Philip Howard: Four ways to fix a broken legal system The land of the free has become a legal minefield, says Philip K. Howard — especially for teachers and doctors, whose work has been paralyzed by fear of suits. What’s the answer? A lawyer himself, Howard has four propositions for simplifying US law.TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the “Sixth Sense” wearable tech, and “Lost” producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on, at http Watch a highlight reel of the Top 10 TEDTalks at

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    24 Responses to “Philip Howard: Four ways to fix a broken legal system”

    1. sooperfukker Says:

      a very good speech, because this doesn’t only apply to the USA, that shit is taking overhand in Europe as well.. lawyers have become the grey eminences of our times and will ultimately suffocate us.

    2. TheRealYaar Says:

      ur totally right, in our school (grade 12) especially in english class we watch TED talks almost every day and analyze plus write essays sometimes on the talks, it really makes us acknowledge a greater variety of info and media in the world as well it teaches us fundamentals in presentation and speaking infront of an audience, really a great program for students to get involved in :))

    3. octavoch Says:

      No hes actually saying that law has become very bureaucratic its not a republican or democrat issue in fact you could argue the other way that democrats are right but its not the point made he was recently in Jon stewarts show the daily show found at thedailyshow[dot]com it was the november 18,2010 issue he explains further and maybe reading his books will help completely to understand his point of view.

    4. steve0281 Says:

      On the surface, in theory, he would seem to be in agreement with the ostensible Republican position.

    5. octavoch Says:

      in theory of course but maybe he is trying to transcend that and go further. maybe with people like him in the republican side democrats could compromise more and the other way around but there ain’t no politicians that think like him anymore

    6. steve0281 Says:

      I disagree. I think that there are quite a few. The trouble is that government wants this ambiguity in order to intimidate the populace.

      Are you familiar with “Libertarianism?”

    7. octavoch Says:

      No but from its definition it falls into what he is saying

    8. steve0281 Says:

      Look into the Libertarian party. I have been a member since 1977.

    9. octavoch Says:

      im open to the idea as i am very open to anything i will thanks

    10. steve0281 Says:

      I envy you! It was such a wonder for me to discover it for the first time and now you get to do it! Have fun!

    11. enlightenedone676 Says:

      Unfortunately, all governments are inherently corrupt, any way you slice it. Especially now as they are all under control from the wealthy elite. I’d much rather have a system such as the one that the Venus Project advocates.

    12. steve0281 Says:

      That is exactly why they have to be kept as small as possible and watched with vigilance at all times.

    13. enlightenedone676 Says:

      We’re on the same page. The problem that I have with any government is that they project an image of knowing more than anyone else. Not to mention that all governments currently are under the control of the monetary system, which stifles their ability to really address root causes of issues. When you really focus on problems, you find that there is a natural law behind them (ie scarcity produces aberrant behaviour), yet there isn’t enough money to properly address these problems.

    14. steve0281 Says:

      It’s a case of Frankenstein’s monster. The government created the monetary system and now it is ruled by it. It is like the states created the federal government and are now ruled by it.

      Separate the government from the economy. It has no business being involved in it. THEN there will be a free market and that will regulate itself far better than the cronyists in government ever could.

    15. Melki Says:

      people should put expiration dates on laws. So they don’t have to worry too much about making it too complex for the sake of lastness. And as he said, lower officials should be allocated power to create laws as well, so they could make special laws for each and everyone of us. This is just my opinion I’m no lawyer

    16. Melki Says:

      I’m no lawyer but I find this speech enlightening, I like the 4’th point, lower officials should be allocated power to create laws as well, so they could make laws special for each and everyone of us. And I say people should put expiration dates on laws. So they don’t have to worry too much about making it too complex for the sake of lastness.

    17. MrLiketoplayGuitar Says:

      hooooly shit, that was one of the best talks on TED I’ve seen yet.

    18. foxfaction Says:

      37 people are hugely profiting from the existing legal structure

    19. haverstock Says:

      Great talk. One bone of contention with his “…red lights and green lights.” analogy. Traffic lights are contradictory to the common sense mentality Mr. Howard is trying to restore.

    20. kobidobidog Says:

      Mans laws are oppressive. One of the sins of Sodom,and Gomorrah. KJV, Isaiah 1:10 on down, read, S&G killed non human animals thinking God liked it. War is worse. Humans alter thinking it is good. Humans persecute the sexualities like the zoosexual wanting to sacrifice them, thinking it is good too. God did not even kill a killer. God allows for whoever to repent, and does not condemn, jail anyone. Condemners forget the soul that Jesus came to save. That’s why mans wisdom is foolishness to God.

    21. kobidobidog Says:

      Jesus came when there were many laws too. Jesus is the law of God. His law in us is what we need for beyond this life. Have that law, and mans law will crumble. Then humans will be freed instead of being held in bondage.

    22. crudhousefull Says:

      Immeasurable negative impact on the private sector and entrepreneurship

    23. crudhousefull Says:

      Omg. An American who realizes the need for authority and common sense!? NO!?

    24. tyrred Says:

      It’s pretty simple, actually. If the laws that govern the people cannot be simple enough for all to be taught and to know, how can all be required to live by them? Laws are not about right and wrong anymore (if they ever were), they only exist for the strong to subjugate the weak. A wolf in sheep’s clothing…