Friedmann Urges Social Legislation In Langdell Talk
The state must play an active, regulating role in society, W. Friedmann, professor of the University of Melbourne, declared last night before a Law Forum crowd of 80 in Langdell Hall. His talk was entitled: "The Legal Impact of the Social Welfare State."
In pointing out the philosophical as well as the legal problems posed by an industrial society, Friedmann said that we must reassess old values in order to view clearly current problems. Absolute individual freedom is no longer relevant in an industrial competitive society, he declared.
Making a distinction between essential and non-essential liberties, Friedmann said that there was a wide middle ground of dispute, but that the ownership of water power and transportation facilities both fell into the category of non-essential liberties.
Dr. Friedmann added that he considered the Tennessee Valley Authority "one of the greatest accomplishments of the twentieth century."
As a limit to inordinate state interference, Friedmann advocated the prosecution of any department of the state for every crime where private enterprise would be penalized.
Dr. Friedmann also discussed the importance of the lawyer in an industrial society, and said that there are three tasks confronting the lawyer.
First, the lawyer must make proper distinction between social welfare and the protection of individual liberties. He then must interpret the Constitution with a view to modern problems, and finally must bring about a systemization of administrative justice.