I sat in an English court and wondered why I felt so unwelcome and remote from proceedings as a member of the public. I also wondered why we put defendants in glass boxes in English courtrooms.
The ANU College of Law welcomes Linda Mulcahy, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford. While a visitor here, she will present a lecture on 30 October on the design of English courthouses.
Why did you decide to apply to be a visitor at the ANU College of Law?
ANU has a fabulous reputation and I was keen to make links with colleagues working in the field of law and humanities and legal biography. Your new Dean (Professor Sally Wheeler) is also an old friend of mine and we are keen to develop links between ANU and the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies in Oxford where I will be the Director from January 2019.
What will you be researching or teaching during your time with us?
I am finishing off a book called the Democratic courthouse which looks at the relationship between the design of law courts, democracy and due process. I will be presenting my first ever paper on the topic at ANU and am very keen to get some feedback. I also plan to tour some of your courthouses and hope to start talking to colleagues about some collaborative projects.
How did you first get interested in your research project?
I sat in an English court and wondered why I felt so unwelcome and remote from proceedings as a member of the public. I also wondered why we put defendants in glass boxes in English courtrooms. Those two questions have fuelled my research for the last ten years. My interest in legal biography stems from a desire to bring marginalised legal voices to the fore of legal history.
What’s something about you that people may not know?
I went to a Steiner school until I was 12 years old and have a healthy disregard for rules. It got me suspended from my next school!