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IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law / Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize


Call for Entries

Entries will be accepted through July 1, 2016, for the next Palmer Civil Liberties Prize. Read more...


2015 Palmer Prize winners

Future of Violence book coverThe Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones—Confronting a New Age of Threat (Basic Books 2015), by Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution and Professor Gabriella Blum of Harvard Law School, has won the 2015 Palmer Prize.

In the book, the authors explore how advances in technology give ordinary citizens and terrorists alike the tools to carry out devastating attacks—such as spreading deadly biological agents with a drone intended for hobbyists or launching cyberattacks from a laptop—and proposes solutions for how governments can respond.

Mr. Wittes and Professor Blum will present their work at Chicago-Kent in fall 2016. Read more...


About the Palmer Prize

The Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize was established in spring 2007 by alumnus Roy C. Palmer '62 and his wife, Susan M. Palmer, to honor a work of scholarship exploring the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American society.

The $10,000 prize is designed to encourage and reward public debate among scholars on current issues affecting the rights of individuals and the responsibilities of governments throughout the world. (View the full list of Palmer Prize winners.)

Roy Palmer, a lawyer and real estate developer, is a 1962 honors graduate of Chicago-Kent and a member of its board of overseers. He and his wife, Susan, active in numerous civic, social and philanthropic organizations, are the recipients of the 1997 Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award of the National Society of Fundraising Executives.

In 2006, the Palmers pledged a $1 million gift to Chicago-Kent earmarked to support the expansion of the law school's campus, located in a rapidly developing area of downtown Chicago. The Palmers reside in Sarasota, Florida.