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Justice O'Connor to receive 2011 Prize at Beijing Conference

  • Sandra Day O'Connor
    Sandra Day O'Connor  Justice O'Connor serves as William & Mary's Chancellor. She often attends campus ceremonies. She is pictured here at a Law School Commencement exercise.  Photo courtesy of the W&M Law School
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Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will receive the 2011 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize at the William & Mary Property Rights Project’s eighth annual conference, which will be held in Beijing on Oct. 14-15.  The 2011 conference will be co-sponsored by Tsinghua University School of Law and will be a featured event during the university’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding.

“I am delighted that Justice O’Connor will allow us to recognize her contributions to property law jurisprudence and that she has agreed to travel to Beijing to receive the award and to attend the conference,” said Law School Dean Davison M. Douglas.  O’Connor’s nomination in 1981 as the Supreme Court's first female justice, he said, ranked "among the momentous events in American history,” and she was “one of the Court’s most influential justices of the past half century.”

O’Connor served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1981 to 2006.  She became Chancellor of the College of William & Mary following her retirement from the judiciary.  In May 2010, the William & Mary Law School faculty awarded her its highest honor, the Marshall-Wythe Medallion, in recognition of her exceptional accomplishments and leadership.

Lynda Butler, Chancellor Professor of Law and Director of the William & Mary Property Rights Project, said she is looking forward to the Law School’s first international conference and to the opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues at Tsinghua University and other members of China’s legal community. “In addition to Justice O’Connor, all seven of the previous recipients of the Brigham-Kanner Prize will join us in Beijing,” Butler said. “Truly, this will be a historic gathering.”

The faculty of Tsinghua University School of Law in Beijing comprises many of China’s most noted scholars.  Its distinguished graduates include Judges Tieya Wang and Ruao Mei, and Justice Duanmu Zheng of the Supreme People’s Court.

For more information about the conference, contact the William & Mary Property Rights Project at or call (757)221-3796.