State legislatures and supreme courts throughout the country are confronting the controversial subject of aid in dying. State judiciaries are further faced with the issue of interpreting unique constitutional clauses and deciding whether those clauses provide for greater rights, such as the right to die.

National scholars and local experts will explore these controversial and timely issues in “Establishing New Rights: A Look at Aid in Dying” at the UNM School of Law on Saturday, Sept. 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The symposium will explore aid in dying from medical and legal perspectives, the background of New Mexico’s rulings on aid in dying, and how other states have tried or succeeded in legalizing aid in dying.

It will also focus on the issue of using state supreme courts and constitutions to create rights that do not currently exist on a national level.

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California Berkeley School of Law, will present the keynote address on the history of state constitutions in providing civil rights. New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Charles W. Daniels will present on the New Mexico Supreme Court’s history of interpreting its constitution to establish civil liberties. Panels comprised of New Mexico judges and legal experts will discuss the topics of Aid in Dying and the role of state judiciaries.

The Symposium is presented by the New Mexico Law Review, a student-run, general legal journal published two times a year. Many Symposium speakers will contribute essays based on their talks to be published in a special symposium issue of the New Mexico Law Review in the spring of 2018

This program has been approved by the New Mexico Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board for 5.5 general hours of credit. It is designed to foster dialogue among those most closely connected to the issues of the role of the judiciary and state constitutions and/or teaching in these matters, but is also free and open to the public. Registration is open on the UNM School of Law website.

Organizations interested in sponsoring the event are encouraged to contact Kyle Duffy, managing editor, New Mexico Law Review, at or 505-660-0537.