Dr. Barry Sullivan

The School of Law, Loyola University Chicago

Title and Précis:

The Right to Know in Constitutional Design and Democratic Government: The Relevance of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition

     The efficacy of political speech in a democracy depends on access to information, which is often controlled by government. This project will examine the difficult theoretical and practical issues surrounding access to government information in existing democracies. The situation in a particular democracy will depend on relevant law and social conditions.  But particular moral and democratic values, whether reflected in positive law or exogenous to it, will be relevant. Fundamental questions concerning this issue will be explored, especially in light of relevant Church encyclicals, but also through the writings of other Catholic thinkers. What the Catholic tradition says about the dignity of citizenship, human persons, structural justice, and the proper ends and means of democratic governments will be analyzed and implemented in this study.


     Dr. Barry Sullivan is Cooney & Conway Chair in Advocacy and Professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Sullivan received the JD degree from the University of Chicago. He began his career as a law clerk to Judge John Minor Wisdom of the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and he later served as an Assistant to the US Solicitor General. Dr. Sullivan has been vice-president and dean of the law school at Washington and Lee University, a visiting professor of law at Northwestern University, a Fulbright professor at Warsaw University, a visiting fellow of London University, and a senior lecturer in law and public policy at the University of Chicago.  His scholarly work has appeared in leading journals in the US and Europe.