FOUNDING & purposes
meet the advisory board
Established 1983 in Boston, Mentor Group is a non-profit 501(c)(3) research institute that founded a distinctive constitutional, legal-economic and political-economic exchange following the classical definition of political economy that applies the principles of justice to economic and business affairs. Unique among public service organizations, we entered the 21st Century bringing together cross-Atlantic viewpoints and collaborative conversations with a peer group of Supreme Court Justices, legislators, EU Commissioners, scholars and industry leaders in the European Union and the United States.
Mentor Group began this exchange in its inaugural Symposium collaborating with the Woodrow Wilson Center at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Warren Burger presided over this Symposium in 1985 where the principal address was given by The Honourable Lord Cameron, KT (Lord of Session and President of The Royal Society of Edinburgh), who related Scottish political economy from the Enlightenment to the founding of the United States of America. US Appeals Court for the DC Circuit Judge Robert Bork responded to Lord Cameron. Mentor Group then helped prepare the overseas contributions to the United States Constitution Bicentennial Symposium of the Smithsonian Institution in May 1987.
In 1988, these comparative constitutional studies took on a specific “Supreme Court” aspect when Mentor invited Lord Mackenzie-Stuart, then President of the European Court of Justice, to Washington to discuss the evolution of European Community law and his Court in comparison with US Supreme Court historical development and the influence of Chief Justice John Marshall. Chief Justice Burger presided at this Wilson Center Symposium. Senator Charles Mathias and Ambassador Elliot Richardson responded to Lord Mackenzie-Stuart.
Mentor Group’s next Symposium took place at the National Archives in Washington, DC and studied the achievement of the Grundgesetz (Constitution) of the Federal Republic of Germany on its fortieth anniversary in 1989. This Symposium explored the interdependence of the German Constitutional Court with the political and economic strength of the Federal Republic itself. These studies probed how the Grundrechte (basic rights) of the Federal Republic provided a source for the economic vitality of Germany and for its political capacity adapting to inevitable constitutional change imposed by the collapse of the Berlin Wall several months later in November 1989.
In 1989, Mentor Group prepared a Symposium in honor of the Franco-American Judicial Exchange, which began at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Members of the Supreme Court of the United States and the French Conseil d’État led this exchange. In the same year, Mentor Group founded the Forum for Members of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Court of Justice of the European Communities, which convened at The Royal Society of Edinburgh in August 1991. During 1990, Mentor Group received a MacArthur Foundation presidential grant for the Forum.
Following the federalization of Russia and the expansion of the Constitutional Court’s authority, as mandated by the constitutional order ratified by the Russian people in December 1993, Mentor Group initiated exchanges between members of the Russian Constitutional Court, Parliament and other government officials, and their counterparts in the United States and Europe. Adapting universal principles to the Russian reality, the Troika for Russian Legal-Economic Affairs examined the possibility and demand for the rule of law in Russia’s modern economy, spanning the course of a decade.
Mentor Group’s work had primarily been motivated by lack of understanding in the United States about the European Union and by misapprehension in Europe about the origins of the United States political economy. Such experience forged the following Mentor Group activities.
Ambassador Lawrence E. Butler
Deputy Commander, United States EUCOM 2011-2013
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq 2007-2008
Dr. Monika Dorda
Senior Vice President & General Counsel Global Commercial Operations, GSK
Sir Nicholas Forwood KC
The General Court of the European Union 1999-2015
Circuit Judge Arthur J. Gajarsa (Ret.)
Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law School
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit 1997-2012
The Honorable Richard J. Goldstone
Founding Justice, Constitutional Court of South Africa 1994-2003
Professor Dr. Dieter Grimm
Professor of Public Law, Humboldt University Berlin
Federal Constitutional Court of Germany 1987-1999
Professor Dr. Peter Michael Huber
Chair of Public Law and State Philosophy, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich
Federal Constitutional Court of Germany 2010-2023
Minister of the Interior of the Free State of Thuringia 2009-2010
Professor Dr. Carl-Otto Lenz
Advocate-General, Court of Justice of the European Communities 1984-1997
Professor Dr. Ernst-Joachim Mestmäcker
Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law
The Right Honourable the Lord Naseby PC
House of Lords & Former Deputy Speaker, House of Commons of the United Kingdom
Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, United States Department of State 1997-2001
Mr. Rudy L. Ruggles, Jr.
Vice Chairman, J. Craig Venter Institute
Former President, Hudson Institute
Mr. John P. Schmitz
President, Prime Transatlantic
Deputy Counsel to the President, The White House 1989-1993
Professor Bernard Stirn
Président de Section Honoraire, Conseil d’État
Professor of Public Law, Sciences Po
Professor Dr. Hanns Ullrich
Professor Emeritus & Visiting Professor, College of Europe Bruges
Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition
Mr. Thomas Kosmo
President, The Mentor Group
Professor. A. Jan A.J. Eijsbouts
Professor Emeritus & Fellow, Maastricht University
Established 1989, this peer group of Supreme Court Justices, European Union Commissioners and corporate Chief Legal Officers meets twice annually to discuss concrete legal-economic developments between the European Union and the United States. Collective findings inform members’ autonomous decisions in the future. Cutting across EU-US jurisdictions and most sectors, this prestigious group of business-statesmen influences legal and business issues focusing on competition law enforcement and judicial control; data protection, privacy and security; European industrial policy and innovation; big data, emerging technologies and artificial intelligence; fundamental rights and economic freedoms; market dependence on courts’ judgments; EU due process protections; corporate responsibility, FCPA and global anti-corruption policy; global statecraft, security and trade cooperation. Our spring Forum meets every year in Brussels, and our September Forum convenes in rotating cities such as Paris, Berlin, Rome, Vienna or Washington.
Founded in 2009, the Symposium on Statecraft meets annually in Washington, DC to unite EU and US Supreme Court members with esteemed counterpart diplomats, scholars and military leaders. Exploring the principles of the rule of law, members assist their peers building statecraft yielding truly global security. In addition, this Symposium holds that statecraft must also deliver and maintain free and open markets with constitutional protection of all market players.
The Seminar convenes upon request of members of the Forum for EU-US Legal-Economic Affairs addressing judicial oversight of regulators. This comprehends European unitary patents and the new European intellectual property courts. Such exchanges inform intellectual property policy and related issues in the European Union such as competition and innovation, e-commerce policy and inherent copyright protections, among others.
The Seminar is the first to convene EU national court judges with European Court of Justice (ECJ) and United States Supreme Court members. It largely attracts EU national judges, who must apply EU law as consistent with their own Constitution. All member state judges grapple with cases whose judgments are increasingly at variance with one another and with ECJ case-law itself. This resembles United States federal court “circuit splits”, ultimately resolved by the United States Supreme Court, for which there is no analogous procedure in Europe.
Founded 1990, this annual Seminar convenes Harvard Law and Harvard Business School students with officials and jurists from both the EU and US jurisdictions. Our Harvard seminars explore durabilities of the American political economy, a term defined by Adam Smith in An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations as “the branch of the science of a statesman or legislator” concerned with the management system “providing a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people”. Referencing the political economy of any nation, Smith cites rule of law for its dynamic principles of justice. Smith declares justice intrinsic to economic and business affairs that actually generate the wealth of nations.
The Chatham House Rule governs our activities disallowing remarks attributed to any speaker and any specific findings.