Dalhousie Law Journal


Richard A. Falk


World Order, Quest, Legacy, Optimism, Re-Examined, second opinion, condition of the world


President MacKay, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honour for me to be here as a Killam lecturer. Let me start by telling a story that illustrates the direction of what I want to say. A Frenchman, an American and a Jew were all suffering from an incurable disease. They were told by a doctor that they had three weeks to live and each was asked what he would like to do. True to stereotype, the Frenchman said that he would take his mistress to the country and dine every night at a three-star restaurant. The American said that he would move to Philadelphia because it would make the three weeks seem so much longer. The Jew replied, "I'll go to another doctor for a second opinion." What I would like to do is to offer this lecture as a second opinion on the condition of the world, which I think one would have to be very depressed about at this time from almost any point of view.