law; Law, Lawyers, and the Holocaust; The Individual, The Group and the Community; and Legal Philosophy; among many others. Professor Fraser has taught at Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and the University of Sydney, where he was awarded an Extended Research Secondment at the Research Institute in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Fellowship Research

During his tenure at the Museum, Professor Fraser studied the history of anti-Jewish laws in Belgium during the Nazi occupation. He was among the first to canvass the Museum’s newly acquired collection of Belgian documents that amount to nearly 3.2 million pages. Professor Fraser examined the ways that the rule of law and legal discourse were manipulated in order to legitimate and legalize evil. He explored the role of Belgian officials in the legal system that either resisted or enforced anti-Jewish laws. 

Professor Fraser was in residence at the Mandel Center from June 22 to August 22, 2003.