Personalized Law: Different Rules for Different People

Publication Date


Streaming Media


Should uniformity of legal rules give way to personalized law? Should different people be bound by the own personally tailored law? The “reasonable person” standard would be replaced by a multitude of personalized “reasonable you” commands. Skilled doctors would be held to higher standards of care, vulnerable consumers would receive stronger protections, age licensing to engage in risky activity, like driving or the purchase of alcohol, would vary according to each person’s idiosyncratic risk, and criminal fines would increase with income. If personalized law could reduce societal risks and reallocate duties and protections where they are needed most, should we welcome it? Would it destroy equality under the law? Omri Ben-Shahar presented the ideas developed in his recent book with Ariel Porat, “Personalized Law.”

Lecture Date

January 1, 2022